Play for Today is a British television anthology drama series, produced by the BBC and transmitted on BBC1 from 1970 to 1984. During the run, more than three hundred programmes, featuring original television plays, and adaptations of stage plays and novels, were transmitted. The individual episodes were (with a few exceptions noted below) between fifty and a hundred minutes in duration. A handful of these plays, including Rumpole of the Bailey, subsequently became television series in their own right.

Play for Today
Logo as seen in the opening title sequence from 1976
GenreDrama, television plays, anthology, social realism, kitchen-sink drama
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes306 (28 missing, 1 incomplete)
Running timeVarious
Original release
Release15 October 1970 (1970-10-15) –
28 August 1984 (1984-08-28)

History edit

The strand was a successor to The Wednesday Play, the 1960s anthology series, the title being changed when the day of transmission moved to Thursday to make way for a sport programme. Some works, screened in anthology series' on BBC2, like Willy Russell's Our Day Out (1977), were repeated on BBC1 in the series. The producers of The Wednesday Play, Graeme MacDonald and Irene Shubik, transferred to the new series. Shubik continued with the series until 1973[1] while MacDonald remained with the series until 1977 when he was promoted. Later producers included Kenith Trodd (1973–1982), David Rose (1972–1980), Innes Lloyd (1975–1982), Margaret Matheson (1977–1979), Sir Richard Eyre (1978–1980), and Pharic MacLaren (1974–1982).

Plays covered all genres. In its time, Play for Today featured contemporary social realist dramas, historical pieces, fantasies, biopics and occasionally science-fiction[2] (The Flipside of Dominick Hide, 1980). Most pieces were written directly for television, but there were also occasional adaptations from other narrative forms, such as novels and stage plays.

Writers who contributed plays to the series included Ian McEwan, John Osborne, Dennis Potter, Stephen Poliakoff, Sir David Hare, Willy Russell, Alan Bleasdale, Arthur Hopcraft, Alan Plater, Graham Reid, David Storey, Andrew Davies, Rhys Adrian and John Hopkins.

Several prominent directors also featured, including Stephen Frears, Alan Clarke, Michael Apted, Mike Newell, Roland Joffé, Ken Loach, Lindsay Anderson, and Mike Leigh. Some of the best remembered plays broadcast in the strand include Edna, the Inebriate Woman (1971), The Foxtrot (1971), Home (1972), The Fishing Party (1972), Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976), The Other Woman (1976), Abigail's Party (1977), Blue Remembered Hills (1979) and Just a Boys' Game (1979). Certain other plays, including Penda's Fen (1974) and Nuts in May (1976), were commissioned by David Rose of the BBC's English Regions Drama department based in Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham.

Some installments in the series were spun off into full-blown series, including Rumpole of the Bailey, which was produced as a one-off in the Play for Today strand in 1975 and three years later became a series for Thames Television, again with Leo McKern. Alan Bleasdale's The Black Stuff, was a single play broadcast on BBC2 in January 1980, which was developed into Boys from the Blackstuff. It was never part of the Play For Today strand, although it was repeated on BBC1 later that year as a single play.[3][4]

Other offshoots were Gangsters, Headmaster, and a single series of science fiction-based plays styled as Play for Tomorrow. Towards the end of the run, three plays set in Northern Ireland were written by Graham Reid. Known as the Billy Plays, they starred Kenneth Branagh as Billy Martin in his first acting role following his graduation from RADA.

There were also some groups of plays transmitted that — for various reasons — did not go out under the Play for Today banner, but which were funded from the same department, used much the same production team and are generally regarded in episode guides and analysis as being part of the Play for Today canon.

Several plays were BAFTA award winners. John Le Mesurier and Patricia Hayes were named Best Actor and Actress, respectively, for their roles in the 1971 series Traitor and Edna, The Inebriate Woman, the latter also being named Best Drama Production. Dame Celia Johnson was named Best Actress for Mrs. Palfrey At The Claremont, broadcast in 1973. Stocker's Copper (1972), Kisses At Fifty (1973), Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976), Spend, Spend, Spend! (1977), Licking Hitler (1978) and Blue Remembered Hills (1979) were all named Best Single Play by BAFTA.

Videotapes of thirty-seven of the episodes produced between 1970 and 1975 were wiped after transmission, and no copies of many of them are known to exist.[5][6]

Controversies edit

Two plays were controversially pulled from transmission shortly before broadcast due to concerns over their content: these were Dennis Potter's Brimstone & Treacle in 1976 and Roy Minton's Scum the following year. In the case of Brimstone & Treacle it was due to concerns over the play's depiction of a disabled woman's rape at the hands of a man who may possibly have been the devil, and with Scum the worry was its supposed sensationalism of life in a borstal. Scum and Brimstone & Treacle were eventually transmitted, although in the meantime both had circumvented their withdrawal by being re-made as cinema films.

One play, The Other Woman, generated some mild controversy for its "graphic depiction" of lesbianism, and for the onscreen kiss between Jane Lapotaire and Lynne Frederick.[7][8]

Demise and legacy edit

After fourteen seasons and numerous repeats of individual productions, the programme officially ended in August 1984, although two seasons of single dramas without Play for Today billing were broadcast on BBC1 in a similar time slot from July to December 1983 and from November 1984 to February 1985. Thereafter the strand of single dramas became Screen Two on BBC2 from January 1985, and later also Screen One on BBC1 from September 1989. The general trend in 1980s television production was away from one-off plays and towards a greater concentration on series and serials. When one-offs were produced, such as Film on Four on Channel 4, they tended to be made with a cinematic approach rather than betraying television drama's roots in the theatre that Play for Today and earlier series on both the BBC and ITV had often demonstrated.

Nonetheless, the series is generally remembered as a benchmark of high-quality British television drama, and has become a byword for what many continue to argue was a golden age of British television. In 2000, the British Film Institute produced a poll of industry professionals to determine the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century, and five of the programmes included in the final tally were from Play for Today.

A new programme publicised as a return of Play for Today, but under the working title of The Evening Play, was announced at the beginning of March 2006,[9] but nothing has been heard from it since. Kevin Spacey, film star and director of the Old Vic, in March 2008 told BBC News that he would like to see the return of the show,[10] but the journalists Michael Gove and Mark Lawson expressed disagreement, Gove (by then a Conservative MP) describing them, at best counter-intuitively[according to whom?], as "exercises in viewer patronisation".[11][12] Jan Moir in The Daily Telegraph wrote in support of Spacey, saying "the British loved Play for Today once, and would do so again. A good piece of drama looks at the human condition, and tells us something we should know about ourselves."[13]

A book detailing the origins of the series, Play for Today: The First Year, by Simon Farquhar, was published in 2021.

Productions edit

The following list was sourced according to the BBC Genome archive of Radio Times magazines.[14] Titles that carried the tag Play For Today on the BBC listings for their first or subsequent transmission are included, along with some repeats such as the repeat of the Days of Hope quartet, where the initial broadcast was not branded Play for Today, but the repeat was. Repeats of the individual productions are excluded. All episodes were broadcast on BBC1, except for the delayed broadcast of Scum in 1991 which was broadcast on BBC2.

Some early episodes are missing or no longer exist in colour.

