What's it all about?
Closely based on the facts of the case, The Black Panther is a documentary style reconstruction of Donald Neilson's (Donald Sumpter) escalating criminal career, from robbery to murder to the kidnapping of Lesley Whittle (Debbie Farrington).
Why haven't you seen it?
For many years you couldn't. It was, predictably, controversial in the press (including those parts of it that had endangered Lesley Whittle with irresponsible reporting during the real events). Sue Lawley took director Ian Merrick to task on TV, having not seen the film herself. Shortly after this the film was banned, again without being viewed, by several local councils. This meant that the film had only minimal and brief distribution. There were video releases, both pre-cert and 18 rated, but these seem to have been small scale and, never re-released on video between 1981 and 2012, The Black Panther effectively vanished for more than 30 years.