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  Sixties Television - 1968  
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A Man Of Our Times
REDIFFUSION 1968
  A 13 x 60 minute social drama series by Julian Bond, featuring the few ups and many downs in the life and business of Max Osborne, played by George Cole, with Jean Harvey as his separated wife and Jennifer Wilson as his mistress. The company Max worked for was run by a father and son played by Clive Morton and Charles Tingwell. The series was produced by Richard Bates and Stella Richman  


Dad's Army
BBC1 1968-77
  It is absolutely mpossible to do justice to this classic comedy in a few lines. 64 x 30 minute episodes and two Cristmas 'Specials' were made of this inspired, brilliant, very British comedy series written by the wonderful Jimmy Perry and David Croft ( who also produced ). The setting: World War II and the home front, following the antics of the geriatric Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard under the command of the pompous Captain Mainwaring who spent more time battling against the local verger and Air-raid warden than they did fighting the enemy. Each and every character is instantly recognisable and totally believable - simply brilliant! The main characters were Captain Mainwaring ( Arthur Lowe ), Cpl Jones ( Clive Dunn ), Sgt Wilson ( John Le Mesurier ), Air Raid Warden Hodges ( Bill Pertwee ), Pte Pike ( Ian Lavender ), Pte Godfrey ( Arnold Ridley ), Pte Walker ( James Beck ) and the sinister, wide-eyed 'we're all doomed' Pte Frazer ( John Laurie ). Catch phrases are numerous but include the still-used 'stupid boy!', 'they don't like it up 'em' and 'Don't panic Mr Mainwaring'. A feature film was also made in 1971

 


Father Dear Father
THAMES 1968-73, 1978-79
  This William G. Stewart-produced 45eps x 30 min sitcom starred Patrick Cargill as Patrick Glover, a suave novelist whose potentially quiet Hampstead lifestyle is constantly disrupted by the activities of his two teenage daughters and his ex-wife. The daughters were played by Natasha Pyne and Ann Holloway, his housekeeper was Noel Dyson and his ex-wife was Ursula Howells. Other distracting influences were mother Joyce Carey, ex-wife's new husband Tony Britton, a large St Bernard dog and his sexy literary agent and mistress played by Sally Bazely, later Dawn Addams. The series was written by Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke and led to a feature film in 1972 and a spin-off series 'The Many Wives Of Patrick' ( 21 episodes ) in 1978  
Frontier
THAMES 1968
  This 8 x 60 minute fictional drama series followed the fortunes and activities of a British battalion during their actions in Northern India during the 1880s. The external scenes were actually shot in Snowdonia in North Wales, but it was still touted as the most expensive series ever produced locally by an independent television company. The main characters were played by Gary Bond ( Lt Clive Russell ), Patrick O'Connell, James Maxwell, John Phillips and Paul Eddington as a civilian war correspondent. Series producer was Michael Chapman

 

Joe 90
CENTURY 21 - ITC 1968-69
  The BIG RAT ( Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer ) acted on 9 year-old Joe90 to transfer the necessary adult brain patterns and skills into his brain by way of special glasses in order to enable him to carry out secret missions for various agencies. Another superb Gerry Anderson puppet series, of which 30 x 30 minute episodes were made, produced by David Lane. Len Jones supplied Joe's voice while his father was voiced by Rupert Davies

 


Journey To The Unknown
ITV 1968-69
Hammer Films / 20th Century Fox TV

  In partnership with the American ABC TV network, Hammer produced 17 x 60 minute episodes of this sci-fi / fantasy / supernatural anthology series. The storylines were taken from the works of writers such as Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, Robert Heverley and Charles Beaumont from which Anthony Hinds produced for the television adaptation. This was Hammer's second attempt to break into the small screen, the first being a production called 'Tales Of Frankenstein' made in partnership with Columbia Pictures in 1957

 


Late Night Horror
BBC2 1968
  A bit of a misnomer but this anthology series certainly put sinister twists on apparently ordinary situations. Aired on a weekly basis, each presentation had a different writer and director with titles including 'No Such Thing As A Vampire', 'William and Mary', 'The Triumph of Death', 'The Corpse Can't Play', 'The Bells of Hell' and 'The Kiss of Blood' which was an adaptation of a Conan Doyle short story. Series producer was Harry Moore  


