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Play For Today: Stocker’s Copper (BBC-1 1972, Gareth Thomas, Bryan Marshall)

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A brilliant entry in the Play For Today strand based on real life events that happened in Cornwall in 1913 when a large number of specially trained Welsh policemen were sent to a small Cornish village and billeted in the homes of clay miners who were on strike. One of the coppers Herbert Griffith is sent to stay with the Stocker family (none of the miners are keen to have the policemen around but at 12 shillings a week can’t afford to say no) and after an initial period of mistrust Griffith and Manuel Stocker become friends.

However the situation begins to deteriorate for the miners with black legs who have continued working showing no signs of stopping and plans are made by the miners to take action to get rid of them. As matters come to a head the police and the picketing miners are drawn towards an inevitable deadly confrontation and neither Griffith or Stocker are prepared to stand aside.

Shot on 16mm this is a production to be savoured, it evokes a real sense of period. Strong central performances too from Thomas and Marshall, Griffith and Stocker do become friends but there is still the sense that they don’t really understand where the other is coming from. In fact its one of the key motifs of the film and its a way of cleverly bringing the political aspect of the drama to the audience without really pushing it at them. Six weeks after the police and miners fought all the men returned to work on the employer’s terms. The film was made with the co-operation of English Clays Co Ltd, Goonvean China Clay Co Lt and the Dart Valley Railway.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×85 minute episode / Broadcast 20 January 1972 @ 9.20pm

Writer: Tom Clarke / Script Editor: Ann Scott / Costumes: Sally Neiper / Music: Treviscoe Male Choir, St Dennis Silver Band and Carl Davis / Production Design: Austen Spriggs / Producer: Graeme McDonald / Director: Jack Gold

cast
GARETH THOMAS as Herbert Griffith
BRYAN MARSHALL as Manuel Stocker
JANE LAPOTAIRE as Alice Stocker
TONY CAUNTER as Vincent
MALCOLM TIERNEY as Reverend Booth Coventry
DOMINIC ALLAN as Glamorgan Sergeant
WILLIAM MOORE as Engine Man
ANGELA BILLING, BARRY HAWKEN as Stocker children
HARRY LITTLEWOOD as Clay Worker
MICHAEL BEINT as Cornish Supt
DON McKILLOP as Cornish P.C.

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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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