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Alice (BBC Drama, George Baker, Deborah Watling)



BBC drama Alice, an entry in The Wednesday Play strand and written by Dennis Potter, is the story of how the Reverend Hodgson aka Lewis Carroll (George Baker) came to write Alice in Wonderland.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror the day of the broadcast (Wed 13 Oct 1965) Dennis Potter admitted to being worried about people’s reaction. He also said of Dodgson’s friendship with Alice “this seems to be the only evidence of what one could call ‘love’ in Dodgson’s life. As Alice grew up, his books deteriorated. And when she married an undergraduate, he gave up the one hobby he was good at. He obviously suffered tremendous rage and disappointment.”

Potter’s chief source for the story was Dodgson’s own diaries. The many letters he wrote to Alice were destroyed by her mother.

Potter returned to the subject with his 1986 film Dreamchild, this featured Coral Browne as Alice, now 60 years old.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 1

Cast: George Baker as Dodgson; Deborah Watling as Alice; Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs Liddell; David Langton as Dean Liddell; Tessa Wyatt as Lorina; Maria Coyne as Edith; Maurice Hedley as Macmillan; John Moffatt as Stotman; John Bailey as Mad Hatter; John Saunders as March Hare; Peter Partlett as Dormouse; Norman Scace as Mock Turtle; Frank Shelley as Gryphon; Keith Campbell as Caterpillar; Suzanne Vasey as Ellen; George Pensotti as John; John Steiner as Thornton; Tony Anholt as Hargreaves; Gareth Forwood as Baker; Sandy Blair as Pianist

Writer: Dennis Potter / Music: Peter Greenwell / Producer: James MacTaggart / Director: Gareth Davies

UK / BBC One / 1×78 minute episode / Broadcast 13 October 1965 black and white