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Tinsel Town was a television drama produced in Scotland. It ran for two series, Series one in 2000 and the second in 2001. Set in Glasgow it deals with the lifestyles of eight main characters which revolve around the 'Tinsel Town' nightclub in series one. These characters include Stevie Allen as 37-year old policeman Lewis Reid, and David Paisley as his 17-year old boyfriend Ryan Taylor. Ryan's sister Sandra (Mandy Mathews) is also a central character with her friendship with Jack Donnelly (Thomas Hicky) providing humour and balance to the cast. 

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The dodgy business deals of an older brother finally catch up with him, forcing him and his blameless younger  brother to seek refuge in the family theme park business in Blackpool. The tension of this drama series, which ran for seven 
episodes in 1990, is whether or not Howitt's character can stay on the straight and narrow or if he will end up getting himself or his brother killed.

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Always and Everyone is a British television drama that ran from 1999 to 2002. It dramatised the hectic everyday lives of the doctors and nurses running the Accident and Emergency department of the large, busy city hospital, St. Victor's. 

 

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Sons and Daughters is a Logie Award winning Australian soap opera created by Reg Watson and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation between 1981 and 1987. The first episode aired on Monday 18 January 1982, during the Christmas/New Year non-ratings period in both Sydney and Melbourne, and the broadcast date of the final episode varied across Australia. The final episode was screened in Sydney on Sunday 27 December 1987 and in Melbourne on Sunday 10 January 1988 (again in the non-ratings period). Adelaide station ADS7 was one of the first to complete the series, showing the final episodes in a two-hour special on Monday 16 November 1987.

There are 972 half-hour episodes, but during the series' original run in Australia, later episodes were shown in an hour-long format. The pilot episode was shown in Australia and some UK  regions as a 90-minute special, although subsequent screenings have seen that episode split into three half-hours. The program has been broadcast internationally, and has been particularly popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium.

Full Series 1 - 6 -  972 Episodes

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Robson Green stars as John Close, a well meaning but inexperienced solicitor who takes over the running of a run down Newcastle legal practice. The series unites Robson with one of the North East's most celebrated actors, James Bolam, who plays Graham True, the founding partner of the practice John takes over and who now happily resides in a mental hospital and becomes an unlikely mentor for John Close.

Mini Series - 6 Parts 

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A Man Called Intrepid is based on the best-selling book by William Stevenson, this 3-Part mini series begins in 1939, just before the outbreak of WWII. With his warnings of Hitler's treachery going ignored, out-of-power politician Winston Churchill (Nigel Stock) approaches patriotic Canadian industrialist Sir William Stephenson (David Niven) with an unusual request. Sir William is asked to use his own funds to secretly organize an Allied espionage network, to be set in motion the moment Hitler shows his hand. Joining in this covert operation is American president Franklin D. Roosevelt, who, risking possible impeachment, encourages Sir William to establish a training base for spies in Ontario. Other concerned parties include the courageous French expatriate Madelaine (Barbara Hershey) and Sir Willi.am's right-hand man Evan Michaelain (Michael York).

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Absent Friends unfolds over afternoon tea where friends gather to console a recent widower over his wife's death by accidental drowning. Socially gormless, the widower exposes simmering tensions and disaffections, leaving them by the end unintentionally but hilariously much the worse for his visit.

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Superb teleplay of Ayckbourn's stage hit taking us to three kitchens of three business associates and their spouses on three successive Christmases (last Christmas, this Christmas, next Christmas). Over the three years fortunes and fates are reversed and the manic laughter of last Christmas turns to surreal abandon next Christmas. Super perfs all-around but of note by Maureen Lipman and Geoff Palmer. Is the ending heartbreaking or hilarious? Both? You decide.

