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King of the River (BBC-1 1966-1967, Bernard Lee, Richard James)

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Drama series King of the River was about Joss King, skipper of a sailing barge, who is determined that his growing son won’t follow in his footsteps.

Original Radio Times publicity… King Of The River – Meet The Main Characters – Introduced By Their Author Colin Morris: This series is about the King family who love, live, fight, and work around a harbour in the Thames estuary. They inhabit a roaring outspoken community which feels itself vastly superior to nine-to-five office squatters. The chief character is Joss King (Bernard Lee), last skipper of a barge trading under sail. To the rest of Salthaven his ship belongs to the Greenwich Nautical Museum. His wife died six years ago, and when he speaks of her his voice breaks.

His recreation ashore is the pub, where his tough, warm-hearted friend Nel (Sandra Dorne) calls time with a belaying pin. His elder daughter is Ruth (Meg Wynn Owen), a modern-language teacher at the local grammar school. Ruth loathes the sea; it has brought tragedy to the family and she strives to wean from it her young brother Saul (Richard James), an arch-investigator of cargoes carried in other ships. Susanna, the other daughter (Geraldine Sherman), is eighteen, and has just left school. She has three A-levels, but doesn’t know what to do with them. Various admirers with sports cars come and go, not having enough courage to handle her. If she had her way she would like to go fishing with her Uncle Ben (Robert Brown). There is no single mood in the stories, except that they take you out of doors. If you can watch them all, you will see the characters and develop, as in a novel. (Radio Times, June 30, 1966).

cast
Bernard Lee as Joss King
Richard James as Saul
Geraldine Sherman as Susanna King
Sandra Dorne as Nel
Meg Wynn Owen as Ruth King
Robert Brown as Uncle Ben King
Gregory Phillips as Saul King

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crew details
Creator and Producer: Colin Morris

production details
Country: UK
Network: BBC One
Duration: 16×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 16 July 1966 – 19 February 19


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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