Friday, November 5, 2010

Menace – “Trespasser” - Nov 17, 1970, season 1, episode 8

This week I’m treating you to yet another appearance that I cannot find to watch. There were two seasons of 23 episodes put out in the years 1970 and 1973. Wikipedia says that 21 of these are “lost”, but who knows. The originals may be stored somewhere.

It was a BBC drama described as “series of thrillers designed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.” In his episode, Robin plays a character named “Robbie Clay”. Man, it sounds like an interesting show!

Found a nice write up about the series in general on an informative website called “Action TV”. Here’s what they have to say:

“Jordan Lawrence was the creative force behind Menace, a series of twenty-three plays running to seventy-five-minutes which found their basis in the aspects, perceptions and representations of menace in various settings in and around the villages, townships and cities of the United Kingdom. The stories, whilst thematically linked, approached the essential premise from a wide variety of different directions, some subtle and some far less opaque. The nature of menace could either be reflected through a particular act, the body language of a particular character, the environment in which an episode was set, or a set of circumstances under which a character or characters was placed. The success of the series was firmly rooted in the changing nature of menace from episode to episode, and this became a potent allure for audiences ensuring healthy ratings figures and commanding attention from the popular press. The programme drew from the creative well of a fine combination of writers (amongst whom the most notable were Alun Richards, Roy Clarke, Hugh Whitemore, Fay Weldon and James MacTaggart) who were able to inject menace into darkly comic situations, and heighten darkly menacing situations to make a viewing pleasure transform itself into an uncomfortable time for the audience. The first series proved more popular than the second, probably because of the novelty value of the programme and, perhaps, by virtue of the fact that it was originally transmitted on BBC 2, the risk-taking arm of the corporation. When the programme shifted its home to BBC 1 for the second, shorter season, audiences were more accustomed as to what to expect from the series. Also, in part, the emphasis shifted more towards action rather than menace and thus, the original premise became somewhat watered down so its popularity somewhat waned…Menace was never commercially exploited, but with the announcement that Thriller is soon to be released on DVD in the United Kingdom, perhaps a raid on the BBC archives may now be warranted.”
-Text © Matthew Lee, 2004

I also found a cast listing at “Action TV” where they have summaries of a lot of the episodes but not this one!

Cast : Moira Redmond (Laurie), Gordon Jackson (Lander), Thorley Walters (Thatcher), Geraldine Newman (Pauline), Robin Askwith (Robbie Clay), Gerald Rowland (John Clay), Roberta Tovey (Annie Clay), Barbara Lott (Mrs Clay), Nick Brimble (The Locksmith) and David Quilter (The Doctor)

Well, I’ll keep track of it and see if it is indeed ever released!

1 comment:

  1. It also had Elizabeth Benson in it as Mrs Manners. Robin also appeared with Thorley Walters in "Bartleby" and Roberta Tovey in "Hans Brinker", both of which are available on DVD.