EAST SIDE/WEST SIDE
A social drama of the Kennedy era, it starred future Oscar-winning actor George C. Scott as Neil Brock, a social worker for a private organization based in the slums of New York City. His secretary and assistant was Jane Foster, played by Cicely Tyson, who became one of the few African-American women to have a regular series role up to that time. Elizabeth Wilson was Frieda Hechlinger, the head of Community Welfare Service. Each week, the series explored controversial social issues in the poorer and neglected areas of New York. Its best-known episode, "Who Do You Kill," featured James Earl Jones and Diana Sands as a black couple whose baby was bitten by a rat in their tenement apartment; the child died, sending the couple spiraling into despair. Another episode, "No Hiding Place," dealt with a black couple moving into an all-white suburb; realtors tried to get "panicked" white residents to sell their homes at a loss. The practice, known as "block busting," was common before federal housing laws took effect.
East Side/West Side had fine writing and strong performances from Scott, the core cast and the show’s guest stars. But the stories proved to be limited because Brock–as a private social worker–could help victims only so much. Also, the issues presented on the show–abortion, prejudice, and drug abuse–did not lend themselves to a neat, tidy resolution as television drama of the era demanded. The situation wasn’t helped by meddling from CBS network president James Aubrey, a champion of light, fluffy programs. At one point, he told East Side/West Side producer David Susskind he wanted the cast "out of Harlem and I want them on Park Avenue." Susskind thought the demand was silly–who would need social justice in one of New York’s more affluent areas? But under Aubrey’s orders, changes were made. In the middle of the season, Brock went to work for Congressman Charles Hanson (Linden Chiles) as an advisor on social issues, but fought with public relations advisor Mike Miller (John McMartin), who worried about the congressman’s image with voters. Wilson and Tyson disappeared from the cast; and a pre-Get Smart Barbara Feldon became Brock’s girlfriend. Susskind later admitted, "A gloomy atmosphere for commercial messages, an integrated cast, and a smaller Southern station lineup, all of these things coming together spelled doom for the show. I’m sorry television wasn’t mature enough to absorb it and like it and live with it." Not even in John Kennedy’s New Frontier.
26 episodes. CBS. 1963-64
ECHOES OF LOUISA
An unusual ghost story set in modern and Victorian times, Echoes of Louisa was a somewhat darker than usual tale in the children's television drama strand. The tale begins in 1876 where 15 year-old Louisa Hallam (Amanda Kirby) is expectantly awaiting the return of her soldier brother, Anthony (Jeremy Nicholas). However, when her brother returns he strikes up a friendship with another girl, Allegra (Lucinda Bateson), sending Louisa into a jealous rage. The story then moves forward to 1981. Whilst exploring the grounds of historic Thornaby Hall in Rutland, Allie Burr hears laughter coming from the grounds deserted stables. At first she believes the Hall to be haunted, but Allie, an exact double of Allegra (a dual role for Bateson), soon becomes witness to the true-life events of 105 years ago as Louisa sets out in a cruel and pitiless manner to rid herself of the rival for her brothers affections. Ultimately, Louisa is doomed to fail and this sometimes-disconcerting tale ends with her falling to her death.
6 episodes. ATV. 1981
EDNA, THE INEBRIATE WOMAN
Written by Jeremy Sandford who, with director Ken Loach, had created one of the most influential dramas of the 1960's, the tale of a homeless mother in Cathy Come Home. In Edna, the subjects that Sandford tackled was no less emotive - vagrancy and alcoholism. In order to give the play an air of authenticity, Sandford lived the life of a tramp - "For two separate occasions of two weeks I submerged myself in that nether world" he later confided. Patricia Hayes, better known for her comedy roles alongside the likes of Tony Hancock, Arthur Haynes, Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill as well as appearences in television series such as Till Death Us Do Part and (later) In Sickness And In Health, was deliberately chosen for the role of Edna because of her comedy background. Edna is rude, aggressive and fiercely proud but is also, often, very funny. Hayes more than justified producer Irene Shubik and director Ted Kotcheff's choice when she gave an award winning performance as the troubled vagrant who is shunted from one agency to another finding temporary sanctuary in shelters for the homeless, prison and a psychiatric hospital, only to be forced back, each time, onto the streets. Hayes deservedly won the best actress award from the Society of Film and Television Arts. The play was voted best production at the same awards, and won the best original television production award from the Writers' Guild and the Critics' Circle award for best television play. Seen as an indictment of society's inability to care for its outcasts, Edna, The Inebriate Woman (originally titled The Lodging House) was a stirring piece of televisual drama that was made all the more powerful by Hayes' superb performance of a woman trying to hold on to the last vestiges of her dignity.
