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Play of the Week (BBC Two 1977-1979)

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Play of the Week was a BBC Two anthology of high profile single dramas. Often shot on film and featuring top of the line talent in front of and behind the camera, many of the individual plays are still well remembered today.

The series opened with Tom Stoppard’s Professional Foul which starred Peter Barkworth, Shooting the Chandelier was a David Mercer drama as was For Tea on Sunday.

Our Day Out was typical Willy Russell. An Englishman’s Castle was a three part Philip Mackie alternate history drama about a soap being made in a Britain that lost WWII. Harold Pinter’s Langrishe Go Down starred Judi Dench and Jeremy Irons. One of the most well remembered is the three parter The Lost Boys with Ian Holm as Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie.

All of the plays had high profile casts and besides the above mentioned there were appearances fro Stephen Rea, Martin Shaw, Michael York, Denholm Elliott, Edward Fox, Alun Armstrong, James Hazledine, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Jayston, Kenneth More, Anthony Bate, Rudolph Walker, Colin Douglas and Donald Sumpter to name just a few.

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This series is no relation to the long running(14 May 1956 – 22 August 1966)  ITV series of the same name.

production details
UK / BBC Two / 40 episodes of varying lengths / Broadcast -21 September 1977 – 11 April 1979

THE EPISODES
1. PROFESSIONAL FOUL (21 Sep 1977)
2. EXILES (28 Sep 1977)
3. ABIE’S WILL (5 Oct 1977)
4. THE SINKING OF HMS VICTORIA (12 Oct 1977)
5. TRUE PATRIOT (19 Oct 1977)
6. SHOOTING THE CHANDELIER (26 Oct 1977)
7. THE KITCHEN (2 Nov 1977)
8. OUR DAY OUT (28 Dec 1977)
9. FORGOTTEN LOVE SONGS (4 Jan 1978)
10. A VISIT FROM MISS PROTHEROE (11 Jan 1978)
11. MR AND MRS BUREAUCRAT (18 Jan 1978)
12. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (25 Jan 1978)
13. THE DISSOLUTION OF MARCUS FLEISCHMAN (1 Feb 1978)
14. THE O’HOOLIGAN FILE (8 Feb 1978)
15. THE TURKEY WHO LIVES ON THE HILL (15 Feb 1978)
16. FLAYED (22 Feb 1978)
17. SHE FELL AMONG THIEVES (1 Mar 1978)
18. STARGAZY ON ZUMMERDOWN (15 Mar 1978)
19. LIZA (22 Mar 1978)
20. FOR TEA ON SUNDAY (29 Mar 1978)
21. WHEN THE ACTORS CAME (3 May 1978)
22. ICE AGE (17 May 1978)
23. THE COPYIST (24 May 1978)
24. AN ENGLISHMAN’S CASTLE PART 1 (5 Jun 1978)
25. AN ENGLISHMAN’S CASTLE PART 2 (12 Jun 1978)
26. AN ENGLISHMAN’S CASTLE PART 3 (19 Jun 1978)
27. LANGRISHE, GO DOWN (20 Sep 1978)
28. FAIRIES (27 Sep 1978)
29. FEARLESS FRANK OR TIT-BITS FROM THE LIFE OF AN ADVENTURER (4 Oct 1978)
30. THE LOST BOYS PART 1: WE SET OUT TO BE WRECKED (11 Oct 1978)
31. THE LOST BOYS PART 2: DARK AND SINISTER MAN (18 Oct 1978)
32. THE LOST BOYS PART 3: AN AWFULLY BIG ADVENTURE (25 Oct 1978)
33. RETURN FARE (1 Nov 1978)
34. ANOTHER DAY (22 Nov 1978)
35. THE VANISHING ARMY (29 Nov 1978)
36. NIGHT PEOPLE (6 Dec 1978)
37. RENOIR, MY FATHER (13 Dec 1978)
38. ON GIANT’S SHOULDERS (28 Mar 1979)
39. STEPPING OUT (4 Apr 1979)
40. A LIGHT THAT SHINES (11 Apr 1979)

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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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