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Pollyanna (BBC Drama, Elizabeth Archard, Elaine Stritch)

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In family drama serial Pollyanna, based on the novel by E.H. Porter, and set in America during the 19th century, young orphan girl Pollyanna (Elizabeth Archard) has to stay with her dour Aunt Polly (Elaine Stritch).

Michael Frostick, reviewing the series in The Stage and Television Today (11 Oct 1973), felt that it was nothing more than the usual Sunday afternoon serial fare and that it had nothing to offer a younger audience. Of Elaine Stritch (who was making her UK series debut) he said “she was statuesque but soft and civilised around the edges.” Meanwhile he felt Elizabeth Archard was a considerable talent but sometimes a little difficult to understand.

Amongst numerous adaptations Hayley Mills had played Pollyanna in a 1960 Disney movie. Mary Pickford had also starred in a silent version in 1921.

Cast: ELIZABETH ARCHARD as Pollyanna; ELAINE STRITCH as Aunt Polly; PADDY FROST as Nancy; STEPHEN GALLOWAY as Jimmy Bean; RAY McANALLY as John Pendleton; PAUL MAXWELL as Dr Chilton; DONALD BISSETT as Old Tom; ROBERT MAClEOD as Dr Mead; LINCOLN WRIGHT as Dr Warren; VALERIE COLGAN as Milly Snow; MARY HEALEY as Mrs Payson; LILLIAN PADMORE as Cook; ROBERT COLEBY as Timothy

Writer: Joy Harrington / Novel: E.H. Porter / Script Editor: Alistair Bell / Design: Allan Anson / Producer: John McRae / Director: June Wyndham-Davies

UK / BBC1 / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 October – 11 November 1973 / Sundays 5.35pm