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Catweazle (ITV 1970-1971 with Geoffrey Bayldon and Robin Davies)

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Ask anyone of a certain age what their favourite kids show of all time is and you can bet a fair percentage of them will say Catweazle, it’s certainly in our top ten of any genre – kids or adults.

The series was created and written by the legendary Richard Carpenter – Catweazle was his first success as a writer, he was a former actor and he would go on to be one of the mainstays behind The Adventures of Black Beauty and creator of such shows as The Ghosts of Motley Hall and Robin of Sherwood.

The series begins with Catweazle (superbly played by Geoffrey Bayldon) being chased in the 11th Century by a pair of Norman Knights, using his magic skills he is able to whisk himself away through time, he ends up in the present day (1969 as then was), unable to get back he is completely bewildered by the modern world around him (he thinks a light bulb is the sun in a bottle – “shine tiny sun”) and is convinced everything around him is magic.

Young Carrott, son of farmer Mr Bennett (played by our own Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell), takes him under his wing and throughout much of the first season tries to keep Catweazle out of trouble and mischief. At the end of the first season Catweazle manages to get himself back to his own time.

 

Catweazle Season 2

Catweazle – Season 2 Cast

 

Season two is slightly different in that Catweazle once again lands up in the 20th century, this time helped out by Cedric (12 year old son of Lord and Lady Collingwood), Catweazle embarks on a quest for the hitherto unknown 13th sign of the zodiac that will enable him to once again return to his own time.

Eventually it turned out that rather than a “flying spell”, the rhyme was actually a treasure “clue”. This referred to the 12 hours of the high clock on the tower of a mansion house where the roman numerals showed “XIII” in the twelve o’clock position instead of “XII”.  The treasure was found in the loft area behind the clock.

Shot on film and with a wonderfully glossy feel Catweazle is superbly entertaining, a real gem from the golden age of TV; Geoffrey Bayldon really is brilliant as the rag wearing, goatee beard sporting magician out of his time.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 26×30 minute episode / Broadcast 1970 – 1971

Writer: Richard Carpenter / Executive Producer: Joy Whitby / Producers: Quentin Lawrence, Carl Mannin

cast
GEOFFREY BAYLDON as Catweazle
ROBIN DAVIES as Carrott Bennett(Season 1)
CHARLES TINGWELL as Mr Bennett(season 1)
NEIL McCALLUM as Sam(season 1)
GARY WARREN as Cedric Collingford (season 2)
MORAY WATSON as Lord Collingford (season 2)
ELSPET GRAY as Lady Collingford (season 2)
PETER BUTTERWORTH as Groome (season 2)

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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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