Magpie
THAMES 1968-80
  Originally 40 minutes on a Tuesday, later 30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays ( then Fridays ), this was Thames TV's answer to the BBC's highly succesful Blue Peter and featured in their first day of broadcasting. The format was essentially the same but with an effort to make it more trendy. Original presenters were Tony Bastable, ex-pirate DJ Pete Brady and the gorgeous Susan Stranks, also of pop television fame from Juke Box Jury. Later presentation teams consisted of Mick Robertson, Tommy Boyd, Douglas Rae and Hammer glamour girl Jenny Hanley. Also contained in the programme was the Captain Fantastic character which originally appeared in the 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' series. Producers of the show included Sue Turner, David Hodgson, Tim Jones and Randall Beattie. I'm sure I've still got a Magpie badge somewhere........one for sorrow, two for joy..... and yes, the Magpie WAS called Murgatroyd!  
Susan Stranks
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Marty
BBC2 1968-69
  If ever a man was built for comedy it was Marty Feldman and those wonderful eyes. He had appeared in earlier comedy programmes as part of a team and was also a brilliant comedy author in his own right. This was his first starring series, ably supported by the talents of Tim Brooke-Taylor and John Junkin, which featured a disconnected collection of screwy sketches and slapstick comedy. The main writing was undertaken by Feldman in partnership with Barry Took, additional material being supplied by the likes of Philip Jenkinson, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Donald Webster, Graham Chapman and John Cleese. The series was produced by Denis Main Wilson

 
Nearest and Dearest
GRANADA 1968-72
  Pledge's Pickles, an old-fashioned North of England pickle factory run by brother and sister Eli and Nellie Pledge was the setting for this classic 'groan a minute' sitcom. Hylda Baker and Jimmy Jewel starred as the odd couple but were frequently upstaged by the even screwier characterisations brought to the series by Madge Hindle, Edward Malin and Joe Gladwin. The series, which spawned a spin-off film in 1972, was written by Vince Powell and Harry Driver  


Please Sir!
LWT 1968-72
  The school we all wished we had gone to was brought to our screens by the comedy-writing duo John Esmonde and Bob Larbey. John Alderton starred as new-boy teacher Bernard Hedges, put in charge of the rough but golden-hearted scoundrels of class 5C at Fenn Street Secondary Modern. His Fellow sufferers in the staff room were Price ( Richard Davies ) and Smith ( Eric Chitty ) with Noel Howlett as the gutless and gormless headmaster, Joan Sanderson as the overbearing deputy head and school janitor, Norman Potter, played by Deryck Guyler. 'The enemy', incumbents of 5C, were Duffy ( Peter Cleall ), Craven ( Malcolm McFee ), Maureen ( Liz Gebhardt ), Sharon ( played by the gorgeous Penny Spencer and later by the equally lovely Carol Hawkins ), Frankie Abbott ( David Barry ) and the wonderful Dennis Dunstable played by Peter Denyer. 40 x 25 minute episodes were made produced and directed by Mark Stuart, followed by a feature film in 1971 and a spin-off series, 'The Fenn Street Gang' which ran for 46 episodes between 1971 and 1973, featuring the characters after leaving school

 
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Rogues' Gallery
GRANADA 1968-69
  London's Newgate Prison of the 1750s was the atmospheric setting for this bawdy and boisterous series of 60-minute tales, the first four of which were run as part of Rediffusion's 'Playhouse' series. The stories featured historic antihero inmates such as Jonathan Wild ( Ronald Fraser ), highwaywoman Jane Rawley ( Jane Bond ), Lady Sarah Bellasize ( Diane Cilento ) and Jack Sheppard ( Paul Shelley ). The series was written and produced by Peter Wildeblood

 


