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Gravy Train, The (Channel 4 1990, Christoph Waltz, Ian Richardson)

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In the superbly funny comedy drama serial The Gravy Train an idealistic new Euro MP gets a rude awakening when he joins an EEC department in Brussels. Tom Sharpe like in its flights of comedic fancy and a series full of brilliant performances not least Alexei Sayle as the well dodgy Eu-Russia trader Milcic and the always brilliant Ian Richardson whose performance is the real major highlight amongst many.

The Gravy Train was a massive pan European co-production job filmed on location in England, Austria, Germany and Belgium (and Pinewood Studios) and made with input from the TV stations Britanne 2, Channel 4, ORF, RAI, rtve, SRG and ZDF. There was a follow up called The Gravy Train Goes East.

classic quote
“All I expect from my employees is hard work and dog like devotion.”

production details
UK / Channel 4 – Portman / 4×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 June – 8 July 1990 on Wednesdays @ 10.00pm

Writer: Malcolm Bradbury / Production Design: Roger Murray-Leach / Director of Photography: Ken Westbury / Costumes: Emma Porteous / Music: John Keane / Executive Producers: Tom Donald, Victor Glynn

cast
CHRISTOPH WALTZ as Dr Hans Joachim (Dorfmann)
IAN RICHARDSON as Michael Spearpoint
ALMANTA SUSKA as Nadine
ALEXEI SAYLE as Milcic
JACQUES SERYS as Villeneuve
ANITA ZAGARIA as Gianna
SABINE WEBER as Christa
JUDY PARFITT as Hilda
GEOFFREY HUTCHINGS as Gustave
RON DONACHIE as Hatted Man
MANDY MEALING as Delise
JULIA DEARDEN as Maria Theresa
CLARE CLIFFORD, SIOBHAN REDMOND, CHARLOTTE WEST-ORAM as British Wives

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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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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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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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