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House of Cards (BBC-1 1990, Ian Richardson, Susannah Harker)

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Drama serial House of Cards was set in the very near future where Conservative MP Francis Urquhart will let nothing or no-one stand in the way of his bid to become party leader.

Deep throat – or cut throat? When a journalist trusts a politician, she only has herself to blame – but then everyone trusts Francis Urquhart.

Ian Richardson is the Machiavellian monster Urquhart, up to his cold-fish eyes in a dirty political pond of back-stabbing, skullduggery and corruption in high places. Susannah Harker plays eager, young journalist Mattie Storin, who’s beginning to get suspicious about her “secret source”.

House of Cards is a compelling black tale of greed and burning ambition, based on a best-selling novel by Michael Dobbs and adapted for television in four parts by the award-winning Andrew Davies. It is also the catalyst and starting point for the hugely successful Netflix series of the same name.

Two sequels followed – To Play the King and The Final Cut.

THE POLITICO’S

Francis Urquhart, Chief Whip (Ian Richardson)…guardian of the Party’s secrets. A good man to have on your side – but don’t turn your back on him.
Henry Collingridge, Prime Minister (David Lyon)… a well-meaning fool…no background and no bottom.
Lord Billsborough, Party Chairman (Nicholas Selby…too old and too familiar, tainted by a thousand shabby deals.
Michael Samuels, Environment Minister (Damien Thomas)…too young and too clever.
Harold Earle, Education Minister (Kenneth Gilbert)…his old ‘school’ reports go back a long way.
Patrick Woolton, Foreign Secretary (Malcolm Tierney)…a bit of a lout, bit of a bully boy – but weak on domestic affairs.
Peter McKenzie, Health Minister (Christopher Owen)…politically scarred, prognosis terminal.
Roger O’Neill, Party Publicity Director (Miles Anderson)…a useful tool with a nose for trouble.
Penny, Roger’s loyal and loving assistant (Alphonsia Emmanuel)…she will do anything to protect him.
Charles Collingridge, the Prime Minister’s brother (James Villiers)…a bit of a liability. Alcohol problem, debts everywhere, and not too sure of his sexual orientation.

House of Cards BBC 1990 Ian Richardson and Susannah Harker

production details
UK / BBC One / 4×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 18 November – 9 December 1990

Writer: Andrew Davies / Novel: Michael Dobbs / Music: Jim Carter / Design: Ken Ledsham / Costume: Rosalind Ebbut / Producer: Ken Riddington / Director: Paul Seed

cast
IAN RICHARDSON as Francis Urquhart
SUSANNAH HARKER as Mattie Storin
COLIN JEAVONS as Stamper
DIANE FLETCHER as Elizabeth Urquhart
MILES ANDERSON as Roger O’Neil
ALPHONSIA EMMANUEL as Penny Guy
JAMES WILLIERS as Charles Collingridge
MALCOLM TIERNEY as Patrick Woolton
WILLIAM CHUBB as John Krajewski
KENNETH GILBERT as Harold Earle
KENNY IRELAND as Ben Landless

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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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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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