2.18 Rockliffe's Babies
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
3d ago
Rock-a-bye baby in the tower block Your Mum’s on the social Your Dad’s in the dock Your Mum’s in arrears So, the Council’s gonna call Down will come mother, baby and all… Yes this month it's none other than that late 80s police drama Rockliffe's Babies in which we met the seven young and untested members of Victor Tango crime squad and their formidable skipper Det Sgt Alan Rockliffe played by Ian Hogg. A ratings winner that lasted for 2 series and 18 episodes Rockliffe's Babies was the BBC's answer to ITV's The Bill which at that time was also putting out shorter series of 50-minute episodes ..read more
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2.17 Quiller
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
1M ago
Andy & Martin almost meet their match in the 1975 series Quiller. But once they get past the first 10 dreadful minutes of its opening episode they find much to enjoy in this Bond-on-a-budget BBC spy series starring Michael Jayston in the title role. However, it would be lazy to say Quiller simply knocks off Bond, because Elleston Trevor's Quiller is quite different to 007. He doesn't like guns or gadgets and doesn't let women distract him from the job in hand. It's not a cheap series either. As well as some inevitable stock footage there's heaps of exotic location filming in Germany, Malta ..read more
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2.16 Partners in Crime
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
2M ago
Martin and Andy travel back to the early Eighties to uncover the birth of Agatha Christie on television. Before Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and David Suchet's Poirot came Tommy and Tuppence, two bright young adventurers from the Roaring Twenties played by Francesca Annis and James Warwick: Partners in Crime. Andy also delves further back to explain how Why Didn't They Ask Evans? and The Seven Dials Mystery helped pave the way for Agatha Christie on TV. But what one factor linked these productions and Partners? Listen along as Martin fails to answer this question and others like it as he relucta ..read more
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2.15 Orde Wingate
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
3M ago
This month Martin & Andy tackle a 1976 curio: a 3-part examination of the Zionist military leader Orde Wingate. Wingate is played by Barry Foster (Van de Valk, Fall of Eagles) in a drama scripted by Don Shaw (Survivors), script edited by Louis Marks (Doctor Who, The Lost Boys), directed by Bill Hays (Wish Me Luck) and produced by Innes Lloyd (Doctor Who, Talking Heads). The production is notable for its theatrical feel and questionable innovations: a 'Blue Peter-style' desert and a 'toilet roll jungle' in the studio. But it is the subject matter that is more problematic, as it is hard to w ..read more
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2.14 The Nightmare Man
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
4M ago
After a longer break than intended An A to Z of UK Drama is back for the continuation of its second series, starting off the second half of the alphabet with the letter N and The Nightmare Man... As the fog closes in on a remote Scottish island Andy and Martin are huddled by the fire remembering the time when there were many gruesome and mysterious murrrrrders and the local policemen endlessly downed whisky while on duty! Starring James Warwick and Celia Imrie, and adapted by Robert Holmes and directed by Douglas Camfield - two legendary Doctor Who luminaries - The Nightmare Man should be a wo ..read more
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2.13 Moonbase 3
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
1y ago
The year is 2003 and Earth's intrepid humans have managed to set-up several bases on the moon. There they face the implacable enemy that is the silence and darkness of space - a serious and apparently underestimated threat to the mental wellbeing of moonbase personnel... Created by Doctor Who’s Barry Letts and Terrance DIcks this 6-part series from 1973 starred Donald Houston, Ralph Bates and Fiona Gaunt and had scripts from John Brason, John Lucarotti and Arden Winch. Moonbase 3 lacks Doctor Who's monsters and excitement and instead delights in technical details and psychological concerns. As ..read more
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2.10 Jemima Shore Investigates
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
1y ago
Why, why, why? Jemima!!! This month Andy and Martin plunge themselves head first into the poorly-made Thames drama Jemima Shore Investigates and probably wish that they had not been so curious about it. Andy gets off lightly though, having only watched 3 episodes and the far superior pilot Quiet as a Nun (as part of Armchair Thriller). Martin meanwhile watched it all and may never recover! Despite some great guest stars including Tom Baker, Stephen Yardley, Norman Jones and Stratford Johns, the main series from 1982 has little to recommend it and has the worst sound production that Andy can ev ..read more
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2.9 Inspector Alleyn Mysteries
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
1y ago
This time Andy & Martin delve into Ngaio Marsh's Alleyn Mysteries which aired on the BBC in the early Nineties. Having watched the 1990 pilot 'Artists in Crime' and a 1993 episode 'Final Curtain' they are able to compare the performances of Simon Williams and Patrick Malahide in the title role. Belinda Lang is thankfully a constant as his artist 'friend' Agatha Troy, as is the characterful William Simons as Fox. While underwhelmed by the pilot, they are bowled over by the OTT Final Curtain especially due to the presence of Graham Crowden , Eleanor Bron, Michael Sheard and Michael Bilton an ..read more
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2.5 Enchanted April
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
1y ago
For those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine... an advertisement in a newspaper captures the attention of two constrained and unhappy women from the London of the early 1920s: Lottie Wilkins (Josie Lawrence) and Rose Arbuthnott (Miranda Richardson). Their joint goal becomes this seemingly impossible holiday in Portofino, Italy, and together with two guests, to share the financial burden, Mrs Fisher (Joan Plowright) and Lady Caroline Dester (Polly Walker) they make their dream a reality. Once there, all four women will experience changes in their lives that none of them could have foreseen du ..read more
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2.4 The Day of the Triffids
An A to Z of UK Television Drama
by An A to Z of UK Television Drama
1y ago
Andy and Martin turn their attention to a cult sci-fi classic from 1981: John Wyndham's post-apocalyptic tale of man versus plant: The Day of the Triffids. The pair consider how the series has aged, how it compares to similar dramas and what elements still make it rollicking good fun. Along the way they consider hospital and home decor, the Triffid Gun Christmas of 1981 and why Bill Masen is so bizarrely determined that Triffids are just dumb plants. Enjoy and watch out for Heavy Plant Crossings ..read more
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