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Cloning Of Joanna May, The (ITV 1992, Patricia Hodge, Brian Cox)

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The superb Fay Weldon has always been a woman of visionary ideas, often labeled as a writer of a feminist slant she has also quite often combined that with stories that definitely lead towards science fiction. Her best known work The Lives and Loves of a She Devil took the idea of the wronged wife to a whole new level and here in The Cloning of Joanna May she expands on the subject.

The team who brought She-Devil to the screen are also involved here, scriptwriter Ted Whitehead, director Philip Saville and star Patricia Hodge and the vibe, despite being made for ITV as opposed to She-Devil’s BBC, is very similar. Hodge plays forty something Joanna May who has been living estranged from her wealthy nuclear energy power plant CEO husband Carl (the brilliant Brian Cox), even though both have taken younger lovers (a young James Purefoy for Joanna and the sexy Siri Neal for Carl) they are both still very much obsessed with what the other is doing.

Matters come to a head when Joanna discovers that Carl (using DNA taken from her during a supposed abortion back in the late 1960’s) has been making serious inroads into actually cloning her and that he has created three other versions of her. Whilst Carl has plans to take one of them as his new wife Joanna has plans of her own to claim to take the clones as her own.

A fantastic piece of drama, one that is part humanist drama about relationships and one that equally has as much to say about the dangers of new technologies and their scope for going wrong. The issue of the privatisation of so many public sectors, including nuclear energy was much a political hot potato at the time and really that hasn’t changed at all and prove just how on the mark Weldon was.

production details
UK / ITV – Granada / 2×90 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 January – 2 February 1992

Writer: Ted Whitehead / Novel: Fay Wheldon / Music: Rachel Portman / Executive Producer: Sally Head / Producer: Grub Neal / Director: Phillip Saville

cast
Patricia Hodge as Joanna May
Brian Cox as Carl May
Billie Whitelaw as Mavis
Sarah Badel as Angela
Oliver Ford-Davies as Gerald
Jean Boht as Mrs Love
Siri Neal as Bethany
Peter Guinness as Philip
James Purefoy as Oliver
Peter Capaldi as Isaac
Ian McNeice as Doctor Holly
Emma Hardy as Jane
Helen Adie as Alice
Laura Eddy as Gina

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Perfect Christmas List, A (Lifetime 2017, Ellen Hollman, Beth Broderick)

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A Perfect Christmas List Lifetime 2017

In A Perfect Christmas Gift, as a last wish, a recently hospitalized grandmother, Evie, tasks her daughter and granddaughter, Sara, with a list of festive accomplishments to do together before Christmas hoping that the adventure of the experience will repair their relationship. Along the way, Sara discovers an unlisted Christmas adventure of her own.

cast
Ellen Hollman as Sara
Beth Broderick as Michelle
Aaron Hill as Dr. Brandon Reed
Richard Karn as Tim
Marion Ross as Evie
Nicole I. Butler as Ms. Carrier
Lauren Nash as Ashley
Scott Thomas Reynolds as Photographer
John Burke as Dr. Taylor
Michael Gaglio as Santa
Ajgie Kirkland as Sam
Lyn Alicia Henderson as Fran
Yanellie Ireland as Katie
Tiffany Paige as Shopper
Rusty E. Frank as Dancer Brown Jacket

crew details
Director: Fred Olen Ray
Writers: Peter Sullivan, Fred Olen Ray,

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday December 17, 2017 at 8.00pm

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Copper’s End (ITV 1971, Bill Owen, Josephine Tewson)

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Sitcom Coppers End was very much from the Will Hay  (and Ask A Policeman in particular) school of comedy; When the series began the boys at the station led by Sergeant Stan Short, had the art of doing nothing down to a tee, so much so that they were even able to hire out their squad car for all manner of weddings, driving lessons and even stock car racing. All until the arrival of the super efficient W.P.S. Penny Pringle that is.

cast
BILL OWEN as Sgt Sam Short
RICHARD WATTIS as PC Eddie Edwards
GEORGE MOON as PC Chipper Collins
JOSEPHINE TEWSON as WPS Penny Pringle
ROYCE MILLS as PC Dinkworth
GEORGE MOON as Ch Supt Ripper

crew details
Creator: Ted Willis
Producer: Shaun O’Riordan
Director: John Sichel

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – ATV
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 19 February – 14 May 1971

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Conjugal Rights (ITV 1993-1994, Gwen Taylor, Michael Williams)

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Conjugal Rights

Sitcom Conjugal Rights detailed the ups and downs of middle-class, middle-aged married couple Gen and Barry.

cast
GWEN TAYLOR as Gen
MICHAEL WILLIAMS as Barry
STEPHEN MOORE as Philip
CORDELIA BUGEJA as Gillian
MAGGIE HENDERSON as Pam
WARREN MITCHELL as Voice of Toby the Dog (Season 1)
CHRIS ELLISON as Voice of Toby (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Roger Hall
Producers: Humphrey Barclay, Justin Greene

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – Granada – Humphrey Barclay
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 16 April 1993 – 17 June 1994

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