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Enchanted April (BBC-2 1992, Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson)

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Sometime between the Wars in the 1920’s, a bored British housewife (Josie Lawrence) spots an ad for short-term rental of a majestic Italian villa. She convinces her neighbor (Miranda Richardson) and two relative strangers (Polly Walker, Joan Plowright) to share in the experience. Character growth takes precedence over plot as the four women slowly find rejuvenation in the idyllic Mediterranean location. A witty script and strong ensemble performances complete this uplifting period piece.

Elizabeth Von Arnim’s 1922 novel was also adapted for the silver screen in 1935 by director Harry Beaumont.

Broadcast as part of the BBC’s Screen Two series.

cast
Josie Lawrence as Lottie Wilkins
Miranda Richardson as Rose Arbuthnot
Alfred Molina as Mellersh Wilkins
Neville Phillips as Vicar
Jim Broadbent as Frederick Arbuthnot
Michael Kitchen as George Briggs
Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fisher
Polly Walker as Caroline Dester
Stephen Beckett as Jonathan
Matthew Radford as Patrick
Davide Manuli as Beppo
Vittorio Duse as Domenico
Adriana Facchetti as Francesca
Anna Longhi as Costanza

crew details
Director: Mike Newell
Producer: Ann Scott
Original Story: Elizabeth Von Arnim
Director of Photography: Rex Maidment
Composer: Richard Rodney Bennett
Writer: Peter Barnes
Production Designer: Malcolm Thornton

production details
Country: UK
Network: BBC-2
Duration: 95 minutes
Aired From: 1992

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Rocky Mountain Christmas (HMC 2017, Lindy Booth, Kristoffer Polaha)

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Rocky Mountain Christmas

In Rocky Mountain Christmas evil stepmothers don’t only lurk in castles, tormenting helpless children. Sometimes, they’re on ranches, tormenting adults. A year after her father died in a fire at their Oregon ranch — a fire accidentally caused by her stepmother, Mae — Sarah has finally found her footing, turning the family homestead into a successful dude ranch. Still, Mae is pushing to take it over, seeing it as a potential goldmine. Meanwhile, Graham, a Hollywood superstar, wants to use the ranch as the location of his next movie. Sarah isn’t inclined to allow it.

During a long horseback ride through the moonlit mountains, Graham explains why this project is so dear to him. That and a soulful kiss make Sarah relent. But all does not run smoothly once the movie starts. Graham and his costar, Simone, had been involved; Sarah has fallen hard for the handsome star. Still, she won’t allow jealousy to cloud her professionalism. When Simone’s horse runs wild, Sarah saves her. And when Sarah’s evil stepmother, Mae, also runs wild — suing Sarah — Simone, in turn, saves Sarah.

cast
Lindy Booth as Sarah
Kristoffer Polaha as Graham
Chris McNally as Cody
Marci T. House as Delilah
Jason Schombing as Peter
Paige McCulloch as Nicole
Duncan Minett as Radio DJ
Jess Brown as Hostess

crew details
Director: Tibor Takács
Writers: Gregg Rossen, Brian Sawyer, Elena Zaretsky

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Hallmark Movie Channel
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Saturday 16 December 2017

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Coming Home (BBC-1 1981, Sharon Duce, Philip Jackson)

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Sitcom Coming Home detailed the exploits of a bumbling chemistry teacher. Lynda Marchal, who plays Muriel, is better known as writer Lynda La Plante.

There was an untransmitted pilot made in 1980, this featured the same cast with the exception of Donald Maddocks who was played by Paul Copley.

cast
Sharon Duce as Sheila Maddocks
Philip Jackson as Donald Maddocks
Lynda Marchal as Muriel Maddocks
Roger Sloman as Ted Maddocks
Eva Griffith as Ruth
David Thackwray as Joey

crew details
Writer: David Fitzsimmons
Music: Ronnie Hazlehurst
Producer: Sydney Lotterby
Director: Martin Shardlow

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 27 February – 3 April Fridays at 7.30pm

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Combat Sheep (BBC-1 2001, Steve Coogan, Ronni Ancona)

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Combat Sheep

One-off comedy film Combat Sheep detailed the comic adventures of four ex-army mascot sheep. Made using a mixture of live action and puppetry.

cast
STEVE COOGAN as Harris
RONNI ANCONA as Peaches
MARK WILLIAMS as Moose
KEVIN ELDON as Cooper
CHRIS ELLISON as Detective Inspector Hindle

crew details
Writer: Tim Firth
Additional material: Peter Baynham and Graham Duff
Executive Producers: Steve Coogan, Henry Normal
Producer: Robert Howes;
Director: Dominic Brigstocke.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One – A Baby Cow Productions – Childrens Company
Duration: 1×30 minute episode
Aired From: 30 December 2001 at 5:35pm

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