Hugely important ITV anthology of single plays, Armchair Theatre really came into it’s own under the leadership of Canadian producer Sydney Newman who brought the same sense of kitchen sink realism to the small screen that was then currently cutting a swathe across British cinema and theatre.
Via Newman there was a steady stream of contemporary productions featuring work from the likes of Alun Owen (who would go on to write the screenplay for the first Beatles movie A Hard Days Night) and Robert Muller.
In 1963 the BBC poached Newman and his story editing team of Irene Shubik and Peter Luke – an act which would pay dividends for the BBC with the arrival soon after of The Wednesday Play and then Play For Today. Shubik would also take charge of the superb BBC sci-fi/horror anthology Out of the Unknown.
The series was produced by ABC until their franchise ran out in 1968 and Thames took up the reigns.
In 1960 and then 1964-1965 there were 34 episodes that were broadcast as Armchair Mystery Theatre. 1959 saw episodes broadcast as Summer Armchair Theatre.
1967 saw five episodes broadcast under the title Armchair Thriller (no relation to the late 1970’s anthology of the same name, this ran from 22 Apr – 20 May 67)
1973 (10 episodes 11 April – 4 Dec) saw a run of half hour episodes that were broadcast under the title Armchair Thirty. In 1974 (28 May – 26 Nov) there were six shot on 16mm film productions broadcast under the Armchair Cinema banner.
One episode ran foul of the ITA (Independent Television Authority). Three of a Gas Ring made in 1959 for broadcast in 1960 was banned because of it’s portrayal of an unmarried mother. This was the first TV play to be banned by the ITA.
UK / ITV – ABC – Thames / 452 episodes of varying lengths but mostly fifty minutes / Broadcast 8 July 1956 – 9 July 1974
72. WHERE I LIVE (10 Jan 60)
10. THE ESCAPE CLUB
6. DETECTIVE WAITING (14 Sep 71)
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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