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Crown Court (ITV 1972-1984)

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Crime drama series Crown Court followed a case presented at Fulchester Crown Court over three half hours episodes shown over the course of a week.

Crown Court was part of ITV’s first afternoon schedule and was immediately popular with its often quite hard hitting stories which ranged across everything from Murder to theft to drug dealing as well as more esoteric fare such as breaching the official secrets act and malpractice. There was one three parter Heart to Heart that has never been broadcast but all episodes are still in existance.

Hundreds of famous actors appeared either as members of the court or among those accused. At the time of course many of these names were not well known at all, everyone from Pauline Quirke, Nigel Havers, Derek Griffiths, John Le Mesurier, Arthur English, Michael Elphick, Connie Booth, Bob Hoskins, Ben Kingsley, Jack Shepherd and Fulton Mackay. William Mervyn often appeared as a judge and Terrence Hardiman also made regular appearances as prosecuting council.

The jury was made up of members of the public (albeit the foreman who had a speaking role was an actor) and it was their decision whether the accused was found guilty or not guilty which meant different endings had to be filmed for each case.

Incidentally the memorable closing theme tune, Distant Hills, appeared as the B-Side to the single version of Van Der Valk by The Simon Park Orchestra. The opening theme was actually a different tune and was equally memorable and was an excerpt from the 4th Movement of the Sinfonietta by Janáček.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Granada / 879×30 minute episodes / 1972-84

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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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