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Alan and Tricia Hamilton are very happy. He's the head of a building firm and on top of his game. She's a part-time beautician and mother to their two sons. One day their perfect, if unremarkable, life is torn apart when a last-minute decision to pop out for a quick drink with a colleague sees Alan step out in front of a passing car. The resulting accident leaves him in a deep coma but with remarkably few physical injuries. Desperately worried about him, Tricia is delighted when he comes round - only to discover that the man she loved has disappeared. His behaviour's changed, he's lost all of his inhibitions and he veers from angry and frustrated to vulnerable and childlike. Simple tasks like making toast and getting dressed are beyond him, he's unable to hold down the job he loves and he plays and laughs with his sons as if he's a child. Alan's behaviour puts his relationship with Tricia under intolerable pressure. She longs to find the husband she loves in there somewhere - but fears she may have lost him forever 

David Tennant 
 

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The Prisoner Of Second Avenue DVD (Region 2) Color. Widescreen. Jack Lemmon, Anne Bancroft, Gene Saks.

Writer and comedy genius Neil Simon at his best! Neurotic middle-aged New Yorker Mel Edison (Jack Lemmon) is fired from his advertising job, forcing his loving wife, Edna (Anne Bancroft), to become the couple's sole breadwinner. Feeling emasculated, he begins to fall into a depression. A summer heat wave, unthoughtful neighbors and a robbery only worsen matters. When Mel finally suffers a nervous breakdown, he relies on those closest to him, including Edna and his brother Harry (Gene Saks), to restore his sanity.

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Shoot to Kill is a four-hour drama documentary reconstruction of the events that led to the 1984–86 Stalker Inquiry into the shooting of six terrorist suspects in Northern Ireland in 1982 by a specialist unit of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), allegedly without warning (the so-called shoot-to-kill policy); the organised fabrication of false accounts of the events; and the difficulties created for the inquiry team in their investigation. 

The film, written by Michael Eaton and directed by Peter Kosminsky, was made for Television, and screened in two parts over successive nights in June 1990. However, the programme was not broadcast in Northern Ireland itself, a precaution that Ulster Television said reflected legal advice that it might prejudice future inquests on the deceased, which had been suspended. 

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Professor Glynne Wickham looks at the latest proposals to reconstruct Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre near its original site in Southwark, examining the historical evidence for the construction of theatres in Shakespeare’s time, and discussing the effect of modern alterations to these designs on the authenticity of the project. Professor Wickham is then assisted by actor Robert Powell in examining the possible theatrical effects which could have been achieved in Shakespeare’s day, as well as getting an actor’s point of view of the problems presented by the original stage. The question of cost is discussed with the project’s organiser, Sam Wanamaker. 

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Sunset Beach, the one-hour daytime drama from Aaron Spelling, premiered January 6, 1997. It was both Spelling's first daytime venture and the first new serial to hit the television airwaves in eight years. The show has developed a solid fan base that Soap Opera Digest called "remarkable for a newcomer" and it didn't take long for the show to become a cult hit here in The UK. Set in a small coastal California community, Sunset Beach made its mark on television by combining traditional daytime drama storytelling with the natural beauty of Southern California's beach locations and was supported by a talented and ethnically-diverse cast. TV Guide noted that "Sunset Beach had become a cult hit with growth potential" for the daytime serial viewer. This fact had become particularly true with teen viewers who enjoyed Sunset's suspenseful and quirky storylines like "Terror Island," a take-off on the popular Scream movies. Also popular was the storyline "Shock Wave," highly publicized earthquakes followed by a treacherous tsunami which caused mayhem at the beach. Sunset Beach also blended real-life news into its storyline, such as the Presidential scandals. Sunset Beach featured some of the most recognizable and popular stars on television as well as the hottest newcomers to daytime. They portrayed core family members and friends living in Sunset Beach who came from all walks of life-rich, poor, heroes, villains, lovers, friends and enemies. Families such as the Richards, the Deschanels, the Torres and the Cummings, were all interwoven, often coming together at the funky blues/rock club, The Deep, or at the cyber coffeehouse, Java Web. They worked as police officers, lifeguards, reporters, waiters, lawyers and restaurant owners.

