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Forsyte Saga, The (BBC-2 1967 with Kenneth More and Nyree Dawn Porter)

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Period drama series telling the lives and loves of the Forsyte family between the years 1879 and 1926. A massive success at the time and a clear forerunner of the saga type of shows (Upstairs Downstairs, The Pallisers etc). The Forsyte Saga was also the first serial sold by the BBC to the Soviet Union.

ITV (Granada) broadcast a new 10 part adaption from April 2002 which starred Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves and Damien Lewis.

It was the last major TV serial made in black and white and it was also one of the BBC’s most successful worldwide triumphs.

Kenneth More was Jolyon Forsyte who left his pregnant wife for a lover, while Eric Porter was lawyer Soames who wed Irene (Nyree Dawn Porter).Their on-screen chemistry was the secret of its success. Susan Hampshire was Fleur, Soames’s impetuous daughter who had an affair with Jon (Martin Jarvis), the son of Irene, who was then wed to Jolyon.

Rape and infidelity were its main storylines. Soames’s rape of Irene shocked the 18m viewers who tuned in, as well as the cast. Eric Porter said: “I tugged at Nyree Dawn Porter’s bodice and to our horror there was blood all over the place. I’d gashed my hand on a brooch she was wearing.” Nyree Dawn added: “With all the blood I wondered what he’d done to me.”

Forsyte Saga

Eric Porter, who played Soames Forsyte, remained a familiar face on TV right up until his death from cancer in 1995.

The London-born actor played many famous characters including Cyrano de Bergerac (1968), Tolstoy (1970), Jack the Ripper (1971), Fagan in Oliver Twist (1985) and Professor Moriarty in The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes (1984-85).

He was also a lover of Shakespeare, having starred with Charlton Heston in the big screen film Antony And Cleopatra (1973), and in two BBC productions as Macbeth (1970) and as Polonius in Hamlet (1980), with Derek Jacobi in the lead role.

Susan Hampshire, who won a Best Actress Emmy Award in 1970 for her portrayal of the venomous Fleur Forsyte, appeared as the leading lady in countless TV, film and theatre productions.

The veteran actress’s other famous TV roles include Lady Glencora Palliser in the Victorian drama series The Pallisers (1977), and she earned two more Emmy awards for Sarah Churchill in The First Churchills (1969) and Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (1971).

Her notable big screen films include the Greek mythology inspired Malpertuis (1971) with co-star Orson Welles, and Living Free (1972), the sequel to Born Free, in which she played lion lover Joy Adamson.

New Zealand born Nyree Dawn Porter, who played Soames’s first wife, Irene, went on to star in several horror films and the crime-fighting TV series The Protectors (1972-73) with Robert Vaughn.

Long time film star Kenneth More, who played Jolyon Forsyte, went on to star in various British films including the romantic fairytale The Slipper And The Rose (1976), and the Second World War classics Oh! What A Lovely War (1969) and The Battle Of Britain (1969).

More died from parkinson’s disease in 1982 at the age of 67.

production details
UK / BBC Two / 26×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 January – 1 July 1967

Creator and Producer: Donald Wilson / Novels: John Galsworthy

cast
KENNETH MORE as Joylon ‘Jo’ Forsyte
ERIC PORTER as Soames Forsyte
NYREE DAWN PORTER as Irene Forsyte
MARGARET TYZACK as Winifred Forsyte
FAY COMPTON as Ann Forsyte
TERENCE ALEXANDER as Montague Dartie
SUSAN HAMPSHIRE as Fleur Forsyte
URSULA HOWELLS as Frances Forsyte
MARTIN JARVIS as Joylon ‘Jon’ Forsyte
MICHAEL YORK as Joylon ‘Jolly’ Forsyte
JOSEPH O’CONOR as Old Joylon

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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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