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Hancock (ITV 1963, Tony Hancock)

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After Tony Hancock had decided (unwisely in retrospect) to distance himself from writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson he decided to switch to the commercial channel for this series offering more of the same kind of material. However it was a major disappointment after the joy of his final BBC season (also called simply Hancock). Where the prompts and cue-cards worked well on the BBC series to disguise his lack of line learning here he was all over the place. Hancock himself was severely under rehearsed and drinking heavily at the time. It must have been galling too to see that around this time xGalton and Simpson were scoring big with the iconic Steptoe and Son.

Lots of big names popped up though including Martita Hunt, Patrick Cargill, Mario Fabrizi, Peter Vaughan, Pauline Yates, Denholm Elliott, Dennis Price, Geoffrey Keen, John Bluthal, Edward Chapman, Gerald Harper, Shaw Taylor, Brian Wilde, Derek Nimmo, Donald Hewlett, John Le Mesurier, Francis Matthews, John Junkin, Pete Murray and Reginald Beckwith.

Writers on the series were actually names that would go on to major success in action adventure genre including Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner and Richard Harris.

Following this less than stellar effort Hancock’s film career also fizzled out the same year with the release of The Punch and Judy Man (which was actually an excellent movie but far too downbeat for Hancock’s comedy fans).

production details
UK / ITV – ATV / 13×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 3 January – 28 March 1963

Producer: Tony Hancock / Executive Producer: Bernard Delfont

cast
TONY HANCOCK as Hancock

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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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