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Sky (ITV 1976, Marc Harrison, Stuart Lock)

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In this legendary scifi drama series teenager Arby Vennor discovers alien being Sky who reveals he has travelled from another time via the Juganet. This is a kind of intergalactic/future time matter transportation device which can only be described by the forces it generates not the shape it takes.

Taking him to shelter in a nearby cave Sky reveals that not only his own life in danger but also that of any one who shelters him from the Earth itself which is generating energy to cleanse itself of the unwelcome incomer. It isn’t too long before Arby’s sister Jane and neighbour Roy are also involved.

The Earth’s attempt to be rid of Sky leads to the generation of another being called Goodchild whose sole aim is make sure that Sky is eliminated, it’s a race against time as the trio of teenagers attempt to reconnect Sky with the Juganet before he is killed by Goodchild.

Hugely well remembered by scifi fans Sky has a lot going for it, a very intriguing and surprisingly complex plot line and strong concept. It’s certainly aimed at an older audience with its occasionally disturbing and discordant imagery. Structure wise its almost like a serious take on Catweazle at times, teenager finds strange being, helps them return home etc. Sky has quite strong powers such as telepathy (he remarks that he is a God at one point) and is not averse to using them, his eyes glowing blue when he does so.

Incidentally much of the location work was filmed around prominent stone circles such as Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury. Despite a few longeurs Sky is a nicely challenging telefantasy scifi classic.

Speaking to the TV Times writer Bob Baker said of Sky “he is part Angel, part waif and totally ignorant of the world in which he finds himself. He’s neither hero nor villain, but his power over mortals, his distance ahead of them, makes him a god.”

production details
UK / ITV Network – Harlech Television / 7×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 April – 19 May 1976

Writers: Bob Baker, Dave Martin / Music: Eric Wetherll / Production Design: John Biggs / Producer: Leonard White / Director: Patrick Dromgoole

cast
MARC HARRISON as Sky
STUART LOCK as Arby Vennor
CHERRALD BUTTERFIELD as Jane Vennor
RICHARD SPEIGHT as Roy Briggs
JACK WATSON as Major Briggs
FRANCES CUKA as Mrs Vennor
THOMAS HEATHCOTE as Mr Vennor
ROBERT EDDISON as Ambrose Goodchild
DAVID JACKSON as Sergeant Simmons
REX HOLDSWORTH as Dr Marshall
BARNARD ARCHARD as Haril
PETER COPLEY as Revil
TREVOR RAY as Rex
PRUNELLA RANSOME as Susannah
SEAN LYNCH as Michael
MEREDITH EDWARDS as Tom
BARBARA BABER as Receptionist
GERARD HELY as Dr Saul
GEOFF SERLE as Orderly
URSULA BARCLAY, MONICA LAVERS as Nurses
EPISODE TITLES
BURNING BRIGHT
JUGANET
GOODCHILD
WHAT DREAD HAND
EVALAKE
LIFE FORCE
CHARIOT OF FIRE

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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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