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Lovejoy (BBC-1 1986-1994, Ian McShane, Phyllis Logan)

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Based on a series of hard hitting novels written by Jonathan Gash Lovejoy concerned the often shady dealing of antiques expert Lovejoy (he never revealed his first name). Set in the idyllic countryside of East Anglia amongst the cottages and villages Lovejoy was an antiques dealer with a difference, he was a “divvie” a diviner, someone who could tell just by the emanations given off a piece whether it was genuine or not.

Season one was very much in keeping with the hard edged novels with Lovejoy not being averse to the odd spot of skullduggery. He had a couple of helpers in the shape of alcoholic Tinker Dill and the somewhat stupid Eric Catchpole whose father was paying Lovejoy to teach Eric the trade. Lovejoy usually found himself at loggerheads with millionaire Auction house owner Charlie Gimbert. The other main regular was Lovejoy’s sort of love interest Lady Jane Felsham (she was married but was constantly in Lovejoy’s schemes). After 10 excellent episodes it looked like that was it.

Then 4 years later a watered down version of the series returned along with all of the cast (minus Charlie Gimbert), the series was now aimed at the Sunday evening market, still deservedly popular but lacking the original spark.

The show was Ian McShane’s baby, co made by his production company with McShane even directing a few episodes. As was the norm with the BBC’s hit shows during the 80’s and 90’s feature length Christmas specials were made and the show attracted some big names including the likes of Sir John Gielgud, Joanna Lumley (who Lovejoy fell in love with), Warren Clarke, Lysette Anthony (who Lovejoy fell in love with – lets face it Lovejoy fell for most of his female co-stars), Anthony Valentine and many more.

Lovejoy

Caroline Langrishe joins the cast as Charlotte Cavendish.

The final two seasons saw many changes. Lady Jane and Eric both departed the show (although both returned for the final ever episode) and in came new assistant Beth and the haughty Charlotte Cavendish who at first had an antagonistic relationship with Lovejoy (she was a fellow antiques expert) but later the pair fell in love and got married.

A popular Sunday night staple for many years Lovejoy set out to entertain and did just that.

production details
UK / BBC-1 – Witzend – Tamariska / 73 episodes mostly fifty minutes but with some feature length specials / Broadcast 10 January 1986 – 4 December 1994

Creators: Ian la Frenais, Ian McShane / Characters: Jonathan Gash / Theme Music: Denis King

cast
IAN McSHANE as Lovejoy
DUDLEY SUTTON as Tinker Dill
CHRIS JURY as Eric Cathcpole
PHYLLIS LOGAN as Lady Jane Felsham
PAVEL DOUGLAS as Lord Alexander Felsham
MALCOLM TIERNAY as Charlie Gimbert
CAROLINE LANGRISHE as Charlotte Cavendish
DIANE PARISH as Beth

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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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