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Time For Murder (ITV 1985, Charles Dance, Patricia Hodge)

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Time For Murder is six stand alone, star studded pychological suspense and mysteries written by some high profile names indeed. Dating from 1986 the 6 hour long stories all share a darkly claustrophobic vibe that genuinely cranks up the tension. The superb Fay Weldon(famous for not only penning the very first episode of Upstairs Downstairs but also such classics as Lives and Loves of a She Devil and The Cloning of Joanna May) contributes the first episode Bright Smiler which is basically a two hander between a heavily made up Jane Asher as a masseuse with murder on her mind and Kika Markham as her client whose stay at a health farm is a little less healthy than she anticipated. The episode sets the tone for the whole batch of stories too with a slightly off kilter world view and an air of creeping menace.

Frances Galleymore’s The Murders at Lynch Cross is a scream filled take on classic Agatha Christie but there is another change of pace with Antonia Fraser’s Mr Clay, Mr Clay is the tale of a bullied teacher at a prep school whose jalousy lets him take matters one step too far; A youngish Aden Gillett is lead but Ian Olgilvy is the real highlight, very smooth!

This Lightening Always Strikes Twice by Michael Robson and with Charles Dance and the legendary Trevor Howard is the best story over all, a tale of a public school teacher who takes on some extra curricular work only to get far more than he bargained for; The Thirteenth Day of Christmas by TVAM newsreader Gordon Honeycombe is a very stagey piece of work and a deranged son taking exception to his father’s Christmas get together with friends. Finally Dust to Dust by the brilliant Charles Wood is a hugely black, eccentric Thriller-esque tale of a female killer who marries wealthy men for their money but finally meets her match. More great casting in this one too with Patricia Hodge, Michael Jayston and a very creepy William Simons.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Granada / 6×60 minute episodes / 1985 Broadcast 9 November – 14 December 1985

Executive Producer: Michael Cox / Music: Paul Lewis / Producer: Pieter Rogers

THE EPISODES
MISTER CLAY, MISTER CLAY
THE MURDERS AT LYNCH CROSS
THIS LIGHTENING ALWAYS STRIKES TWICE
BRIGHT SMILER
DUST TO DUST
THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

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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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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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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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