90 Minute duration. BBC 1971
Based on an Edgar Wallace created character this 1957/8 sitcom starred Charlie Chester (Cheerful Charlie your Chin-up Boy Chester) as the popular Cockney racing tipster 'Educated' Evans, who ducked and dived through the back streets and public houses of London all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the law, especially from Detective-Sergeant Miller (Jack Melford), who was not averse to a bet or two himself. Evans had first appeared on the big screen in a now missing 1936 movie of the same name starring one of British music hall's best remembered stars; Max Miller. Chester and Miller were very similar in style, they were physically alike, dressed the same way and even had similar signing off songs. The similarity was too close for comfort as far as Miller was concerned and he turned up at one of Chester's performances with his solicitor to take notes. However, after a long standing period of ill-feeling the two comedians made it up and even appeared together in a shared top of the bill. In the original movie Evans (Miller) is asked by a nouveau riche couple to train a racehorse they have bought in the hope it will help them win the acceptance of high society. Evans doesn't own a stable, so the horse has to live with him and his two lodgers in an urban mews. Despite its less than ideal training environment, the horse turns out to have a natural talent. The TV series ran for two seasons. Patricia Hayes co-starred.
23 episodes of 30 minute duration. BBC 1957-58
As strange as it may seem now, Archie Andrews was a ventriloquists dummy that first hit the big time on Radio! Operated by Peter Brough, Archie was the most popular radio personality of 1952, pulling in a phenomenal average of 15 million listeners. In 1951 a £1000 pound reward was offered for the puppets return when Brough had accidentally left him on a train. His show was also to give exposure to many up-and-coming stars of the time including Tony Hancock, Max Bygraves, Harry Secombe, Benny Hill, Beryl Reid and the 14-year-old Julie Andrews. There was also a fan club of around 250,000 children. 27 half hour TV shows were made for ITV, scripted by Ronald Chesney and Marty Feldman. Co-starring support came from Irene Handl and Dick Emery. Archie Andrews career was cut short when Peter Brough's father died and he decided to quit showbiz in order to run the families textile business.
ERROL FLYNN THEATRE
British-produced anthology series along similar lines to Douglas Fairbanks Presents; both were made to cash in on the growing US and British television markets. Filmed in the UK at Bray Studios (best known for its association with Hammer Film Productions) in Berkshire, England. Former Hollywood heartthrob and swashbuckler Flynn introduced all 26 episodes although he only appeared in 6 of them in the lead role and in 5 of them he was accompanied by his wife, Patrice Wymore Flynn. The filmed series ranged from adaptations of classic tales such as The Duel by Alexander Dumas to domestic melodramas. Notable guests included Christopher Lee, Glynis Johns, Herbert Lom, Mai Zetterling, Jean Kent, Leslie Phillips, Arthur Lowe and Patrick Allen. The first episode in the series had actually been made four years earlier as an intended pilot for US broadcast only and to be shown as a 'B-Movie' in UK theatres.
26 episodes of 30 minute duration. ITV. 1956-57
With her five children now grown up, Caroline Fairchild decides to resume her former career in the cut-throat world of publishing. Against the wishes of husband Donald, also working in the industry, she takes up the position of Editorial Director for her old company, Oasis Publishing, in London. Little does Caroline realise that Oasis Publishing - part of an American conglomerate overseen by the megalomaniac Edgar Frankland Jr. - is poised to take over Donald’s employer, Ginsberg Publishing, and that Frankland takes a rather harsh line on married couples working together within his empire. Caroline and Donald’s solution is unorthodox, yet practical: they become an undercover couple, with Caroline using her maiden name and Donald steadfastly refusing the advances of female colleagues. The ploy seems to work - but there is one unpalatable aspect for Donald: he now finds himself taking orders from his wife...Two of British comedy’s most popular stars came together for this highly original and cleverly written series. Executive Stress featured Penelope Keith and Geoffrey Palmer (in Series One) as the middle-aged couple struggling to keep their marriage under wraps to protect both of their careers, a situation partly inspired by the difficulties faced by the wife of writer George Layton on returning to professional life after having had two children. This series reunited Penelope Keith - who brings what one reviewer described as ‘wit, finesse and touching vulnerability’ to the role of Caroline - and The Good Life’s producer, John Howard Davies. When Geoffrey Palmer decided to leave at the end of the first series he was replaced by Peter Bowles, who had partnered Penelope Keith in the hugely successful BBC series To The Manor Born. The series featured a theme song composed by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice, and performed by Julie Covington.
