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Spearhead (ITV 1979, Michael Billington, Roy Holder)

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The highly charged (often literally) and dramatic Spearhead focused on incidents of a group of soldiers in Six Platoon, B Company Wessex Rangers, in Ulster (season one), Germany (season two) and Hong Kong (season three) as well as back at home in Britain.

As the series opens Colour Sergeant “Jacko” Jackson is offered the chance to take command of six platoon, a role normally reserved for an officer, the first episode is concerned with the Platoon on patrol in Northern Ireland, made at a time when the IRA were of course still very much active, in fact Ulster TV refused to transmit the episode because of concerns over content.

Later the action switched to Germany and then with a title change to Spearhead in Hong Kong the platoon headed far overseas. Sgt Bilinski would become more prominent as the series progressed.

Always strong on drama and action Spearhead has been somewhat forgotten these days but was a far better show for example than something like Soldier, Soldier which traversed similar ground.

The second season was unofficially known as Spearhead In Germany and the third season was officially known as Spearhead in Hong Kong.

production details
UK / ITV – Southern / 19×50 minutes / Broadcast 18 1978 – 30 July 1979 and 30 July – 27 August 1981

Format: Nick McCarty / Creator: Simon Theobolds / Theme Music: Anthony Isaac / Executive Producer: Lewis Rudd / Producer: James Ormerod

Season 1: 18 July – 29 August 1978
Season 2: 18 June – 30 July 1979
Season 3: 30 July – 27 August 1981 (the final two episodes in this season were also shown on the same evening.

cast
MICHAEL BILLINGTON as Colour Sgt Jackson
JACQUELINE TONG as Mary Jackson
STAFFORD GORDON as Company Sgt Major Gilby
ROY HOLDER as Sgt Bilinski
MARTYN JACOBS as Lt Pickering
GEORGE SWEENEY as Private Twiss
CHARLES CORK as Private Gadd
PETER TURNER as Private (later Lance Corporal) Adams
GORDON CASE as Private Mayhoe
TIM SWINTON as Private Yates
STEPHEN LEIGH as Private Tompkins
PAUL KEOWN as Private Hopkins
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON as Major Taylor
BRIAN ANTHONY as Captain Simmons

Additional cast for season three
HOWARD BARNES as Private Cobbold
SHAUGHAN SEYMOUR as Major Pitt
ROBIN DAVIES as Coporal Box
CHUA KAH JOO as Private Ling
NICHOLAS LYNDHURST as Private Wilson
PETER LOVSTROM as Lance Corporal Glass
GLYN GRIMSTEAD as Private Meadows

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 18 July – 29 August 1978
1. SUSPECT (18 jul 78)
2. LEAVE (25 Jul 78)
3. LOYALTIES (1 Aug 78)
4. JACKAL (8 Aug 78)
5. BOTH ENDS AGAINST THE MIDDLE (15 Aug 78)
6. THIEVES IN THE NIGHT (22 Aug 78)
7. TRUTH GAMES (29 Aug 78)

SEASON TWO 18 June – 30 July 1978
1. NEW BROOMS (18 Jun 79)
2. MATRIMONY (25 Jun 79)
3. PRESSURES (2 Jul 79)
4. LEAVE TAKERS (9 Jul 78)
5. REPERCUSSIONS (16 Jul 79)
6. WAITING GAMES (30 Jul 79)

SEASON THREE 30 July – 27 August 1981
1. NIGHT GAMES (30 Jul 81)
2. HAVE A HAPPY DAY (6 Aug 81)
3. ANOTHER HAPPY DAY (13 Aug 81)
4. THE MACAU CONNECTION (20 Aug 81)
5. LOYALTIES (27 Aug 81)
6. FUTURES (27 Aug 81)

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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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