Original Air Date Title Author(s) Producer Director Lead Actor Home Media Notes
Series 1
15 Oct 1970 The Long Distance Piano Player Alan Sharp Irene Shubik Philip Saville Ray Davies Repeated 13 Apr 1972. 16 mm b&w print
22 Oct 1970 The Right Prospectus John Osborne Irene Shubik Alan Cooke George Cole Repeated 16 Dec 1971.
29 Oct 1970 The Lie Ingmar Bergman & Paul Britten Austin Graeme McDonald Alan Bridges Frank Finlay Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15] Written by Ingmar Bergman, translated by Paul Britten Austin. A production for The Largest Theatre in the World project of the EBU. Winner of the SFTA award for best drama production of 1970. Repeated on BBC2 31 Mar 1971, and on BBC1 16 Mar 1972.
5 Nov 1970 Angels Are So Few Dennis Potter Graeme McDonald Gareth Davies Tom Bell
12 Nov 1970 The Write-Off George Salverson Rudi Dorin Rudi Dorin Cec Linder Canadian production. Missing.
19 Nov 1970 I Can't See My Little Willie Douglas Livingstone Irene Shubik Alan Clarke Nigel Stock Repeated 18 May 1972. Missing except for domestic audio recording.
26 Nov 1970 A Distant Thunder Maurice Edelman Irene Shubik James Ferman Adrienne Corri Missing.
3 Dec 1970 Hearts And Flowers Peter Nichols Irene Shubik Christopher Morahan Anthony Hopkins Repeated 9 Mar 1972. 16 mm b&w print
10 Dec 1970 Robin Redbreast John Bowen Graeme McDonald James MacTaggart Anna Cropper DVD release by the BFI[16] Due to a power cut, the ending of this episode was blacked out in many areas, necessitating a repeat of the full episode on 25 Feb 1971.[17] 16mm b&w print
17 Dec 1970 The Hallelujah Handshake Colin Welland Graeme McDonald Alan Clarke Tony Calvin Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set [18] Repeated 23 Dec 1971.
7 Jan 1971 Alma Mater David Hodson Irene Shubik James Ferman Ian Carmichael Repeated 4 May 1972. Missing.
14 Jan 1971 Circle Line W. Stephen Gilbert Graeme McDonald Claude Whatham Michael Feast The Winner of the BBCtv Student Play Competition. Missing.
21 Jan 1971 Hell's Angel David Agnew Graeme McDonald Alan Cooke Katharine Blake David Agnew is a BBC in-house pen name typically used when multiple writers contributed to a script. Anthony Read was the author commissioned to write the play. Repeated 25 May 1972. Missing.
28 Jan 1971 The Piano Julia Jones Graeme McDonald James Cellan Jones Glyn Owen Repeated 10 Aug 1972.
4 Feb 1971 Billy's Last Stand Barry Hines Graeme McDonald John Glenister Dudley Foster Repeated 20 Apr 1972. Missing.
11 Feb 1971 The Rainbirds Clive Exton Irene Shubik Philip Saville Madge Ryan A production for The Largest Theatre in the World project of the EBU.
18 Feb 1971 Reddick Munroe Scott Mervyn Rosenzveig Mervyn Rosenzveig Donald Harron Canadian production. Missing.
11 Mar 1971 No Trams To Lime Street Alun Owen (Book), Marty Wilde & Ronnie Scott (Music & Lyrics) Harry Moore Piers Haggard Anthony May Musical. First shown under The Wednesday Play, 18/03/1970.[19]
18 Mar 1971 Mad Jack Tom Clarke Graeme McDonald Jack Gold Michael Jayston First shown under The Wednesday Play, 04/02/1970.[19] Winner of the first prize and the silver Dore Catholic Prize at the 1971 Monte Carlo International Television Festival.
25 Mar 1971 Scenes From Family Life Barry Bermange Ronald Travers Naomi Capon Denholm Elliott First shown under Plays of Today on BBC2, 25/09/1969.[19]
1 Apr 1971 Wind Versus Polygamy Obi Egbuna Michael Bakewell Naomi Capon Earl Cameron First shown under Theatre 625 15/07/1968 and then The Wednesday Play, 27/05/1970.[19]
8 Apr 1971 Playmates Johnny Speight Graeme McDonald John McGrath Marty Feldman First shown within Double Bill of The Wednesday Play on 26/11/1969.[19]
15 Apr 1971 Sovereign's Company Don Shaw Irene Shubik Alan Clarke Roland Culver Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18] First shown under The Wednesday Play, 22/04/1970.[19]
22 Apr 1971 Season Of The Witch Desmond McCarthy & Johnny Byrne Anne Head Desmond McCarthy Julie Driscoll First shown under The Wednesday Play, 07/01/1970.[19]
29 Apr 1971 The Foxtrot Rhys Adrian Irene Shubik Philip Saville Donald Pleasence Repeated 30 Mar 1972. 16 mm b&w print
6 May 1971 When The Bough Breaks Tony Parker Irene Shubik James Ferman Hannah Gordon Repeated 11 May 1972.
13 May 1971 Orkney George Mackay Brown & John McGrath Graeme McDonald James MacTaggart Maurice Roëves Three stories by George Mackay Brown, adapted by John McGrath: A Time to Keep, The Whaler's Return and Celia. Repeated 27 Apr 1972.
20 May 1971 The Rank And File Jim Allen Graeme McDonald Ken Loach Peter Kerrigan Included on the 'Ken Loach at the BBC' DVD boxset[20]
27 May 1971 The Man In The Sidecar Simon Gray Graeme McDonald James MacTaggart Gemma Jones Repeated 24 Aug 1972. Missing.
3 Jun 1971 Everybody Say Cheese Douglas Livingstone Irene Shubik Alan Clarke Roy Kinnear Missing.
10 Jun 1971 The Cellar And The Almond Tree David Mercer Graeme McDonald Alan Bridges Celia Johnson First shown under The Wednesday Play, 04/03/1970. Repeated on BBC2 13 Dec 1980 and on BBC1 14 Jul 1988.
17 Jun 1971 The Italian Table William Trevor Irene Shubik Herbert Wise Leonard Rossiter First shown under The Wednesday Play, 18/02/1970.
24 Jun 1971 There is Also Tomorrow Hugo Charteris Graeme McDonald John Mackenzie Glyn Houston First shown under The Wednesday Play, 19/11/1969.
1 Jul 1971 Chariot Of Fire Tony Parker Irene Shubik James Ferman Rosemary Leach First shown under The Wednesday Play, 20/05/1970.
Series 2
14 Oct 1971 Traitor Dennis Potter Graeme McDonald Alan Bridges John Le Mesurier BAFTA Best Actor (John Le Mesurier). Repeated on BBC2 27 Feb 1973 and on BBC1 21 Jul 1987.
21 Oct 1971 Edna, the Inebriate Woman Jeremy Sandford Irene Shubik Ted Kotcheff Patricia Hayes Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.3' BFI Blu-ray set[21] BAFTA Best Actress (Patricia Hayes) & Drama Production. Repeated 2 Mar 1972, on BBC2 20 Aug 1977 and on BBC2 3 Nov 1986.
28 Oct 1971 Evelyn Rhys Adrian Graeme McDonald Piers Haggard Edward Woodward Repeated 27 Jul 1972 and on BBC2 20 Feb 1973.
4 Nov 1971 O Fat White Woman William Trevor Irene Shubik Philip Saville Peter Jeffrey Repeated 16 Jul 1973.
11 Nov 1971 Thank You Very Much N. F. Simpson Graeme McDonald Claude Whatham Julian Holloway Duration 40 minutes. 16 mm b&w print.
18 Nov 1971 Michael Regan Robert Holles Irene Shubik John Gorrie David Burke Repeated 17 Aug 1972.
25 Nov 1971 Skin Deep Michael O'Neill & Jeremy Seabrook Graeme McDonald Michael Lindsay-Hogg Donald Pleasence Missing.
2 Dec 1971 Pal Alun Owen Irene Shubik Silvio Narizzano Robin Phillips Missing.
9 Dec 1971 The Pigeon Fancier Peter Hankin Irene Shubik James Ferman Bert Palmer 16mm b&w print
6 Jan 1972 Home David Storey Jac Venza Lindsay Anderson John Gielgud DVD release by Metrodome[22] A NET/CBC production. Adapted by the playwright from his original stage play. Repeated on BBC2 6 Feb 1973.
