Sam: A Way of Life (ITV 12 June 1973)

In A Way of Life it’s 1934 and ten year old Yorkshire lad Sam Wilson has his life turned upside down when he, along with his mother, move into his maternal grandparent’s house after his father runs off with another woman.

It’s very much hard times in the town of Skellerton, grandad Jack has been out of work for a long time and his Uncle George has only just found work after five years. Uncle Frank is about to take a job as a teacher. Uncle George has a soft spot for Sam, he and his wife Ethel have no kids of their own but grandfather Jack thinks he’s been treated too softly.

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As always with first episodes it’s as much about introducing the characters as it is anything else. Each of the main players gets a bit of a scene. The casting is superb and the playing is very natural.

production details
UK / ITV – Granada / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 12 June 1973 at 9.00pm

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Writer: John Finch / Production Design: Alan Price, Colin Pocock / Director: Michael Cox

Series: Sam Season 1 Episode 1

Michael Goodliffe as Jack Barraclough
Maggie Jones as Polly Barraclough
Ray Smith as George Barraclough
Alethea Charlton as Ethel Barraclough
James Hazledine as Frank Barraclough
Barbara Ewing as Dora Wilson
Kevin Moreton as Sam Wilson
Allan Millard as Fred Barraclough
Peter Robinson as Tad
Richard Beale as Wilf
Fred Feast as Chopper

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.