Episode 7 – “A River to Cross”

IMDB Link: “Who Pays the Ferryman?” A River to Cross (TV Episode 1977) – IMDb

Title caption

Synopsis: The kaiki is rebuilt, and sails once more in the bay. Haldane’s plans for the taverna are agreed with by Nikos and Elena, and the contracts are signed. But disaster strikes when Nikos, Elena and Alexi are involved in a car crash.

The episode opens with Haldane, Xenophon and friends pushing the newly restored The Knot back into the sea, whereupon Haldane and Alexis go sailing around the bay. The initial shot of Xenophon asking everyone to push was shot at the pier near Despina Taverna.

The opening shot is from the pier, across the water, with the mountain on the very right in the background.

In the screen grab above, the white buildings on Kalydon to the right are the Elounda Island Villas.

From this opening shot, the view pans to the foreground to Xenophon telling everyone to push together, to get The Knot back into the sea.

This was all shot up near the Despina Taverna, as before. Matheos looks on…

…as everyone pushes the kaiki into the water.

Haldane boards the boat and both he and Alexi wave back to the people that have helped him get the boat sailing again. Again we see the Elounda Island Villas on Kalydon in the background.

Haldane and Alexi take the kaiki for a sail around the bay. The initial shot of them leaving the pier and waving is from the other pier facing towards the Elounda Island Villas. The circle is the boat, and the arrow is the direction the camera is facing.

In the next shot, the kaiki is facing north-east towards Spinalonga.

Then they’re back near the pier at the Despina Taverna, with the Elounda Island Villas in the background. Haldane tells Alexi to man the sheet rope and rudder, an invitation which Alexi gratefully accepts.

Meanwhile, Matheos visits Katerina Matakis. For the exterior shot before this sequence, we see a FIAT suspiciously similar to Annika’s driving along the Neapoli to Hersonissos road outside the Monastery.

The camera pans over to the left, where Matheos’ Toyota pickup is parked outside the Monastery entrance.

Matheos gets her to put their agreement into writing.

Haldane, Xenophon and friends celebrate in the taverna…

…whilst the Police keep watch on the kaiki.

This scene was filmed on the pier outside what is now the Megaro restaurant. My belief is that they filmed this scene the same evening as they filmed the scene where Matheos sets fire to the kaiki. It’s moored in exactly the same spot, with the netting on the pier in the same position.

Haldane tells Annika that they’ll take Alexi on the boat the next day, much to Annika’s bemusement.

Xenophon offers Haldane the chance to make some money by smuggling antiquities across the Aegean Sea to Turkey and Lebanon.

Haldane and Annika slip away from the celebrations and spend the night together next door at his apartment.

The kaiki is taken out to sea the next day. Alexi does a bit of fishing, Haldane and Annika talk about their children and love, and then go for a swim. In this scene, the kaiki is facing Spinalonga.

Obviously I don’t have Street View in the sea, but this map shows you the direction they are pointed at Spinalonga in the shot above.

Haldane offers 50 Drachmas to Alexi if he catches a fish over 1kg. Taking the same exchange rate we used from the previous episode, we can see how much that is nowadays:

Exchange rate (April 29 1977) approx 63.92 Δρχ. to £1.
50 Δρχ. = approx 78p
78p in 2022 = £5.16

So they have anchored near to the shore on the west side of the bay, to the north of Korfos Beach, between Ayia Paraskevi and Plaka.

The above shot was taken from the shore. If you consider the light coloured rock formation on Kalydon opposite, then we’re around a similar area in the streetview below.

They then have a swimming race.

I found the general area that the scene would’ve been shot from near Plaka – albeit from a point on the road behind the kaiki – but the peak of the mountain in the distance matches.

They sail around Spinalonga and return to land. This part of Spinalonga is on the southern side where the tour boats all land.

And here’s a more recent photo taken from a similar position, taken by Robin & Bazylek.

