TV UK TV

Play For Today: The Reporters (BBC-1 1972, Michael Kitchen, Robert Urquhart)

In The Reporters, heading towards retirement Vic Thatcher takes a job on a small town newspaper, he makes friends with the much younger Alan who he sees as something of a version of his younger self. Vic is down on his luck somewhat and has moved into a tiny bedsit but it isn’t too long before he is making friends with his landlady.

Alan shares a place with fellow journalist Des and is desperate to get some time alone with his teacher girlfriend Jane who is not willing to spend the night with Alan whilst Des is home. Alan too is anxious to move on in the journalistic world and is hopeful of getting a job on a national newspaper.

A superb script from Arthur Hopcraft and a pair of top notch performances from Robert Urquhart and Michael Kitchen make this Play For Today a real gem. Vic is all world weary seen it all enui whilst Alan is determined to get on even if it means leaving behind people who care about him in the process.

Inbetween his guest appearance in Man At The Top a couple of years earlier where he looked like a gangly teen and this performance here Kitchen has certainly matured and its hard to credit it is the same person.

Incidentally the character name of Vic Thatcher would also be used in the first season of Survivors!

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 1×80 minute episode / Broadcast 9 October 1972

Writer: Arthur Hopcraft / Script Editor: Ann Scott / Costumes: Linda Martin / Production Design: Derek Dodd / Producer: Graeme McDonald / Director: Michael Apted

Series: Play For Today / Season Three Episode One

cast
ROBERT URQUHART as Vic
MICHAEL KITCHEN as Alan
BARBARA YOUNG as Greta
STEPHANIE TURNER as Jane
JACQUELINE STANBURY as Mary
NORMAN JONES as Stan
GAVIN RICHARDS as Des
KENNETH KEELING as Saunders
JOHN BARRARD as Jones
MICHAEL BEINT as Landlord