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Father Brown (ITV 1974 with Kenneth More and Dennis Burgess)

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UK / ITV – ATV / 13×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 September – 5 December 1974

Writer: Hugh Leonard / Stories: G.K. Chesterton / Producer: Ian Fordyce

Period crime drama series. In the 1920’s vicar Father Brown finds himself turning detective to solve various crimes and often being helped by his former arch enemy turned private detective Flambeau.

Kenneth More gave one of his best performances as the eponymous father , just the right balance of eccentricity and studied cleverness. Father Brown has that classic 1970’s television sheen with it’s beautifully designed interiors shot on videotape to it’s location scenes shot on film.

Created by G.K. Chesterton and set in a seemingly perpetual middle-upperclass 1920’s the stories include The Hammer of God in which a lascivious village squire is murdered, the very fun The Oracle of the Dog (which sees a dog helping Father Brown uncover a murderer), The Curse of the Golden Cross (a curse and an archaeologist lead to trouble for Brown), The Eye of Apollo (money and sun worship just don’t go together – there is a great performance from Ronald Pickup in this episode) and last but by no means least The Three Tools of Death which focuses on the apparent murder of a well known Philanthropist played by James Hayter).

Episode 6 The Mirror of the Magistrate sees Father Brown believing an error has been made over the arrest of a man accused of killing a judge. In The Dagger With Wings Father Brown has to deal with the black arts when a dead wealthy man’s sons start to die in mysterious ways.

The Actor and the Alibi (episode 8) sees Brown teaming up with Flambeau to search for a missing girl who has joined a theatre company. Final episode of volume two is The Quick One in which a party of travelling salesmen hold the key to the murder of a crotchety old local trouble maker (played by Bernard Lee).

The Man With Two Beards has Brown investigating the suspicious death of an old friend, whilst The Head of Caesar has Brown tangled up in a blackmail plot involving a young girl who has been stealing from her wealthy brother. The Arrow of Heaven has a wealthy art collector who is murdered and finally The Secret Garden which finds Father Brown in Paris and finding murder at a dinner party.

Father Brown managed to attract a pretty high calibre of guest stars and included the likes of T.P. McKenna, David Swift, Michael Sheard, Rachel Gurney, David Saville, Penelope Horner, Maxwell Shaw, Christopher Benjamin, the great Bill Maynard in the Man With Two Beards, Megs Jenkins, David Lodge, Fabia Drake and Brian Croucher. The character has also had a revival in a recent BBC daytime series which updated the action to the 1950’s and starred Mark Williams as Father Brown.

cast
KENNETH MORE as Father Brown
DENNIS BURGESS as Flambeau

THE EPISODES
ONE SEASON 26 September – 19 December 1974
1. THE HAMMER OF GOD
2. THE ORACLE OF THE DOG
3. THE CURSE OF THE GOLDEN CROSS
4. THE EYE OF APOLLO
5. THE THREE TOOLS OF DEATH
6. THE MIRROR OF THE MAGISTRATE
7. THE DAGGER WITH WINGS
8. THE ACTOR AND THE ALIBI
9. THE QUICK ONE
10. THE MAN WITH TWO BEARDS
11. THE HEAD OF CAESAR
12. THE ARROW OF HEAVEN
13. THE SECRET GARDEN

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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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