Little Gems Childrens' TV Website
Action adventure. 'In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ... The A-Team.' Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith (George Peppard, 'I love it when a plan comes together!'), Lt. Templeton 'Face' Peck (Dirk Benedict), Sgt. Bosco Albert 'Bad Attitude' Baracus aka B. A. Baracus aka Scooter (Mr. T, Laurence Tureaud), Capt. H. M. 'Howling Mad' Murdock (Dwight Schultz), Amy Amanda 'Triple A' Allen (Melinda Culea, early episodes only). Numerous special guests. A massive family hit, particularly Mr. T, famous for his fear of flying and for his jewellery. It is now possible to purchase a small device that repeats some of Mr. T's best known phrases at the touch of a button, recorded by the legend himself. This is particularly useful when standing in the 10-items-or-less queue in Tesco behind someone pushing a trolley filled with groceries. 98 episodes. US. NBC. 1983-1987.
The Addams Family
A cartoon in The New Yorker televised as a sitcom satirising the American family. Gomez Addams (John Astin), Morticia Addams (Carolyn Jones), Pugsley Addams (Ken Weatherwax), Wednesday Addams (Lisa Loring), Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan), Grandmama (Blossom Rock), Lurch (Ted Cassidy), Cousin Itt (Felix Silla), Mother Lurch (Ellen Corby), and Thing (a disembodied hand). Created by Charles Addams. 2 series (64 episodes). US. ABC. 1964-1966. Reunion TV-movie: Halloween with the New Addams Family (ABC, 1977). Three movies were then produced with new casts (1991, 1993, 1998).
The Adventure Game
Bizarre game-show, originally intended for children, but with an adult following. Three celebrity contestants had travelled by space ship to the planet Arg and had to complete a series of puzzles. Arg was inhabited by shapeshifter dragons known as Argonds. The Argonds: The Rangdo (Ian Messiter), Darong (BBC newsreader Moira Stuart), Gnoard (Charmian Gradwell), Dorgan (Sarah Lam), Gandor (Chris Lever), and Rongad (Bill Homewood). Lesley Judd, known as the Mole, pretended to be one of the contestants, but was working against them. Contestants included: Keith Chegwin, Sue Cook, Prof. Heinz Wolff, John Craven, James Burke, Paul Darrow (Avon in Blake's 7), Noel Edmonds, Sarah Greene, Bonnie Langford, Fern Britton, and Richard Stilgoe. Devised by Ian Oliver and Patrick Dowling. 4 series (22 episodes). UK. BBC. 1980-1986. The Wikipedia article on this show is worryingly detailed.
The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Monochrome French production with a magnificent and immediately recognisable theme tune by Gian-Piero Reverberi and Robert Mellin. Robinson Crusoe (Robert Hoffman), Friday (Fabian Canalos). Screenplay by Jean-Paul Carriere, Pierre Reynal, and Jacques Somet. Narrated by Lee Payant. Filmed in the Canary Islands. 13 (dubbed) episodes. UK. Screened on the BBC. October to December 1965 and repeatedly afterwards until 1982 when the BBC lost the prints. Luckily copies of the English prints turned up in a French film archive.
The Adventures of Rupert Bear
String- and radio-controlled puppets. Devised by Mary Turner and John Read. Theme song, Rupert... Rupert the Bear sung by Jackie Lee and written by Ron Roker and Len Beadle, made it to number 14 in the charts in 1971. 4 series (156 11-minute episodes). UK. ITC Entertainment. 1970-1974.
A 3-programme documentary going behind the scenes at Heathrow airport. Presented by Harold Williamson. UK. BBC. 1978.
Sitcom set in Mel's Diner, a greasy spoon owned by Mel Sharples (Vic Tayback), and based loosely on the 1974 movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Alice Hyatt (Linda Lavin) was a waitress and the widowed mother of a 12yo son, waiting for her break as a singer. Waitresses: Flo (Polly Holiday, left in 1980), Vera (Beth Howland), Belle Dupree (Dianne Ladd, 1980-1981), and Jolene Hunnicutt (Celia Weston, 1981-1985). Regular diners: Telephone repairman Henry Beesmire (Marvin Kaplan) and Earl Hicks (Dave Madden). In 1983 Vera married policeman Elliot Novak (Charles Levin). In the final episode, Mel sold the diner and gave each of the waitresses a $5000 bonus, allowing them to realise their dreams. US. CBS. 202 30-minute episodes. 1976-19 March 1985.
All Creatures Great and Small
TV dramatisation of James Herriot's novels following the life of a rural vet in Darrowby in the 1940s. James Herriot (Christopher Timothy), Siegfried Farnon (Robert Hardy), Tristan Farnon (Peter Davison), Helen Herriot née Alderson (Carol Drinkwater; Lynda Bellingham), Calum Buchannan (John McGlynn), Deirdre Buchanan née McEwan (Andrea Gibb). Mrs. Pumphrey (Margaretta Scott). 7 series (88 episodes) and 2 Christmas specials (1983 and 1985). UK. BBC. 1978-1990. Two film versions of the books had different casts (1974, 1975).
The Amazing Adventures of Morph
Animated plasticine stop-motion character who appeared in 1 minute shorts with Tony Hart on several of his TV programmes, notably Take Hart and Hart Beat. Morph lived in a wooden artbox. He was later joined by his brother Chaz, Gran-morph, Delilah, a tin-foil girl called Folly, a blue giant called Gillespie, a pet nailbrush, and The Very Small Creatures (small balls of plasticine with eyes). Created by Peter Lord and David Sproxton. UK. Aardman Animations for the BBC. From 1977. The Amazing Adventures of Morph ran from 1980-1981.
Childrens' short. Andy Pandy was a rag doll who lived in a picnic basket. The show also included Teddy (a teddy bear) and Looby Loo (another rag doll). UK. BBC. 26 monochrome episodes made and repeatedly broadcast from July 1950 until the film started to wear out; 13 colour episodes made in 1970; 52 episodes made in 2002. Part of the BBC's Watch with Mother slot for pre-school children.