19 episodes of 30 minute duration. ITV 1986-88 Executive Stress - Series 1 [DVD] 
FABIAN OF THE YARD
The first ever British made filmed series, shot by Trinity Productions for the BBC and consisting of 39 black and white episodes, Fabian of Scotland Yard has been described as Britain's first generation of the TV detective. To give it credibility, the series was based on real crimes, or stories from police files from Scotland Yard and in particular (or so it was alleged) on the investigations of former celebrated Yard detective Robert Fabian. Fabian was played in each episode by Bruce Seton (pictured) but the real-life Fabian turned up at the end of each episode to round it off in the style of George Dixon in Dixon of Dock Green although, according to Susan Sydney-Smith, author of "Beyond Dixon of Dock Green," his appearance was "jarring and awkward." Robert Fabian may have been an accopmlished investigator but he was far less of a broadcaster. The series was made for export and several episodes were never actually transmitted in the UK. London's familiar landmarks were used in a somewhat travelogue style and, being shot on film rather than live in the studio like many contemporary BBC shows, the Corporation had much more freedom in broadcasting it at different times of the week. Originally shown on Saturday night it later moved to Wednesday evenings with a repeat on weekday afternoons. Among the contributors was Arthur La Bern whose novel "Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square" was later adapted by Alfred Hitchcock as the movie 'Frenzy.' The series was also known as Patrol Car in the USA where it enjoyed success on the CBS Network, as well as Inspector Fabian of Scotland Yard and Fabian of Scotland Yard in other countires, but as Fabian of the Yard on the BBC. Two B-feature films made up of re-edited episodes were released in 1954 and 1955; 'Fabian of the Yard' and 'Handcuffs, London.'
39 episodes of 30 minutes duration. BBC 1954-56.
This musical comedy-drama was based on the 1980 film about students and faculty at New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts. The series essentially picked up where the film left off, with talented kids learning about hard work and dedication–along with rejection and the usual problems of being an adolescent. And it has worn well; “Fame’s” formula was updated successfully for the hybrid musical-drama Glee. Several of the movie’s cast members moved over to the television version, including Debbie Allen (instructor Lydia Grant; Allen also produced and directed many episodes), Gene Anthony Ray (aspiring dancer Leroy Johnson), Albert Hague (music instructor Benjamin Shorofsky) and Lee Cufrreri (keyboard player/composer Bruno Martelli). Others in the ensemble cast included Valerie Landsburg, Erica Gimpel, Cynthia Gibb, future superstar Janet Jackson (as Cleo Hewitt) and Nia Peoples as Nicole Chapman. Critics loved the talented cast and the realistic stories–but Fame suffered in the ratings against CBS’ megahit Magnum, P.I. After one and a half seasons, NBC pulled the plug. But MGM Television (with financial help from the BBC and Australia’s Seven Network) began producing new episodes for local stations and worldwide distribution, starting in the fall of 1983. It became an even bigger hit than during its NBC run. There were a number of cast changes during the syndicated run, but it was popular enough to run for four seasons. Like Glee many years later, the cast members were featured on records and in live production but few of them achieved long-running careers. In 1997, a spin-off of Fame was produced; the new Fame L.A. again featured a talented young cast studying and performing, this time in hip Venice, California. But Fame L.A. didn’t catch on, and ran for just one season. In December 2008, UK’s Channel 4 aired a 90-minute special which reunited some of the original Fame cast members in the States. Host Justin Lee Collins interviewed some of the show’s former stars, including the mother of Gene Anthony Ray (who died in 2003 from stroke complications).
“Fame’s” theme song, which Irene Cara made a top-ten hit when the movie was released in 1980, was also used in the series. The TV version was initially sung by Erica Gimpel (who played the Coco Hernandez role that Cara performed in the film), before new cast member Loretta Chandler did the vocals for the show’s final seasons.
136 episdoes of 60 minute duration. NBC and syndication. 1982-87. Fame - Season 1 [DVD] 
The business and private lives of the partners of a firm of solicitors was the background for this hour-long series which first appeared on Wednesday June 28, 1961. Robert Flemying & A. J. Brown played the senior partners, accompanied by Mary Kenton, Bernard Horsfall and Geoffrey Palmer in the principal roles as members of the fictitious solicitors' firm of Naylor and Freeman. The writers tried to make the cases as authentic as possible prompting the Law Society to remark: "For years we have been waiting for television to present a series like this." Series producer Jack Williams said: "Although most of the action takes place in the offices of Naylor and Freeman, there is no intention of turning Family Solicitor into a dull catalogue of legal procedure. This is a true-to-life series in which real people tackle real-life situations."
Granada Television 1961
24-year-old Carl Galton represents a new kind of London gangster. In his relentless pursuit of wealth and status, signalled by luxury cars and designer clothes, Carl is brutally efficient and has scant regard for any traditional notions of honour. Following his brother’s death in an East-End bar brawl, his focus shifts from protection rackets in North London to the territory of the oldschool East-End ‘firms’ - and he is prepared to use any means necessary to establish dominance there. Acclaimed Edinburgh-born actor Iain Glen perfected a London accent for his stunning performance as the predatory, Armani-clad gang leader in this chillingly authentic 1988 drama from Thames’ Euston Films. Directed by the award-winning Stuart Orme and featuring an impressive supporting cast - including Susannah Harker (House of Cards), Jerome Flynn (Soldier, Soldier), Jesse Birdsall (Bugs) and Anthony Valentine (Colditz, Callan) - The Fear is a disturbing snapshot of a hidden London.
