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Any Human Heart (Channel 4 2010, Matthew Macfadyen, Hayley Atwell)

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Epic drama Any Human Heart tells the life story of elderly 80-something Logan Gonzago Mountstuart who, as the four parter begins, has just suffered an heart attack, as he recoveries and attempts to put his life in order he takes a look back through his diaries which cues a flashback to the 1920’s where Logan is at university with best friends Ben Leeping and Peter Scabius. Logan is involved with political undergrad Land Fothergill but finds himself embroiled in an affair with Peter’s girlfriend Tess.

As time goes on Logan is determined to make his career as a writer and moves to Paris to further his education, following a breakthrough with his first novel – The Girl Factory – Logan begins to make a name for himself and marries socialite Lady Lottie Cassell. He spends much of the 1930’s in Portugal where he meets the love of his life Freya Deverall, a journalist who is working for the BBC. They very quickly feel in sync but as world war two breaks out he needs to choose between his wife or Freya.

As Logan enters middle age he discovers the thrill and heartache of true love and the birth of his first child and enjoys something of a scandalous reputaion on the New York art scene during the 1950s and 1960s. The elderly Logan finds that London in the 1970’s and 1980’s is a depressing place to be but is revitalised by the 1990’s which sees him living in rural France.

Any Human Heart the three Logans

Matthew McFadyen, Jim Broadbent and Sam Caflin as the many decades of Logan Mountstuart.

Throughout his life it is Logan‟s personal relationships which define him; through numerous flirtations and affairs to finding true love. Logan also has some Zelig like encounters with prominent names from history including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ernest Hemingway and Ian Fleming. Boyd’s truly epic vision charts an entire existence and in doing so reveals that all our lives are ultimately random, defined by luck and seemingly inconsequential choices. As Logan himself says; “I am all of these different people. All these different people are me.”

Any Human Heart is completely mesmerising, similar in scope and feel to Anthony Powells A Dance To The Music of Time series of novels. Fabulous of cast and completely involving. Logan himself is played by three different actors across the course of his life, all very different in looks but all superb. Sam Claflin is the young Logan, Matthew Macfadyen plays him in middle age and the always fabulous Jim Broadbent takes him into old age.

production details
UK / Channel 4 – Carnival Films / 4×105 minute episodes / Broadcast Sunday 21 November – 12 December 2010

Writer: William Boyd from his novel of the same name / Executive Producer: Sally Woodward Gentle / Producers: Lynn Horsford, Lee Morris / Director: Michael Samuels

cast
JIM BROADBENT as Logan Mountstuart (Older)
MATTHEW MACFADYEN as Logan Mountstuart (Middle)
SAM CLAFLIN as Logan Mountstuart (Young)
HAYLEY ATWELL as Freya Deverell
KIM CATTRALL as Gloria Scabius Kim Cattrall
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Duchess of Windsor
TOM HOLLANDER as Duke of Windsor
ED STOPPARD as Ben Leeping (Older)
JAMES MUSGRAVE as Ben Leeping (Young)
SAMUEL WEST as Peter Scabius (Older)
FREDDIE FOX as Peter Scabius (Young)
HOLLIDAY GRANGER as Tess Scabius
EMERALD FENNELL as Lottie Cassell
CHARITY WAKEFIELD as Land Fothergill
RICHARD SCHIFF as Dr Byrne
NATASHA LITTLE as Allanah Mountstuart
HUGH SKINNER as Lionel Mountstuart
LYDIA WILSON as Monday
VALERIE KAPRISKY as Gabrielle Dupetit
TOBIAS MENZIES as Ian Fleming
JULIAN RHIND-TUTT as John Vivian
STEPHANE DAUSSE as Cyprien Dieudonne
CONOR NEALON as Logan Mountstuart (4 years)
FLAMINIA CINQUE as Mrs Mountstuart
KEN BONES as Mr Mountstuart
JULIAN OVENDEN as Ernest Hemingway

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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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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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