Drama (becoming a twice-weekly soap) about student nurses at Heath Green Hospital. Cast included: Fiona Fullerton (as Patricia Rutherford), Lesley Dunlop (as Ruth Fullman), Pauline Quirke (as Vicky Smith), Kathryn Apanowicz (as Rose Butchins, later Magda Czajkowski in Eastenders), Shirley Cheriton (as Katy Betts/Smart, later Debbie Wilkins in Eastenders) and Judith Jacob (as Beverley Slater, later Carmel Jackson in Eastenders). Devised by Julia Smith, who later devised, you guessed it, Eastenders. UK. BBC. 1975-1983.
Johnny Morris OBE (1916-1999) supplied the voices for numerous animals at Bristol Zoo. Co-presenters: Tony Soper, Keith Shackleton, David Taylor and Terry Nutkins. UK. BBC Bristol. 1962-1984.
Are You Being Served?
Ground floor: perfumery, stationery and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and food. Going up! Character-based sitcom laden with double entendres, set in the Grace Brothers department store. In great part an affectionate parody of the English class system. A success thanks to the quality of the scripts and of the acting. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries (John Inman, camping his socks off), Mrs. Betty Slocombe (Mollie Sugden) whose pussy the nation never tired of (and I am unanimous in that), Captain Stephen Peacock (Frank Thornton), Miss. Shirley Brahms (Wendy Richards), Cuthbert Rumbold (Nicholas Smith), James (later Dick) Lucas (Trevor Bannister) who was replaced by Bert Spooner (Mike Berry), Ernest Grainger (Arthur Brough), Mr. Beverly Harman (Arthur English), Young Mr. Grace (Harold Bennett). By Jeremy Lloyd, David Croft, and Ray Butt. Comedy Playhouse pilot and 10 series (of 69 episodes), spin-off movie (1977), sequel series: Grace and Favour (1992-1993). UK. BBC. 1972-1985.
Documentary series. Title theme: Another Green World by Brian Eno.
UK. BBC. From October 1975.
Auf Wiedersehen Pet
Drama series following a group of seven migrant construction workers. Wayne Winston Norris (Gary Holton), Albert Moxey (Christopher Fairbank), Neville Hope (Kevin Whately), Dennis Patterson (Tim Healy), Newcastle United supporting Leonard 'Oz' Osbourne (Jimmy Nail), Brian 'Bomber' Busbridge (Pat Roach), Barry Taylor (Timothy Spall). Also: Brenda Hope (Julia Tobin), Vera Patterson (Caroline Hutchinson), Marjorie Osbourne (Su Elliot), Wyman Norris (Noel Clarke, ser. 3-4), Mickey Startup (Michael Angelis, ser. 3). Series 1 was set in West Germany, series 2 at a country house in England and in Spain, series 3 saw the lads move the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge to the USA, and series 4 was set in Cuba (but filmed in the Dominican Republic). The final Christmas special was set in Asia. Gary Holton died of a drugs overdose whilst filming series 2, Noel Clarke playing his son in the later revival series. Pat Roach died of cancer in July 2004. Created by Franc Roddam. Mostly written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Title themes included That's Living Alright, Back with the Boys Again and Breaking Away all sung by Joe Fagin, and Why Aye Man by Mark Knopfler. UK. ITV Central (2 series of 13 and 12 episodes, 1983-1984; 1986); BBC (2 series each of 6 episodes, and a 2-episode Christmas special, 2002; 2004).
Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss, old fat furry catpuss, wake up and look at this thing that I bring. Wake up, be bright, be golden and light. Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing. Emily was the animator Peter Firmin's daughter. Gabriel the toad (voiced by John Faulkner), the mice on the mouseorgan, Madeleine the rag doll (voiced by Sandra Kerr), Professor Yaffle the woodpecker. Animated. Narrated by Oliver Postgate. UK. 13 episodes. Smallfilms.
The Banana Splits and Friends Show
Fleegle (beagle), Bingo (gorilla), Drooper (lion), and Snorky (elephant).
US. Hanna-Barbera. Created by Sid and Marty Krofft. US. NBC. 1968-1970. UK saturday-morning broadcasts in
the 1970s and early 1980s included The Monkees, The Three Musketeers and The Arabian Knights.
The Barchester Chronicles
Alan Plater's adaptation of two Anthony Trollope novels. The respected Reverend of Barchester becomes a victim by association when the Church is accused of corruption. Rev. Septimus Harding (Donald Pleasence), Archdeacon Grantly (Nigel Hawthorne), Rev. Obadiah Slope (Alan Rickman), Mrs. Proudie (Geraldine McEwan), Signora Madeline Neroni (Susan Hampshire), Mary Bold (Barbara Flynn). UK. BBC costume drama. 1982.
Animated cartoon character. Created for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by director Rudolf Ising. US. Cartoon shorts. First appearance: 1939.
The Basil Brush Show
Created by Peter Firmin in 1963. First voiced by Ivan Owen. On his show, Basil had a 'straight man' as a companion: Mr. Rodney (Rodney Bewes; 1968-1969), Mr. Derek (Derek Fowlds; 1969-1973), Mr. Roy (Roy North; 1973-1977), Mr. Howard (Howard Williams; 1977-1979) and Mr. Billy (Billy Boyle; 1979-1980). Basil recorded two albums, both entitled Boom! Boom! It's Basil Brush (1970; 1977) and appeared in TV Comic. In December 2005, Basil won £10,900 for his chosen charity on The Weakest Link. Catchphrase: 'Boom! Boom!'.
More camp than Butlins, this series was intended as a parody, but through its popularity and repeated global syndication is often regarded as the default rendition of the caped crusader. Batman/Bruce Wayne (Adam West), Robin/Dick Grayson (Burt Ward), Alfred the butler (Alan Napier), Police Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton), Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (Yvonne Craig), the Joker (Cesar Romero), the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith) and Catwoman, played by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt. Narration by William Dozier. US. 120 episodes. ABC. 12 January 1966 to 14 March 1968.
Battle of the Planets
1978 westernisation of 85 episodes of Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman (1972). G-Force (Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop, and Tiny) protects Earth from the forces of the planet Spectra and the evil Zoltar in their ship, the Phoenix. Robot/narrator: 7-Zark-7. Animated SF cartoon. Japan. 1978.
A TV SF series released following the unexpected success of the 1978 film Battlestar Galactica, which was itself a recut version of a 2½-hour TV pilot episode. Still following? Good. Produced by Glen A. Larson. Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), Capt. Apollo (Richard Hatch), Lt. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), Athena (Maren Jensen). In 1978, 20th Century Fox (who released Star Wars) sued Universal Studios (who released the movie version of Battlestar Galactica) for plagiarism. Universal counter-sued, and the lawsuit was finally dismissed in 1980. The movie was later reworked with some tweaking (including a female Starbuck, and cylons that look like people) in a 2003 mini-series. This was a hit, and in 2004 the reworked series began screening. Originally: 24 episodes. US ABC TV release: 1978-1979.
The Benny Hill Show
First aired in 1955 on the BBC, moved to ITV in 1969, cancelled in 1989. Slapstick comedy absolutely bursting with double entendres. Probably the only faintly saucy programme small British children were allowed to watch. Born Alfred Hawthorn Hill (21 January 1924 or 1925) in Southampton, Hill changed his name to Benny in homage to Jack Benny. An innovator, he used under-cranking to speed up film. The theme song to his Show, 'Yakety Sax', was written by Boots Randolph. He recorded a number of songs, most notably topping the charts with the bittersweet ballad Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West). After leaving school, Hill had been a milkman for a time. He also appeared in 9 films, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and The Italian Job (1969).
Benny Hill died around the 20 April 1992.
Detective series with edge (Bergerac was a recovering alcoholic). Jersey DS Jim Bergerac (John Nettles) of the Bureau des Etrangers, Charlie Hungerford (Terence Alexander), Barney Crozier (Sean Arnold), Susan Young (Louise Jameson), Deborah Bergerac (Deborah Grant), DC Willy Pettit (John Telfer), DC Ben Lomas (David Kershaw), Charlotte (Annette Badland), Philippa Vale (Liza Goddard). Memorable theme tune, gorgeous car.
UK. By Robert Banks Stewart. BBC. 1981-1991.
Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery), Darrin Stephens (Dick York replaced in 1969 by Dick Sargent), Endora - Samantha's mother (Agnes Moorehead), Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne), Larry Tate - Darrin's boss at the advertising agency (David White), and Tabitha, the Stephens' daughter (from 1966). Samantha famously cast spells by twitching her nose. US ABC sitcom. 1964-1972.
The Big Time
Documentary following an unknown wannabe singer's attempt to gain a record contract. The unknown the BBC pick is Sheena Easton,
who won herself a contract with EMI Records and a career as a singer and actress. UK. BBC. 1979.
The Bionic Woman
Spin-off from The Six Million Dollar Man. Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner), a tennis pro and the girlfriend of Steve Austin is injured in a sky-diving accident. She gets two bionic legs, a bionic arm, and a bionic ear. Later she adopts Maximillion, a german shepherd dog with bionic implants. Also featuring Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) and Dr. Rudy Wells (Martin E. Brooks). Three made-for-TV reunion movies later (1987, 1989, 1994) she finally marries Steve Austin.
US ABC (1976-1977); NBC (1977-1978).
The Black Adder - Blackadder
The sound of hoofbeats 'cross the glade, good folk, lock up your son and daughter, beware the deadly flashing blade, unless you want to end up shorter'. Rowan Atkinson (Edmund Blackadder) and Tony Robinson (Baldrick) with Tim McInnerny (Lord Percy Percy, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Capt. Kevin Darling), Hugh Laurie (Simon Partridge, Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, Prince George, Lieutenant George), Brian Blessed (Richard IV), Miranda Richardson (Elizabeth I), Stephen Fry (Lord Melchett, the Duke of Wellington, General Melchett), Gabrielle Glaister (Bob), Patsy Byrne (Nursie), Rik Mayall (Mad Gerald, Lord Flashheart), Helen Atkinson-Wood (Mrs. Miggins), Peter Cook (Richard III), Robert East (Harry, Prince of Wales), Robbie Coltrane (Dr. Johnson). 4 series set in the late middle ages, at the court of Elizabeth I, during the Regency, and during WWI. The final episode of the fourth series being an extraordinary mix of the riotously comic and the movingly tragic. UK. BBC. 1983-1989.
Game-show. Presented by Terry Wogan, Les Dawson and Lily Savage (Paul O'Grady). 2 rounds then the supermatch game. Nobody went home empty-handed, all losers getting a Blankety Blank cheque-book and pen. UK version of the US game-show Match Game (1962).
BBC (1979-1989; 1998-2000); ITV (2001-2002).
Cult SF series. Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas), Kerr Avon (Paul Darrow), Vila Restal (Michael Keating), Olag Gan (David Jackson), Jenna Stannis (Sally Knyvette), Cally (Jan Chappell), Del Tarrant (Steven Pacey), Soolin (Glynis Barber), Dayna Mellanby (Josette Simon), Supreme Commander Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce), Travis (Stephen Greif/Brian Croucher), Orac, Zen, and the ship, The Liberator. UK. 4 series. BBC. 2 January 1978 to 21 December 1981.
Costume drama. Adapted from the Charles Dickens novel with Diana Rigg as Lady Honoria Dedlock, Denholm Elliott as John Jarndyce, Graham Crowden as the Lord Chancellor, Bernard Hepton as Krook, Charlie Drake as Smallweed, and Peter Vaughan as Tulkinghorn. UK. BBC.
The BBC's flagship childrens' programme devised by John Hunter Blair and controlled for many years by Biddy Baxter. Presenters from our youth: Valerie Singleton (1962-1972), John Noakes (1965-1978), Peter Purves (1967-1978), Lesley Judd (1972-1979), Simon Groom (1978-1986), Christopher Wenner (1978-1980), Tina Heath (1979-1980), Sarah Greene (1980-1983), Peter Duncan (1980-1984; 1985-1986), and Janet Ellis (1983-1987). Percy Thrower was the Blue Peter gardener. Pets: Petra and Goldie (dogs), Shep (John Noakes' border collie), Freda (tortoise), Jason, Jack, and Jill (cats). Blue Peter still upholds the otherwise tattered remains of the BBC's once unsullied reputation. They never mention brands, actually inventing the term 'sticky-backed plastic' for Fablon, and always using 'sticky-tape', never sellotape. Following many years of summer expeditions, appeals, bring-and-buy sales, badges, cookery lessons, and the inventive recycling of washing-up liquid bottles, any British citizen under the age of 40, if given some coat hangers, tinsel, and candles, can manufacture an inherently unsafe and worryingly inflamable Christmas decoration with their eyes shut. Asteroid '16197 Bluepeter' is named in the show's honour. Famous incidents: Lulu the elephant pooing, sundry fires, Simon Groom's impeccable delivery of the line 'what a lovely pair of knockers', and the 1981 'history of underwear' feature (with Sarah Greene, Isla St. Clair, and Maggie Philbin), videotapes of which are almost entirely unobtainable. Later presenters included Anthea Turner and Konnie Huq, ensuring continued ratings success one way or another. UK. BBC. Began: 16 October 1958.
Bod is a boy who lives in a town with Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank the Postman and Farmer Barleymow. Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band also appear. Based on the four original Bod books by Joanna and Michael Cole. Narrated by John Le Mesurier. Music by Derek Griffiths. Animated.
UK. 13 episodes. BBC. 1975.
Boys from the Blackstuff
Classic drama series following five unemployed tarmac layers from Liverpool. Jobs for the Boys; Moonlighter; Shop Thy Neighbour; Yosser's Story; George's Last Ride. Chrissie Todd (Michael Angelis), Dixie Dean (Tom Georgeson), Yosser Hughes (Bernard Hill), Loggo Lomond (Alan Igbon), George Malone (Peter Kerrigan), Angie Todd (Julie Walters). Also featured Graeme Souness. UK. By Alan Bleasdale. BBC. 10 October to 7 November 1982.
The Book Tower
Originally presented by Tom Baker, the programme sought to encourage children to read more. UK. ITV Yorkshire. 1978.
Sitcom. Nellie Boswell (Jean Boht), Adrian Boswell (Jonathon Morris), Billy Boswell (Nick Conway), Grandad (Kenneth Waller), Martina (Pamela Power), Lilo Lil (Eileen Pollock), Roxy (Joanna Phillips-Lane), Derek (Peter Byrne), Joey Boswell (Peter Howitt; Graham Bickley), Aveline Boswell (Gilly Coman; Melanie Hill), Jack Boswell (Victor McGuire); Shifty Boswell (Bryan Murray). A number of the characters were played by different actors over the course of 71 episodes and 3 specials. By Carla Lane. UK. BBC. 1986-1991.
Drama adapted by John Mortimer from Evelyn Waugh's 1945 novel. A cynic would suggest this was a posh, gay, catholic version of Eastenders with no expense spared. Charles Ryder (Jeremy Irons), Lord Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews), Lord Marchmain (Laurence Olivier), Lady Marchmain (Claire Bloom), Lady Julia Flyte (Diana Quick), Lady Cordelia Flyte (Phoebe Nicholls), Edward Ryder (John Gielgud). Filmed at Hertford and Christ Church Colleges, Oxford, at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, in Venice, Malta, and Gozo, and on the QE2. The 'official' budget was £4.5m but the real cost was probably closer to £11m. Watch it in your cricket flannels, clutching your teddy bear. The jewel in the crown of Granada TV, although most people simply assume it was made by the BBC. 11 episodes. UK. ITV Granada. October to December 1981.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
TV spin-off from the 1979 movie. Buck Rogers is a USAF pilot who commands Ranger 3, a space shuttle launched in 1987. Due to a freak combination of gases, he is frozen in space for 504 years and is revived in the 25th century (2491). After a devastating nuclear war in the late 20th century, Earth is now united under the protection of the Earth Defence Directorate. Captain William Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard), Colonel Wilma Deering (Erin Gray), Dr. Elias Huer (Tim O'Connor), Dr. Goodfellow (Wilfrid Hyde-White), Hawk (Thom Christopher), Princess Ardala of Draconia (Pamela Hensley). Twiki (catchphrase: 'biddi-biddi-biddi') usually wore Dr. Theopolis round his neck. Narrated by William Conrad. 2 series (of 21 and 11 episodes). US. NBC. 1979-1981.
Sitcom. Suburban housewife Ria has a mid-life crisis and is torn between her family and the possibility of an affair. Balanced just right, with impeccable acting, this probably stands as some of Carla Lane's best work alongside The Liver Birds, both breaking new ground in their presentation of female leads. Ria Parkinson (Wendy Craig), Ben Parkinson (Geoffrey Palmer), Russell Parkinson (Andrew Hall), Adam Parkinson (Nicholas Lyndhurst), Leonard Dunn (Bruce Montague), Thomas (Michael Ripper), Ruby (Joyce Windsor). By Carla Lane. 4 series, 27 episodes, 1 special and 2 shorts (the last in 2000 as part of Children in Need).
UK. BBC. 1978-1983.
Mr. Spoon, Mrs. Spoon and their daughter Tina, of Cardboard Box House, Treacle Street, would travel to Button Moon in Blanket Sky, in a home-made rocket ship for an adventure. Sometimes Eggbert went too. Various other characters featured, including Brew the witch and her pet dragon, Thunder. Narrated by Robin Parkinson. Created by Ian Allen and John Thirtle. Theme song performed by husband and wife, Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson.
7 series (91 10-minute episodes). UK. ITV Thames. 1981-1987.
By the Sword Divided
Costume drama of two families, the Royalist Laceys of Arnescote Castle and the Puritan Fletchers, set during the English Civil Wars through to the Restoration (1641-1660). Anne Lacey marries John Fletcher, and the two families' fates become entangled. Particularly enjoyable if you were studying the period for A' Level History at the time. Sir Martin Lacey (Julian Glover), Lucinda Lacey Ferrar (Lucy Aston), Tom Lacey (Tim Bentinck), Frances Neville Lacey (Joanna McCallum), John Fletcher (Rob Edwards), Anne Lacey Fletcher (Sharon Maughan), Edward Ferrar (Peter Birch; Tim Brierley), Susan Protheroe (Judy Buxton), John Thurloe (David Collings), Charles I (Jeremy Clyde), Charles II (Simon Treves), Prince Rupert (Christopher Baines), Oliver Cromwell (Peter Jeffrey), Sir Austin (Bert Parnaby), Maj. Gen. Horton (Gareth Thomas). 2 series, 20 episodes. UK. BBC. October 1983-1985.
Cagney and Lacey
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
The Teen Angels being Brenda, Dee Dee, and Taffy.
Champion the Wonder Horse
Charley Says (Public Information Films)
Cheggers Plays Pop
Stop motion animation shorts. Major Clanger, Mother Clanger, Small Clanger, and Tiny Clanger. Staple diet: green soup and blue-string pudding. Other residents include the soup dragon, the froglets, glow buzzers, and the iron chicken. Narration by Oliver Postgate. Music by Vernon Elliot. The Clangers' sounds were produced on swanee whistles. 26 episodes. UK. Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin (Small Films) for the BBC. November 1969-November 1972. A 4-minute election special was broadcast in October 1974, and is believed to still exist. Golden Bear Products Ltd. (Telford) produce small clangers with internal voice boxes. Gently squeeze them, and they talk to you (saying 'Oh sod it! The bloody thing's stuck again!' in Clanger, a line deleted from the original series following objections by the BBC). Froglets and the soup dragon are also available.
Film-related childrens' show hosted by Chris Kelly. UK. ITV Granada. 1970s.
Once upon a time the BBC went to bed every night. The announcer would wish you goodnight, you'd get a blast of the national anthem, sometimes accompanied by a fluttering union jack, and then you'd be faced with static, and you'd have to go to bed or the poltergeist would get you. UK. BBC.
Coast to Coast
TVS regional news programme. Presenters included: Fern Britton, Fred Dinenage, Mai Davies, Chris Peacock, Chrissie Pollard, and Khalid Aziz. Weathermen: Trevor Baker, Carl Tyler. TVS held the franchise from 1982 to 1992, replacing Southern, and being in turn replaced by Meridian. ITV TVS. Fascinating fact: a Coast to Coast presenter once attended a local hospital for the assisted surgical removal of an electric toothbrush from a posterior body cavity. No names for legal reasons.
Presented by James Burke. A history of science and invention in 10 episodes. Inspired a generation. UK. BBC. 1978.
There were two sequel series in 1994 and 1997.
Soap. Set in a street 'built' in 1902 and consequently named in honour of the coronation of Edward VII. The original opening credits featured Archie Street, Salford. Famous early 1980s incidents: Renee Roberts was killed in a traffic accident (1980) and Len Fairclough died in a car crash (December 1983). The series is not known for its gritty realism. Created by Tony Warren. Theme by Eric Spear. UK. ITV Granada. First broadcast: December 1960.
'It's friday, it's five to five and it's Crackerjack!' Comedy, variety, and quiz show hosted (in our era) by Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart and Jan Hunt, and featuring comedy duo Peter Glaze (1924-1983) and Don MacLean. Regular guests included Bernie Clifton (with Oswald the ostrich) and The Krankies (husband and wife team, Ian and Janette Tough, 4ft 5" Janette playing Ian's son, wee Jimmy Krankie, catchphrase: 'Fan'dabi'dozi'). The show included comedy sketches, music, and team games for children. In 'Double or drop' you got a prize for a correct answer, and a cabbage for an incorrect answer, having to hold them all or you were out. Everyone got a Crackerjack pencil, the youthful equivalent of the Blankety Blank cheque-book and pen. Next time you are shopping in Waitrose, yell 'Crackerjack' and see if you get the traditional response.
Soap set in the Crossroads Motel, Birmingham. UK. ITV ATV, Central, and Carlton. 1964-1988; 2001-2003.
Crystal Tipps and Alistair
Animated cartoon. The adventures of Crystal and her dog, Alistair in a pop-art world. Very Yellow Submarine. Created by Hilary Hayton. 50 5-minute episodes and Crystal's Christmas Special (20 minutes). UK. Q3 for the BBC. 1972.
Dave Allen at Large
The Day the Universe Changed
Presented by James Burke. The impact of advances in science and technology on western philosophy in 10 episodes. UK. BBC. 1985.
Des O'Connor Tonight
The Devil's Crown
The Doctors from our youth: Jon Pertwee (1970-1974), Tom Baker (1974-1981), Peter Davison (1981-1984), Colin Baker (1984-1986), Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989, 1996). Companions include Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), Leela (Louise Jameson), K9, Romana (Mary Tamm and Lalla Ward), Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Nyssa of Traken (Sarah Sutton), Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding), Vislor Turlough (Mark Strickson), Perpugilliam 'Peri' Brown (Nicola Bryant), Melanie 'Mel' Bush (Bonnie Langford), Ace (Sophie Aldred). Adversaries included Davros and the daleks from Skaro, the Master, and the cybermen. Main theme composed by Ron Grainer and produced by Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. UK. BBC. First episode: 23 November 1963.
Don't Wait Up
Drop the Dead Donkey
The Duchess of Duke Street
The Dukes of Hazzard
Filmed on the same lot as Little House on the Prairie.
The BBC's flagship soap first screened on Tuesday 19 February 1985 with the episode 'Poor Old Reg...' by Gerry Huxham. The original cast: Lou Beale (Anna Wing), Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard), Arthur Fowler (Bill Treacher), Michelle Fowler (Susan Tully), Mark Fowler (David Scarboro), Pete Beale (Peter Dean), Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), Den Watts (Leslie Grantham), Angie Watts (Anita Dobson), Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin), and her dog (Willy), Dr. Harold Legg (Leonard Fenton), Dot Cotton (June Brown), Nick Cotton (John Altman), Sue Osman (Sandy Ratcliff), Ali Osman (Nejdet Salih), baby Hassan Osman, Saeed Jeffery (Andrew Johnson), Naima Jeffery (Shreela Ghosh), Mary Smith (Linda Davidson) and baby Annie, Tony Carpenter (Oscar James), Kelvin Carpenter (Paul J. Medford), Lofty Holloway (Tom Watt), Andy O'Brien (Ross Davidson), Debbie Wilkins (Shirley Cheriton), [Episode one also included:] Det. Insp. Marsh (Harry Miller), Mr. Chumley (Brian Hoskin), and Reg Cox (Johnnie Clayton). The title music was by Simon May and Leslie Osborne, and the programme was originally produced by Julia Smith. BBC.
Edge of Darkness
Stylish political thriller. Ronald Craven (Bob Peck), Emma Craven (Joanne Whalley in her first starring role), Darius Jedburgh (Joe Don Baker), James Godbolt (Jack Watson), Guy Pendleton (Charles Kay), Henry Harcourt (Ian McNeice), Terry Shields (Tim McInnerny), Chief Supt. Ross (John Woodvine), Clemmy (Zoë Wanamaker). UK. Score by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen. By Troy Kennedy Martin. BBC. 6 parts. 1986.
Edward and Mrs. Simpson
Soap. UK. ITV Yorkshire. Began: 1972. Name change to Emmerdale in November 1989.
Emu's Broadcasting Company
Ever Decreasing Circles
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
Drama series, being a spin-off from the 1980 movie of the same name. Set at the New York High School for the Performing Arts. Bruno Martelli (Lee Curreri), Coco Hernandez (Erica Gimpel), Lydia Grant (Debbie Allen), Julie Miller (Lori Singer), Jesse Velasquez (Jesse Borrego), Holly Laird (Cynthia Gibb), Benjamin Shorofsky (Albert Hague), Christopher Donlan (Billy Hufsey), Danny Amatullo (Carlo Imperato), Cleo Hewitt (Janet Jackson), Elizabeth Sherwood (Carol Mayo Jenkins), Doris Schwartz (Valerie Landsburgh), Mrs. Berg (Ann Nelson), Nicole Chapman (Nia Peeples), Leroy Johnson (Gene Anthony Ray), Quentin Morloch (Ken Swofford). The theme tune was sung by Irene Cara (who played Coco Hernandez in the movie). MGM Television for NBC. 1982-1987. 6 seasons. [UK: BBC]. 50 min episodes.
The Far Pavilions
Film [date] (Barry Norman)
The Flowerpot Men
The Generation Game
George and Mildred
Go With Noakes
The Good Life
Goodbye Mrs. Noah
The Golden Girls
Great Grape Ape
The Great Egg Race
Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!
Here Come the Double Deckers
Hill Street Blues
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Home and Away
Hong Kong Phooey
How Do You Do?
Popular drama. Tom Howard, an aircraft designer dreaming of designing yachts, invests his redundancy cheque in Jack Rolfe's ailing Mermaid Boatyard in Tarrant on the south coast. Tom Howard (Maurice Colbourne), Jan Howard (Jan Harvey), Leo Howard (Edward Highmore), Lynne Howard (Tracey Childs), Jack Rolfe (Glyn Owen), Kate Harvey (Dulcie Gray), Charles Frere (Tony Anholt), Ken Masters (Stephen Yardley), Avril Rolfe (Susan Gilmore), Sir Edward Frere (Nigel Davenport), Abby Urquhart (Cindy Shelley), Gerald Urquhart (Ivor Danvers), Polly Urquhart (Patricia Shakesby), Laura Wilde (Kate O'Mara). Boasted Simon May's immediately recognisable theme tune, unfortunately given lyrics and then sung to death by Marti Webb as Always There (charting to no. 13 in 1986). Created by Gerard Glaister (1915-2005). 6 series (78 episodes). UK. BBC. 1985-1990.
The Huckleberry Hound Show
Animated cartoon. Voiced by Daws Butler, Huckleberry Hound was a blue dog with a southern (US) accent, given to singing 'Oh my darling, Clementine' (badly). Included segments featuring Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie. 55 episodes. US. Hanna-Barbera. 1958-1962.
TV-movie: The Good, The Bad, and Huckleberry Hound (1988).
I Dream of Jeannie
In Deepest Britain
The Incredible Hulk
It Ain't Half Hot Mum
It's a Knockout
Ivor the Engine
Jamie and the Magic Torch
Jamie, his old English Sheepdog Wordsworth, and Officer Gotcha. Psychadelic animation.
Jim'll Fix It
Detective series with a female lead. Insp. Jean Darblay (Stephanie Turner), Insp. Kate Longton (Anna Carteret). The theme tune is one of the very best, the full length version being almost unique in not having a crap bit in the middle. You can close your eyes and its 1982 again. Bliss. UK. BBC. 1980-1985.