5 episodes of 50 minute duration. 1988 The Fear - The Complete Series [DVD] 
THE FEATHERED SERPENT
Studio-bound Children's drama series set in the Aztec period starring former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton; formerly the hero of millions - but here the villain of the piece. Emperor Kukulkhan (Tony Steedman) wishes to bring about the end of sacrifices and other barbaric practices much to the disdain of his High Priest, Nasca (Troughton), who is fearful of losing his own quite considerable powers in the process. He concocts a plan that will draw in Kukulkhan's daughter, Chimalma (Diane Keene), the boy Prince Heumac (Brian Deacon) and a servant boy, Tozo (Richard Willis). Nasca weaves a web of deceitful lies and manipulation which ends with Heumic being sent to the summit of the Pyramid of the Sun to be sacrificed. However, he manages to survive and when the second series aired (two years later) Nasca is still at his conniving best and this time has employed the services of an old witch, Keelag (Sheila Burrell), who claims she can help him in his nefarious plans with the aid of magic and sorcery. As if Heumac hasn't got enough to contend with his intended marriage to Chimalma is disputed by Xipec (Granville Saxton), Governor of the Gold Region who sets him a series of challenges in order to prove his worthiness. The implied violence and savagery in this teatime presentation wouldn't have been out of place in an adult series and the costumes were lavishly colourful and authentic, although Chimalma's wedding dress was designed by a competition winner in the children's magazine ‘Look-In.’
12 episodes of 30 minute duration. Thames Television. 1976 - 1978. The Feathered Serpent - The Complete Series  [DVD]
FIBBER MCGEE AND MOLLY
In the early days of television, America often "raided" radio for its best material to transfer it from the microphone to the camera. In a number of cases this proved a winning formula. One of the most popular radio shows of all time was Fibber McGee and Molly. Fibber was so called because of his tendency not so much to lie, but to exaggerate greatly. Most of the times he'd come up with harebrained schemes (like digging an oil well in the back yard) only to come back down to Earth with a bump. Fortunately for him his adoring wife Molly was always there to catch him and soften the fall. The radio series had a number of running gags such as Fibber's inability to tell a joke which was often followed by Molly's reprimand "T'ain't funny, McGee!" The line found its way into popular culture during the 1940s. The most enduring gag was The Closet - Fibber's closet was often opened to a loud cacophonous clatter of bric-a-brac as it rained down over his head. "I gotta get that closet cleaned out one of these days" was the observation once the racket subsided. "Fibber McGee's closet" became another popular catchphrase - this one synonymous with household clutter. Real-life married couple Jim and Marian Jordan played the leads but when it came to making the TV show NBC decided to re-cast. With younger actors Bob Sweeney and Cathy Lewis in the roles the series was launched on September 15, 1959. Very few of the actors in the TV series had had any part in the radio version. Fibber McGee and Molly, the TV version, completely failed to hit it off with the American public. Even the closet joke was not as funny when you saw it as when you heard it. With the TV series seemingly unable to recreate the flavour and humour of the original radio version Fibber McGee and Molly failed to limp on for an entire season and was cancelled by mid January 1960.
1959 - 1960.
THE FIVE FOOT NINE SHOW
A one-off comedy show that reunited two of the regulars from That Was The Week That Was. But why The Five Foot Nine Show? Writer Dave King explained: 'It's simply a different size in entertainment. Originally it was The Four Foot Three Show, but the BBC-tv planners thought this would be rather low stuff for a family audience. We then tried out for size The Six Foot Six Show but this felt likely to be over the heads of many viewers. So we compromised on five foot nine. Although if it overruns it could well end up as The Six Foot Show.' Producer Barry Lupino tried to give readers of the Radio Times a little more useful information about the show - but failed quite miserably. (The show is) rectangular-a convenient shape for the talents of Lance Percival, Roy Kinnear and Tsai Chin. We've also put in a chit for six dancers, a singing Eskimo, a singing tadpole, and pipes and drums. If we find the budget can stand it, we may even have musicians to play them.' Could it be described as a new type of show? In this Lupino was quite candid. 'No!' He said. 'It's an old-style show but we're giving it a lick of paint and freshening it up a bit. Actually, the whole thing has been written to fit some old scenery we found lying around.' What, then, is it all about? 'About five foot nine.' Replied Lupino. 'Give or take an inch.'
