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Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple (BBC-1 1984-1992, Joan Hickson)

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Twelve stories adapted for television, all first shown on BBC1. Starring Joan Hickson as murder solving elderly sleuth Miss Jane Marple, of St Mary Mead. After the runaway success of the first series, which began with a three-part story shown on the three consecutive days following Christmas, the BBC made two-hour Miss Marple features into a regular Christmas event, at first heralding the second series, and later in the form of one-off specials. These two-hour Christmas specials were later re-edited into two episodes each, for reruns on the BBC as well as for syndication to foreign markets.

Title music (and series 1 incidental music) composed by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. Incidental Music credited to Ken Howard alone after series 1, and the credits to “A Carribean Mystery” (1989) say Music composed by Ken Howard–no mention of Alan Blaikley, even for the title music. Musical Director John Altman.

While Joan Hickson is the only cast member to appear in every story, there are several recurring characters, who in most instances were cast with the same actors. Most notably, Det. Insp. (later Chief Insp, and finally Superintendent) Slack, played by David Horovitch, and Slack’s sidekick, Det. Sergeant Lake.

Two characters who each appear in more than one story were played by different actors: Jason Rafiel, played by Frank Gatliff in “Nemesis” (1987), and by Donald Pleasence in “A Caribbean Mystery” (1989, but from a novel earlier in date than “Nemesis”); and Miss Marple’s nephew Raymond West, played by David McAlister in 1987, but by Trevor Bowen in 1989 and 1992. The reverse situation–two different characters played by the same actor–only occurs once, and that is a marginal case: The distinction falls to Donald Burton, who played the small role of “Bosola” in Sleeping Murder (1987), and also played a TV commentator in the subsequent story, At Bertram’s Hotel (also 1987).

See also the ITV take on the Miss Marple character.

Miss Marple Joan Hickson

production details
UK / BBC One / 26 December 1984 – 27 December 1992

cast
Joan Hickson as Miss Marple

THE EPISODES
SPECIAL
THE BODY IN THE LIBRARY (26-28 Dec 1984)

SEASON ONE
1. THE MOVING FINGER (2 parter 21-22 Feb 1985)
2. A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED (3 parter 28 Feb – 2 Mar 1985)
3. A POCKETFUL OF RYE (2 parter 7-10 Mar 1985)

SPECIAL
THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE (25 Dec 1986)

SEASON TWO
1. SLEEPING MURDER (2 parter 11-18 Jan 1987)
2. AT BERTRAM’S HOTEL (2 parter 25 Jan – 1 Feb 1987)
3. NEMESIS (2 parter 8-15 Feb 1987)

SPECIALS
4.50 FROM PADDINGTON (25 Dec 1987)
A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY (25 Dec 1989)
THEY DO IT WITH MIRRORS (29 Dec 1991)
THE MIRROR CRACK’D FROM SIDE TO SIDE (27 Dec 1992)

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Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)

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In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29

cast
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man

crew details
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966

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Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)

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Plane Makers Patrick Wymark

Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.

cast
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett

crew details
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)

production details
Country: UK
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white

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Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)

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Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.

cast
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989

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