This was episode three in the six part anthology series Play For Tomorrow, Cricket was set in 1997 in the heart of Coanwood, a small Northumbrian farming village. The committee of the local cricket club meet to discuss the team order for their vital cup final match against Blenkinsop C.C.. The committe, thanks to Lord Slaggyford are able to make use of Wisden Computer Service Inc which is able to advise them of the perfect strategy and team for their match. However also on the agenda is talk of building a resistance movement against the Forestry Commission who want to introduce new high production methods of farming to the area.
Ostensibly a straight foward story that certainly didn’t need to be set in the future in fact only the opening scene letting you know we are in the late 1990’s and the use of a computer (that plugs into the TV!) to predict the team shows that this is anyway a “Play for Tomorrow”. One prescient aspect of the piece though was the thought that everyone was being filmed and everything was being recorded. Very on the mark in todays society!
Not the best of the bunch by a long way but the casting was good and fun use of Brian Johnson as the voice of Wisden as well as the use of the theme tune to the BBC’s cricket coverage.
UK / BBC 1 / 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast 27 April 1982
Writer: Michael Wilcox / Script Editor: Chris Parr / Costumes: Janet Tharby / Production Design: Philip Lindley / Producer: Neil Zeiger / Director: Michael Darlow
Series: Play For Tomorrow Episode 3 (of 6)
MALCOLM TERRIS as John Ridley
TERENCE HALLIDAY as Tommy Coulthard
JEREMY CHILD as Lord Slaggyford
PAUL ANTONY BARBER as Willie Ridley
SIMON ROUSE as Colin Bayliss
ANNE RAITT as Morna Ridley
BRIAN JOHNSON as Computer Voice