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Play For Today: Just Your Luck (BBC-1 1972, Lesley Mackie, David Hayman)

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In the fabulous Play For Today Just Your Luck young Alison has a great opportunity to escape from the drudgery of her Scottish tenement life thanks to her relationship with promising foorballer Joe Johnson, but tired of his prefering training to spending time with her she begins going out with poorly paid Alec. Before you know it she is pregnant and facing the prospect of marriage to Alec and moving into the tiny family home with him, his parents and his elderly grandfather.

Just Your Luck is a staggering piece of drama, a classic vintage style Play on TV in fact, very limited location filming and with most of the action taking place in the homes of the two familes. There is fantastically realistic dialogue even if most of it is buried in thick, impenatrable Scottish accents. The girl’s father is surprisingly sympathetic to her situation despite the fact that her mother is ranting and raving all over the place. One of the key scenes is the meeting of the two sets of parents for the first time, the mums determined to make things go their way (in a quietly understated fashion that is) and the dads happy to drink a beer or three.

Great ending too with “welcome to my world” playing over the soundtrack as Alison joins her mother at her knitting circle.

Speaking years later to the BBC McDougall remarked  “there is a rawness about that piece of work and an honesty and truthfulness that is felt in the characters who were relentless and unforgiving and that is exactly what they were like.”

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 1×65 minute episode / Broadcast 4 December 1972

Writer: Peter McDougall / Script Editor: Ann Scott / Costumes: Prue Handley / Production Design: Susan Spence / Producer: Graeme McDonald / Director: Mike Newell

Series: Play For Today / Season 3 Episode 9

cast
LESLEY MACKIE as Alison
DAVID HAYMAN as Alec
MARY RIGGANS as Betsie Hawkins
GERARD SLEVIN as Colin Hawkins
EILEEN McCALLUM as Isa Johnson
JOSEPH GREIG as Joe Johnson
ANDREW BYATT as Duncan
AUSTIN HYSLOP as Alec’s 1st Mate
ALLAN CRAIG as Alec’s 2nd Mate
KEVIN COLLINS as Grandfather
HELEN NORMAN as Auntie Maymie
JOAN FITZPATRICK as Auntie Jessie
JEAN FAULDS as Aunty Cathy
BALFOUR SHARP as Hawkins Boy
BRIAN PETTIFER as Youth at Wedding
HAMISH ROUGHEAD as Alison’s Uncle
BETTY CARDNO as Alison’s Aunt

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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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