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Final Test, The (BBC 1951, Patrick Barr, John Witty)

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The Final Test BBC 1951

In drama The Final Test veteran cricketer Sam Palmer faces the prospect of batting in his final test match.

In the Radio Times of the week of broadcast there was a feature written by Terence Rattigan about his first play for Television. He had been an avid viewer of TV plays for the previous five years and had been involved in TV adaptations of several of his plays but this was his first original work for TV. Rattigan was also at pains to point out that cricket was just the background to the play and not the play itself.

Broadcast live, there was, as was the norm at the time, a second live performance four days later on Thursday 2 August at 8.20pm. The Final Test was also one of a number of dramas that were broadcast under the banner Festival Drama. 1951 was the year of the Festival of Britain.

The same year also saw a big screen outing with Jack Warner in the title role. There was also a 1961 BBC revival with John Stone as Sam.

production details
UK / BBC / 1×105 minutes / Broadcast Sunday 29 July 1951 at 8.15pm 

Writer: Terence Rattigan / Production Design: James Bould / Assistant Producer: Trevor Clark / Producer: Royston Morley

cast
Patrick Barr as Sam Palmer
Jane Barrett as Cora (the barmaid)
Joyce Carey as Ethel (Sam’s Sister)
Ray Jackson as Reggie (Sam’s Son)
Agnes Lauchlan as Miss Fanshawe (Sam’s secretary)
Denys Blakelock as Alexander Whitehead (a poet and dramatist)
Dodd Mehan as Under-Secretary
Alexis de Gaillier as Minister of a friendly power
Stanley Rose as The Beer Drinker / Ticket Collector
John Witty as Frank Weller
Harold Siddons as Bill Jarvis (Captain of England)
Campbell Singer as Sid Thompson (Umpire)
James Dale as John Higgs (Umpire) / First Painter
Frank Tickle as The Gin and Lime Drinker / A Passenger
Victor Platt as Potman
Gordon Whiting as The Stout Drinker / Ticket Collectors Colleague
Patric Doonan as A Stranger
Violet Gould as Elderly Party
Willoughby Gary as Second Painter
Jaran Yalton as Servant
Jack Robertson, W.J. Edrich, Alec Bedser, Brian Johnston, John Arlott, Rex Alston, C. Day Lewis, Jill Balcon, Pat Butler, Franklin Engelmann, Frank Phillips as themselves