13 Jan 1972 Still Waters Julia Jones Graeme McDonald James MacTaggart Margery Mason Repeated 3 Aug 1972.
20 Jan 1972 Stocker's Copper Tom Clarke Graeme McDonald Jack Gold Bryan Marshall Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set[23] BAFTA Best Single Play. Writers' Guild Awards 1972: Best British Original Teleplay. Repeated 18 Dec 1972 and 31 Aug 1982. Shown in the USA on 23 July 1977 as a Piccadilly Circus episode.
27 Jan 1972 The House On Highbury Hill Piers Paul Read Graeme McDonald John Glenister Colin Farrell Missing.
3 Feb 1972 In The Beautiful Caribbean Barry Reckord Irene Shubik Philip Saville Calvin Lockhart Missing.
10 Feb 1972 Ackerman, Dougall And Harker Don Shaw Irene Shubik Ted Kotcheff Martin C. Thurley Repeated 6 Aug 1973.
17 Feb 1972 The Villa Maroc Willis Hall Irene Shubik Herbert Wise Thora Hird Repeated 30 Jul 1973.
24 Feb 1972 Cows Howard Barker Graeme McDonald John Gorrie Alison Leggatt Missing.
1 Jun 1972 The Fishing Party Peter Terson David Rose Michael Simpson Brian Glover DVD release by Simply Media[24] From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 9 Jul 1973 and on BBC2 4 Aug 1993.
Series 3
9 Oct 1972 The Reporters Arthur Hopcraft Graeme McDonald Michael Apted Robert Urquhart Repeated 3 Jan 1974 and 18 Apr 1974.
16 Oct 1972 A Life Is For Ever Tony Parker Irene Shubik Alan Clarke Maurice O'Connell Repeated 11 Jul 1974. Missing.
23 Oct 1972 Carson Country Dominic Behan Graeme McDonald Piers Haggard J. G. Devlin
30 Oct 1972 Man Friday Adrian Mitchell Graeme McDonald James MacTaggart Colin Blakely Missing.
6 Nov 1972 Triple Exposure David Halliwell Irene Shubik Alan Cooke Alec McCowen
13 Nov 1972 Better Than The Movies John Elliot Graeme McDonald Roy Battersby Bryan Marshall Missing.
20 Nov 1972 The General's Day William Trevor Irene Shubik John Gorrie Alistair Sim
27 Nov 1972 The Bankrupt David Mercer Graeme McDonald Christopher Morahan Joss Ackland
4 Dec 1972 Just Your Luck Peter McDougall Graeme McDonald Mike Newell Lesley Mackie BBC DVD[25] Repeated 18 Jul 1974.
11 Dec 1972 The Bouncing Boy John McGrath Graeme McDonald Maurice Hatton Norman Eshley Repeated 25 Apr 1974.
8 Jan 1973 Shakespeare Or Bust Peter Terson David Rose Brian Parker Janet Suzman Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15] From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 4 Apr 1974.
15 Jan 1973 Land Of Green Ginger Alan Plater David Rose Brian Parker Gwen Taylor From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 24 Jan 1974 and on BBC4 26 Mar 2005.
22 Jan 1973 Kisses At Fifty Colin Welland Graeme McDonald Michael Apted Bill Maynard BAFTA Best Single Play. Repeated 20 Dec 1973 and on BBC2 11 Aug 1993.
29 Jan 1973 Highway Robbery Michael O'Neill & Jeremy Seabrook Graeme McDonald Michael Apted John Collin Missing.
5 Feb 1973 Song At Twilight Willis Hall Irene Shubik Herbert Wise Colin Blakely Missing.
12 Feb 1973 Only Make Believe Dennis Potter Graeme McDonald Robert Knights Keith Barron Repeated 2 May 1974.
19 Feb 1973 For Sylvia Or The Air Show John Burrows & John Harding Kenith Trodd Barry Davis John Burrows Missing.
26 Feb 1973 The Operation Roger Smith Kenith Trodd Roy Battersby George Lazenby
5 Mar 1973 Access To The Children William Trevor Irene Shubik Philip Saville Joss Ackland Repeated 9 May 1974.
12 Mar 1973 Hard Labour Mike Leigh Tony Garnett Mike Leigh Liz Smith Included on the 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' DVD set[26] Repeated 30 May 1974, on BBC2 18 Aug 1993, and on BBC4 14 Jul 2008 and 7 Dec 2021.
19 Mar 1973 Man Above Men David Hare Mark Shivas Alan Clarke Gwen Watford Missing.
26 Mar 1973 Speech Day Barry Hines Graeme McDonald John Goldschmidt David Smith Repeated 10 Jan 1974.
14 May 1973 Steps Back David Halliwell David Rose Brian Parker David Hill
4 Jun 1973 Three's One Penelope Mortimer Graeme McDonald Alastair Reid Hywel Bennett Missing.
11 Jun 1973 Edward G - Like The Filmstar John Harvey-Flint Graeme McDonald James Ferman Robert Lang Missing.
18 Jun 1973 Blooming Youth Leslie Blair Tony Garnett Leslie Blair Philip Jackson Repeated 16 May 1974.
25 Jun 1973 The Stretch Julia Jones Graeme McDonald Peter Dews June Ellis Missing.
2 Jul 1973 Making The Play Terence Brady & Charlotte Bingham Kenith Trodd Michael Hayes James Bolam Missing.
Series 4
18 Oct 1973 Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont Elizabeth Taylor Graeme McDonald Michael Lindsay-Hogg Celia Johnson Adapted from the novel. BAFTA Best Actress (Celia Johnson). Repeated 20 Mar 1975.
25 Oct 1973 Her Majesty's Pleasure Jimmy O'Connor Kenith Trodd Barry Davis John Bindon
1 Nov 1973 Jack Point Colin Welland Kenith Trodd Michael Apted Stephen Murray Repeated 3 Apr 1975.
8 Nov 1973 The Emergency Channel John Bowen Graeme McDonald Robert Knights Richard Pascoe Missing.
15 Nov 1973 Mummy And Daddy Douglas Livingstone Kenith Trodd Barry Davis Neil Wilson Incomplete.
22 Nov 1973 Private Practice Peter Hankin Mark Shivas Peter Cregeen Priscilla Morgan Missing.
29 Nov 1973 Shutdown Tony Perrin Kenith Trodd John Mackenzie Freddie Fletcher Repeated 19 Jun 1975.
6 Dec 1973 Baby Blues Nemone Lethbridge Kenith Trodd James MacTaggart Zena Walker
13 Dec 1973 Jingle Bells Arthur Hopcraft Graeme McDonald Claude Whatham Colin Farrell Missing.
17 Jan 1974 The Lonely Man's Lover Barry Collins David Rose Brian Parker Jan Francis From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 6 Feb 1975.
31 Jan 1974 All Good Men Trevor Griffiths Graeme McDonald Michael Lindsay-Hogg Bill Fraser
14 Feb 1974 Joe's Ark Dennis Potter Graeme McDonald Alan Bridges Freddie Jones Repeated 19 Dec 1974, 7 Jul 1987, and on BBC4 30 Jan 2005.
21 Feb 1974 Hot Fat Jack Rosenthal Graeme McDonald Derek Bennett Richard O'Callaghan Missing.
7 Mar 1974 Easy Go Brian Clark & Ronnie King, Cliff Norris, Peter French, Paul Stuart, Tony Ali, Paul Bishop, Deirdre Walsh, Janice Reeves Graeme McDonald Michael Tuchner Alun Armstrong Postponed from 7 Feb 1974.
14 Mar 1974 Headmaster John Challen Graeme McDonald Anthony Page Frank Windsor Repeated 12 Jun 1975. Spun off as a series in 1977.
21 Mar 1974 Penda's Fen David Rudkin David Rose Alan Clarke Spencer Banks Blu-ray and DVD by the BFI;[27] also included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18] From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 13 Feb 1975.
28 Mar 1974 Pidgeon - Hawk Or Dove? Michael Sadler David Rose David Rose Iain Cuthbertson
11 Apr 1974 Three For The Fancy Peter Terson David Rose Matthew Robinson Brian Glover Repeated 28 Aug 1974.
6 Jun 1974 The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil John McGrath Graeme McDonald John Mackenzie Charles Kearney Blu-ray & DVD releases by Panamint Cinema[28] Adapted from the stage play. Repeated 17 Apr 1975.