Spindoe
GRANADA 1968
  Not pulling any punches, Granada TV brought the London underworld gang warfare scene back to the screen in this 6 x 60minute episode serial which was a follow-on from 'The Fellows ( Late of Room 17 )'. Former South London gang boss Ray McAnally finishes his seven years at Her Majesty's pleasure and promptly embarks on a campaign to regain his previous top spot in the criminal rankings. Also starring were Colette O'Neil as Spindoe's wife, George Sewell as a private eye and Richard Hurndall as gang boss of the North London territory.  
The Basil Brush Show
BBC1 1968-80
  From the 1964 children's series 'The Three Scampis' ( A-R ) was resurrected a cheeky, furry-faced glove puppet with a posh voice called Basil Brush. Originally a foil for David Nixon on some of his series, the foxy character now starred in his own 30 minute show with various 'assistants' including Rodney Bewes, Derek Fowlds, Roy North, Howard Williams and Billy Boyle. His catchphrase 'boom boom' was, and still is in common use. The original A-R show featured Wally Whyton, Howard Williams and Ivan Owen who operated the puppet and provided the voice

 
The Borderers
BBC2 1968-70
  26 x 50 minute episodes were made of this historical adventure series set in the 16th century Scottish border country. Iain Cuthbertson, Michael Gambon, Edith MacArthur and Joseph Brady played some of the wild, lawless characters. The series was produced by Peter Graham Scott and Anthony Coburn and was created by Bill Craig  


The Caesars
GRANADA 1968
  Still considered a classic, the programme consisted of six 55 minute plays examining and dramatising the different characters of some of Rome's more infamous emperors. The series was written by Philip Mackie and featured the following actors in the various roles of Caesar: Roland Culver ( Augustus ), Eric Flynn ( Germanicus ), Andre Morrell ( Tiberius ), Barrie Ingham ( Sejanus ), Ralph Bates ( Caligula ) and Freddie Jones as Claudius  


The Expert
BBC2 1968-69, 1971, 1976
  62 x 45 and 50 minute episodes were made of this police forensic series set in the West Midlands and Warwickshire. Marius Goring played Dr John Hardy, a kind of modern-day Sherlock Holmes dealing with all aspects of crime. Also starring were Ann Morrish as Hardy's wife and Victor Winding as Inspector Fleming. The series, created by N.J.Crisp and Gerard Glaister ( who also produced ) was the first BBC2 drama series to be made in colour

 


The First Lady
BBC1 1968-69
  30 x 50 minute episodes in two series saw Thora Hird riding rough-shod over her local political opponents as Sarah Danby, a newly-elected independent member of Furness Borough Council in this Alan Plater-written drama. Her son Tom, a local schoolmaster, was played by Henry Knowles and political allies/opponents included Robert Keegan as Will Tarrant, Deputy Leader of the Labour faction and James Grout as George Kingston, Leader of the Conservatives. The first series was produced by David Rose and the second by Terence Dudley

 
The Railway Children
BBC1 1968
  7 x 25 minute episode adaptation of the 1905 children's book by Edith Nesbit. This is a superb classic, the third, and probably best TV version of the book. The storyline centres around an Edwardian family who come upon hard times and have to move to the country. The three children, Phyllis ( Gillian Bailey ), Peter ( Neil McDermott ) and Bobbie, played by Jenny Agutter ( who played the same part in the 1970 feature film) manage to find adventure when they discover an old country railway line. The series, adapted by Denis Constanduros, was directed by Julia Smith and produced by Campbell Logan

 
The Sooty Show
THAMES 1968-
  What can I tell you about this show that you don't already know. Sooty first saw the light of day, attached to Harry Corbett's right hand, in 1952 on a BBC TV show called 'Talent Night'. His hapless squeaky sidekick, Sweep, joined the show in 1957 and, just when he was looking like a confirmed bachelor, Sooty discovered girls in 1964 when posh Panda girlfriend Soo arrived. Sooty moved to ITV in 1968 in this Daphne Shadwell-produced half-hour show which appealed as much to adults as kids - could hardly wait to see whether Harry was going to get hit by the eggs, the flour, the water or the blunt instrument. Izzy Wizzy, let's get busy.......

