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Widows (ITV 1983, Ann Mitchell, Maureen O’Farrell)

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A trio of crime drama series comprising Widows, Widows 2 and She’s Out, this hard hitting drama had crook’s wife Dolly Rawlins learning that her husband’s last job (robbing a security van) has gone wrong and he has been apparently killed along with most of his gang. Dolly takes the step of recruiting the wives of her husband’s gang into taking on the job themselves, this they do, learning the ins and outs of the criminal world as they do. They pull off the crime but recriminations look like spoiling things.

Widows 2 (which followed 2 years later) saw the girls in a desperate struggle to hold onto their ill gotten gains whilst the third serial She’s Out (after a gap of ten years) had Dolly Rawlins coming out of prison determined to get revenge on the people who put her there. Without giving too much away there was a surprise in store for Dolly concerning her husband.

The opener six parter is a truly classic slice of crime drama, tense, exciting and hard hitting, quite rightly marking Lynda La Plante (aka former actress Lynda Marshall) out as a major talent. A sequel was inevitable and maybe lacked a little bit of bite because we knew what to expect but was still highly watchable. Actress Eva Mottley who Bella in the first serial had sadly died and her role was taken by Debby Bishop for this second serial.

It was ten years before we saw more of Dolly Rawlins when she returned in the six parter She’s Out, this was a quite different kettle of fish with a mostly new cast. In 2002 there was an American version of the original serial which changed things considerably, especially the central robbery which was now a painting heist instead of an armed robbery.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Thames – Euston / 18×60 minute episodes / 1983/85 and 1995

Writer: Lynda La Plante / Producers: Linda Agran, Irving Teitelbaum

cast
ANN MITCHELL as Dolly Rawlins
MAUREEN O’FARRELL as Linda Pirelli
FIONA HENDLEY as Shirley Miller
EVA MOTTLEY as Bella O’Reilly(Widows)
DEBBY BISHOP as Bella O’Reilly(Widows)
KATE WILLIAMS as Audrey Withey
MAURICE O’CONNELL as Harry Rawlins
DAVID CALDER as Det Insp Resnick
PAUL JESSON as Det Sgt Fuller
PETER MACHIN as DC Andrews
DUDLEY SUTTON as Boxer Davis
THELMA WHITELEY as Kathleen Resnick
CATHERINE NEILSON as Trudie
JEFFREY CHISWICK as Arnie Fisher
CHRIS ELLISON as Tony Fisher
STEPHEN YARDLEY as Vic Morgan (Widows II)
ANDREW KAZAMIA as Micky Tesco (Widows II)

SHE’S OUT EXTRA CAST
LINDA MARLOWE as Ester Freeman
MAUREEN SWEENEY as Gloria Radford
ANNA PATRICK as Julia Lawson
ZOE HEYES as Connie Stephens
INDRA OVE as Angela Dunn
MAGGIE McCARTHY as Kathleen O’Reilly
ADRIAN RAWLINS as DS Mike Withy
HUGH QUARSHIE as DCI Ron Craigh
DOUGLAS McFERRAN as DS John Palmer

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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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