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Wessex Tales (BBC Two 1973, Kenneth Haigh, Billie Whitelaw)

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Wessex Tales BBC 1973

Wessex Tales was a six part anthology of plays based on the short stories of Thomas Hardy. This was a high profile series attracting prominent names both in front of and behind the camera.

Producer Irene Shubik was the guiding hand behind the series and writers included Dennis Potter (A Tragedy of Two Ambitions – on the few occasions when Potter was willing to work with somebody else’s source material it was when Hardy was involved – he also adapted The Mayor of Castorbridge for the BBC), David Mercer (who adapted Barbara of the House of Grebe) and William Trevor who contributed An Imaginative Woman.

The casting was equally as top drawer including the likes of Kenneth Haigh, Claire Bloom, Billie Whitelaw, Ben Kingsley and Leslie Sands.

production details
UK / BBC Two / 6×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 November – 12 December 1973

Stories: Thomas Hardy / Producer: Irene Shubik

THE EPISODES
1. THE WITHERED ARM (7 Nov 1973)
2. FELLOW TOWNSMEN (14 Nov 1973)
3. A TRAGEDY OF TWO AMBITIONS (21 Nov 1973)
4. AN IMAGINATIVE WOMAN (28 Nov 1973)
5. THE MELANCHOLY HUSSAR (5 Dec 1973)
6. BARBARA OF THE HOUSE OF GREBE (12 Dec 1973)