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Bat Out Of Hell (BBC-2 1966 with Noel Johnson, John Thaw and Sylvia Syms)

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In Bat Out Of Hell estate agent Mark Paxton is embroiled in an affair with his boss’s wife Diana Stewart. The pair have hatched a plot to murder her husband Geoffrey. Whilst looking over a prospective new house Mark shoots and kills Geoffrey hiding his body in his car. Before he can get rid of the “evidence” the body goes missing. Diana then receives a phone call from her “dead” husband.

There is more intrigue when Mark finds a cigarette case inscribed on the inside with a note from Geoffrey to Diana saying “you came like a bat out of hell…” The cigarette case though does definitely not belong to Diana. Not only that her friend Thelma Bowen is lying to the police – she tells Diana that Geoffrey has also been in contact with her but denies it to Inspector Clay who is investigating the case. Thelma then turns up dead. Or does she.

Another superbly tangled plot from the master Durbridge, we know right from the start that Mark and Diana have conspired to murder Geoffrey but from there Durbridge layers on intrigue on top of intrigue. When Mrs Bowen is seen dead and then turns up a couple of scenes later you do think Durbridge is playing games with us but by the fifth and final episode it’s clear that someone has been blackmailing pretty much everyone in the cast. Things then move quickly as Inspector Clay realises just who the guilty party is.

production details
UK / BBC-2 / 5×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 November – 24 December 1966 black and white

Writer: Francis Durbridge / Story Editor: Roger Parkes / Design: Roy Oxley / Producer and Director: Alan Bromly

Series: Francis Durbridge Presents… Season 6

cast
Noel Johnson as Geoffrey Stewart
Sylvia Syms as Diana Stewart
June Bland as Mrs Houston
John Thaw as Mark Paxton
June Ellis as Thelma Bowen
Stanley Meadows as Ned Tallboy
Dudley Foster as Inspector Clay
David Quilter as Vince
Clive Graham as Sergeant Booth
Emrys Jones as Walter Bowen
Patsy Smart as Kitty Tracey

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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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