 

 

Complete Series =755 Episodes

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Comedy drama serial 'Happy Birthday Shakespeare' followed family man Will Green (Neil Morrissey), a tourist bus driver who is convinced that life would be better if he and his family moved to the birthplace of his favourite man Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford-Upon-Avon where he could open his own restaurant. Will also harboured dreams about beginning a romance with tour guide Alice (Amanda Holden).

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A TV schools version of the play by William Shakespeare, filmed in the studio and on location with an impressive cast and some very moody lighting! 

Originally broadcast in five episodes in the `Middle English' series. This DVD features both the original 5-part serial AND ALSO the 80-minute compilation. Both are subtly different edits, each featuring material not found in the other. 

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A TV schools version of the play by William Shakespeare, filmed in the studio and on location in Venice. Originally broadcast in five episodes in the `Middle English' series. This DVD features both the original 5-part serial AND ALSO the 80-minute compilation. Both are subtly different edits, each featuring material not found in the other. 
 
The movie features Haydn Gwynne as Portia, Bob Peck as Shylock, Paul McGann as Bassanio, and Benjamin Whitrow as Antonio. The costumes are credible according to the time period, and the acting is outstanding. Bob Peck as Shylock and Haydn Gwynne as Portia offer particularly interesting performances. Antonio and Bassanio appear to have deep love for one another in the play; however, their relationship never appears to be anything more than strictly friendship-based because of Bassanio’s passionate performance for Portia. 
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Made on an unusually large budget of £1 million, John Caird's adaptation of Henry IV was the BBC's biggest Shakespeare project since the close of the BBC Television Shakespeare (1978-85) a decade earlier, and was considerably more adventurous than any of those productions. Huge cuts were made to the original text (Caird said that he'd removed almost everybody named after an English county), much of the remainder was reshuffled, and additional material was interpolated from Richard II, Henry V, Henry VI Part III and The Merry Wives of Windsor. If it's not as radical a reinvention as the same year's big-screen Richard III (d. Richard Loncraine) - the medieval-cum-Elizabethan setting at least remains true to the original - it certainly rivals it for gripping immediacy and overall clarity. 

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Richard Eyre's six-part series on the English-speaking theatre of the 20th Century. 

Eyre looks at influences on the British theatre as he came to the end of his tenure as the National Theatre's artistic director; typically, he focuses on a few key writers per episode, loosely organised into factions or geographical influence (thus, in the episode on the American influences we get Odets, Williams, Miller and the Broadway musical). 

The presentation relies heavily on clips from the plays discussed, archive interview footage, and contemporary talking head comments. Eyre himself presents throughout, and no one can doubt his enthusiasm and commitment to the craft he has long perfected as a director of drama and musicals. This is a valuable and now rarely-seen series. 

What follows is a highly original survey of modern British theatre, beginning with Shakespeare, "the DNA of British theatre", and moving through the pervasive influence of Irish playwrights (Congreve, Shaw, Wilde and Yeats), the significance of the American influences from O'Neill to Rodgers and Hammerstein, the impact of Brecht, the breakthrough of Look Back in Anger in 1956, and concluding chapters on the current state of the theatre. 

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A TV schools version of the play by William Shakespeare, filmed in the studio and on location with an impressive cast. This production is influenced by Michael Bogdanov’s experimental workshop in Birmingham where he explored the impact of Shakespeare on working-class people. Bogdanov uses urban buildings, and junkyards to give a post-apocalyptic feel. 

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Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

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THIS SELECTION OFFERS FIVE DOCUMENTARIES, DISTRIBUTED ACROSS TWO DVDs. 

'Film Educaton' was strand of documentaries, aimed primarily at media students, analysing the art and craft of movie making, directing and screenwriting. These programmes look specifically at transferring some of the most famous English language plays to the big screen. 

RICHARD III: SHOOTING SHAKESPEARE (1996) 

An analysis of the Richard Loncraine/Ian McKellen film of RICHARD III, looking at the creative choices made in adapting the play. Featuring contributions from Richard Loncraine, Ian McKellen, Nigel Hawthorne, Dominic West and Annette Bening. 