20 Jun 1974 Schmoedipus Dennis Potter Kenith Trodd Barry Davis Anna Cropper Repeated 10 Apr 1975.
27 Jun 1974 The Childhood Friend Piers Paul Read Graeme McDonald Mike Newell Anthony Hopkins
4 Jul 1974 A Follower For Emily Brian Clark Graeme McDonald Alan Clarke Herbert Ramskill Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18]
Series 5
31 Oct 1974 Leeds — United! Colin Welland Kenith Trodd Roy Battersby Lynne Perrie Duration 115 minutes. Repeated 12 Aug 1976. Repeated on BBC4 3 Nov 2020.
7 Nov 1974 Baby Love David Edgar Kenith Trodd Barry Davis Patti Love Adapted from the play.
14 Nov 1974 Back Of Beyond Julia Jones Graeme McDonald Desmond Davis Rachel Roberts Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15] Repeated 5 Aug 1976.
21 Nov 1974 The Bevellers Roddy McMillan Pharic MacLaren Moira Armstrong Roddy McMillan From BBC Scotland
28 Nov 1974 Taking Leave Joyce Neary Kenith Trodd John Mackenzie George Sewell
5 Dec 1974 Fugitive Sean Walsh Kenith Trodd Peter Gill Stephen Rea
12 Dec 1974 Eleanor William Trevor Irene Shubik Barry Davis Colin Douglas
9 Jan 1975 Gangsters Philip Martin Barry Hanson Philip Saville Maurice Colbourne Included on the 'Gangsters' DVD set[29] From BBC Birmingham. Duration 110 minutes. Repeated 2 Sep 1976. Spun off as a series.
16 Jan 1975 The After Dinner Game Malcolm Bradbury & Christopher Bigsby David Rose Robert Knights Timothy West From BBC Birmingham
23 Jan 1975 Breath Elaine Feinstein David Rose Matthew Robinson Angela Pleasence From BBC Birmingham
30 Jan 1975 The Death Of A Young Young Man Willy Russell David Rose Viktors Ritelis Gary Brown From BBC Birmingham
20 Feb 1975 Sunset Across The Bay Alan Bennett Innes Lloyd Stephen Frears Gabrielle Daye Included on the 'Alan Bennett at the BBC' DVD boxset[30] Repeated 19 Aug 1976 and on BBC2 26 Jul 1992.
27 Feb 1975 Funny Farm Roy Minton Mark Shivas Alan Clarke Tim Preece Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18]
6 Mar 1975 Goodbye Hugh Whitemore Kenith Trodd Gavin Millar Jeremy Kemp From the novel by William Sansom.
13 Mar 1975 Just Another Saturday Peter McDougall Graeme McDonald John Mackenzie John Morrison Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.3' BFI Blu-ray set[21] & 'The Peter McDougall Collection' DVD set[31] Winner of the 1975 Italia Prize for Television Drama Programmes. Repeated on BBC2 7 Nov 1975, on BBC1 26 Aug 1976 and on BBC2 24 Aug 1977.
24 Apr 1975 Child Of Hope John Elliot Graeme McDonald Graham Evans Leon Gluckman Based on Joel Carlson's book No Neutral Ground.
1 May 1975 The Saturday Party Brian Clark Mark Shivas Barry Davis Peter Barkworth Repeated 25 April 1977, the day before its sequel, The Country Party.
8 May 1975 Wednesday Love Arthur Hopcraft Graeme McDonald Michael Apted Lois Daine
15 May 1975 The Dandelion Clock Wilson John Haire Ann Scott John Bruce Verona O'Hara Missing.
22 May 1975 Brassneck Howard Brenton & David Hare Graeme McDonald Mike Newell Jeremy Kemp Adapted from the play.
29 May 1975 The Floater Peter Prince Graeme McDonald Barry Davis Richard Beckinsale
Series 6
14 Oct 1975 Plaintiffs and Defendants Simon Gray Kenith Trodd Michael Lindsay-Hogg Alan Bates Shown in the USA on 16 July 1977 as a Piccadilly Circus episode.
21 Oct 1975 Two Sundays Simon Gray Kenith Trodd Michael Lindsay-Hogg Alan Bates Repeated 1 Sep 1977.
28 Oct 1975 Moss Bernard Kops Irene Shubik Philip Saville Warren Mitchell
4 Nov 1975 84, Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff & Hugh Whitemore Mark Shivas Mark Cullingham Frank Finlay Adapted from the book. Repeated 21 Jul 1977.
11 Nov 1975 Keep An Eye On Albert Brian Glover Ann Scott Michael Tuchner Susan Tracy
18 Nov 1975 Children Of The Sun Michael O'Neill & Jeremy Seabrook Ann Scott Viktors Ritelis Godfrey James Missing. Final episode to not exist.
25 Nov 1975 After The Solo John Challen Ann Scott Moira Armstrong Leonard Rossiter
2 Dec 1975 Through The Night Trevor Griffiths Ann Scott Michael Lindsay-Hogg Alison Steadman Repeated 4 Aug 1977.
9 Dec 1975 A Passage To England Leon Griffiths Kenith Trodd John Mackenzie Colin Welland Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15] Repeated 25 Aug 1977.
16 Dec 1975 Rumpole of the Bailey John Mortimer Irene Shubik John Gorrie Leo McKern DVD release by Acorn[32] Repeated 16 May 1993, and on BBC4 18 and 19 Jan 2009. Spun off as a long-running series on ITV (Thames Television).[33]
6 Jan 1976 The Other Woman Watson Gould David Rose Michael Simpson Jane Lapotaire From BBC Birmingham
13 Jan 1976 Nuts in May Mike Leigh David Rose Mike Leigh Roger Sloman Included on the 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' DVD set[26] From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 11 Aug 1977, on BBC2 5 Sep 1982 and 27 Dec 1993, and on BBC4 19 Apr 2009, 20 Jul 2010, 6 May 2012 and 1 Dec 2014.
20 Jan 1976 Doran's Box Eric Coltart David Rose Matthew Robinson Peter Eyre From BBC Birmingham. Exists only as a domestic video recording.
27 Jan 1976 Packman's Barn Alick Rowe David Rose Chris Menaul John Barrett From BBC Birmingham
3 Feb 1976 A Story To Frighten The Children John Hopkins Graeme McDonald Herbert Wise Geoffrey Palmer
10 Feb 1976 The Happy Hunting Ground Tom Hadaway Anne Head Brian Parker Neil Phillips
17 Feb 1976 Jumping Bean Bag Robin Chapman Rosemary Hill Alan Cooke David Dixon
24 Feb 1976 Clay, Smeddum And Greenden Lewis Grassic Gibbon & Bill Craig Pharic MacLaren Moira Armstrong Fulton Mackay Trilogy by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, dramatised by Bill Craig; from BBC Scotland. Repeated 18 Aug 1977.
2 Mar 1976 Love Letters On Blue Paper Arnold Wesker Graeme McDonald Waris Hussein Patrick Troughton
9 Mar 1976 Willie Rough Bill Bryden Pharic MacLaren Bob McIntosh James Grant Adapted from the stage play.
16 Mar 1976 Tiptoe Through The Tulips Beryl Bainbridge Kenith Trodd Claude Whatham Rosemary Leach
23 Mar 1976 The Peddler E. A. Whitehead Graeme McDonald Claude Whatham John Hurt
30 Mar 1976 Early Struggles Peter Prince Graeme McDonald Stephen Frears Paul Nicholas
6 Apr 1976 Double Dare Dennis Potter Kenith Trodd John Mackenzie Alan Dobie Repeated 28 Jul 1977, and on BBC4 6 Feb 2005.
Series 7
14 Sep 1976 Bar Mitzvah Boy Jack Rosenthal Graeme McDonald Michael Tuchner Jeremy Steyn Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.3' BFI Blu-ray set[21] & the 'Jack Rosenthal at the BBC' DVD set.[34] BAFTA Best Single Play and Best Writer awards, 1976. Repeated 6 May 1977, 28 Feb 1978 and 23 Jun 1997, and on BBC4 18 Jul 2004 and 17 Mar 2005.
21 Sep 1976 Bet Your Life Leslie Blair Graeme McDonald Leslie Blair Reginald Stewart
28 Sep 1976 Rocky Marciano Is Dead Bernard Kops Graeme McDonald Graham Evans Ron Moody
12 Oct 1976 The Elephants' Graveyard Peter McDougall Graeme McDonald John Mackenzie Billy Connolly Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set[23] &

