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Penda’s Fen (Play For Today BBC-1 21 Mar 1974 with Spencer Banks and Ian Hogg)

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UK / BBC One / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast 21 March 1974

Series: Play For Today / Season 4 Episode 16

Writer: David Rudkin / Script Editor: Tara Prem / Costumes: Joyce Hawkins / Special Effects: Clifford Culley / Animation: Bernard Lodge / Radiophonic Sound: Paddy Kingsland / Production Design: Michael Edwards / Producer: David Rose / Director: Alan Clarke

In Play For Today Penda’s Fen young Stephen Franklin is on the cusp of adulthood, about to leave school but more concerned with upholding what he sees as a correct view of English life as espoused by his Parson father, however a mystical encounter is the catalyst for Stephen to question everything he has previously thought.

Fabulous dialogue and with much that is certainly even more relevent today than it was in the seventies, much of what Rudkin talks about with regards to entertainment, the environment and life has come to pass. Ian Hogg is clearly playing a version of Rudkin himself as the writer who shakes up Stephen’s ideas about the world around him.

A good performance too from Spencer Banks as the young man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and the whole notion of the drama is very much left in the mind and eyes of the viewer, how much is what Stephen experiences real and how much is his fevered imagination.

cast
SPENCER BANKS as Stephen
JOHN ATKINSON as Reverend J. Franklin
GEORGINE ANDERSON as Mrs Franklin
RON SMERCZAK as Joel
IAN HOGG as Arne
JENNIE HESLEWOOD as Mrs Arne
GRAHAM LEAMAN as Sir Edward Elgar
CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS as Honeybone
JOHN RICHMOND as Headmaster
IVOR ROBERTS as Cooke
JOAN SCOTT as The Lady
RAY GATENBY as The Man
HELENA McCARTHY as Mrs Kings
JOYCE GRUNDY as Mrs Gisbourne
FRANK VEASEY as Council Workman
ELIZABETH REVILL as Nurse
MORAY BLACK as Sixth Former
JOHN SCOTT as Sir Nicholas Pole
ROY PRESTON as Brott
PAT BOWKER as Joel’s Girl
GEOFFREY STAINES as King Penda
GEOFFREY PENNELLS as Demon
MARTIN REYNOLDS as Angel

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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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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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