The Lotus Eaters (TV series)

The Lotus Eaters was a BBC television drama made in 1972 and 1973.

The Lotus Eaters
Lotus Eaters titles.jpg
Opening titles
GenreDrama
Created byMichael J. Bird
Directed by
Starring
No. of series2
No. of episodes15
Production
Producer(s)
Production location(s)Aghios Nikolaos, Crete
Release
Original networkBBC2
Original release23 April 1972 (1972-04-23) –
12 August 1973 (1973-08-12)
Chronology
Followed byWho Pays the Ferryman?

The series, written by Michael J. Bird, dealt with the lives of various British expats living on the island of Crete, and their reasons for being there.

PlotEdit

The central characters were a married couple, Erik (Ian Hendry) and Ann Shepherd (Wanda Ventham), who ran a tavern called "Shepherd's Bar".

Ann is revealed in the first episode to be a sleeper agent of British Intelligence, Erik having been a broken-down drunk whom she was made to marry as part of her cover story. Other episodes dealt with the other expats who frequented the bar. The most intriguing character in both series is the Greek police captain, Michael Krasakis (Stefan Gryff). In the second series the British Intelligence aspect is developed, until a clash with Soviet and Chinese agents results in both Ann and Erik having to leave Crete. In the final scene, about to board a plane leaving Heraklion airport, they have a partial reconciliation, since each is the only person the other can trust.

CastEdit

Main cast:

Recurring cast – Series 1 only:

  • James Kerry as Donald Culley (eps. 1, 3, 8–9)
  • Thorley Walters as Major Edward Woolley (eps. 1–4)
  • Sylvia Coleridge as Miriam Woolley (eps. 1–4)
  • Julia Goodman as Kirsten McLuhan (eps. 1–2, 4–5, 7, 9)
  • Martin Howells as Mark Potter (eps. 1–2, 4–5, 7, 9)
  • Karan David as Katerina (eps. 1–6, 8–9)
  • Carol Cleveland as Leigh Mervish (eps. 1–4, 7)
  • Karl Held as Philip "Pip" Mervish (eps. 1–4, 7)

Recurring cast – Series 2 only:

ProductionEdit

The Lotus Eaters was filmed in the Cretan resort of Aghios Nikolaos and derived its title from the Lotus Eaters of Greek mythology, where those who ate the fruit of the lotus tree lost the desire to return home.

The series was also the first of the Mediterranean-based dramas written by Michael J Bird for the BBC. The others included Who Pays the Ferryman?, also set in Crete; The Aphrodite Inheritance, set in Cyprus; and The Dark Side of the Sun, set in Rhodes.

The series' theme is Ta Trena Pou Fyghan (Τα Τραίνα Που Φύγαν = The Trains That Departed), from the album Hellespont, composed by Stavros Xarchakos.[1]