'The Peter McDougall Collection' DVD set

Repeated 25 Jul 1978.
19 Oct 1976 Housewives' Choice Roy Kendall Kenith Trodd Chris Thomson Frances de la Tour
26 Oct 1976 Your Man From Six Counties Colin Welland Kenith Trodd Barry Davis Donal McCann Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15]
2 Nov 1976 Buffet Rhys Adrian Graeme McDonald Mike Newell Tony Britton
4 Jan 1977 Love On A Gunboat Malcolm Bradbury David Rose Robert Knights Stephen Moore From BBC Birmingham
11 Jan 1977 The Kiss Of Death Mike Leigh David Rose Mike Leigh David Threlfall Included on the 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' DVD set[26] From BBC Birmingham
18 Jan 1977 Our Flesh And Blood Mike Stott David Rose Pedr James Bernard Hill Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15] From BBC Birmingham. Repeated 29 Aug 1978.
25 Jan 1977 Do As I Say Charles Wood Graeme McDonald Barry Davis Angela Down
15 Mar 1977 Spend, Spend, Spend! Jack Rosenthal Graeme McDonald John Goldschmidt Susan Littler Included on the 'Jack Rosenthal at the BBC' DVD set[34] Based on the book by Vivian Nicholson and Stephen Smith. BAFTA Best Single Play. Repeated 1 Jun 1978.
22 Mar 1977 A Photograph John Bowen Graeme McDonald John Glenister John Stride Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.1' BFI Blu-ray set[15]
12 Apr 1977 Gotcha Barrie Keeffe Margaret Matheson Barry Davis Philip Davis Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set[23] Double Bill. Repeated 15 Aug 1978.
Campion's Interview Brian Clark Julian Curry Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set[23]
19 Apr 1977 A Choice Of Evils Jim Allen Margaret Matheson Jane Howell Stephen Murray
26 Apr 1977 The Country Party Brian Clark Mark Shivas Barry Davis Peter Barkworth Sequel to The Saturday Party.
Series 8
18 Oct 1977 Stronger Than The Sun Stephen Poliakoff Margaret Matheson Michael Apted Francesca Annis Repeated 21 Feb 1978, and on BBC4 21 Jan 2003, 14 May 2003 and 5 Mar 2006.
25 Oct 1977 Come The Revolution Robin Chapman Rosemary Hill Michael Darlow Vivian Pickles
1 Nov 1977 Abigail's Party Mike Leigh Margaret Matheson Mike Leigh Alison Steadman DVD release by BBC;[35] also included on the 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' DVD set[26] Adapted from the stage play. Repeated 7 Aug 1979, on BBC2 6 Sep 1982, 5 Jul 1992 and 1 Nov 1997, and on BBC4 26 Jun 2002, 11 Aug 2002, 28 Oct 2007, 17 Dec 2007, 7 Nov 2010, 21 Mar 2013, 24 Nov 2014, 14 Oct 2020 and 1 Jun 2022.
8 Nov 1977 Oy Vay Maria Mary O'Malley Margaret Matheson Richard Loncraine Cheryl Hall
15 Nov 1977 Nipper Barrie Keeffe Margaret Matheson Brian Farnham Coral Atkins
22 Nov 1977 One Day At A Time Denis Cannan Innes Lloyd Ronald Wilson Stephanie Cole
29 Nov 1977 The Mayor's Charity Henry Livings Richard Broke Mike Newell Thora Hird Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.3' BFI Blu-ray set[21]
5 Dec 1977 Catchpenny Twist Stewart Parker Robert Knights Sam Dale Repeated 21 Aug 1979.
13 Dec 1977 Charades Antonia Fraser Pharic MacLaren Roderick Graham Jennifer Hilary From BBC Scotland
20 Dec 1977 The Thin End Of The Wedge Sean McCarthy Pharic MacLaren John Black Tom Marshall From BBC Scotland
3 Jan 1978 Scully's New Year's Eve Alan Bleasdale David Rose Michael Simpson Andrew Schofield From BBC Birmingham
10 Jan 1978 Licking Hitler David Hare David Rose David Hare Kate Nelligan From BBC Birmingham. BAFTA Best Single Play. Repeated 31 Jul 1979.
17 Jan 1978 Red Shift Alan Garner David Rose John Mackenzie Stephen Petcher BFI DVD[36] From BBC Birmingham. Adapted from the novel.
24 Jan 1978 The Spongers Jim Allen Tony Garnett Roland Joffé Christine Hargreaves Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set[23] Duration 105 minutes. Prix Italia 1978, Golden Award and Best Script at Prague 1978. Repeated 6 Sep 1979, and on BBC2 25 Aug 1993 and 17 Jul 1999.
31 Jan 1978 Destiny David Edgar Margaret Matheson Mike Newell Colin Jeavons Adapted from the play. Duration 105 minutes. Repeated 14 Aug 1979.
7 Feb 1978 Our Day Out Willy Russell David Rose Pedr James Alun Armstrong DVD release by Simply Media[37] First shown as a Play Of The Week on BBC2, 28 December 1977. Repeated on BBC2 26 Dec 1979, and in 3 instalments under Scene, 14, 21 & 28 Jan 1994, and on BBC4 22 Aug 2008.
14 Feb 1978 The After Dinner Joke Caryl Churchill Margaret Matheson Colin Bucksey Paula Wilcox
18 Apr 1978 Days Of Hope: 1916 - Joining Up Jim Allen Tony Garnett Ken Loach Paul Copley Included on the 'Ken Loach at the BBC' DVD boxset[20] First shown 11 September 1975.
25 Apr 1978 Days Of Hope: 1921 - Every Pit In Britain Is Idle First shown 18 September 1975.
2 May 1978 Days Of Hope: 1924 - A Miracle First shown 25 September 1975.
9 May 1978 Days Of Hope: 1926 - General Strike First shown 2 October 1975.
1 Aug 1978 The Price Of Coal: Meet The People Barry Hines Tony Garnett Ken Loach Bobby Knutt Included on the 'Ken Loach at the BBC' DVD boxset[20] First shown 29 March 1977.
8 Aug 1978 The Price Of Coal: Back To Reality First shown 5 April 1977.
22 Aug 1978 The Legion Hall Bombing Caryl Churchill Margaret Matheson Roland Joffé David Kelly
Series 9
17 Oct 1978 Nina Jehane Markham Margaret Matheson Alan Clarke Jack Shepherd Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18]
24 Oct 1978 Victims Of Apartheid Tom Clarke Richard Eyre Stuart Burge John Kani Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set[23]
31 Oct 1978 A Touch Of The Tiny Hacketts John Esmonde & Bob Larbey James Cellan Jones Ray Brooks
7 Nov 1978 Dinner At The Sporting Club Leon Griffiths Kenith Trodd Brian Gibson John Thaw DVD release by Simply Media[38]
14 Nov 1978 Donal And Sally James Duthie Anne Head Brian Parker Gerard Kelly Best Direction, 1979 Prague International Television Festival. Repeated 8 Jul 1980.
21 Nov 1978 Sorry… Václav Havel & Vera Blackwell Innes Lloyd Claude Whatham Michael Crawford Adapted and translated by Vera Blackwell from the Vaněk plays Private View (a.k.a. Unveiling) and Audience. Repeated 6 Jan 1990.
28 Nov 1978 Butterflies Don't Count Wally K. Daly Innes Lloyd Kenneth Ives Frank Mills
5 Dec 1978 Soldiers Talking, Cleanly Mike Stott Richard Eyre Alan Dossor Bob Mason
12 Dec 1978 One Bummer News Day Andy McSmith Richard Eyre Michael Darlow Simon Rouse
2 Jan 1979 The Out Of Town Boys Ron Hutchinson David Rose Robert Knights Joe Lynch From BBC Birmingham
9 Jan 1979 Vampires Dixie Williams Tara Prem John Goldschmidt Peter Moran From BBC Birmingham
16 Jan 1979 The Chief Mourner John Elliot David Rose David Rose Richard Pasco From BBC Birmingham
23 Jan 1979 Waterloo Sunset Barrie Keeffe Richard Eyre Queenie Watts Repeated 5 Aug 1980.
30 Jan 1979 Blue Remembered Hills Dennis Potter Kenith Trodd Brian Gibson Colin Welland Included on the 'Helen Mirren at the BBC' DVD set[39] BAFTA Best Single Play and Best Director 1979. Repeated on BBC2 30 May 1980 and 6 Nov 1986, and on BBC4 5 Jun 2008.
5 Feb 1979 Who's Who Mike Leigh Margaret Matheson Mike Leigh Simon Chandler Included on the 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' DVD set[26] Repeated on BBC2 7 Sep 1982.
