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Rooms (ITV 1974-1977, Sylvia Kay, Bryan Marshall)




Afternoon drama series Rooms told stories of the tenants of 35 Mafeking Terrace, a large Victorian house converted into bed sitters. The “bedsit” factor allowed for plenty of change amongst the residents so that the format was almost anthology in style with each double episode focusing on a different tenant.

Series producer Robert Banks Stewart said of the show “we churned out three episodes a week for a year and it was rather successful but Thames got tired of the weight of production”. The reality though was that Thames were pretty pleased with Rooms and planned a third season (of 126 episodes) intending to move production to Elstree Studios but trouble with wage agreements (especially concerning overtime) and a stoppage on the production of daytime drama meant that it never eventuated.

Landlady Dorothy and basement dwelling Clive were the two mainstays in the first season although when season two began they had been replaced by Gavin and Kathy Singer who had purchased the property but didn’t live in. There was also more of a serialised element for the second season with some characters staying on longer than the standard two episodes of the first season.

Writers were actually pretty high profile and included the likes of Paula Milne, Leslie Duxbury, Willis Hall, Trevor Preston, Alvin Rakoff, Donald Churchill, Robert Marshall, Fay Weldon and Julia Jones.

The guest actors were pretty good too and included Jill Gascoine, Christopher Timothy, Tessa Wyatt, Madeline Smith, Graham Crowden, Ray Brooks and Lewis Collins amongst many others. John Duttine and Jan Francis guest starred in the first episode.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 115×30 minute episodes / Broadcast from 5 November 1974 – 4 August 1977

Producer: Robert Banks Stewart

Main two regulars were
Sylvia Kay as Dorothy
Bryan Marshall as Clive