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Within These Walls: Playground (ITV 7 Feb 1975, with Gabrielle Lloyd)



In Playground Faye is deeply concerned about Mary Phillips and the fact that she is refusing to even acknowledge her young son John. The young boy is living with Mary’s sister but is becoming increasingly withdrawn.

Faye thinks Mary might need the shock of thinking that her son may be taken into care to bring her round but Miss Clarke thinks the root of the problem lies in something to do with Mary’s galmorous sister. Meanwhile Mary has made arrangements for the child obsessed Joan Dunn to take John when she leaves Stone Park in a few days time. It’s another of Mary’s jokes but Joan is on the verge of taking it seriously until Mrs Armitage finds out about it.

As a last ditch attempt Faye arranges a special visit between Mary and her sister, it doesn’t go well but Miss Clarke does discover that Mary’s sister’s husband Tom is the father of John. The big reveal seems to be enough to bring Mary out of her depression.

Gabrielle Lloyd is excellent as Mary, shutting herself off from her son is clearly some kind of coping mechanism for her but it’s young John who it impacts the most on. Another episode that shows the series is not afraid to tackle difficult issues head on.

Within These Walls Playground

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 7 February 1975 at 9.00pm

Writer: P.J. Hammond / Production Design: Bryan Bagge / Director: John Reardon

Series: Within These Walls Season 2 Episode 5

Googie Withers as Faye Boswell
Beth Harris as Miss Clarke
Sonia Graham as Martha Parrish
Mona Bruce as Mrs Armitage
Denys Hawthorne as Dr Mayes
Steven Morley as John
Petronella Barker as Joan Dunn
Gabrielle Lloyd as Mary Phillips
Hilary Martyn as Sylvia
Gabrielle Blunt as Mrs Chandler
Celia Hewitt as Charlotte
Elaine Wells as Officer Spencer
Mardelle Jordine as Adelaide
Gay Singleton as Sandra
Steven Morley as John Phillips