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Shoestring (BBC-1 1979-1980, Trevor Eve, Michael Medwin)

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In this smart crime drama series private detective Eddie Shoestring takes on a case for Radio West and ends up working for them full time as their ‘Private Ear’ of the airwaves tackling cases on behalf of their listeners. Eddie was a former computer expert who had had a nervous breakdown and ended up for a time in a mental institution. He is still quite delicate mentally as the series begins and often seeks comfort in the confines of his run down houseboat. Eddie has been taken under the wing of barrister Erica Bayliss which works out well for Shoestring as he lodges with her and is also able to call on her for help with legal matters.

After tackling a difficult case for the boss of Radio West, Don Satchley, Shoestring is quite happy to become a radio regular, drawn into cases for his listeners. Driving around in his beat up Ford Cortina estate much is made of the Bristol setting, a part of Britain that certainly hadn’t been seen on screen before.

Very popular (average ratings of 20 million plus per episodes – a huge amount) and deservedly so with a star making turn by Trevor Eve, lots of strong scripts and guest appearances from some very well known faces. Eve decided to call it quits after just two series and in the process paved the way for series co-creator to come upwith an even bigger hit in the shape of Bergerac which has almost exactly the same vibe and feel as Shoestring.

Incidentally Radio West would later become the real name of a Bristol based independant Radio station. On 9 March 2008 the BBC aired an episode of their Cult Of… series devoted to the show.

Shoestring

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 21×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 30 September 1979 – 21 December 1980

Creators: Robert Banks Stewart, Richard Harris / Theme Music: George Fenton / Producer: Robert Banks Stewart

cast
TREVOR EVE as Eddie Shoestring
MICHAEL MEDWIN as Don Satchley
DORAN GODWIN as Erica Bayliss
LIZ CROWTHER as Sonia

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE (11 EPISODES)
1. PRIVATE EAR (30 September 1979)
2. KNOCK FOR KNOCK (7 October 1979)
3. HIGHER GROUND (14 October 1979)
4. AN UNCERTAIN CIRCLE (21 October 1979)
5. LISTEN TO ME (28 October 1979)
6. NINE TENTHS OF THE LAW (4 November 1979)
7. THE LINK-UP (11 November 1979)
8. STAMP DUTY (18 November 1979)
9. FIND THE LADY (2 December 1979)
10. THE PARTNERSHIP (9 December 1979)
11. I’M A BELIEVER (16 December 1979)

SEASON TWO (10 EPISODES)
1. ROOM WITH A VIEW (5 October 1980)
2. THE TEDDY BEAR’S NIGHTMARE (12 October 1980)
3. MOCKING BIRD (19 October 1980)
4. THE MAY FLY DANCE (26 October 1980)
5. THE FARMER HAD A WIFE (2 November 1980)
6. THE UTMOST GOOD FAITH (9 November 1980)
7. LOOKING FOR MR WRIGHT (16 November 1980)
8. ANOTHER MAN’S CASTLE (7 December 1980)
9. WHERE WAS I (14 December 1980)
10. THE DANGEROUS GAME (21 December 1980)

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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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