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Armchair Thriller: High Tide (ITV 1980, Ian McShane, Kika Markham)

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In the four part Armchair Thriller story High Tide Peter Curtis is fresh out of prison after serving a sentence for the manslaughter of a businessman called Maxwell who killed his dog. Curtis is on a road trip to the South Coast where he intends to buy a boat. Staying at a hotel Curtis is approached by a fellow guest, Matthews, who makes it plain he knows who he is and that he is a former colleague of Maxwell’s, the man is extremely keen to discover if Maxwell had any dying words. Curtis can’t recall at the time but later remembers Maxwell saying the words “High Tide”.

Heading southwards Curtis picks up a hitch-hiker, Celia, who he discovers is working for Matthews he also meets novelist Cyril and his enigmatic wife Helen who Curtis is convinced knows more about what is going on than she is letting on. When Celia is later murdered he knows he faces a race against time to get to the bottom of what is going on.

Very atmospheric and moody with an excellent central performance from Ian McShane who was extremely cool back in the seventies, very laid back and velvet voiced (an asset which features a lot in this voice over heavy production) and some interesting guest appearances too from the likes of John Bird, Terence Rigby and Kika Markham. Anna Fox who has a small role in episode one played Brian Hammond’s semi love interest in a couple of the early seasons of The Brothers.

High Tide

There is quite an interesting dynamic with Curtis and the women he encounters especially Celia and later Helen who is married to novelist and birdwatcher Cyril. He falls heavily for both of them and in the end you feel he has been completely played by Helen who turns out to be the catalyst for the whole thing.

production details
UK | ITV Network – Thames

RUNNING TIME: 30 Minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 4 | AIRDATES: 11 – 20 March 1980

WRITER: Andrew Brown | STORY: P.M. Hubbard | DIRECTOR: Colin Bucksey

cast
IAN McSHANE as Peter Curtis
WENDY MORGAN as Celia
TERENCE RIGBY as Matthews
JOHN BIRD as Cyril
KIKA MARKHAM as Helen
MALCOLM TERRIS as Maxwell
ANNA FOX as Miss Benson
ANNE HAVARD as Cleaner
PATRICK FIELD as Young Man
TOBY SALAMAN as Smith
JOHN BLAIN as Landlord
MIKE McKEVITT as Fenton

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TV

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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TV

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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TV

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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