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The Borrowers (BBC-1 1992-1993 with Ian Holm and Rebecca Callard)

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One of the most successful childrens serials of the early 1990s, The Borrowers is pure delight. Made in 1992 and with super high production values (walking off with two BAFTAs for best childrens series and for best photography and also a major award from the Royal Television Society) The Borrowers follows the fortunes of the Clock family.

Set in Edwardian England, the Clock family are no more than a few inches high, existing by borrowing things humans have no further use for. The family are father Pod (the lovely Ian Holm), his wife Homily (Holms real life wife Penelope Wilton) and daughter Arietty (Rebecca Callard).

The family are happily going about their existence living in a rambling old house until one day they are discovered by the evil housekeeper Mrs Driver. Forced to go in search of a new home the Clocks find themselves Outside, of course the outside is full of danger but helped by another young Borrower called Spiller (Daniel Newman) who relishes being outside the Clocks are able to find a new home. For the second serial the Clock family had pitched up in a model village.

Obviously with the Borrowers being only a few inches high and mixing with normal sized human beans there a huge amount of special effects present in the series, not just of the making things look small by building big props variety either but also some early CGI and plenty of green screen work.

Based on the novel by Mary Norton (who died just before the series aired and without question she would have loved it) and with a script by Richard “Catweazle” Carpenter the TV version of The Borrowers knoks spots off the John Goodman starring big screen outing.

production details
UK / BBC One – Working Title / 12×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 8 November 1992 – 19 December 1993

Season 1: 8 Nov – 13 Dec 1992 / Season 2: 14 Nov – 19 Dec 1993

Writer: Richard Carpenter / Novels: Mary Norton / Producer: Graeme Marmion / Director: John Henderson

cast
IAN HOLM as Pod
PENELOPE WILTON as Homily
REBECCA CALLARD as Arietty
SIAN PHILLIPS as Mrs Driver
TONY HAYGARTH as Mildeye
STANLEY LEBOR as Uncle Hendreary

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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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