13 Feb 1979 The Last Window Cleaner Ron Hutchinson Kenith Trodd Bill Craske Patrick Magee
27 Feb 1979 Ploughman's Share Douglas Dunn Pharic MacLaren Fiona Cumming Duncan Brewster From BBC Scotland
6 Mar 1979 Degree Of Uncertainty Alma Cullen Pharic MacLaren Paul Annett Jennie Linden From BBC Scotland
13 Mar 1979 Light Tony Perrin Richard Eyre Jane Howell Jim Norton
10 Apr 1979 Coming Out James Andrew Hall Kenith Trodd Carol Wiseman Anton Rodgers Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.3' BFI Blu-ray set[21] Repeated on BBC2 13 Jun 1980.
24 Jul 1979 Don't Be Silly Rachel Billington Innes Lloyd Kenneth Ives Susan Fleetwood Repeated 12 Aug 1980. Repeated on BBC4 10 Nov 2020.
Series 10
11 Oct 1979 Long Distance Information Neville Smith Richard Eyre Stephen Frears Neville Smith Repeated on BBC2 4 Oct 1980.
18 Oct 1979 Cries From A Watchtower Stephen Lowe Richard Eyre Giles Foster Paix Copley
25 Oct 1979 Comedians Trevor Griffiths Richard Eyre Richard Eyre Bill Fraser Adapted from the stage play. Repeated 19 Aug 1980, and on BBC2 9 May 1993.
1 Nov 1979 Even Solomon Andrew Taylor Anne Head Roger Bamford Paul Henley
8 Nov 1979 Just A Boys' Game Peter McDougall Richard Eyre John Mackenzie Frankie Miller Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.2' BFI Blu-ray set;[23] 'The Peter McDougall Collection' DVD set Repeated 26 Aug 1980. Repeated on BBC4 27 Oct 2020.
13 Nov 1979 Billy G. F. Newman Kenith Trodd Charles Stewart Jason Plenderleith Repeated 10 Nov 1981.
29 Nov 1979 A Hole In Babylon Jim Hawkins & Horace Ové Graham Benson Horace Ové T-Bone Wilson Included on the 'Play for Today Vol.3' BFI Blu-ray set[21] Based on events of the 1975 Spaghetti House siege. Repeated on BBC2 27 Jun 1992. Repeated on BBC4 20 Oct 2020.
6 Dec 1979 The Slab Boys John Byrne Pharic MacLaren Bob Hird Gerard Kelly DVD release by John Williams Productions[40] Adapted from the play.
13 Dec 1979 Katie: The Year Of A Child Ian Cullen & John Norton John Norton Barry Davis Margaret Kelly
20 Dec 1979 The Network Stephen Fagan Anne Head Derek Lister Anthony Bate
2 Jan 1980 The Black Stuff Alan Bleasdale David Rose Jim Goddard Bernard Hill Included on the 'Boys from the Black Stuff' DVD set[41] The Black Stuff was commissioned and produced for the Play for Today strand in 1978, but not broadcast until 1980, as a one-off play on BBC2 (not billed as a Play for Today).[3] However BBC sources today generally do refer to it as a Play for Today.[42] Repeated on BBC1 30 Jul 1981, and on BBC4 19 Sep 2010 and 17 Nov 2020.
3 Jan 1980 Chance Of A Lifetime Robert Holman Richard Eyre Giles Foster David Daker Repeated 3 Sep 1981.
10 Jan 1980 Keep Smiling Paul Joyce David Rose Paul Joyce Stephen Moore From BBC Birmingham
17 Jan 1980 Dreams Of Leaving David Hare David Rose David Hare Bill Nighy From BBC Birmingham
24 Jan 1980 Thicker Than Water Brian Glover Tara Prem Alan Grint Colin Douglas From BBC Birmingham
31 Jan 1980 Murder Rap Michael Hastings Richard Eyre Peter Duffell Arthur Lovegrove Repeated 13 Aug 1981.
7 Feb 1980 Instant Enlightenment Including VAT Andrew Carr Innes Lloyd John Bruce Simon Callow Postponed from 22 Nov 1979.
14 Feb 1980 No Defence Chris Kewbank Innes Lloyd Clive Halls Illona Linthwaite
21 Feb 1980 That Crazy Woman David Hopkins John Norton Bill Craske Zena Walker
28 Feb 1980 A Gift From Nessus William McIlvanney & Bill Craig Pharic MacLaren James Ormerod Ken Hutchison Novel by William McIlvanney, dramatised by Bill Craig; from BBC Scotland.
6 Mar 1980 Kate, The Good Neighbour Peter Ransley Richard Broke John Bruce Rachel Kempson Repeated 27 Aug 1981.
13 Mar 1980 Buses Geoffrey Case Terry Coles Tim King Sebastian Abineri
20 Mar 1980 Shadows on Our Skin Jennifer Johnston & Derek Mahon Kenith Trodd Jim O'Brien MacRea Clarke Screenplay by Derek Mahon from the novel by Jennifer Johnston. Repeated 20 Aug 1981.
27 Mar 1980 Ladies Carol Bunyan Kenith Trodd Durmuid Lawrence Patsy Rowlands
3 Apr 1980 The Vanishing Army Robert Holles Innes Lloyd Richard Loncraine Bill Paterson First shown as a Play Of The Week on BBC2 29 Nov 1978, and repeated on BBC1 28 Aug 1979.
10 Apr 1980 Not For The Likes Of Us Gilly Fraser W. Stephen Gilbert Tim King Pam St Clement From BBC Bristol
17 Apr 1980 The Executioner Lionel Goldstein Innes Lloyd Kenneth Ives Paul Rogers
24 Apr 1980 The Imitation Game Ian McEwan Richard Eyre Richard Eyre Harriet Walter DVD release by Simply Media[43] Repeated on BBC2 8 Sep 1981 and 12 May 1993.
14 May 1980 A Walk In The Forest Jeremy Paul Carol Robertson Jack Gold John Alderton Repeated on BBC2 6 Jul 1980.
24 Jun 1980 On Giant's Shoulders Marjorie Wallace, Michael Robson, William Humble & Anthony Simmons Mark Shivas Anthony Simmons Judi Dench Based on the book by Marjorie Wallace and Michael Robson, dramatised by William Humble and Anthony Simmons. First shown as a Play Of The Week on BBC2, 28 Mar 1979. Repeated on BBC2 4 Nov 1986.
1 Jul 1980 Fearless Frank Andrew Davies Louis Marks Colin Bucksey Leonard Rossiter First shown as a Play Of The Week on BBC2, 4 Oct 1978.
Series 11
21 Oct 1980 Pasmore Richard Eyre & David Storey Ann Scott Richard Eyre Philip Jackson Screenplay by Richard Eyre from the novel by David Storey. Repeated 10 Aug 1982.
28 Oct 1980 C2H5OH David Turner Innes Lloyd James Cellan Jones Dinsdale Landen Title is the chemical formula for ethanol (alcohol).
4 Nov 1980 The Adventures Of Frank: 1 - Everybody's Fiddling Something John McGrath, Mark Brown, Mike O'Neill & Si Cowe Richard Eyre John McGrath Mick Ford A musical play in two parts by John McGrath, with music by Mark Brown and additional songs by Mike O'Neill and Si Cowe.
11 Nov 1980 The Adventures Of Frank: 2 - Seeds Of Ice
18 Nov 1980 Minor Complications Peter Ransley Richard Broke Moira Armstrong Paola Dionisotti Repeated 3 Aug 1982.
2 Dec 1980 Jude Lesley Bruce June Roberts Bill Craske Dorian Ford
9 Dec 1980 The Flipside Of Dominick Hide Jeremy Paul & Alan Gibson Chris Cherry Alan Gibson Peter Firth DVD release by BBC[44] Repeated 7 Dec 1982, and on BBC4 26 Feb 2006, 20 May 2006 and 26 Jul 2008.
16 Dec 1980 Name For The Day Colin Haydn Evans Anne Head Bill Bain Richard O'Callaghan
23 Dec 1980 Jessie Bryan Forbes Neil Zeiger Bryan Forbes Nanette Newman Repeated 11 Dec 1982.
6 Jan 1981 Beyond The Pale Les Blair John Norton Les Blair Michael Maynard
13 Jan 1981 The Muscle Market Alan Bleasdale Michael Wearing Alan Dossor Pete Postlethwaite From BBC Birmingham
20 Jan 1981 A Brush With Mr. Porter On The Road To El Dorado Don Haworth Michael Wearing Baz Taylor Christopher Benjamin From BBC Birmingham
3 Feb 1981 The Cause Derek Lister Terry Coles Barry Davis Jimmy Jewel
10 Feb 1981 Beloved Enemy David Leland & Charles Levinson Keith Williams Alan Clarke Graham Crowden Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18] Derived from the book Vodka Cola by Charles Levinson.
17 Feb 1981 The Kamikaze Ground Staff Reunion Dinner Stewart Parker Neil Zeiger Baz Taylor Peter Sallis
24 Feb 1981 The Union Tony Perrin Innes Lloyd Ronald Wilson Ian Hogg
3 Mar 1981 Sorry Carol Bunyan John Norton Alistair Clark Nicholas Ball Repeated 17 Aug 1982.
10 Mar 1981 Shai Mala Khani
The Garland