1 show of 50 minute duration. BBC 31 January 1964
Fresh from a third-rate career in the music halls, forty-year-old Arnie Cole (Bob Hoskins) has turned movie pioneer, showing single-reel films in makeshift cinemas during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Arnie’s true ambition is to produce films of his own; but he is barely able to keep his creditors at bay as the head of a travelling company that screens movies in any available hall or store. The troupe includes Llewellyn (Fraser Cains), his girlfriend Letty (Sherrie Hewson) and his piano player Violet (Sheri Shepstone). Arnie's only chance at survival is to explore every possible source of financing, no matter whom he has to con. Clive (Andrew de-la-Tour), son of a department store owner, is a prime candidate. That is, until Arnie is introduced to Maud (Frances de-la-Tour), Clive's plain and snobbish sister, who takes one look at the hapless showman and declares, "He'll have the fillings from your teeth!" However, fate is about to deal Arnie an unexpected hand: The unmarried Maud has had the misfortune to get herself pregnant, and the would-be father has taken flight. So, in return for a promise of marriage and a father for her baby, Maud bankrolls Arnie's movie projects. This light-hearted, captivating series was created and written by sitcom veteran Roy Clarke (Keeping Up Appearances, Last of the Summer Wine) and won great critical acclaim in 1980 as well as a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Limited Series in 1982.
6 episodes of 60 minute duration. 1980. Flickers - The Complete Series [DVD] 
Based on the 1963 movie of the same name (which starred Chuck Branded / The Rifleman Connors and Luke Halpin), Flipper was a clever dolphin who was always on hand (or fin) to help out Coral Key Park residents Sandy (Halpin) and Bud (Tommy Norden) and their father, Porter Ricks (Brian Kelly), who was Chief Ranger at the Florida marine reserve. Veteran Hollywood Western star Andy Devine appeared in earlier episodes as old salty sea-dog Hap Gorman, but was eventually replaced by Scandinavian Oceanographer Ulla Norstrand (Ulla Stromstedt). The Dolphin (real name Suzy), who helped Sandy and Bud through a series of adventures and out of a number of dangerous situations, was trained by Ricou Browning who had previously appeared under heavy make-up in the 1954 horror movie The Creature From The Black Lagoon.
Approx 88 episodes of 30 minute duration. NBC 1964-68. Flipper - Original Series 1 [DVD]
THE FOSSETT SAGA
Victorian comedy series starring Jimmy Edwards as James Fossett, a writer of "penny dreadfuls", who, from his address at 14 Old Cobblers Street (eventually demolished under the Nauseous Dwellings Abatement Act of 1902) tried his hand at being an inventor, journalist, patron of the arts, company director and bon viveur, or any other scheme - by hook or by crook - that might earn him a pretty penny. An article he had contributed to a new magazine, The Amateur Astronaut, entitled "Constructing a Flying Machine for three and sixpence" caused considerable comment. But the magazine was short lived - although not as short lived as those readers who followed Fossett's advice. His only companion is Herbert Quince (Sam Kydd), a self-employed window cleaner, friend, unpaid valet, biographer, amanuensis and moneylender. Fossett characteristically despised the only work which brought him his livelihood, 523 episodes of the Green Dwarf library, a boys' magazine, but his despairing cry that he was capable of better things was largely ignored. Fossett and Quince were the only regular characters in this 7-part series written by Dave Freeman while the likes of June Whitfield, Eric Barker, Eric Chitty and Graham Stark stopped by for single visits.
7 episdoes of 30 minute duration. ITV (LWT) 1969
THE FOUR JUST MEN
Crime and mystery series that starred Jack Hawkins (as British M.P. Ben Manfred), Hollywood song and dance man Dan Dailey (as US journalist Tim Collier -who was based in Paris), Richard Conte (as New York Professor of Law, Jeff Ryder) and Vittorio de Sica (as Italian hotelier Ricco Poccari) all of whom had been members of the same unit during the war. They took turns each week in tackling an injustice (the episode being set in either London, New York, Paris or Rome) and each was aided by a female assistant, one of whom was future 'Avenger' Honor Blackman. Based on a novel by Edgar Wallace originally published in 1905, this ITC series was really one of the first to throw together so many top ranking international stars and the series enjoyed a fair amount of success during its two year run.
39 episodes of 30 minute duration. B&W. ITC 1959-60. The 4 Just Men - Complete Series [1959 - 1960]
FRANCIS STORM INVESTIGATES
Brian Worth starred as Francis Storm, former wartime Special Operations Executive who helped Resistance members in and out of France, turned private investigator of the unusual who lived and operated out of a mews flat in cobbled Kensington Palace Close. Storm could often be found ghost-hunting in a haunted cathedral, scouring London's docklands looking for smugglers, or trailing a secret weapon. Nothing, it seems, was beyond Storm's scope. Aided and abetted by his 17 - year old assistant, Robin (William Simons), an expert in microphotogaphy and fingerprints, secretary Penny (Sarah Long)- who also joined him on his investigations, and Sergeant Horace Pilcher (Robin Wentworth), ex Royal Marine who served as Storm's cook, handyman, driver, mechanic and "basher open of doors", Storm was written as, according to 32-year old scriptwriter Elliott Hayes, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. The single series was aimed at children and was aired on Tuesday afternoons.
