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Play For Today: The Reporters (BBC-1 1972, Michael Kitchen, Robert Urquhart)

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In The Reporters, heading towards retirement Vic Thatcher takes a job on a small town newspaper, he makes friends with the much younger Alan who he sees as something of a version of his younger self. Vic is down on his luck somewhat and has moved into a tiny bedsit but it isn’t too long before he is making friends with his landlady.

Alan shares a place with fellow journalist Des and is desperate to get some time alone with his teacher girlfriend Jane who is not willing to spend the night with Alan whilst Des is home. Alan too is anxious to move on in the journalistic world and is hopeful of getting a job on a national newspaper.

A superb script from Arthur Hopcraft and a pair of top notch performances from Robert Urquhart and Michael Kitchen make this Play For Today a real gem. Vic is all world weary seen it all enui whilst Alan is determined to get on even if it means leaving behind people who care about him in the process.

Inbetween his guest appearance in Man At The Top a couple of years earlier where he looked like a gangly teen and this performance here Kitchen has certainly matured and its hard to credit it is the same person.

Incidentally the character name of Vic Thatcher would also be used in the first season of Survivors!

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 1×80 minute episode / Broadcast 9 October 1972

Writer: Arthur Hopcraft / Script Editor: Ann Scott / Costumes: Linda Martin / Production Design: Derek Dodd / Producer: Graeme McDonald / Director: Michael Apted

Series: Play For Today / Season Three Episode One

cast
ROBERT URQUHART as Vic
MICHAEL KITCHEN as Alan
BARBARA YOUNG as Greta
STEPHANIE TURNER as Jane
JACQUELINE STANBURY as Mary
NORMAN JONES as Stan
GAVIN RICHARDS as Des
KENNETH KEELING as Saunders
JOHN BARRARD as Jones
MICHAEL BEINT as Landlord

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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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