Enemy at the Door

Enemy at the Door is a British television drama series made by London Weekend Television for ITV. The series was shown between 1978 and 1980 and dealt with the German occupation of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, during the Second World War.[1] The programme generated a certain amount of criticism in Guernsey, particularly for being obviously filmed on Jersey despite being ostensibly set on Guernsey.[2] The series also marked the TV debut of Anthony Head as a member of the island resistance. The theme music was by Wilfred Josephs.

Enemy at the Door
Written byJames Andrew Hall
Theme music composerWilfred Josephs
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)London Weekend Television
Original networkITV
Original release28 January 1978 (1978-01-28) 
29 March 1980


The islanders were chiefly represented by the respected local doctor, Philip Martell (Bernard Horsfall), who struggled to maintain the peace while the Germans were led by Major Dieter Richter (Alfred Burke), a peacetime academic who was inclined to be lenient on the Guernsey populace but whose approach was challenged by his more conventionally nasty SS counterpart Hauptsturmführer Klaus Reinicke (Simon Cadell). Rounding out the principal German characters were Major Friedl and Oberleutnant Kluge, a former policeman still more inclined to act as a policeman rather than a soldier.

Many episodes portrayed the balance of power and fragile harmony between the islanders and the German occupying forces, and how it was threatened by either resistance action or over-zealous clamping down by the Germans.

A precursor to his role as Bergerac in the detective series set on Jersey, John Nettles played a police detective ordered to work for the Germans and anguished by the conflict between his duty and collaborating with the enemy.

The series ended with the Germans still in occupation, and did not depict their eventual defeat.


Episode list

Series One (1978)

# Title Original Airdate
1 By Order of the Führer 21 January
2 The Librarian 28 January
3 After the Ball 4 February
4 Steel Hand from the Sea 11 February
5 The Laws and Usages of War 18 February
6 V for Victory 25 February
7 The Polish Affaire 4 March
8 Officers of the Law 11 March
9 The Jerrybag 18 March
10 Treason 25 March
11 Pains and Penalties 1 April
12 The Prussian Officer 8 April
13 Judgement of Solomon 15 April

Series Two (1980)

# Title Original Airdate
1 Call of the Dead 5 January
2 Reception for the General 12 January
3 Angels That Soar Above 19 January
4 No Quarter Given 26 January
5 Committee Man 2 February
6 Post Mortem 9 February
7 The Raid 16 February
8 Jealousy 23 February
9 War Game 1 March
10 The Right Blood 8 March
11 From a View to a Death 15 March
12 The Education of Nils Borg 22 March
13 Escape 29 March


  1. Christopher, David (2002). British Culture: An Introduction. Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 9781134766826. Secret Army (BBC, 1977–9) and Manhunt (ITV, 1970) depicted the heroic efforts of the resistance movement in occupied Europe, and Enemy at the Door (ITV, 1978–80) showed tense relationships between Germans and the local people of the Channel Islands
  2. Ramsey, Winston (1981). The War in the Channel Islands: Then and Now. London: Battle of Britain Prints International. ISBN 978-0900913228.
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