HAMLET - TO CUT, OR NOT TO CUT (1997) 

An analysis of the Kenneth Branagh film of HAMLET, looking at the creative choices made in adapting the play. Featuring contributions from Kenneth Branagh, Dr. Robert Smallwood (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) and Russell Jackson (script advisor). 

ROMEO AND JULIET - STARS, I DEFY THEE (1997) 
Film Education: William Shakespeare Screening DVD - Branagh Mckellen


An analysis of the Baz Luhrmann film of ROMEO + JULIET, looking at the creative choices made in adapting the play. Featuring contributions from Baz Luhrmann, Gordon Dennis (Ball State University), Claire Danes, Terence Hawkes (University of Wales), John Leguizamo, Leonardo Di Caprio, Paul Sorvino and Diane Venora. 

SCREENING SHAKESPEARE (1997) 

An analysis of the art of adapting Shakespeare for the big screen, looking at the creative choices made in adapting the plays. Featuring contributions from Peter Greenaway (director of Prospero's Books), Adrian Noble (director of Twelfth Night), Richard Briers (who acted in Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet), Richard Loncraine (dirctor of Richard III), Paul Arnott (producer of A Midsummer Night's Dream), Gordon Dennis (Ball State University), Terence Hawkes (University of Wales), Kenneth Branagh (director of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing), Russell Jackson (Branagh's script advisor), Patrick Spottiswoode (Globe Education), Ian McKellen, Al Pacino (director of Looking For Richard), and Dr. Robert Smallwood (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust). 

and, as a bonus feature: 

TRUTH ON TRIAL - THE CRUCIBLE (1997) 

An analysis of the Nicholas Hytner film of Arthur Miller's modern tragedy, looking at the creative choices made in adapting the play. Featuring contributions from Arthur Miller, Joan Allen, Winona Ryder, Nicholas Hytner and Daniel Day Lewis. 

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City Lights was a Scottish television sitcom made by BBC Scotland and set in Glasgow. It was written by Bob Black. Two stage shows, featuring the original cast, toured Scotland. 

It starred Gerard Kelly as Willie Melvin, a bank-teller at the fictional Strathclyde Savings Bank (whose logo was very similar to the TSB), with dreams of becoming a novelist. Most of the plots revolved around his attempts to get his book, the autobiographical My Childhood Up A Close, published. 

He was held back in this by his own incompetence, the dodgy dealings of his best friend Chancer (Andy Gray), and the lack of support he gained from his mother (Jan Wilson), the bank's manager (Dave Anderson) and his obsequious fellow teller, Brian (Jonathan Watson). Other recurring characters included Chancer's friend Tam (Ian McColl) and Willie's current girlfriend. 

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The series dealt with the life of Reg Toomer (Tim Healy), an ex-pat Briton living in Australia and running Melbourne Confidential, a failing private detective agency with his shifty business partner Dennis Tontine (Chris Haywood). His estranged young cousin Leslie (Mark Haddigan) arrives in Melbourne from the United Kingdom after a painful divorce looking for fun and excitement in the new world, instead he finds himself used as a drone for Melbourne Confidential. 

Each episode focused on a particular job undertaken by Melbourne Confidential, each one more elaborate and of more dubious legality than the last. The course of the main plot would often converge with subplots involving Reg's lovelorn wife Doris (Pat Thomson), assertive daughter Arlene (Nadine Garner), Dennis' ex-wife Corrie (Kirsty Child) and kindly madam Delilah (Kris McQuade). 

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Starring Sarah Lancashire. Meg Bartlet a child protection officer, is grieving after the stillbirth of her daughter. Haunted by the tragedy she befriends new mum Christine Rearden whose child Eleanor appears to be suffering from breathing problems. Meg soon begins to suspect that foul play is at work.

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Foreign Bodies was the work of playwrights, Graham Reid, from Ulster, and Bernard Farrell, from Dublin; neither had experienced the hatred they were led to believe would greet them when they mixed with people from across the border, and this was the basis for their series. Roisin (Hilary Reynolds) and Septa (Maeve Germaine) are two young nurses from Dublin who go to work at a hospital in Belfast. Roisin meets and falls in love with Tom (Dan Gordon), a young Protestant car mechanic. This causes a series of problems for the young couple, their families and friends. 
 