H. O. Nazareth & Horace Ové Peter Ansorge Horace Ové Tariq Yunus From BBC Birmingham
17 Mar 1981 The Sin Bin Tony Parker June Roberts John Gorrie Kenneth Cranham
24 Mar 1981 Before Water Lilies Robert Marshall Chris Cherry Alan Charlesworth Colin Bruce
31 Mar 1981 Bavarian Night Andrew Davies Louis Marks Jack Gold Gawn Grainger
7 Apr 1981 The Good Time Girls Alan Clews Pharic MacLaren Gareth Davies Anne Kristen From BBC Scotland. Repeated 27 Jul 1982.
21 Apr 1981 Baby Talk Nigel Williams Anne Head Derek Lister Susan Littler
28 Apr 1981 A Turn For The Worse John Bill John Norton Bill Hays Bernard Hill
12 May 1981 Psy-Warriors David Leland June Roberts Alan Clarke Rosalind Ayres Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18] Adapted from the play.
Series 12
20 Oct 1981 Country Trevor Griffiths Ann Scott Richard Eyre Leo McKern Repeated on BBC2 26 May 1993. Repeated on BBC4 12 Oct 2020.
27 Oct 1981 London Is Drowning Graham Williams Chris Cherry Martyn Friend David Neal
3 Nov 1981 A Room For The Winter Rose Tremain June Roberts Jim Goddard Jack Shepherd
17 Nov 1981 No Visible Scar Rosemary Davies Innes Lloyd Moira Armstrong Barbara Flynn
24 Nov 1981 Iris In The Traffic, Ruby In The Rain Stewart Parker June Roberts John Bruce Frances Tomelty Repeated on BBC2 15 Feb 1989.
1 Dec 1981 Protest Václav Havel & Vera Blackwell Innes Lloyd Alistair Clark Nigel Hawthorne Translated and adapted by Vera Blackwell from the play.
8 Dec 1981 United Kingdom Jim Allen Kenith Trodd Roland Joffé Colin Welland
15 Dec 1981 P.Q. 17 Roger Milner & Captain Jack Broome Innes Lloyd Frank Cox Richard Briers From the book Convoy Is To Scatter by Captain Jack Broome.
22 Dec 1981 The Factory David Hopkins Innes Lloyd Gerald Blake Leonard Rossiter
5 Jan 1982 England's Greens And Peasant Land Rita May John Norton Jim Hill Ron Delta
12 Jan 1982 A Cotswold Death Tony Bicat Michael Wearing Tony Bicat Ian Richardson
19 Jan 1982 Under the Skin Janey Preger Peter Ansorge Tony Smith Jacqueline Tong
26 Jan 1982 Commitments Dusty Hughes Ann Scott Richard Wilson Kevin McNally Adapted from the play. Exists only as a domestic video recording.
2 Feb 1982 Life After Death Rachel Billington Innes Lloyd Anthony Simmons Dorothy Tutin
9 Feb 1982 The Silly Season Stephen Mulrine Pharic MacLaren Alex Marshall Derek Anders From BBC Scotland
16 Feb 1982 Too Late To Talk To Billy J. Graham Reid Neil Zeiger and Chris Parr Paul Seed James Ellis First of the Billy trilogy. Repeated 3 May 1983.Repeated on BBC4 5 October 2022.
23 Feb 1982 Willie's Last Stand Jim Allen Alan Seymour Brian Parker Paul Freeman
9 Mar 1982 Tishoo Brian Thompson John Norton Gerald Blake Paul Daneman
16 Mar 1982 Home, Sweet Home Mike Leigh Louis Marks Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Included on the 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' DVD set[26]
23 Mar 1982 A Sudden Wrench Paula Milne Alan Shallcross Jon Amiel Rosemary Martin Repeated on BBC2 18 Mar 1983.
30 Mar 1982 Eve Set The Balls Of Corruption Rolling Marcella Evaristi Bob McIntosh David Maloney Debbie Wheeler From BBC Scotland. Pye Award for Best Writer New to Television, 1982
6 Apr 1982 Whistling Wally Wally K. Daly Innes Lloyd Gerald Blake Kenneth Farrington
Series 13
19 Oct 1982 Soft Targets Stephen Poliakoff Kenith Trodd Charles Sturridge Helen Mirren Included on the 'Helen Mirren at the BBC' DVD set[39] Repeated on BBC4 25 Jan 2003.
26 Oct 1982 3 Minute Heroes Leslie Stewart Colin Rogers Michael Custance Philip Freeman From BBC Birmingham
2 Nov 1982 The Remainder Man Philip Martin Ann Scott Richard Wilson Sheila Hancock
9 Nov 1982 Intensive Care Alan Bennett Innes Lloyd Gavin Millar Alan Bennett Repeated on BBC2 9 Aug 1992.
16 Nov 1982 A Mother Like Him Frances Galleymore Alan Shallcross Baz Taylor Perry Fenwick
23 Nov 1982 John David Paula Milne Brenda Reid Rodney Bennett Gwen Watford
30 Nov 1982 Aliens Alan Clews Bob McIntosh David Maloney Anthony Higgins From BBC Scotland
14 Dec 1982 Another Flip For Dominick Jeremy Paul & Alan Gibson Chris Cherry Alan Gibson Peter Firth BBC DVD release[44] Repeated on BBC4 27 May 2006 and 2 Aug 2008.
1 Mar 1983 Last Love Reg Gadney Alan Shallcross Nicholas Renton Elizabeth Sellars
8 Mar 1983 Gates Of Gold Maurice Leitch Chris Parr Jon Amiel Peter Bayliss
15 Mar 1983 Wayne And Albert David Hopkins Alan Shallcross Sarah Pia Anderson Arthur English
29 Mar 1983 Atlantis Peter Terson Colin Rogers Les Chatfield Frank Middlemass From BBC Birmingham
5 Apr 1983 The Last Term Raymond Hitchcock Rosemary Hill Philip Bonham-Carter Christopher Villiers
12 Apr 1983 Reluctant Chickens David Cregan Roger Gregory Gareth Davies Patrick Troughton From BBC Birmingham
19 Apr 1983 Shall I Be Mother? Peter Ransley Anne Head Ronald Wilson Eva Griffith
26 Apr 1983 The Falklands Factor Don Shaw Louis Marks Colin Bucksey Donald Pleasence
10 May 1983 A Matter Of Choice For Billy Graham Reid Neil Zeiger Paul Seed Kenneth Branagh Second of the Billy trilogy.Repeated on BBC4 5 October 2022.
Series 14
14 Feb 1984 Young Shoulders John Wain & Robert Smith Bernard Krichefski Silvio Narizzano David Horovitch Screenplay by Robert Smith and John Wain of the novel.
21 Feb 1984 A Coming To Terms For Billy Graham Reid Chris Parr Paul Seed Kenneth Branagh Third of the Billy trilogy. From BBC Northern Ireland. Repeated on BBC4 12 October 2022.
28 Feb 1984 Z For Zachariah Anthony Garner Neil Zeiger Anthony Garner Anthony Andrews Adapted from the novel. Duration 120 minutes.
6 Mar 1984 Moving On The Edge Rose Tremain Rosemary Hill Anthony Garner Eleanor Bron
13 Mar 1984 Desert Of Lies Howard Brenton Michael Wearing Piers Haggard Cherie Lunghi
20 Mar 1984 Hard Feelings Doug Lucie Michael Wearing Michael Bradwell Frances Barber Adapted from the play.
27 Mar 1984 Under The Hammer Stephen Fagan Michael Wearing Richard Wilson Peter Vaughan
3 Apr 1984 King Barrie Keeffe Michael Wearing Tony Smith Thomas Baptiste
10 Apr 1984 Rainy Day Women David Pirie Michael Wearing Ben Bolt Charles Dance Repeated on BBC2 8 Sep 1990.
17 Jul 1984 Dog Ends Richard Harris Andrée Molyneux Carol Wiseman Leonard Rossiter
24 Jul 1984 The Groundling And The Kite Leonard Preston Colin Rogers Peter Jefferies John Duttine From BBC Birmingham
31 Jul 1984 The Cry Derek Mahon & Chris Menaul from a story by John Montague Chris Parr Chris Menaul Adrian Dunbar Adapted from a story by John Montague.
14 Aug 1984 It Could Happen To Anybody Hugh McManus Bob McIntosh Laurence Moody Ann Scott-Jones From BBC Scotland
21 Aug 1984 Only Children Judy Forrest Alan Shallcross Michael Rolfe Charlotte Cornwell
28 Aug 1984 The Amazing Miss Stella Estelle Leslie Stewart Rob Walker John Davis Elaine Lordan
Postponed broadcasts
25 Aug 1987 Brimstone & Treacle Dennis Potter Kenith Trodd Barry Davis Denholm Elliott BBC DVD release[45] Postponed from 6 April 1976. Repeated on BBC2 5 Sep 1998 and on BBC4 2 Jan 2005.
27 Jul 1991 Scum Roy Minton Margaret Matheson Alan Clarke Ray Winstone Included in the 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC' Blu-ray set[18] Postponed from 8 November 1977.
Unbroadcast Pillion Paul Copley Richard Eyre Keith Evans Recorded in 1979 but never transmitted.