6 episodes of 30-minute duration. Associated Rediffusion. 1960.
William and Hester Field have been very happily married for twenty years. Their children have flown the nest, and Hester thinks there should be a few things left to do between now and the pension book. With a renewed zest for life and a fresh dynamism in their relationship, she insists that the couple take up a number of new pastimes and challenges – even if William sometimes lacks his wife’s enthusiasm and seemingly boundless energy. Starring Anton Rodgers as accountant William and Julia McKenzie as accomplished cook Hester, Fresh Fields’ wry, gentle humour made it a firm favourite with viewers, spawning an equally popular sequel – French Fields – and earning McKenzie a BAFTA nomination for Best Light Entertainment Performance. The series, which aired between 1984 and 1986, was produced and directed by sitcom veteran Peter Frazer-Jones. In a 2004 survey conducted by the BBC to find Britain's Best Sitcom, Fresh Fields finished 83rd.
27 episodes of 30 minute duration. ITV 1984 - 86. Fresh Fields/French Fields - The Complete Series [DVD]
FROM A BIRD'S EYE VIEW
Actress, singer and comedienne Millicent Martin and American actress Patte Finley starred as high-spirited air stewardesses facing one dizzy dilemma after another in this rarely seen ITC series made in 1969. Martin played the well-meaning but dangerously impulsive Millie - whose heart invariably ruled her head - while Finley starred as Maggie, her anguished American colleague who knew that every trip would be a flight into the unknown. Their exploits caused endless consternation for long-suffering boss Mr. Beauchamp (Peter Jones), but Millie’s Irish uncle, Bert (Robert Cawdron), was always on hand to offer his unique brand of advice. From a Birds Eye View broke new ground for a TV situation comedy, for the first time pairing two established comediennes in an Anglo-American comedy series, funded jointly by Lew Grade's ITC company in the UK and Sheldon Leonard Productions in the USA where it was sold to NBC. Leonard a pioneering American film and television producer, director, writer, and actor who had previously produced The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Spy to name a few. The series also boasted direction by U.S. comedy veteran Ralph Levy - whose previous work included I Love Lucy, The Groucho Marx Show and The Beverly Hillbillies and who had won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy for The Jack Benny Programme. In spite of so much American influence From a Birds Eye View was shot in London and as a result it featured many British comedy character actors in guest roles - among them were Richard Briers, Clive Dunn, John Laurie, Arthur Mullard and Frank Thornton. When the series ended most of the production staff and writers were retained for ITC's next transatlantic cooperation; Shirley's World starring Shirley MacLaine.
15 episodes of 30 minute duration. 1971 (but not shown in the UK until 1973). From A Bird's Eye View - The Complete Series [DVD] 
FRONT PAGE STORY
Fleet Street was the setting for this ATV series, which took viewers into the fictional offices of a daily newspaper with a circulation of 2,500,000 readers, called The Globe. Made by Rex Firkin, who produced the successful series 'The Plane Makers' and starring London born actor John Bennett as Ray Boscombe, an ambitious, power-seeking newspaperman who was The Globe's editor. Most of the stories were seen through the eyes of two reporters, Danny Tarrant (Derek Godfrey) and Paddy Lucas (Harry Towb), the former being a persistent, unflappable character relying on smooth charm whilst the latter was a persuasive, argumentative and sometimes lazy journalist. Other notable's in this series were the Editorial Director played by Ivor Dean who was familiar to British viewers as Inspector Claude Eustace Teal in The Saint and rival newspaper reporter John Brownhill played by a young Patrick Mower (later the impetuous killer Cross in James Mitchell's spy series Callan).
In order to make the series as authentic as possible many scenes were shot in Fleet Street itself (which at that time was the centre of the British newspaper industry) using a new outside broadcast one-camera technique called Monoculous. This single-camera unit was mounted on the roof of a vehicle that also contained sound and vision controls, together with a video tape recording machine. Dated by today's standards but quite innovative at the time.