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A single mother (Toni Braxton) and her gospel community help a man (David Julian Hirsh) whose wife and three children were murdered. In Twist of Faith, the fictional, cross-cultural, music infused love story tells the tale of Jacob Fisher (Hirsh), an Orthodox Jewish Cantor and amateur songwriter from Brooklyn, New York, who witnesses the senseless murder of his wife and three children. Catatonic, Jacob walks out on his Jewish mourning ritual, leaving behind his Jewish garments, wallet and keys. Abandoning his identity, he wanders aimlessly, hoping somehow to understand his tragedy. Fortuitously, he lands in Brent, Alabama (population 2,500), where he is embraced by Nina (Braxton), a single mother and the lead singer of a small gospel choir, her Uncle Moe (Williamson) and their gospel community who help him re-examine his life. While music brings Nina and Jacob together, they try to make sense of his past and their possible future. 

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The series was set around a telephone exchange in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the title of the show being borrowed from the nickname that women who worked at exchanges were given. The first series was set in 1959 and the second one in 1961. 

The Hello Girls was launched with much promotion aimed around former EastEnders actress Letitia Dean, who played Chris Cross, one of the 'girls' who worked at the telephone exchange. It performed very well in the ratings for both of its series. 

The series' theme tune was in the style of 1950s music, which also can be heard throughout the episodes. 

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An all-female detective outfit, the "Eyes Enquiry Agency", is formed as a front for the Home Office's new security operation the Covert Activities Thames Section (or CATS for short). 
Initially led by ex-Oxford Union President Pru Standfast, she was followed by experienced ex-cop Maggie Forbes (who later led the section), computer genius Frederica "Fred" Smith and later Tessa Robinson

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A darkly hilarious satire of old age based on the novel by England's favorite curmudgeon, Kingsley Amis, Ending Up will keep you simultaneously laughing and gasping in horror. Tuppenny-Hapenny Cottage is home to a hodgepodge of oldsters forced to live together more out of financial consideration than mutual affection. In this bizarre household, each of the elderly resident's unique peeves, ailments, quirks, and charms compounds into a terrible, wonderful tragicomedy of what it means to be old in Britain. The residents are divided in most things; some, for example, dote on the resident dog, others loathe it. The strange entourage is made up of vivid, well-acted characters including a man struggling with his vocabulary after a stroke, a woman concerned about her increasing senility, and a practical joker who often goes too far. 
This is a refreshing look at old age without the kid gloves and an unsanctimonious sense of sarcasm. 

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This year sees the 20th anniversary of what appears to be a long forgotten comedy series, written by and starring Black Country comedian Frank Skinner, called Blue Heaven. The series was filmed in and around Birmingham and the Black Country and featured a number of early television appearances from people who were to go on to much bigger things. 

Blue Heaven started out in 1992, as episode two in a five part series of comedy pilots called Bunch of Fives. The other four episodes were; 
•Dead At Thirty – featuring Jesse Birdsall (Bugs), Paterson Joseph (Casualty, Hustle, Survivors) and Mark Williams (Harry Potter, Hustle, Kinsey) 
•The Weekenders – starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer 
•Shall We gather At The River? – featuring Francis Matthews (the voice of Captain Scarlett) and Beryl Reid 
•Miles Better – featuring a young 21 year old actor called David Tennant (Dr Who) 

In 1994 it was commissioned a six part series of Blue Heaven, which aired between 30 July 1994 – 3 September 1994. It told the story of singer Frank Sandford (Skinner) and his keyboard player Roache (Conleth Hill) and their hopes of making it big in the world of pop. Frank is out of work and lives with his parents (played by John Forgeham and Paula Wilcox) who make his life a constant embarrassment. Listed below is an episode summary along with details of the guest stars and some of the locations used for filming. 

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