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Skorpion (BBC-1 1983, Terrence Hardiman, Marianne Gorbo)

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Spy drama series Skorpion saw Chief Superintendent Franks investigating a plane crash on the border between England and Scotland and discovering links to a terrorist cell operating out of Paris.

Very much a BBC thriller of it’s time, the first episode actually includes very little dialogue and lots of “mood music” from composer Simon May but things pick up once Terrence Hardiman’s Chief Superintendent Franks arrives on the scene.

The title sequence is quite interesting too featuring as they do a Tarantula crawling over a desk full of secret papers. All this even though the series called Skorpion although to be fair the title actually refers to a make of machine gun pistol.

The drama is the second of three thrillers, alongside Blood Money and Cold Warrior, to feature Captain Percival.

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 January – 16 February 1983

Writer: John Brason / Story: Arden Winch / Costumes: Valerie Green / Title Sequence: Michael Graham-Smith / Music: Simon May / Production Design: Campbell Gordon / Producer: Gerard Glaister / Director: Michael Hayes

cast
TERRENCE HARDIMAN as Chief Superintendent Franks
MARIANNE GORBO as Gabrielle
JACK McKENZIE as Chief Inspector Perry
DANIEL HILL as Inspector Clarke
NEVILLE JASON as Constant Delangre
TAMMY USTINOV as WPC Baker
DOROTHEA PHILLIPS as Celeste
ANNE-MARIE MARRIOTT as Michelle
MICHAEL ELDER as French Police Officer
ALEX LAREDO as Werner Werber
PETER PATTERSON as Railway Clerk

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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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