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Quatermass (ITV 1979 with John Mills and Simon MacCorkindale)

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UK / ITV – Thames – Euston / 4×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 24 October – 14 November 1979

Writer: Nigel Kneale / Story Editor: Linda Agran / Music: Marc Wilkinson and Nic Rowley / Executive Producer: Verity Lambert / Producer: Ted Childs / Director: Piers Haggard

After a gap of 20 years, Professor Bernard Quatermass, a legendary figure in the annals of British TV returned to our screens once more. In 1958 Andre Morrell had lasted played Quatermass on TV, now in 1979 it was the turn of the stately John Mills.

A genuine British scifi classic figure. Quatermass had been created by Nigel Kneale in the early 1950’s and in 1953 the first story The Quatermass Experiment had used up the BBC’s entire drama budget (all three thousand pounds of it!) in one fell swoop. This was back in the days when there was but a single TV channel broadcasting in the UK and The Quatermass Experiment was a major sensation, two more serials followed, each hugely popular and all three were made into movies by the Hammer studios. Fast forward to 1979 and it was with some expectation that the new series was shown, especially as the first episode was broadcast the day after a mammoth 75 day strike by ITV technicians ended – a strike that had blacked out the airwaves for much of that time too.

Mills’s Quatermass is an older man, retired from the British Experimental Rocket Group and searching for his missing grand-daughter in a Britain of the near future that is beset by civil unrest and clearly on its last legs. A major new religion has been taken up by most of the young people around the world, calling themselves Planet People they believe they are about to be transported away from the evils of the Earth to a new world Elsewhere. When huge beams from space begin wiping out these Planet People in large numbers at famous locations (Stonehenge, Wembley Stadium etc) it becomes clear to Quatermass that an alien race is “harvesting” the human race as a food source, the race is on to reach his grand-daughter (played by a young Toyah Wilcox) before she too is “harvested”.

This is a fantastic story, resolutely downbeat in the best UK scifi tradition, besides Mills the other main roles are taken by Simon MacCorkindale’s reliable scientist Joe Kapp and his wife Clare (played by Barbara Kellerman), if the hippy look of the Planet People seems a bit out of step for the late seventies that’s probably down to the fact that Kneale first sounded the BBC out about the script back in 1972 they eventually passed on the idea but it was taken up to be one of the first products for newly formed Euston Productions in association with Thames.

You may have heard of a TV Movie called The Quatermass Conclusion but this was the four parter amalgamated to feature length put together for over seas markets, this 100 minute version has a couple of scenes that are not in the four part serial but in essence is a less coherent telling of the story.

cast
John Mills as Professor Bernard Quatermass
Simon MacCorkindale as Doctor Joe Kapp
Ralph Arliss as Kickalong
Jane Bertish as Bee
Paul Rosebury as Caraway
Rebecca Saire as Hettie
Barbara Kellerman as Clare Kapp
Bruce Purchase as Roach
David Yip as Chen
Brenda Fricker as Alison
Tony Sibbald as Marshall
Neil Stacy as Toby Gough
Toyah Wilcox as Sal
Margaret Tyzack as Annie Morgan
Annabelle Lanyon as Isabel
Tony Sibbald as Marshall
Elsie Randolph as Woman Minister
Larry Noble as Jack
Gretchen Franklin as Edna
James Ottaway as Arthur
Claire Ruane as Jane
Donald Eccles as Chisholm

THE EPISODES
1. RINGSTONE ROUND
2. LOVELY LIGHTNING
3. WHAT LIES BENEATH
4. AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

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TV

Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
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

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

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.

cast
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

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

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.

cast
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

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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