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Vexed (BBC-2 2010, Toby Stephens, Lucy Punch)

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Delightfully quirky crime drama series Vexed follows the cases of two detectives, Kate and Jack, who seem to spend more time bickering than catching villains. In the opener Kate has just become Jack’s partner and the pair, both Detective Inspectors, are thrown in at the deep investigating a serial killer who seems to be targeting single women who all use the same loyalty card.

The case though is of complete secondary importance to that of the actual dynamic between Kate and Jack, right from the opening scenes (which feature an estate agent trying to persuade Kate to take on the lease of a flat which is a murder scene and still has the body in it) it is clear that this is no ordinary cop genre show. The dialogue is a major joy, very funny and as quick fire as a screwball comedy of the 1930’s.

Toby Stephens is his usual high quality self as Jack who clearly seems to have no real interest in the police force or anything much at all apart from the finer things in life. He clearly has independent income from somewhere, drives a vintage Merc, has his suits hand tailored and lives in a rather nice flat over looking the Thames. Lucy Punch’s Kate meanwhile is more down to Earth, is married (albeit shakily) and sees the force as a major career.

Vexed was a series with major potential, quite classic Avengers like in a way. You wouldn’t even known that Kate and Jack were coppers really, rather than meetings at the station the pair discuss business at a funky restaurant/bar which can only be entered by first going into a typical greasy spoon cafe.

Season two, which ran for six episodes, saw some changes not least in the departure of Lucy Punch and Rory Kinnear who were replaced by Miranda Raison as D.I. Georgina Dixon and Nick Dunning as her father Peter. This did mean a slight change in the dynamic of the series as well as the format moving from one investigation to a story of the week type situation.

Vexed

Series 2 saw the arrival of Miranda Raison as D.I. Georgina Dixon.

production details
UK / BBC Two – Greenlit Rights – Eleventh Hour / 9×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 August 2010 – 5 September 2012

Writer: Howard Overman / Music: Willie Dowling / Executive Producers: Simon Wilson (series 1), Chris Sussman (series 2) / Producer: Eve Gutierrez

cast
Toby Stephens as DI Jack Armstrong
Lucy Punch as DI Kate Bishop (Series 1)
Rory Kinnear as Dan Bishop (Series 1)
Miranda Raison as D.I. Georgina Dixon (Series 2)
Nick Dunning as Peter Dixon, Georgina’s father (Series 2)
Ronny Jhutti as Naz Omar
Roger Griffiths as Tony
Patrick Baladi as Mark Armstrong (Series 2)

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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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