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Secret Army (BBC-1 1977-1979 with Jan Francis and Bernard Hepton)

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UK / BBC One / 42×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 September 1977 – 15 December 1979

Producer: Gerard Glaister / Script Editor: John Brason / Consultant: Wilfred Greatorex / Technical Advisor: Capt W. Randle / Theme Music: Robert Farnon

Wartime drama series. During World War II, a Belgian group called Lifeline set up a resistance movement helping shot down British airmen get back to Blighty.

Working out of a café called Le Candide, Lifeline specialised in helping trapped Allied servicemen get home, key personnel in the organisation were café owner Albert Foiret (Bernard Hepton), Lisa Colbert (played by Jan Francis, a mainstay of season one); Foiret’s mistress Monique Duchamps (Angela Richards) and waitress Natalie (Juliet-Hammond Hill) were also heavily involved. The Germans of course maintained a large presence throughout the series, chief amongst them were Sturmbahnfuhrer Kessler (Clifford Rose) and Major Erwin Brandt (Michael Culver).

The German SS leader Kessler was determined to try and stamp Lifeline out but they always managed to try and stay one step ahead.

The series followed the war through to its conclusion with the town being Liberated and there was also a six part sequel called Kessler.

Secret Army is definitely one of the strongest of all 1970’s drama series, supremely suspenseful and full of brilliant acting Secret Army has too often in modern times been unfairly judged as the inspiration for sitcom Allo Allo (it was of course but it was so much more than that).

Season two underwent a couple of changes with the departure of Lisa Colbert who died in shocking fashion at the close of Season One. The café location of season one also changed to an exclusive restaurant (still called Le Candide), mainly to introduce more German characters into the series.

Interestingly a “closure” episode of the series, What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? was never actually broadcast, it focused on Albert and Monique some 30 years after the end of the war but the BBC were unhappy about the quality of the make up effects and instead decided to make a six part thriller, the aforementioned Kessler, which focused on the efforts to track down the ageing and now a war criminal Kessler.

cast
BERNARD HEPTON as Albert Foiret
JAN FRANCIS as Lisa Colbert (Season 1)
CLIFFORD ROSE as Kessler
ANGELA RICHARDS as Monique Duchamps
JULIET HAMMOND-HILL as Natalie
CHRISTOPHER NEAME as Flt Lt John Curtis (Season 1)
MICHAEL CULVER as Major Brandt (Seasons 1-2)
TERENCE HARDIMAN as Major Rheinhardt (Season 3)
STEPHEN YARDLEY as Max Brocard
HAZEL McBRIDE as Madelaine Duclos
PAUL SHELLEY as Bradley (Season 3)
RALPH BATES as Paul Vercors (Season 3)

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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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