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Mind Beyond, The: Meriel The Ghost Girl (BBC-2 1976, Donald Pleasence)

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In paranormal drama Meriel The Ghost Girl we are presented with the investigation, by four different people, into a visit by a ghost into the home of Mr and Mrs Smith. Noted psychic sceptic George Livingston pays a visit to the home of the Smiths who are claiming that they are visited regularly during seances by the spirit of a young girl, the Meriel of the title. When he too witness a visitation he is convinced that he has been party to unexplainable phenomena for the first time.

Five years later private detective and paranormal specialist Sam Nicholls looks into the events and is convinced that Livingston made them up to provide a selling point for his final book, we then switch to Robina Oliver, a documentarist who firmly believes Livingston’s story and embarks on a proof finding mission. Finally psychiatrist Doctor Delane offers up his own explanation as to what occured during Livingston’s visit to the Smiths.

The opening episode of the six part anthology series The Mind Beyond is definitely something of a curates egg. The opening segment with Donald Pleasence as Livingston is very strong before an abrupt shift into a segment with the private detective played almost for laughs. There then follows a rare acting role for Janet Street Porter as the documentary film maker, again this is a different style with a faux documentary look. The final segment again switches gear for a soft focus denoument. At the end of the day the decision as to whether the story is true or not is left up to the viewer.

production details
UK / BBC-2 / 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast 29 September 1976

Writer: David Halliwell / Visual Effects: Michael John Harris / Costumes: Rita Reekie / Production Design: Michael Young / Title Music: Joseph Horovitz / Producer: Irene Shubik / Director: Philip Saville

Series: The Mind Beyond / Episode 1 of 6

cast
DONALD PLEASENCE as George Livingston
JOHN BLUTHAL as Sam Nicholls
JANET STREET-PORTER as Robina Oliver
CHARLES KEATING as Doctor Delane
DIANA KING as Mrs Livingston
SARAH DOUGLAS as Miss Radson
JANE HAYDEN as Miss Furniss
ELIZABETH REES as Miss Smith
IZABELLA TELEZYNSKA as Mrs Brown
TIM BARLOW as Mr Smith
VILMA HOLLINGBERY as Mrs Smith
DAVID WOODCOCK as Mr Green
JAMES GILES as Mr Craig
KATHLEEN HEATH as Medium
PATRICK FIELD as Youth

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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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