Annika and Alexi take in the sights. From the angle of Kalydon in the background, this looks like it was filmed from near the Despina Taverna.

The following shot is actually from a position on the north side of Spinalonga.

The next shot is back down to the south of Spinalonga.

When they return to shore, they moor the kaiki to the pier outside what is now Megaro Restaurant. Annika’s shoulders look sunburnt!

This Google Street View shows you the pier and the same mountains of Kalydon in the background.

After lunch, Haldane goes sailing alone.

This shot was taken along the main road near to the Despina Taverna close to the shore. There are a few groups of trees along that stretch of road that are similar. The closer you get to Elounda, the thinner the trees get.

Again, Kalydon in the background. The kaiki is most probably facing the pier near Despina Taverna.

And again – same location, the mountain peak to the right of the sail is the same one as the left-hand peak in the above photo. Probably filmed from the end of the pier.

Annika is on the phone to Babis, and tells him that Nikos and Elena have agreed to go into partnership with Haldane.

[Annika] – “Babis, they decided! They will work together!”
[Babis] – “Wonderful! Leandros will be so happy. Does he know?”
[Annika] – “No, we’ll go and tell him now. Elena and Nikos are here. Yes, this morning, at a suitable time. Very well. Goodbye!”

The next insert shot is of the main buildings in Elounda. In an early episode I looked into where this was taken from, and it looks as though it was taken from the Vritomartes Restaurant or the pier leading to it.

When Haldane returns from sailing, Annika visits him to tell him that Nikos and Elena have agreed to the plans for the taverna, much to his delight.

The initial agreement is signed at Haldane’s apartment with all parties there, and will be formalised at Annika’s the following weekend. Thus, the Taverna Melina is born.

That night Haldane is up working on the plans for the taverna. There is an insert shot of the boat that is outside the taverna. This will have been shot from next to the taverna or perhaps from one of its’ upper floors.

Melina gets him back to bed. In the morning, he reads a letter from Annika. It outlines her feelings, and the internal battle he is having letting go of the memory of Melina carries on.

Haldane then visits the cemetery where Melina is buried. This is north of Neapolis on the other side of Motorway 90.

In the shot of Haldane driving away, in the distance we see the Vocational High School in Neapolis in the distance, and the white building next to it. These are on the other side of the motorway, whose line can just be seen in the trees. This large building was in the background in Episode 3 when Matheos is giving Haldane a lift back to Heraklion, but is not very visible from the motorway these days.

The following Street View is from the road that the white building (left) and High School (right) are on. You can make them both out.

Babis is at Katerina Matakis’ house on business.

He tells her of the plans for the taverna, and that she should join the celebrations, but she declines.

That evening, Matheos posts the “For Charon” letter through Haldane’s mailbox. Again, the shot is up the stairway between the taverna and Haldane’s apartment, seen many times before in the series.

Haldane goes to see the Major and gets a chilling explanation of its’ meaning.

Nikos’ car breaks down. It’s parked in front of the taverna on the waterfront.

Haldane takes Alexi to Annika’s in his red FIAT whilst Nikos fixes the problem.

Matheos waits for them to pass outside the church. Fascinating that in 1977 the only buildings that existed in that street were the first 3 or 4 down.

Nikos gets his car going and they make their way to Annika’s.

“Such hard work, being a genius!”

Haldane and Alexi drive along the mountains on their way, taking the Fourni-Elounda road out to the west, followed by Matheos.

The same sign is still in the Street View below, after the 40kph sign.

This is actually the route from Elounda to Annika’s house, so it’s actually very good of the production to keep the location work so accurate.

Then we have this shot again, which is a lower view of the same location above (immediately after the shot of Matheos’ car parked outside the church).

This is the same place as the shot of the FIAT further up (photo after Matheos’ car is parked outside the church).

Haldane and Nikos play football with Alexi at the side/rear of the house.

[Nikos to Alexi, playing football] – “Get away from him Alexi! From the other side! The other side! The other side! More, take him far away!”

