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Ashes To Ashes (BBC-1 2008, Philip Glenister, Keeley Hawes)

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Time travel meets the crime drama series in Ashes to Ashes and sequel to Life on Mars. It’s 2008 and Detective Inspector Alex Drake has her head full of Sam Tyler after reading his case notes about being stuck in a very real 1973 whilst languishing in a coma. When she is shot during a seige crisis she too finds herself back in a past of her own making, this time it is 1981 and she is a DI in London working closely with Gene Hunt and his crew, who have transferred from Manchester down to the Met.

Unlike Sam, Alex is fully aware of her predicament and at times revels in it although this also means that the series can often be too knowing about its own history. Not as good as Life on Mars (but lets face it not much could be) but still a very strong and entertaining series in it’s own right.

Guest stars appearing in the first series included Steve Strange, Roger De Courcey and Nookie Bear, Zippy and George from Rainbow, Geoffrey Palmer, Christopher Fairbank, Rupert Graves, Matthew Macfadyen and Phil Davis.

The third season moves us on to 1983 and creators Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah worked hard to bring together the strands of both this show and Life on Mars, it appears that there is a reason involving the death of Sam Tyler that has left Alex back in the past.

Ashes to Ashes

The final episode ties things up completely for both series with the revelation (look away now if you don’t want to know) that the world of Gene Hunt and Co is a kind of spiritual limbo for coppers who have uneasy deaths and that Gene himself is kind of a gatekeeper for those souls; the series ends with Gene Hunt walking back into the office only to be faced with another cop from our time.

production details
UK / BBC1-Kudos-Monastic / 24×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 February 2008 – 21 May 2010

Creators: Matthew Graham, Ashley Pharoah / Producer: Beth Willis / Executive Producers: Jane Featherstone (for Kudos), Simon Crawford Collins (for Kudos) and Matthew Graham (for Monastic Productions)

cast
PHILIP GLENISTER as Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt
KEELEY HAWES as Detective Inspector Alex Drake
DEAN ANDREWS as Detective Sergeant Ray Carling
MARSHALL LANCASTER as Detective Constable Chris Skelton
MONTSERRAT LOMBARD as WPC Sharon “Shaz” Granger
DANIEL MAYS as Jim Keats (Season Three)
AMELIA BULLMORE as Caroline Price
STEPHEN CAMPBELL MOORE as Evan White
GEFF FRANCIS as PC Viv James
GRACE VANCE as Molly Drake
SEAN HARRIS as Arthur Layton
JOSEPH LONG as Luigi
ANDREW CLOVER as The Clown

THE EPISODES
SEASON THREE
5. EPISODE FIVE

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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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