 
The Stanley Baxter Show
BBC1 1968
  A half-hour comedy sketch show, the first of many series featuring the comic talents of Stanley Baxter, a Scottish comedian and comedy writer whose skill in characterisation still remains largely unchallenged. This particular series was produced for the BBC by David Bell, although all Baxter's subsequent shows were made by LWT

 


The Time Tunnel
BBC
US ABC television
  Another of Irwin Allen's fabulous science fiction action adventure series. James Darren and Robert Colbert star as scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips who build a top secret government machine that can send humans to any point in the past or future. Tony and Doug were forced to enter the Time Tunnel before it was fully tested, and they soon found themselves being helplessly transported from one era to another, moving backwards and forwards through space and time but unable to return to the present.Observing their adventures from the Time Tunnelís underground lab in the present day were project controller General Heywood Kirk ( Whit Bissell ) and scientists Dr. Ann MacGregor ( Lee Meriwether ) and Dr. Raymond Swain ( John Zaremba ). The show was very expensive to produce and lower than expected ratings caused ABC to axe it after only one season, comprising 30 x 60 minute episodes, the ending of each week's episode leading into the start of the following week's adventure  

Large Time Tunnel 'team' picture


The World of Beachcomber
BBC2 1968-69
  Spike Milligan starred as both link-man and participant in this surreal comedy show which featured real life comedy actors such as Clive Dunn, Patricia Hayes, george Benson, Julian Orchard, Frank Thornton, Leon Thau and Sheila Steafel alongside cartoon-strip projections based on the off-beat creations of J.B.Morton as featured in his Daily Express column. 19 x 30 and 35 minute episodes were produced by Duncan Wood  


Tom Grattan's War
YORKSHIRE 1968, 1970
  Michael Howe portrayed Tom, a young lad evacuated to a Yorkshire farm during the First World War after his father was enlisted and his mother went to work in an armaments factory. Tony Selby also featured in the show. 24 x 30 minute episodes catalogued his adventures, courtesy of David C. Rea who wrote and produced the first series. Audley Southcott produced the second series in 1970  


Ukridge
BBC1 1968
  In much the same vein as 'Blanding's Castle', the BBC followed up with another of P.G.Wodehouse's eccentric characters under the 'World of Wodehouse' genre title. Still set in the 1920's, 7 x 30 minute episodes tracked the misadventures of con man Stanley Feathersonehaugh Ukridge, played by the brilliant Anton Rodgers. Joan Kemp-Welch directed  


Virgin of The Secret Service
ATV 1968
  This larger-than-life, comic-book style hero created by Ted Willis swashbuckled his way across early 1900s India in 13 x 60 minute mystery-shrouded episodes. Dragoon Captain Robert Virgin, played wonderfully campy and tongue-in-cheek by Clinton Greyn, was a mixture of spy, soldier and adventurer fighting all manner of enemies and dangers to the existence of the British Empire. Also starring were Veronica Strong as Virginia Cortez, Noel Coleman as Virgin's superior officer, Colonel Shaw-Cumberley, Alexander Dore as German masterspy Karl von Brauner and John Cater as batman Doublett. Series was produced by Josephine Douglas

 



Some Other 1968 Shows Which You May Have Forgotten....



A Touch Of Venus
- BBC2 (68/69) - A series of 20min plays featuring famous actresses in solo performances

The War of Darkie Pilbeam - Granada - Trilogy of 60 minute plays by Tony Warren about a wartime black marketeer



The Year of The Sex Olympics - BBC2 - Near-future 'Theatre 625' play about a world dominated by television - 105mins

The Ronnie Barker Playhouse - Rediffusion - Series of half hour comedy plays starring Ronnie Barker

Mission Impossible - UStv - 168 episodes - Action / adventure 'superspy' series

The Man Who Never Was - 20th Century Fox - 18 x 30 min adventure series starring Robert Lansing and Dana Wynter

Tarzan - NBC US - 57 x 60 min episodes about the jungle hero starring Ron Ely and Manuel Padilla Jr



Daktari - 89 x 60 min episodes - childrens adventure series set in Africa featuring Clarence the cross-eyed lion

