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NBC Mystery Movie, The (NBC 1971-1977, Rock Hudson, George Peppard)

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The roots of NBC’s hugely successful Mystery Movies series of individual series lay in two earlier shows World Premiere Movie which saw the debut of shows such as Ironside and a first try out for Columbo and a movie called Who Killed Miss USA which would serve as a pilot for McCloud; Secondly there was Four In One which four hour long rotating episodes of shows such as San Francisco International Airport, Night Gallery, The Psychiatrist and McCloud.

After both of these formats proved successful NBC expanded the concept to introduce the Mystery Movie strand which again includes McCloud (with episodes now extended to 90 minutes) as well as McMillan and Wife and Columbo. All three shows would be major hits prompting NBC to introduce more shows into the format including the likes of Banacek, Madigan, Amy Prentiss and Quincy M.E. Only really Banacek and Quincy M.E. caught the public interest though, Quincy long out lived it’s Mystery Movie origins too and continued as an hour long series until 1985. In fact some such as the long forgotten Cool Million and The Snoop Sisters only lasted a few episodes

As a whole though the Mystery Movie are all supremely well made glossy, star studded slices of entertainment.

The list of series
Columbo (1971-77)
McCloud (1971-77)
McMillan and Wife (1971-77)
Hec Ramsey (1972-74)
Madigan (1972-74)
Cool Million (1972-73)
Banacek (1972-73)
Tenafly (1973-74)
Faraday and Company (1973-74)
The Snoop Sisters (1973-74)
Amy Prentiss (1974-75)
McCoy (1975-76)
Quincy M.E. (1976-77) (the show itself lasted until 1983 as a weekly 60 minute series)
Lanigan’s Rabbi (1976-77)

production details
USA / NBC – Universal / x 90 minute episodes and x120 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 September 1971 – 4 September 1977

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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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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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