Home media edit

The BFI have released three box sets of the series on Blu-ray, each consisting of various plays from throughout the show's run. Volume 1 contains seven plays broadcast between 1970 and 77; The Lie (1970), Shakespeare or Bust (1973), Back of Beyond (1974), Passage to England (1975), Your Man from Six Counties (1976), Our Flesh and Blood (1977), and A Photograph (1977). Five of the productions were remastered using the original 16mm film negatives which still exist in the BBC Archives.

Volume 2 contains six plays broadcast between 1972 and 79; Stocker's Copper (1972), The Elephants' Graveyard (1976), Gotcha / Campion's Interview (1977), The Spongers (1978), Victims of Apartheid (1978), and Just a Boy's Game (1979).

Volume 3, released on 21 March 2022, contains six plays broadcast between 1971 and 79; Edna, the Inebriate Woman (1971), Just Another Saturday (1975), Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976), The Mayor's Charity (1977), Coming Out (1979), and A Hole in Babylon (1979).

Robin Redbreast, Penda's Fen, Abigail's Party, Our Day Out, The Imitation Game and several others have received standalone releases on DVD and Blu-ray, whilst others have been released on compilation DVDs with the creators' other works.

References edit

  1. ^ Irene Shubik "Letters: Eclectic roster on Play for Today", The Guardian, 5 April 2008
  2. ^ Richard Hewett Flipside of Dominick Hide, The (1980), Accessed 8 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b "The Black Stuff". 2 January 1980. p. 89 – via BBC Genome.
  4. ^ "The Black Stuff". 30 July 1981. p. 58 – via BBC Genome.
  5. ^ "Play for Today". TV Brain. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today". 12 October 2020. BBC Television. Retrieved 23 October 2020. {{cite episode}}: Missing or empty |series= (help)
  7. ^ Farquhar, Simon (5 June 2017). "Savage Ms-Siah". Dreams Gathering Dust. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  8. ^ Isaacs, David (31 December 1975). "Another side of the triangle". Coventry Evening Telegraph: 17 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ Gibson, Owen (1 March 2006). "BBC to revive the drama slot that helped Loach and Leigh to fame". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Spacey complains over BBC shows". BBC News. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  11. ^ Michael, Gove (7 April 2006). "Take our quiz to find out whether your partner is Just Tory Enough". The Times. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  12. ^ Mark Lawson "One-hit wonders", The Guardian, 2 April 2008. Retrieved on 9 April 2008.
  13. ^ Moir, Jan (2 April 2008). "Proper plays, please". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  14. ^ "BBC Genome".
  15. ^ a b c d e f g 'Play for Today Volume 1' 4-disc Blu-ray set, BFI BFIB1393, 2020
  16. ^ 'Robin Redbreast' DVD, BFI BFIVD997, 2013
  17. ^ "Play for Today: Robin Redbreast". 25 February 1971. p. 41 – via BBC Genome.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i 'Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC (1969–1989)' 13-disc Blu-ray set, BFI BFIB1250, 2016. Also 11-disc edition, BFI BFIB1466, 2022
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Play for Today: Seven Selected Plays repeat season, 11 March - 22 April 1971.
  20. ^ a b c 'Ken Loach at the BBC' 6-disc DVD boxset, BBC / 2|Entertain BBCDVD3395, 2011
  21. ^ a b c d e f 'Play for Today Volume 3' 3-disc Blu-ray set, BFI BFIB1443, 2022
  22. ^ 'Home - the television adaption of David Storey's acclaimed play' DVD, Metrodome, 2004
  23. ^ a b c d e f g 'Play for Today Volume 2' 3-disc Blu-ray set, BFI BFIB1394, 2021
  24. ^ 'The Fishing Party - A Play for Today' DVD, Simply Media 188002, 2018
  25. ^ 'Just Your Luck' DVD, BBC, 2008
  26. ^ a b c d e f 'Mike Leigh at the BBC' 6-disc DVD set, BBC / 2|Entertain, 2009
  27. ^ 'Penda's Fen' BFI BFIV2070 (DVD) / BFIB1222 (Blu-ray), 2016
  28. ^ 'The Cheviot the Stag and the Black Black Oil', Panamint Cinema BLU1013 (Blu-ray) / PCM6013 (DVD) / BLU2013 (Dual Format), 2017
  29. ^ 'Gangsters - the complete series' 4 DVD set, BBC / 2|Entertain CCTV30272, 2006
  30. ^ 'Alan Bennett at the BBC', 4-disc DVD boxset, BBC / 2|Entertain BBCDVD3041, 2009
  31. ^ 'The Peter McDougall Collection' 5-disc DVD set, BBC, 2007
  32. ^ 'The Classic Drama: Rumpole of the Bailey - Rumpole and the Confession of Guilt' DVD, Acorn Media, 2007
  33. ^ Shubik 2000, p. 177
  34. ^ a b 'Jack Rosenthal at the BBC' 5-disc DVD set, Acorn Media AV9975, 2011
  35. ^ 'Abigail's Party' DVD, BBC BBCDVD1181, 2003
  36. ^ 'Red Shift' DVD, BFI BFIV2007, 2014 [1][dead link]
  37. ^ 'Our Day Out - A Play of the Week' DVD, Simply Media 188000, 2018
  38. ^ 'Dinner at the Sporting Club' DVD, Simply Media 106813, 2003
  39. ^ a b 'Helen Mirren at the BBC' 6-disc DVD set, BBC / 2|Entertain, 2008
  40. ^ 'The Slab Boys' DVD, John Williams Productions Ltd JW472. 2008
  41. ^ 'Boys from the Black Stuff' 3-disc DVD set, BBC BBCDVD1178, 2003
  42. ^ "BBC One - Play for Today, Series 10 - The Black Stuff". Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  43. ^ 'The Imitation Game - A Play for Today' DVD, Simply Media 188001, 2018
  44. ^ a b 'The Flipside of Dominick Hide & Another Flip for Dominick' DVD, BBC / 2|Entertain, 2005
  45. ^ 'Brimstone and Treacle' DVD, BBC / 2|Entertain, 2004

Bibliography edit

External links edit