NEW THIS WEEK: Special Branch. See the end of the schedule for a guide to the characters, as they’re all introduced with a slightly bewildering rapidity at the start. Also, try not to miss this opening episode, as the events it contains are referenced several times throughout the rest of Series 1.
17:56 – Sheepy’s opening music.
18:00 – Thames TV morning start-up music.
18:05 – The Tomorrow People S01E12 – The Vanishing Earth (Part 3/4) – The classic 1970s ITV children’s series about a group of teens with paranormal abilities, who use their special gifts to battle evil. This week, John and Carol return to the lab where they find Stephen has been returned safely but no-one has any memory of what has happened. Meanwhile, Steen returns to the pier to continue his investigation into Spidron. First broadcast on Mon 23rd July 1973 by ITV.
18:29 – Shadows S01E04 – The Waiting Room – a British supernatural television anthology series produced by Thames Television for ITV between 1975 and 1978. This week, a young woman and her brother are stranded in a remote area late at night. They find an old 1920s train station, and wait there for the 5:30 am train. A train, which is not listed on the woman’s railway schedule, unexpectedly arrives at 1:30 am. First broadcast on Wed 24th Sept 1975 by ITV. Starring Jenny Agutter.
18:54 – Star Trek (The Original Series) – S01E13 – The Conscience of the King – This week, while Captain Kirk investigates whether an actor is actually a presumed dead mass murderer, a mysterious assailant is killing the people who could identify the fugitive. First broadcast in the USA on Thu 8th Dec 1966 by NBC.
19:45 – …And Mother Makes Three – S03E01 – Gather Ye Mushrooms While Ye May – More gentle middle-class Thames sitcom, starring Wendy Craig as the newly-widowed Sally Harrison, doing her best to bring up her two boisterous sons, Simon and Peter. This week, Sally complains to her new neighbour about rocks landing in her garden, news that Mr. Campbell is moving away sees her go into agriculture, and applying for a job with a book expert means competing with dolly birds. First broadcast on Thu 14th Sep 1972 by ITV. New title sequence!
20:10 – Brass – S01E11 – More Granada-made northern-drama-satirising comedy, starring Timothy West. This week, Bradley is angry with Jack over the forge, Agnes is angry too with Jack, again for buying the forge. Isobel is angry with Jack when Bradley tells her she was sold to him. Lady P is angry when Morris tells her he’s taking Matt to Cambridge. Morris appears to Matt in a dress and tells him he is a transvestite: Matt runs off. First broadcast on Mon 9th May 1983 by ITV.
20:35 – Special Branch – S01E01 – Troika – Groundbreaking British police drama series following the exploits of the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police: an elite group of officers tasked with protecting London from spies, terrorists, and subversives. This week, the Special Branch team are briefed on Operation Troika – a plan to detain three suspects under the Official Secrets Act. But one of them manages to send a coded message to Moscow before he is apprehended… First broadcast on Wed 17th Sept 1969 by ITV. See the character guide at the end of this schedule.
21:26 – Get Lost! E04/04 – Kiss Me Quick – A four-part drama by Alan Plater, starring Alun Armstrong as Neville Keaton and Bridget Turner as Judy Threadgold. This week, Sergeant Tomlin pursues his quest for flashers and vagabonds. Judy has a pile of essays to mark and Neville is paid a visit by a Duke Ellington fan. First broadcast on Fri 3rd July 1981 by ITV.
22:18 – Alan Plater Interview – This was an extra on the Get Lost! DVD, although the show itself isn’t even mentioned. The book of memoirs he’s plugging was published on 15th December 2006, so presumably this was filmed around then.
22:21 – Snub TV S02E06 – This week featuring:
• Primal Scream: “Loaded” (video)
• Pale Saints: “Insubstantial” (live), interview, “She Rides The Waves” (live)
• Kreisler String Orchestra: interview, “Wir Wandelten” (live)
• Loop: Robert Hampson interview, “Collision” (video extract), “Arc-Lite” (video extract), “From Centre To Wave” (video)
• Lemonheads: “Mallo Cup” (video)
Or as the Radio Times puts it: “This week’s edition features pop refugees the classical
Kreisler Orchestra, and an interview with Loop. Also the Pale Saints filmed live in France. Director PETER FOWLER Producer BRENDA KELLY”
From 1st generation off-air VHS > Panasonic HD recorder > DVD-R > MPEG Streamclip > MPEG4
Video compression: H.264, 352 x 288, deinterlaced
Audio compression: AAC, Stereo (L R), 48.000 kHz, 192 kbps
First broadcast on Mon 19th Feb 1990 at 6.30pm by BBC2.
22:48 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Original Radio Series) – The Tertiary Phase, Fit the Fourteenth – Original Radio Times listing: “Arthur and Ford have travelled in time and arrive at Lords Cricket Ground, where England are defeating Australia to win The Ashes. It turns out our heroes have arrived 24 hours before the destruction of the planet, but this fact almost pales into insignificance with the appearance of Slartibartfast, the elderly planet designer Arthur first encountered on Magrathea (see Primary Phase).
Slarti is here to avert the disastrous abduction of The Ashes (which have some intergalactic significance we can as yet only guess at) by the villainous and lethal Krikkit Robots. This he utterly fails to do, as they arrive, blow up Lords, and leave with their booty. Slarti, Arthur and Ford give chase in the unlikely Starship Bistromath which is powered by the equally unlikely (though not improbable) Somebody Else’s Problem Field.
On the swamp planet Squornshellous Zeta, Marvin the Paranoid Android is still helplessly trudging in circles, anchored to one spot by an artificial leg he was fitted with after surviving a near miss with the heart of a blazing star (again, see Primary Phase, and try and keep up for goodness’ sake). It is something of a relief for him to have the leg removed by the same eleven Krikkit Robots who have stolen The Ashes. It is even more of a relief when they decide to remove him as well, leaving his talkative but very boring companion, Zem the Mattress, to ponder the infinite and globber gently.“
First broadcast on Tue 28th Sep 2004 at 6.30pm by BBC Radio 4.
23:16 – COMMENTARY TRACK VERSION of The Tomorrow People S01E08 – The Medusa Strain (Part 3/4) – More interesting, amusing and sometimes scandalous DVD commentary featuring Nicholas Young (John), Peter Vaughan-Clarke (Stephen) and Philip Gilbert (TIM), moderated by Nicholas Briggs. To recap: this is the classic 1970s ITV children’s series about a group of teens with paranormal abilities, who use their special gifts to battle evil. This week, Rabowski finally coerces Peter into opening another Time Arch, where Jedikiah sends Rabowski to assault the lab in a prelude to eradicate the existence of Tomorrow People for all time. First broadcast on Mon 25th June 1973 by ITV. DVD Commentary recorded c. 2002.
23:40 – Secret Diary of a Call Girl S01E02 – a British drama television series based on the blog and books by the pseudonymous Belle de Jour. It stars Billie Piper as Belle, a high-end London call girl. This week, at a prestigious party, Belle has to decide between dumping a smug, over-possessive client in favor of her dream date, but family matters intervene after she’s made her choice, and her best friend gets a clue to her secret life. First broadcast on Thu 4th Oct 2007 by ITV2.
00:03 – Closedown music.
00:08 – Closedown.
GUIDE TO SPECIAL BRANCH MAIN CHARACTERS: