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A full list of the plays
on 21 July 2011
With the old ATV logo followed by the opening credits, which are accompanied by a very kitsch 70's theme tune and incidental music, the decade couldn't be more obvious. Actually I found this to be an enjoyable little collection of six, 50 minute plays, a good mix of dramas with a decent sting in the tale.
The collection kicks off with "Easterman", penned by Ian Kennedy-Martin (The Sweeney), this gritty drama stars Trevor Howard as a tough-talking no-nonsense Detective Inspector, a hard drinking character who finds himself under threat from an homosexual man who holds him responsible for his partner's death. "Truth or Consequence" is a thriller about a Fleet Air Arm jet pilot, who while on his way to a training course eventually faces abuse both physical and mental after being accused of passing on intelligence documents. "The Great Albert" is a supernatural tale about an 11 year-old boy who sees the writings of a 16th century mystic as the answer to the problems of his dysfunctional family.
Broadcast in 1978, IMO the series is a little reminiscent of the earlier "Thriller" TV series, with a twist at the end for good measure, with solid performances from a number of familiar faces.
Picture and sound quality are good. The only extra is a 5-minute image gallery, no subtitles. The 2 discs are stored in a single-size DVD case which features an episode synopsis on the inside, which I have included below.
*EASTERMAN - Detective Inspector George Mavor is a tough, uncompomising officer who believes his two greatest problems are his failed marriage and impending retirement. Then, a savage attack on a young police clerk marks the onset of a murderous vendetta by a man who holds Mavor responsible for the death of his partner. As 'Easterman' closes in on his target, however, events take a surprising turn...
Starring Trevor Howard, Don Henderson, Patrick Allen, Paul Arlington, Maryann Turner, Alan Rowe.
*KILLING - Computer programmer Mark Hawkins is shocked to learn that his company, an international bank, is to install a new system. For the past five years, he has spent his spare time gambling in foreign currencies during periods of instability in world markets; with his own specially prepared computer tape, he has accumulated a hypothetical two million pounds. Now, it seems the game is over.
Starring Jack Shepherd, Angela Down, Michael O'Hagan, James Lister, Clifford Kershaw and Vera Jakob.
*THE GREAT ALBERT - Eleven-year-old Matthew is the introverted son of antiquarian bookseller Peter Ward. While his father is preoccupied with work, his egotistical mother, Virginia, devotes most of her time and energy to her latest lover. Now, Matthew's only real friend and confidante, housekeeper Mrs Withers, is to be fired. He believes the solution lies within the pages of a rare book of his father's, written by a 16th-century mystic...
Starring Lyn Farleigh, Kenneth Gilbert, Max Harris, Gwen Nelson, Paul Freeman, Diana Rayworth and Angela Galbraith.
*THE GHOST IN THE PALE BLUE DRESS - Sir Wilfred Grafton, chairman of his own merchant bank, and his whiz-kid son Toby are locked into an increasingly bitter feud; Toby has already announced his intention to unseat his over-cautious father. Enter 26-year-old Karen - Toby's beautiful fiancee. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Sir Wilfred's deceased wife, and it seems that both father and son have dangerously underestimated her capabilities...
Starring Tony Britton, Sandra Payne, Brian Stirner, Basil Dignam, Geoffrey Palmer and Michael Cashman.
*CRIMES OF PERSUASION - Jean Newman is the 35-year-old mistress of Sir Robert Haines, outspoken MP and chairman of a multi-national corporation. Having given him the best years of her life, she knows that she is about to be pensioned off; Sir Robert has even chosen her successor. Now, Jean decides to exact a bizarre, destructive retribution - but vengeance, when it comes, twists unexpectedly.
Starring Anthony Bate, Susan Engel, Chloe Salaman, Christopher Benjamin and Brett Usher.
*TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCE - Lt. James White, a jet pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, sets out for a training course at a remote secret-service base. En route, he finds his car has been sabotaged, and on arriving, he is subjected to physical and mental abuse and accused of passing on intelligence documents. Terrifyingly, both his wife and father seem to be in collusion with the military authorities. What is he to believe, and to whom can he turn for help?
Starring David Robb, Rosie Kerslake, Stephen Murray, Norman Jones, Graham Ashley, Eric Mason and Patrick Barr.