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Armchair Thriller (ITV 1978-1980, James Bolam, Denis Lawson)

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Armchair Thriller is a very well remembered anthology series that grew out of the Armchair Theatre strand and featured 11 serials (each made up of several episodes each) with a suspenseful theme. A great opening title sequence saw a dust sheet covered chair and a slightly scary shadowy figure approaching.

One of the serials, Quiet As A Nun, featured the character of Jemima Shore (created by Antonia Fraser). This was pretty sucessful and led to the series Jemima Shore Investigates starring Patricia Hodge. Actors appearing included Maria Aitken, James Bolam, Denis Lawson, Larry Lamb, Maurice Colbourne, Cherie Lunghi, Ian McShane, Beth Morris, Ian McKellan and a young Patsy Kensit.

armchair thriller

Stephen Grief in Rachel in Danger.

The serials were
RACHEL IN DANGER
A DOG’S RANSOM
THE GIRL WHO WALKED QUICKLY
QUIET AS A NUN
THE LIMBO CONNECTION
THE VICTIM
DEAD MAN’S KIT
DYING DAY
FEAR OF GOD
HIGH TIDE
THE CIRCE COMPLEX

One further serial was made for the series, THE CHELSEA MURDERS , which remained unsreened at the time but was later broadcast in a single two hour slot with the six episodes cut obviously to fit the time slot.

High Tide

Ian McShane in High Tide

production details
UK / ITV Network – Thames – Southern / 54 x 30 minute episodes / Broadcast 21 February 1978 – 10 April 1980

Creator: Andrew Brown / Theme Music: Andy Mackay / Script Editor: Robert Banks Stewart / Producers: Andrew Brown, Jacqueline Davis, Brenda Ennis

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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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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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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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