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Butterflies (BBC-2 1978-1982 with Wendy Craig and Geoffrey Palmer)

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Wendy Craig and Bruce Montague in Butterflies

UK / BBC Two and then BBC One / 28×30 minute episodes plus two short specials / Broadcast 10 November 1978 – 19 October 1983

Writer: Carla Lane / Producers: Gareth Gwenlan, Sydney Lotterby

A major hit with the public when it aired between 1978 and 1983 sitcom Butterflies follows bored, married housewife, terrible cook and a mother of two Ria who begins an “affair of the mind” with businessman Leonard, although Ria is not prepared to take things further than the occasional walk in the park or lunchtime meal in a cosy restaurant Leonard wants more.

Ria is married to Dentist Ben who is preoccupied with his butterfly collection and the latest dentistry techniques. Ria also has two teenage sons Russell and Adam who spend all their time trying to score with chicks. (Although Andrew Hall as Russell and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Adam give great performances even if their dialogue is almost old fashioned and written as though it’s 1969 not 1979 with hippy references and talk of chicks and the like).

As is typical with most of Carla Lane’s output her concerns reflect those of Ria (for example the episode where Ria gets up in arms at a fox hunt and organises a protest meeting).

Incidentally the theme tune (Love is like a butterfly written by Dolly Parton) is sung by Claire Terry – the same lady who contributed vocals to the classic Pink Floyd song The Great Gig in the Sky.

The show’s first two seasons were on BBC Two before switching to BBC One from the first special broadcast 22 December 1979. On 27 December 1982 there was a short special broadcast as part of the BBC’s Funny Side of Christmas show and then on 17 November 2000 the cast reconvened for a nostalgic but brief follow up as part of the BBC’s Children In Need celebrations.

cast
Geoffrey Palmer as Ben
Wendy Craig as Ria
Nicholas Lyndhurst as Adam
Andrew Hall as Russell
Bruce Montague as Leonard
Joyce Windsor as Ruby

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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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