Fury is a horse that no-one has yet been able to tame, a magnificent, fiery black stallion with a temper as hot as the desert sun. Joey Clark is a young orphan, a boy with no ties to anyone or anything, who finds himself dogged by accusations of wrongdoing wherever he goes. Thrown together on the ranch owned by widower Jim Newton, they share a rebellious spirit, and together forge a bond of trust that no man can break. Set amid the rugged range country of California and featuring action-packed storylines that always emphasised the importance of doing the right thing, this much-loved series for younger viewers was a huge success on both sides of the Atlantic. Fury was the first series produced by the newly created TPA (Television Programs of America) in association with ITC. The series starred Peter Graves as Jim Newton, alongside newcomer Bobby Diamond as Joey. But the undeniable star of the series was Fury, registered as ‘Highland Dale’ but also credited as ‘Beauty’ and ‘Gypsy’, and known to the crew and cast simply as ‘Beaut’ - the highly intelligent and charismatic American Saddlebred stallion whose other famous credits include Giant and Gypsy Colt. Impeccably trained by owner Ralph McCutcheon, ‘Beaut’ was insured for more than a quarter of a million dollars; he won several Patsy awards - the animal equivalent of the Oscars, established by the American Humane Association - and scores of devoted admirers worldwide.
116 episodes of 30 minute duration. 1955 - 1960. Fury - The Complete Series 1 [DVD]
THE GABBY HAYES SHOW
After playing the scruffy sidekick to numerous Western heroes including Randolph Scott, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and John Wayne, Gabby Hayes was rewarded with his own television series in 1950. Hayes, who looked every inch the typical cowboy was in fact born in New York and didn't even learn to ride a horse until he was in his forties and later admitted he hadn't even been a particular fan of the genre. Nonetheless he became a popular performer and consistently appeared among the ten favourite actors in polls taken of movie-goers of the period. He was closely associated with what eventually became clichéd Western phrases such as "yer durn tootin", "dadgumit", and "young whippersnapper." In 1974, Mel Brooks paid homage to Hayes by creating a lookalike character (played by Claude Ennis Starrett) named Gabby Johnson in the Western spoof Blazing Saddles. Hayes retired from the movies in the late 1940s and hosted The Gabby Hayes Show on television, although he did not appear as a participating character. Instead, Hayes introduced the show telling tales of the Old West, illustrating his dissertations with film clips from various cowboy movies. The first series, which ran from 1950 - 1954, was shown on NBC and had a running time of just fifteen minutes. The second series (1956) on ABC was a half-hour broadcast on Saturday mornings. When the second series finally ended George 'Gabby' Hayes retired from showbiz. He passed away the following year.
THE GENE AUTRY SHOW
After thirteen years as a singing cowboy on radio and the movies, Autry, largely due to the success of Hopalong Cassidy, started turning out weekly television adventures by the wagonload. Discovered by film producer Nat Levine in 1934, Orvon Grover Autry made his film debut for Mascot Pictures Corp. in In Old Santa Fe. Autry went on to make 44 B-movie Western films up to 1940, all in which he played under his own name, riding his trusty stallion, Champion. His television films began broadcasting in 1947 but original made-for-television episodes didn't appear until July 1950. These ran until 1956. Autry's role changed almost weekly from rancher, to ranch hand, to sheriff, to border agent. Pat Buttram supplied comic relief as Autry's sidekick, Pat - later to become familiar to the next generation of television viewers as Mr Haney on Green Acres. Alan Hale, Jr. - aka The Skipper from Gilligan's Island - played a bad guy in several episodes but he also played Gene's sidekick, Tiny, in two episodes of Season 1. Autry's horse won fame in his own right - getting a TV series; The Adventures of Champion from 1955 to 1956. Timeless Media Group has released the first four seasons of fully restored and uncut episodes on DVD in Region 1.
91 episodes of 30 minute duration. CBS. Black and white. 1950 - 1956 Gene Autry Collection 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
If the internal combustion engine had been designed to function on custard, British housewives could keep all London's buses running for two years on their annual output. If all the eggs eaten in the United Kingdom in one year were cracked into a vast bowl and whisked into an omelette, it would cover the city of Birmingham. And if 2½ million life-sized models of actor Harry Fowler were made of jelly, it would take 50 million pints-equal to Britain's annual jelly consumption. The real un-wobbly Harry Fowler and Kenny Lynch co-introduced Get This! from Southern Television. The series looked at the extremist world of the largest, smallest, the fastest, the funniest, the craziest, the zaniest. Fantastic? Yes-but all the fantasy was based on fact. The figures were there for anyone to work out. The rest was sheer imagination. Every week, Get This! featured such imaginative use of everyday facts. The golden tones of Bob Danvers-Walker was also heard on this afternoon series aimed at teenagers.
