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Expert, The (1968-71, 1976)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'Flesh And Blood', originally transmitted on BBC2, 19 September 1969
Directed by William Sterling, written by John Pennington

Ten-year-old Jackie Carr is chased from school by a gang of youths, who push him to the ground. Albert, his father, takes him to see Dr Jo Hardy, who removes some grit from the boy's eye.

In private, Albert confides to Dr Hardy that he believes Jackie is not his child, and was conceived by his wife, Jeanette, during his time in the army. He reveals that he has always had suspicions, but now feels he knows who the real father is. Albert insists on a paternity blood test, although Jo's husband, Dr John Hardy, explains that the test results might prove that he is not the father, but could not prove for certain that he is. Jeanette confides to her mother that while she was pregnant she borrowed £100 from Michael Capper, her former employer, in order to afford her own flat. She had saved £50 to repay half of the debt, but is worried that Albert has found out. Dr John Hardy performs the blood tests, which confirm that both Albert and Jackie belong to the same blood group as Jeanette. Meanwhile, Albert visits Capper, accusing him of being Jackie's father before assaulting him. Capper visits the police station and reports the assault to Inspector Fleming, explaining that he gave the money to Jeanette as a friend, but that he is not Jackie's father.

Unconvinced by the test results, Albert convinces his wife to have a more sophisticated blood test. This reveals that although Albert and Jackie share the same blood subtype, Jeanette has a different subtype, proving that she cannot possibly be Jackie's mother. Dr Hardy and his wife visit the Carr household where Jeanette confesses that while Albert was away in the army, their baby died. She buried the body in the grounds of the orphanage that raised Albert as a child and, once there, stole another baby, who she has since raised as Jackie.

Inspector Fleming confirms from police records that a baby was reported stolen from the orphanage and, one month later, a body of a baby was found but mistakenly identified by orphanage staff as the missing child. Inspector Fleming explains to Dr Hardy that Jeanette faces charges of child stealing and failure to report a death, while Albert and Jeanette must make a legal claim to adopt Jackie. Jackie is returned to the orphanage, where he makes new friends.