Episode detailsEdit

Series 1
1–1 Cold Wind from the North (23 Apr 1972) [2]
To eat the fruit of the lotus is to lose the desire to return home. But everyone who does has a reason.
Writer / Creator Michael J. Bird
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Cyril Coke
Studio lighting Nigel Wright
Studio sound Gordon Mackie
Designer Colin Shaw
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Katerina Karan David
Franz Zimmermann John G Heller
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Donald Culley James Kerry
Ruth Stewart Cyd Hayman
Leigh Mervish Carol Cleveland
Philip Mervish Karl Held
Kirsten McLuhan Julia Goodman
Mark Potter Martin Howells
Major Woolley Thorley Walters
Mrs Woolley Sylvia Coleridge
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Vassilakis Michael Zorba
First boy Ziggy Byfield
Second boy Charles Marriott
Girl Alison Griffin
Policeman Antonio Di Maggio
Controller Frank Duncan
Instructor Milos Kirek
1–2 The Present Mrs Clive (30 Apr 1972) [3]
"I don't want to hurt her, but she's got to be made to realise that our marriage is dead."
It sounds simple, but Lorna Clive has other ideas.
Writer / Creator Michael J. Bird
Producer Michael Glynn
Director Douglas Camfield
Costumes Judy Allen
Make-up Jacquie Jefferies
Designer Michael Young
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Katerina Karan David
Major Woolley Thorley Walters
Mrs Woolley Sylvia Coleridge
David Clive Michael McStay
Jennifer Neal Susan Tebbs
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Mark Potter Martin Howells
Kirsten McLuhan Julia Goodman
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Lorna Clive Ann Firbank
Philip Mervish Karl Held
Leigh Mervish Carol Cleveland
1–3 And Hera Had a Sister (7 May 1972) [4]
Storm clouds gather over Aghios Nikolaos as Erik Shepherd and his customers await a stranger.
"We are all so vulnerable," says Captain Krasakis. "Conscience is every man's cross, as shame is his crown of thorns."
Writer / Creator Michael J. Bird
Producer Michael Glynn
Director Douglas Camfield
Designer Michael Young
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Katerina
Carol Sadler
Karan David
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Postman Andrew Andreas
Clerk of the Court Neville Barber
Policeman Clive Roger
Major Woolley Thorley Walters
Mrs Woolley Sylvia Coleridge
Philip Mervish Karl Held
Leigh Mervish Carol Cleveland
Fisherman John Eastham
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Donald Culley James Kerry
Controller Frank Duncan
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Sheila Fleming Pamela Roland
Machin Derek Ware
1–4 A Touch of Home (14 May 1972) [5]
Major and Mrs Edward Woolley live a perfectly ordered existence on Crete. But when the calm routine is broken, their life explodes into a violent reaction.
Writer / Creator Michael J. Bird
Producer Michael Glynn
Director Cyril Coke
Designer Michael Young
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Major Woolley Thorley Walters
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Mrs Woolley Sylvia Coleridge
Kirsten McLuhan Julia Goodman
Mark Potter Martin Howells
Katerina Karan David
Leigh Mervish Carol Cleveland
Philip Mervish Karl Held
Clerk Andreas Markos
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
1–5 Aphrodite (22 May 1972) [6]
Like the goddess Aphrodite, Julie Johnson drifts into Aghios Nikolaos from the sea. And like Aphrodite she disrupts the lives of all she meets, particularly Ann and Erik Shepherd.
Creator Michael J. Bird
Writer Jack Ronder
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director David Cunliffe
Designer Austin Ruddy
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Mark Potter Martin Howells
Kirsten McLuhan Julia Goodman
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Julie Suzan Farmer
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Katerina Karan David
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Police Sergeant Tony Boyd
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Val Ingrid Hafner
Nat Gary Waldhorn
Policeman Antonio Di Maggio
1–6 A Tiger in Bristol Street (28 May 1972) [7]
When the past catches up with Nestor Turton the results are both catastrophic and hilarious. For Nestor, it seems, has been dead for several years …
Creator Michael J. Bird
Writer David Fisher
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Cyril Coke
Designer Colin Shaw
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Jervis Duncan Peter Woodthorpe
Monica Turton Alethea Charlton
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
American Husband Peter Carlisle
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Katerina Karan David
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Controller Frank Duncan
Donald Culley James Kerry
1–7 The Fascinating Couple (4 Jun 1972) [8]
No Cretan will set foot on the deserted island of Spinalonga. But Philip and Leigh Mervish find the powerful atmosphere of this former leper colony perfect for a psychological experiment.
Creator Michael J. Bird
Writer David Weir
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director David Cunliffe
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Mark Potter Martin Howells
Kirsten McLuhan Julia Goodman
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Philip Mervish Karl Held
Leigh Mervish Carol Cleveland
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
1–8 You Might Get Hurt, Jocasta (11 Jun 1972) [9]
Two people return to Aghios Nikolaos. And the marriage of Erik and Ann Shepherd is strained to breaking point.
Creator Michael J. Bird
Writer David Weir
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Douglas Camfield
Producer Anthony Read
Jocasta Anouska Hempel
Alan Fletcher Griffith Jones
Alexia Thalia Kouri
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Katerina Karan David
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Donald Culley James Kerry
1–9 The Climbing Wave (18 Jun 1972) [10]
As the town celebrates the festival of St Nicholas, the story of Erik and Ann Shepherd reaches a shattering climax.
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Colin Shaw
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director David Cunliffe
Producer Anthony Read
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Katerina Karan David
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Donald Culley James Kerry
Mark Potter Martin Howells
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Kirsten McLuhan Julia Goodman
Controller Frank Duncan
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Series 2
2–1 There and Back by Candlelight (8 Jul 1973) [11]
The first title in the new series which continues the story of Erik and Ann Shepherd.
Will they return to Aghios Nikolaos and face up to the web of intrigue and mystery in which they find themselves so deeply involved?
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Michael Young
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Cyril Coke
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Nicholson Godfrey James
Cotton Frank Duncan
Major Constantinos John Savident
Richards Ian Fairbairn
Gerald Mace Timothy Carlton
Doctor Frederick Peisley
2–2 A Kind of Treason (15 Jul 1973) [12]
The Shepherds are back in Aghios Nikolaos. Ann remembers fragments from the past … a past about which Erik learns the truth.
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Austin Ruddy
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Viktors Ritelis
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Gerald Mace Timothy Carlton
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Nicholson Godfrey James
Major Constantinos John Savident
Richards Ian Fairbairn
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Cotton Frank Duncan
Chief Supt Fowler Antony Carrick
Ariadne Mazonaki Calliope Petrohilos
Sam Webber Paul Maxwell
Imogen Lundqvist Susan Engel
Dr Dartington Ronald Howard
Sir Hugh Russell John Horsley
2–3 A Very Long Spoon (22 Jul 1973) [13]
"You see, the terrible thing about all this business is that you can no longer trust anyone," says Captain Krasakis. Erik Shepherd realises how true this is when Ann regains her memory.
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Graham Oakley
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Cyril Coke
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Cotton Frank Duncan
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Imogen Lundqvist Susan Engel
Dr Dartington Ronald Howard
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Ariadne Mazonaki Calliope Petrohilos
Gerald Mace Timothy Carlton
Bar customer Andreas Markos
Sam Webber Paul Maxwell
Sir Hugh Russell John Horsley
Nicholson Godfrey James
2–4 Beside a Crooked Stile (29 Jul 1973) [14]
The tensions and pressures increase on the Shepherds, particularly when they lose a very close friend.
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Michael Young
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Viktors Ritelis
Ariadne Mazonaki Calliope Petrohilos
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh
Cotton Frank Duncan
Sir Hugh Russell John Horsley
Nicholson Godfrey James
Gerald Mace Timothy Carlton
Nestor Turton Maurice Denham
Marukakis Salvin Stewart
Sam Webber Paul Maxwell
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Imogen Lundqvist Susan Engel
Dr Dartington Ronald Howard
2–5 The Well Diggers (5 Aug 1973) [15]
"When two people whisper together in a corner they're usually digging a well for a third one to fall into," Erik Shepherd tells Sam Webber.
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Michael Young
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Cyril Coke
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Sam Webber Paul Maxwell
Cotton Frank Duncan
Nicholson Godfrey James
Gerald Mace Timothy Carlton
Ariadne Mazonaki Calliope Petrohilos
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Dr Dartington Ronald Howard
Imogen Lundqvist Susan Engel
2–6 And if you have time, Lord (12 Aug 1973) [16]
With true identities revealed, the Shepherds' marriage faces its biggest test …
Creator / Writer Michael J. Bird
Designer Michael Young
Associate Producer Michael Glynn
Director Viktors Ritelis
Gerald Mace Timothy Carlton
Nicholson Godfrey James
Cotton Frank Duncan
Erik Shepherd Ian Hendry
Captain Krasakis Stefan Gryff
Ariadne Mazonaki Calliope Petrohilos
Imogen Lundqvist Susan Engel
Ann Shepherd Wanda Ventham
Dr Dartington Ronald Howard
Sam Webber Paul Maxwell
Nikos Anthony Stamboulieh

