A Rubovian Legend

A Rubovian Legend

1 9 5 5 – 1 9 6 3  (UK) Some of the earliest British children’s TV programmes featuring puppets were ambitious. Gordon Murray, who worked in the BBC Children’s Department in the early 1950s, created a fantasy series called A Rubovian Legend. It consisted of original plays performed by the BBC Puppet Theatre with titles(…)

A Sharp Intake Of Breath

1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 1 (UK) 22 x 30 minute episodes Following his success as support to Ronnie Barker in the BBC’s Open All Hours, and just before taking off as Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, David Jason starred in this ITV sitcom as Peter Barnes, a hapless Mr Average character, forever trying to(…)

A Touch Of Frost

1 9 9 2 (UK) 42 x 105 minute episodes Novelist R D Wingfield’s Inspector William “Jack” Frost was untidy, disorganised, and lacked respect for authority – common police procedural tropes loved by viewers. The character was in good hands when he was transferred to the screen, as many of the writers and directors on A Touch(…)

A Touch of Grace

1 9 7 3 (USA) 22 x 30 minute episodes This remake of the British sitcom For the Love of Ada starred Shirley Booth (of Hazel fame) as Grace Simpson and ran for 22 episodes on ABC from January to June 1973. J Patrick O’Malley co-starred as grave-digger Herbert Morrison, with Marian Mercer and Warren Berlinger as Myra and Walter(…)

A Very British Coup

1 9 8 8 (UK) 3 x 60 minute episodes A Very British Coup followed the destabilising of an elected Left-Wing British government by shadowy forces from the Right. Alan Plater adapted it from the novel by former Tribune editor Chris Mullin, with Ray McAnally in BAFTA-winning form as working-class Labour PM, Harry Perkins. Harry Perkins Ray McAnally(…)

A Very Peculiar Practice

1 9 8 6 – 1 9 8 8 (UK) 15 x 60 minute episodes The saga of a medical practice run by four doctors – Young bashful Dr Stephen Daker (Peter Davison) who joins the health clinic of the fictitious Lowlands University, and his blackly funny colleagues –  Bob, a nasty Tory, Jock, an old(…)

A Whole Scene Going

1 9 6 6 (UK) A Whole Scene Going was the first real teenage lifestyle programme with features on Carnaby Street fashions, the London club scene and package holidays in Italy. Twiggy made her first TV appearance on this show and presenter Barry Fantoni (pictured below right) and his “hot seat” interview was the first time(…)

A Woman Of Substance

1 9 8 5 (UK) 3 x 160 minute episodes Told in flashback and beginning in 1905, this Channel 4 drama (their most successful) was the rags-to-riches story of Emma Harte, a tough Yorkshire lass from the serving classes who made her way from kitchen maid up through society. Her ambitions took her out of the(…)

A Year At The Top

1 9 7 7 (USA) 5 x 30 minute episodes This short-lived series aired for only five episodes on CBS between 5 August 1977 and 2 September 1977. Paul Shaffer (who would later gain fame working on The David Letterman Show) co-starred with Greg Evigan (BJ and the Bear) as two struggling singer/musicians who leave their home(…)

A-Team, The

1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 7 (USA) 98 x 50 minute episodes “If you’ve got a problem and no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire . . . The A Team” A crack team of soldiers in Vietnam is caught robbing the Bank of Hanoi(…)


1 9 5 6 – 1 9 5 7 (UK) BBC entertainment in which Alan Melville strung together sketches, songs, parodies and guest appearances to a different letter of the alphabet each week. Derived originally from a published format by Wolf Mankowitz, it was somewhat ahead of its time and rather sophisticated for the day. An(…)

A.E.S. Hudson Street

1 9 7 8 (USA) 5 x 30 minute episodes This short-lived ABC tryout series centred around Dr Antonio ”Tony” Menzies (Gregory Sierra, who played Detective Chano Amenguale on Barney Miller), the busy chief resident of an overcrowded and poorly equipped inner city emergency ward (“A.E.S.” stood for Adult Emergency Services). The location was Hudson Street, New(…)

a.k.a. Pablo

1 9 8 4 (USA) 5 x 30 minute episodes Short-lived ABC comedy about a struggling young Hispanic comedian and his large, noisy family, who rooted for his success while wanting him to treat his Mexican-American heritage with almost solemn dignity. Paul Rivera – still called Pablo by his family – used a lot of ethnic(…)

Aaron’s Way

1 9 8 8 (USA) 13 x episodes Aaron Miller was a strict, bearded Amish father who uprooted his tight-knit family from Pennsylvania and moved to California when his eldest son, Noah, died there. Noah Miller had forsaken his Amish ways and when he perished in a surfing accident, he left behind a pregnant girlfriend (Susannah)(…)

Abbott and Costello Show, The

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 4 (USA) 52 x 30 minute episodes Stage and screen comedians Bud Abbott (born William Abbott) and Lou Costello (born Louis Francis Cristillo) brought their routines to television in a half-hour situation comedy series that was first released in 1952. The Abbott and Costello Show revived many of the(…)

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