Just Good Friends
Popular drama. Would Vince and Penny marry? Vince Pinner (Paul Nicholas), Penny Warrender (Jan Francis), Daphne Warrender (Sylvia Kay), Norman Warrender (John Ringham), Rita Pinner (Ann Lynn), Les Pinner (Shaun Curry). UK. By John Sullivan. BBC. 1983-1986.
Last of the Summer Wine
Laurel and Hardy
The Life and Loves of a She-Devil
The Likely Lads
Little House on the Prairie
Little Lord Fauntleroy
The Liver Birds
Sitcom. Female version of The Likely Lads with two female friends sharing a flat in Huskisson Street, Liverpool. Dawn (Pauline Collins), Beryl Hennessey (Polly James), Sandra Hutchinson (Nerys Hughes), Carol Boswell (Elizabeth Estensen), Mrs. Hutchinson (Mollie Sugden), Mrs. Hennessey (Sheila Fay, In 1996: Carmel McSharry), Mrs. Boswell (Eileen Kennally, Carmel McSharry), the rabbit-adoring Lucien (Michael Angelis), Derek Paynton (Tom Chadbon). Dawn moved out after 5 episodes. Beryl got married in series 4 and was replaced by Carol. The late 1970s was the 'Carol and Sandra' era. Sandra eventually married Derek (a vet). The 1996 series brought Sandra and Beryl back together with Carmel McSharry switching characters from being Mrs. Boswell to being Mrs. Hennessey. Lucien also switched from being Carol's brother to being Beryl's brother. By Carla Lane. Comedy Playhouse pilot, 9 series (76 episodes), 3 specials, 1 short, and then an additional series in 1996 (7 episodes). UK. BBC. 1969-1979, 1996.
Popular drama featuring the adventures of antiques dealer Lovejoy (Ian McShane), Tinker Dill (Dudley Sutton), Lady Jane Felsham (Phyllis Logan), Eric Catchpole (Chris Jury). The series pushed antique collecting and 'dealing' (typically at car boot sales) into the mainstream, giving an unexpected boost to the revenues of antique dealers, and to the ratings of The Antiques Roadshow. UK. 6 series. BBC. 1986, 1991-1994.
Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery
Mystery thriller by Michael J. Bird. Wikipedia states that it 'centres around a young woman who travels to Norway to claim an inheritance, and finds herself involved in the mysterious dealings of the family of her deceased benefactor'. It was very Norwegian. Catherine Durrell (Tusse Silberg), Anders Bjornson (David Beames), Anna Marie Jordahl (Susan Gilmore), and Astrid Linderman (Ann Todd). UK/Norway co-production. BBC. 1985. 6 episodes.
The Magic Roundabout
Making the Most of the Micro
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Martian Chronicles
Mary, Mungo, and Midge
Michael Bentine's Potty Time
The Mike Yarwood Show
Mind Your Language
The Money Programme
Cult childrens' drama. Monkey ('born from an egg on a mountain top, the punkiest monkey that ever popped', and played by Masaaki Sakai), Pigsy (Toshiyuki Nishida; Tonpei Hidari), Sandy (Shiro Kishibe), and Tripitaka (a male priest played by an actress-Masako Natsume, and voiced by Maria Warburg). Narrated by Frank Duncan. TV adaptation of Wu Ch'eng-en's 16th-century collection of Chinese fables. English adaptation by David Weir. English version directed by Michael Bakewell for World Wide Sound, London. Songs performed by Japanese band Godiego. Produced by NTV and Kokusai Hoei.
Japanese (dubbed, badly). 1979.
The Monocled Mutineer
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Morecambe and Wise
Mr. Smith's Flower Garden
The Munch Bunch
The Muppet Show
Murder She Wrote
The Nightmare Man
Noggin the Nog
Not the Nine O'Clock News
The Old Grey Whistle Test
On the Move
The Onedin Line
Only Fools and Horses
Only When I Laugh
Sitcom. James Bolam, Peter Bowles, Christopher Strauli, Richard Wilson, Derrick Branche. By Eric Chappell. UK. ITV Yorkshire. 1979-1982.
Open All Hours
Pennies from Heaven
The Pink Panther Show
Animated cartoon. Popeye first appeared as a cartoon character in January 1929. Olive Oyl originally had a brother called Castor, and a boyfriend called Ham Gravy. Swee'Pea was a foundling that Popeye received in the post in 1933 and adopted. Other characters: the hamburger-loving J. Wellington Wimpy, the cobbler George W. Geezil, Popeye's father Poopdeck Pappy, and a yellow dog from Africa with magical powers, called Eugene the Jeep. Popeye's spinach consumption stems from the misreading of, or misplacing of a decimal point in a study on the iron content of spinach, suggesting that it has ten times as much in it, than it really does. It is worth noting that spinach was a slang term for marijuana at the time of Popeye's creation. US. King Features Syndicate produced some 220 cartoon shorts with Bluto renamed Brutus (1960-1961). Hanna-Barbera produced a later show (with Brutus back as Bluto) syndicated as: The Popeye Show, 1 hour long, CBS/Hanna-Barbera (1978-1981); The Popeye and Olive Show, 30 mins, CBS/Hanna-Barbera (1981-1983).
Prisoner: Cell Block H
A Question of Sport
The Record Breakers
Roy Castle tap-dancing his way into the Guinness Book of Records with the book's original co-founders, Norris and Ross McWhirter. Ross was murdered by the IRA in 1975 after offering a large reward for information leading to the capture of IRA bombers. Norris died of a heart attack whilst playing tennis in 2004, at the age of 78. Roy Castle died of cancer in 1994 at the age of 62. He had never smoked, but had played the trumpet in smokey jazz clubs early in his career. BBC.
Leonard Rossiter, Frances De La Tour, Richard Beckinsale, Don Warrington. By Eric Chappell. UK. ITV Yorkshire. 1974-1978.