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Columbia – 2j 054-70011 / SX.6135 / DNZ.10865
  2. ^ Radio Times (23 Apr 1972), "Cold Wind from the North", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 1), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, pp. 23, 52–55
  3. ^ Radio Times (30 Apr 1972), "The Present Mrs Clive", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 2), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 25
  4. ^ Radio Times (7 May 1972), "And Hera Had a Sister", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 3), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 23
  5. ^ Radio Times (14 May 1972), "A Touch of Home", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 4), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 23
  6. ^ Radio Times (22 May 1972), "Aphrodite", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 5), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 23
  7. ^ Radio Times (28 May 1972), "A Tiger in Bristol Street", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 6), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 23
  8. ^ Radio Times (4 Jun 1972), "The Fascinating Couple", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 7), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 23
  9. ^ Radio Times (11 Jun 1972), "You Might Get Hurt, Jocasta", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 8), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, pp. 23, 5
  10. ^ Radio Times (18 Jun 1972), "The Climbing Wave", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 9), Series 1, 195, BBC Two, p. 25
  11. ^ Radio Times (8 Jul 1973), "There and Back by Candlelight", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 1), Series 2, 200, BBC Two, pp. 21, 5
  12. ^ Radio Times (15 Jul 1973), "A Kind of Treason", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 2), Series 2, 200, BBC Two, p. 23
  13. ^ Radio Times (22 Jul 1973), "A Very Long Spoon", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 3), Series 2, 200, BBC Two, p. 23
  14. ^ Radio Times (29 Jul 1973), "Beside a Crooked Stile", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 4), Series 2, 200, BBC Two, p. 23
  15. ^ Radio Times (5 Aug 1973), "The Well Diggers", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 5), Series 2, 200, BBC Two, p. 23
  16. ^ Radio Times (12 Aug 1973), "And if you have time, Lord", The Lotus Eaters (Ep 6), Series 2, 200, BBC Two, p. 21

External linksEdit