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Zen Zen

TV

Zen (BBC-1 2011, Rufus Sewell, Caterina Murino)

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Michael Dibdin’s crime novels are brought to life superbly in Zen. Set in Rome, Italy the series of feature length mysteries sees Detective Aurelio Zen tackling murder and other major crimes.

In the opening story Vendetta Zen is asked by the Ministry to re-open a case involving multiple murder. Also on hand is Zen’s love interest in the shape of Tania Moretti.

Good to see Dibdin’s excellent books getting the TV treatment, Sewell makes a first rate Zen and Murino is gorgeous as his girlfriend Tania. Zen is nicely complex actually, not afraid of doing things in an under handed way if it gets results.

He’s also nicely human which definitely makes a change when it comes to your average maverick copper. There is a level of dry humour too which also adds to the proceedings.

The guest casts were pretty high profile too with the likes of Greg Wise and Ben Miles making an appearance. A big part of the action was the wonderful city of Rome (and it’s surrounds) itself and it looked typically fabulous here.

zen-rufus-sewell-2

production details

UK | BBC1 – Left Bank Pictures

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 3 | AIRDATES: Sunday 2 January – Sunday 16 January 2011 @ 9.00pm

PRODUCER: Michael Casey | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Andy Harries

cast
RUFUS SEWELL as Aurelio Zen
CATERINA MURINO as Tania Moretti
BEN MILES as Amedeo Colonna
STANLEY TOWNSEND as Moscati
CATHERINE SPAAK as Mamma
FRANCESCO QUINN as Gilberto Nieddu
PETER GUINESS as Tito Spadola
ANTHONY HIGGINS as Guerchini

THE EPISODES
1. VENDETTA (2 Jan 2011)
2. CABAL (9 Jan 2011)
3. RAT KING (16 Jan 2011)

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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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