Robin of Sherwood
The Rockford Files
Rolf Harris Cartoon Time
Rolf on Saturday - OK?
Roobarb (and Custard)
Roobarb the green dog, Custard the pink cat, and the birds.
Animated. 30 episodes. Narrated by Richard Briers. UK. Bob Godfrey. 1974.
The Saturday Banana
Scooby Doo, Where Are You!
The Secret Garden
Children's drama. From the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Dramatised by Dorothea Brooking. Mary (Sarah Hollis Andrews), Ben Weatherstaff (Tom Harrison), John (William Marsh), Martha (Jacqueline Hoyle), Mrs. Medlock (Hope Johnstone), Mrs. Sowerby (Lorraine Peters), Pitcher (Basil Clarke), Mr. Archibald Craven (John Woodnutt), Nurse (Jennie Goossens), 'Lizabeth Ellen (Alison Lowndes). BBC.
She-Ra: Princess of Power
The Shillingbury Tales
Sinbad and the Flying Carpet
The Singing Ringing Tree
The Six Million Dollar Man
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Songs of Praise
Spiderman and his Amazing Friends
Starsky and Hutch
Steptoe and Son
Terry and June
Educational programme with Johnny Ball. BBC Bristol.
Think of a Number
The Thorn Birds
Mini-series. As the DVD sleeve summarises: Young, handsome Father Ralph de Bricassart surrenders to ambition when he accepts a bequest to the church from wealthy matriarch Mary Carson. The legacy advances Father de Bricassart to the upper echelons of church hierarchy, but it denies Mary's heirs of their rightful fortune - and ties Mary's granddaughter, Meggie, to the priest. Meggie grows into a stunningly beautiful woman, and Father de Bricassart suffers the temptation of a woman he is not allowed-and cannot leave. Together, the two share a secret passion that endures for decades and proves greater than even his faith and his love for the church. Adapted from the novel by Colleen McCullough. Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Jean Simmons, Piper Laurie, Mare Winningham, Bryan Brown, Barry Corbin, and John de Lancie. 7hrs 40mins.
Three of a Kind
Game-show presented by Ted Rogers, based on Un Dos Tres by Ibanez Serrador. Featured Dusty Bin. UK. ITV Yorkshire. 1978-1987.
Three Up, Two Down
To the Manor Born
Tom and Jerry
The Tomorrow People
Top of the Pops
The Two Ronnies
The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
The inspirational aquatic explorations of Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) and the crew of the Calypso. Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, environmentalist, and researcher, although he called himself an oceanographic technician. He was a co-inventor of the aqua-lung and of a number of underwater cameras and vessels. Loel Guinness leased the Calypso (previously a Maltese ferry) to Cousteau for the symbolic sum of 1 franc a year. Narrated by Rod Serling and Jacques Cousteau, the Undersea World was produced from 1966 to 1973. In 1974 Cousteau created The Cousteau Society for the protection of ocean life.
The Val Doonican Music Show
A Very Peculiar Practice
Cult comedy drama set around the medical centre of the University of Lowlands (filmed at Keele and Birmingham). Dr. Stephen Daker (Peter Davison), Dr. Jock McCannon (Graham Crowden), Dr. Rose Marie (Barbara Flynn), Dr. Bob Buzzard (David Troughton), Lyn Turtle (Amanda Hillwood), Grete Grotowska (Joanna Kanska), Ernest Hemingway (John Bird), Jack Daniels (Michael Shannon), Ron Rust (Joe Melia), the nuns (Sonia Hart and Elaine Turrell). Appearances by Haydn Gwynne, Hugh Grant, Timothy West, Kathy Burke. Title track It's a Long Way from Anywhere performed by Elkie Brooks. UK. By Andrew Davies. BBC. Began: 21 May 1986. 2 series. The spin-off sequel: A Very Polish Practice (1992) has Stephen Daker living with Greta in Poland.
Pat Keysell, Tony Hart, Wilf Lunn and Syvester McCoy. And Morph of course.
Watch with Mother
Shorts including Andy Pandy, The Flowerpot Men, Trumpton, and Mary, Mungo, and Midge intended for pre-school children, initially in the afternoon, but later in a lunchtime slot. UK. BBC. 1952-1973.
The Water Margin
Set in China during the Sung dynasty, a group of outlaws have been forced to reside in the water margins of Liang Shan Po. These heroes fight against the injustices of the tyrannical government, and are thought by some to be the reincarnation of a group of brave knights. Lin Chung (Atsuo Nakamura), Hu San-Niang (Sanae Tsuchida), Kao Chiu (Kei Sato), Lu Ta (Isamu Nagato). China/Japan production, in Mandarin. Screened on the BBC.
When the Boat Comes In
A children's drama series co-produced by Radio Television Serbia of Yugoslavia and BR-TV of Germany (1965). Screened in the UK in 1968, the dubbed soundtrack has been lost. The theme tune was sung by Jackie Lee, and reached No. 10 in the charts. The series told the story of 15 year old Julia (Helga Anders (1948-1986)), who leaves Belgrade to spend a holiday with her uncle Dimitri (Helmuth Schnider), on his stud farm where, with the help of head groom Hugo (Franz Muxeneder), he trains valuable white Lappizaners. 13 hour-long episodes. B&W. RTS/BR-TV. 1965.
(UK, dubbed: 1968, and presumably repeated in the 1970s).
Why Don't You
Willo the Wisp
Nick Spargo's animated
Winner Takes All
Game-show. Originally hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck. UK. ITV Yorkshire.
Chat show, first broadcast on Monday 18 February 1985, running three times a week at 7pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. BBC.
Great Uncle Bulgaria, Orinoco, Bungo, Tomsk, Tobermory, Wellington, and Madame Cholet
Animated. UK. Elizabeth Beresford (Filmfair). 1970s.
The World About Us
Yes Prime Minister
The Young Ones