GIRLS ABOUT TOWN
Two married women, one with her head in the clouds and the other with her feet on the ground, decide it's time their husbands took more notice of them. This series of comedies, very relevant to the period where women were paying more awareness to gender inequality and campaigning against cultural and political bias of their sex, took the subject of two females who were tired of slaving over kitchen sinks in the domestic tedium of their suburban homes and decide to strike out for their sex. As one of the characters points out "...there aren't really any women sitting in in cornfields in kinky boots being seduced by cigar-smoking, sports-car driving fellers, who all look like James Bond." This was no man's eye view of the Women's Lib movement which probably would have ended up poking fun at crazy suffragettes burning their bras for cheap laughs. The writer, Adele Rose was a prolific writer on Coronation Street, UK television's longest running soap opera, penning around 500 scripts between 1961 and 1998. In fact, there was a big Corrie connection to the series. The pilot had starred Anna Quayle and Barbara Mullaney who, under the name Barbara Knox, went on to star in the soap as Rita Littlewood (later Fairclough), and Peter Baldwin (Corrie character Derek Wilton) starred in both the pilot and the series as Harold Liversedge, one of the beleaguered husbands. Helen Worth (Gail Tilsley) appeared in the second episode. A cast change was made for the two female leads between 1969 pilot and 1970 series with two stalwarts of children's television taking the spotlight at adult prime time; Denise Coffey (Brenda Liversedge) had starred in Do Not Adjust Your Set while Julie Stevens (Rosemary Pilgrim) had been performing for even younger audiences in Playschool. Three series were made between 1970 and 1971 and all but the pilot were in colour.
19 episodes of 30 minute duration (not including pilot) plus 2 short epsodes. ITV. 1970 - 1971
THE GRANVILLE MELODRAMAS
Popular fortnightly series resurrecting stage melodramas of the 19th century such as East Lynne and The Poor of New York. Hattie Jacques appeared in all seven episodes and her (then) husband John Le Mesurier also appeared. Peter Tuddenham who provided the voices of Zen and Orac on Blakes 7 made his small-screen debut and celebrated playwright Alun Owen had a bit part in one episode. The Granville Theatre in Fulham had previously seen performances by Victorian music hall stars the likes of Marie Lloyd, George Robey and Little Tich, but in recent years it had had its ups and downs. Bernard Delfont purchased the theatre in 1947 in the hope of a resurgence, after the war, of variety theatre. But it hadn't really happened. In 1955 Associated-Rediffusion acquired it as the first operational Independent Television studio. According to author Andy Merrimen in his book Hattie - The Authorised Biography of Hattie Jacques "The conversion of the Granville Theatre for use as a television studio was rather primitive, and apparently the stalls floor retained its incline, creating much difficulty for the technicians, who, on occasions would lose control of their cameras!" The Granville Theatre enjoyed 15 years of broadcasting and Opportunity Knocks was also broadcast from there. The theatre was demolished in 1971.
7 episodes. ITV. 1955
THE GROWING SUMMER
Alex, Penny, Robin and Naomi come home from school one day to find their predictable secure pattern of life completely changed. For the first time they have to think for, and look after themselves. Their adventures start on a plane to Ireland to meet "mad" Aunt Dymphna. Presented under the Heydey Theatre banner (Sunday's 6.15) The Growing Summer was based on a book written by Noel Streatfeild who wondered what would happen to a group of children if they were transported into an entirely different environment. Given the basic idea, plus the central character inspired by an eccentric old cousin, Miss Streatfeild was away with a story which Eric (Magic Roundabout) Thompson turned into a play. "It was a magical experience," said Wendy Hiller, who played the part of Great Aunt Dymphna. Talking for a TV Times interview in 1968 Hiller said "We went to south-west Ireland, to the country where Noel Streatfeild set her story about four children who spend a summer with their great aunt. "Sometimes I think it is a pity we did not make a film about the filming. For example, as great-aunt Dymphna I was supposed to drive a battered old open car. I am a very bad driver, which meant all the children used to sit in the back and tell me when to change gear. It must have been alarming for the tourists when they saw this wild old lady careering along with a load of children, and even more alarming when that same old lady leaned out and bellowed: 'Out of my way, road hog!' They weren't to know that was in the script." The children were played by Hoagy Davies (13), Zuleika Robson (12), Mark Ward (10) and Laura Hartong (9).
6 episodes of 25 minute duration. LWT 1968
GUNSMOKE / GUNLAW
The longest running Western series on television (originally transmitted in the UK as Gun Law), starring James Arness, (brother of Peter Mission Impossible Graves), as US Marshall Matt Dillon. John Wayne was the first choice of lead actor, and although he turned down the part he did introduce the first episode. Set in Dodge City in 1873, the other principal characters were Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake), Doc Adams (Milburn Stone) and limping deputy Chester (Dennis Weaver, later to star as TV detective McCloud). Burt Reynolds appeared for a while as blacksmith Quint Asper and when Chester left in 1964 he was replaced by Festus Hagen (Ken Curtis). Arness wore the Marshall’s badge until he finally rode off into the sunset at the end of the second of two TV movies; -Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge and Gunsmoke: The Last Apache- made in the late 1980's.
233 episodes of 30 minute duration & 402 episodes of 60 minute duration.
B&W and Colour. CBS TV 1956-1975. GUNSMOKE - Box 1