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Darling Buds Of May, The (ITV 1991-1993 with David Jason and Catherine Zeta Jones)

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Set in the late 50s in an idyllic Kentish countryside The Darling Buds of May is about the big, brash and boozy Larkin family. The family leads a wonderful existence where ‘Pop’ Larkin manages to keep his large 20-acre family farm and a Rolls Royce without doing any work while the six children radiate happiness and hardly have a care in the world.

Back in 1991 The Darling Buds of May was easily the most popular show on TV, proving that David Jason could do no wrong and propelled a fresh faced and sexy Catherine Zeta Jones into stardom.

Jason played the irrepressible Pop Larkin a man for whom the only thing in life was the simple pleasures of the countryside, at the start of the series tax inspector Cedric ‘Charlie’ Charlton (Philip Franks) arrives to investigate Pop’s non payment of taxes, immediately smitten by the Larkin’s gorgeous lifestyle and even more so by their beautiful daughter Mariette (Zeta Jones) Charley never goes home, instead getting married to Mariette and embracing the Larkin lifestyle, the rest of the series focusing on various of Pop’s schemes and the growing of the Larkin family as Mariette and Charley have a child.

Of the two specials made one was a Christmas edition (Christmas is Coming Broadcast 22 Dec 1991) and the other saw the family go on holiday abroad (Le Grand Weekend Broadcast 26 Dec 1992). There was also a short segment that appeared as part of the ITV Telethon broadcast 19 July 1992, this only featured the regular cast.

Darling Buds of May David Jason

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire – Excelsior / 20×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 April 1991 – 4 April 1993 3 Seasons + 2 Specials

Creator/Executive Producer: Richard Bates / Executive Producers: Vernon Lawrence, Philip Burkey / Characters: H.E. Bates / Titles: Paul Peppiate / Theme Music: Pip Burley / Other Music: Barrie Guard / Design: Alan Davies

cast
DAVID JASON as Pop Larkin
PAM FERRIS as Ma Larkin
CATHERINE ZETA JONES as Mariette
PHILIP FRANKS as Charley
RACHEL BELL as Edith Pilchester
MORAY WATSON as The Brigadier
CHRISTINA GILES as Petunia Larkin
KIKA MIRYLEES as Angela Snow (seasons 1-2)
KATHERINE GILES as Zinnia Larkin
STEPHANIE RALPH as Victoria Larkin
JULIE DAVIES as Primrose Larkin (season 1)
ABIGAIL ROKISON as Primrose Larkin (seasons 2-3)
IAN TUCKER as Montgomery Larkin (Seasons 1-2)

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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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