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Nightmare Man, The (BBC-1 198, James Warwick, Celia Imrie)

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In The Nightmare Man Michael Gaffikin is an English incomer to the remote Scottish island of Inverdee, making a precarious living as a dentist he is thrust headlong into adventure when he discovers the body of a woman whilst out walking. Teaming up with Inspector Inskip to investigate the pair are soon faced with another murder – that of visiting Ornithological expert Dr Symonds. Because Symonds had left his tape recorder running and his faulty camera had taken a number of accidental photos, Gaffikin and Inskip discover that the killer is bizarre, definitely monster like creature in fact Gaffikin is convinced it may even be alien in origin!

Meanwhile Colonel Howard is also on holiday on the island but it seems he may be in fact be hiding something, then when a whole platoon of soldiers turn up it is clear something major is going on. Before you can say “went the day well or the eagle has landed” Howard and his soldiers are revealed to be Russians and the murderous “nightmare man” is a renegade sailor who has been caught up in a secret Russian experiment testing a new type of mini-submarine which is linked directly to it’s operators brain.

There is an interesting use of red filter to signify the fact that the Nightmare Man (in fact there are quite a few scenes where we see things from his point of view) is around but the thirty minute format lends itself very well to a fast pacey tale, completely unbelievable of course but great fun. In fact if Michael Palin had played the lead rather than James Warwick the whole thing would have made a splendid ripping yarn.

Nightmare Man

production details
UK / BBC One / 4×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 1 – 22 May 1981

Writer: Robert Holmes / Novel: Child of Vodyanoi by David Wiltshire / Script Editor: Jenny Sheridan / Music: Robert Stewart / Production Design: Allan Anson / Production managers: Graeme Harper, Carol Scott / Visual Effects: John Brace / Costumes: Rupert Jarvis / Producer: Ron Craddock / Director: Douglas Camfield

cast
JAMES WARWICK as Michael Gaffikin
CELIA IMRIE as Fiona Patterson
MAURICE ROEVES as Inspector Inskip
TOM WATSON as Dr Goudry
JONATHAN NEWTH as Colonel Howard
JAMES COSMO as Sergeant Carch
FRASER WILSON as P.C. Malcolmson
TONY SIBBALD as Symonds
ELAINE WELLS as Mrs Mackay
JON CROFT as McGrath
JEFFREY STEWART as Drummond
RONALD FORFAR as Campbell
PAT GORMAN as The Killer
ROBERT VOWLES as Lieutenant Carey

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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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