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TV

Sharpe (ITV 1993-1997, 2006, Sean Bean, Daragh O’Malley)

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If anyone was born to play up through the ranks, rough and ready, Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, then surely that anyone was Sean Bean. The dashing character, created by period action adventure maestro Bernard Cornwell, fights his way through the Napoleonic Wars (between the years 1810-15) starting in the first episode Sharpe’s Rifles as a sergent before quickly rising to Lieutenant and put in charge of a company of men that he quickly has to gain the respect of.

Over the course of 16 feature length, big budget dramas (which are choc full of action and derring do) Sharpe has to contend with not only the French and Spanish but also more than his fair share of corruption in the ranks of the British army itself. The class system also comes well into play as most of the officer class Sharpe has to associate with are well educated upper class types who have bought commissions and can’t stand the way Sharpe likes to get in amongst the thick of the action. Sharpe also manages to regular save damsels in distress who of course tend to succumb to his charms.

Made for ITV and airing throughout most of the 1990’s, Sharpe was one of the Networks biggest successes and made an international name of Bean. It’s all supremely entertaining and the supporting casts feature some very well known names including the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Daniel Craig, Caroline Langrishe, Brian Cox, Neil Dudgeon and Abigail Cruttenden (who would later go on to marry Bean in real life, although they later divorced).

Despite Sean Bean being tailor made for the role he was in fact second choice with Paul McGann being given the role only to injure his knee in a football injury two weeks into filming.

The series finished in 1997 but after a 9 year gap Sean Bean revived the character for a one off 2 parter called Sharpe’s Challenge.

production details
UK / ITV – Central – Celtic – Picture Partnership / 16×120 minute episodes / 1993-97 and 2006

Creator: Bernard Cornwell / Producer: Malcolm Craddock, Simon Lewis, Chris Burt / Titles: Baxter Hobbins Sides / Technical Advisor: Richard Moore / Music: Dominic Muldowney, John Tams / Executive Producers: Ted Childs, Muir Sutherland

cast
SEAN BEAN as Richard Sharpe
DARAGH O’MALLEY as Harper
MICHAEL MEARS as Cooper
JOHN TAMS as Hagman
JASON SALKEY as Harris

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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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