Meanwhile, Matheos tampers with the FIAT’s brake lines.

The cars are parked at the front of the house.

After the contracts are signed and gifts exchanged, Haldane flies a kite with Alexi. This is at the rear of the house. The Street View shows the house and distinctive mountain behind it.

“OK? Pull, pull. The string. Higher.”

Nikos, Elena and Alexi leave in Haldane’s car, which is parked behind Nikos’ white FIAT 1100 beside the house, which has broken down again.

This looks to have been filmed from a higher position at Annika’s house. Presumably Nikos had turned the car around to head back to Elounda and this is the first shot of them leaving. The mountains in the background (and especially their features) in this scene match. It’s a shame that there is a lot of glare from the sun on the Google Street View cameras as these features are partially hidden. I think it’s this position also because of the posts by the roadside being on this section of the road that faces those mountains. No other section does, and immediately after this, you enter the village of Vrachasi, then on exiting the road turns north-east and you’re up in the mountains.

They drive through Vrachasi village.

They pass the small house with the gates and railings on the left behind Nikos. This is at the entrance to Vrachasi heading east.

They continue through to the outskirts of Vrachasi.

And begin to enter the mountains. The view is a lot lower down here, but the trees and outline of the mountains in the distance are similar.

They continue to their fate.

The next shot is the same location as the one before Nikos is shifting gears.

Next left before the action starts…

The S bend comes after Nikos has pumped the brakes and the brake fluid has drained from the system. This is where they start to realise something’s wrong.

The key here is the 2 sign posts on the left and the rock formation on the right. This was filmed from a much more elevated position on the following right hand turn.

This is the subsequent right hand turn.

The STOP sign is actually on the slip road behind them that merges with the right-hand turn they just went round.

Just before the car goes off the cliff, we see this view.

Now look at the same outline in the Google Street View below. I’ve zoomed in ever so slightly, to cater for the foreshortening caused by the telephoto lens used. Consider the outlines I’ve marked in the capture and compare to above.

The outlines match as well as the view of Neapoli in the valley below. The E75 is less visible due to a lot of foliage in front of it (if you check Google Street View, you’ll notice many parts of the motorway are now tree-lined). The location is here:

The FIAT crashes off the edge of the cliff on that turn, killing everyone on board.

This is the Google Maps location of where the car was supposed to have come off the cliff.

At the point where the car actually goes off the cliff face, this looks to have been filmed at the post-crash location, due to the village nearby. This location is detailed on the episode 8 page.

For a bit of other information on this journey, here’s the route and distance they travelled before crashing.

Nikos, Elena and Alexi perish at the scene. If you look at the Google maps of the supposed crash area, you will see that there is no village nearby.

Back at Annika’s house, Babis tells her and Haldane that they should get married. Unaware of the disaster that has just occurred down the road, they look into each other’s eyes with love and happiness. “A perfect day”, Annika says.

The end credits roll over the same shot of the bay and the boat as was used in episode 1.


Alan HaldaneJack Hedley
Annika ZeferisBetty Arvaniti
Matheos NoukakisTakis Emmanuel
Katerina MatakisPatience Collier
Babis SpiridakisNeil McCarthy
The MajorStefan Gryff
Elena VassilakisMaria Sokali
Nikos VassilakisNikos Verlekis
Alexis VassilakisAlexis Sergis
Xenophon HasapisNikos Kouros
Production AssistantsAndrew Morgan
Michael McDermott
Production Unit ManagersColin Dudley
Petros Raptis
Costume DesignerTudor George
Make Up ArtistGwen Arthy
Studio LightingBarry Hill
Studio SoundRamon Bailey
Film CameramanMax Samett
Film RecordistArthur Chesterman
Film EditorBarrie Johnston
ComposerYannis Markopoulos
Series CreatorMichael J. Bird
DesignerMyles Lang
ProducerWilliam Slater
(c) BBC Birmingham 1977