Tha Addams Family - 64 x 30 min episodes - comedy spoof horror starring John Astin and Carolyn Jones

Hugh & I Spy - BBC1 - 6 x 30 min episode comedy series starring Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd

Braden On The Box - ATV - 4 part documentary about TV productions

Treasure Island - BBC1 - 9 part adventure serial adaptation of the book, starring Peter Vaughan and Michael Newport

Gardeners World - BBC2 - Developed from Gardening Club ( 1955 - 67 ), both presented by Percy Thrower

The Man In The Iron Mask - BBC - 9 part adventure serial adaptation of the Dumas classic

The Pinky and Perky Times - BBC - Another series for the popular pop piggies

The Munsters - 70 x 30 min episodes - comedy spoof horror series starring Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo



Pinky and Perky - Thames ( 1968 - 70 ) - The pop piggies defected to ITV for another couple of series

The Tools Of Cookery - Thames - 20 minute afternoon cookery series presented by Philip Harben

Lancer - 20th Century Fox 1968-70 - 51 x 60 minute western adventure series starring James Stacy

White Horses - Munich-Belgrade TV - 13 x 30 min childrens adventure series with haunting theme song by Jacky

The Goon Show - Thames 8/8/68 - One-off 30 minute Goon reunion show 'A Tale Of Men's Shirts'

Oh Brother!
- BBC1 - 1968-70 - Derek Nimmo in 19 x 30 min follow-up series to 'All Gas And Gaiters'

The RAT Patrol - US ABC - 30 minute American GI war drama series

Frost On Friday - LWT 1968-70 - Current Affairs programme hosted by David Frost

Frost On Saturday - LWT 1968-70 - Comedy programme hosted by David Frost

Frost On Sunday - LWT 1968-70 - Variety entertainment programme hosted by David Frost

We Have Ways Of Making You Laugh - LWT - Comedy entertainment starring Frank Muir


The Nixon Line - BBC1 - Magic and variety series compered by David Nixon



Freewheelers - Southern - Teenage action adventure series

Howerd's Hour
- ITV - Rare TV special starring Frankie Howerd

Life With Cooper - ITV - 30 min comedy series starring Tommy Cooper

Nice Time - ITV - 30 minute comedy series starring Kenny Everett, Jonathan Routh and Germaine Greer

Motorway - Yorkshire - Documentary about the M62 trans-Pennine motorway

The Auction Game - ITV - Game show devised by Bamber Gascoine and hosted by Jimmy Edwards

Driveway - ATV - Unsuccessful soap opera replaced after just 16 twice-weekly episodes

1968 TV Happenings

The new Independent Television franchise companies begin broadcasting
Linda Thorson becomes the latest Avengers girl
Black Power salutes seen on live Eurovision Olympic transmissions - the first sent via satellite
Frank Muir appointed Head of Light Entertainment at LWT
The Des O'Connor Show moves to the prime time Saturday night slot

David Coleman given his own midweek show - Sports Night With Coleman
Dickie Davis becomes the anchor man on World Of Sport



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1968 Television Ratings ( millions of homes )

1
A Special Royal Performance
ITV
10.55
2
Miss World 1968
BBC
10.05
3
The Eurovision Song Contest ( Cliff - Congratulations )
BBC
9.45
4
The Grand National
BBC
9.25
5
Howerd's Hour
ITV
9.10
6
International Football
BBC
8.85
7
The University Boat Race
BBC
8.80
8
Life With Cooper
ITV
8.75
9
Coronation Street
ITV
8.60
10
Frost On Sunday
ITV
8.45
11
Till Death Us Do Part
BBC
8.40
12
World In Action
ITV
8.20
13
Harlech Opening Night
ITV
8.10
14
The Morecambe and Wise Show
BBC
8.10
15
The Des O'Connor Show
ITV
8.05
16
The European Football Cup Final
ITV
8.05
17
Piccadilly Palace
ITV
7.90
18
Sherlock Holmes
BBC
7.90
19
News at Ten
ITV
7.90
20
Father Dear Father
ITV
7.85


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