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Sutherland's Law Sutherland's Law

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Sutherland’s Law (BBC-1 1972-1976, Iain Cuthbertson, Gareth Thomas)

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In the popular crime drama series Sutherland’s Law procurator fiscal tackles crime in the Scottish Highlands town of Glendoran (lots of location work took place in Oban). The Fiscal is the person who, under Scottish law is responsible for determinging whether a case should be brought to trial or not.

The intelligent and take no nonsense Sutherland is assisted by deputy fiscal Alec Duthie who is naive enough to still feel the need to get personally involved. Over the course of the series though new deputes would come on board, most notably from season four onward Helen Matheson.

The show actually started life as an entry in the BBC’s Drama Playhouse strand (broadcast 23 August 1972) and had Derek Francis in the lead role of Sutherland before the superb Iain Cuthbertson took on the role for the series which began the following June (incidentally this pilot episode titled A Man Overboard was remade as episode two in the series proper).

The cases tackled by the team ranged from your usual fare of murder, kidnap, fraud and the like to more esoteric stories such as a family vendetta that gets out of hand in the episode The Family, arson, a case of dangerous flying and even a possible case of witchcraft.

Guest stars tended to be high quality too including the likes of Patrick Troughton, Ian McCulloch, Tony Selby, James Cosmo, Brian Pettifer, Maurice Roeves, Kathleen Byron, Patrick Allen, Michael Gough, Simon McCorkindale, Michael Culver, Patrick Barr, William Gaunt, Patrick Malahide, Jan Francis and Martin Shaw.

Sutherland was a consistently entertaining and strong drama series that still stands up very well today.

Sutherland's Law Title Card

production details
UK / BBC One / 47 x 50 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 August 1972 and 6 June 1973 – 31 August 1976

Creator: Lindsay Galloway / Script Editors: Graham Williams, Mervyn Haisman / Theme Music: Land of the Mountain and Flood by Hamish MacCunn / Technical Advisor: John Stevenson (a former Procurator Fiscal) / Producer: Neil McCallum (series one), Frank Cox (from series 2)

cast
IAIN CUTHERBERTSON as John Sutherland
GARETH THOMAS as Alec Duthie
MAEV ALEXANDER as Christine Russell
DON McKILLOP as Sergeant McKechnie
MOULTRIE KELSALL as Sheriff Derwent
MARTIN COCHRANE as David Drummond
HARRIET BUCHAN as Gail Munro
VIRGINIA STARK as Helen Matheson
EDITH MACARTHUR as Doctor Judith Roberts
VICTOR CARIN as Chief Inspector Menzies
JOSEPH BRADY as Detective Sergeant Duff
SARAH COLLIER as Kate Cameron
KENNETH DRURY as Sergeant Fowlis

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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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