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Room at the Top (BBC-4 2012, Matthew McNulty, Jenna Coleman)

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Two part period drama Room At The Top, based on John Braine’s bestseller of the 1950’s follows working class Joe Lampton who moves to the well off mill town of Warley determined to make something of his life and sleep with as many women as possible. He quickly makes his way in Warley society and plans to marry Susan Brown who just happens to be from the richest family in Warley but then he falls for the older and married Alice Aisgill….

Lampton is one of the all time great characters, this BBC two parter stays close to the original material although whether it can outshine the superb Laurence Harvey/Simone Signoret version is the question. The drama was due to be screened at the beginning of April but a rights issue over the original novel meant the BBC had to shelve it for over a year.

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Lampton remained a favourite character of Braine’s who continued to write about him in Life At The Top and in the early seventies there was a superb ITV series called Man At The Top starring the fab Kenneth Haigh which took Lampton to London. This series was followed by a big screen version too.

production details
UK | BBC Four

RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 2 | AIRDATE: Was due to be screened 7-14 April 2011 but a rights issue forced the BBC to postpone broadcast until 26-27 September 2012

WRITER: Amanda Coe | NOVEL: John Braine | PRODUCERS: Paul Frift, Aisling Walsh

cast
MATTHEW McNULTY as Joe Lampton
MAXINE PEAKE as Alice Aisgill
JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN as Susan Brown
KEVIN R. McNALLY as Mr Brown
PETER WIGHT as Mr Hoylake
JULIA FORD as Mrs Thompson
KEVIN DOYLE as Mr Thompson
TOM BROOKE as Charles
THEO JAMES as Jack Wales
ZOE TELFORD as Eva Storr
PAUL HILTON as Bob Storr
LAUREN CRACE as Joan
KATE O’FLYNN as Beryl
EITHNE BROWN as Esther
DANIEL FLYNN as George Aisgill
KERRIE HAYES as Marla
PAUL TOMBLIN as Ray
BEATRICE COMINS as Mrs Brown

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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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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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