1 9 6 8 – 1 9 6 9 (UK)
13 x 20 minute episodes
Five budding journalists set up a junior newspaper called the Adventure Weekly.
Peter (Brent Oldfield) is the editor, Andy (Len Jones) the photographer, Tubby (Ian Ellis) the sports reporter, and Swot (Frank Barry) is responsible for reporting news from schools.
Fred (Elizabeth Dear) joins the team in the second episode when she helps them with a story and becomes one of their roving reporters.
Together, the five become involved in a whole series of adventures spread over 13 episodes which include capturing a team of post office robbers and covering the story of an unexploded WWll bomb.
The kids befriend Mr Filling (Bartlett Mullins) who works as a typesetter for the local newspaper, the Cliffsea Reporter – itself an ailing publication with a very modest circulation which is faced with imminent closure until it is bought out by London-based newspaper magnate Lord Huntingford.
The newspaper lets the gang use the press to print the Adventure Weekly and Mr Filling often (reluctantly) gets involved in their schemes and plans.
The gang often find themselves in trouble with local bobby PC Cullis (Michael Wisher) and had an adult pal,
The series was originally conceived as a seven-part children’s drama by the late Shaun Sutton, who was later to become BBC TV’s Head of Drama, but when the extra episodes were added Sutton realised that he was too involved with other projects and he called in Victor Pemberton to write six of them.
It was Pemberton’s first job for the BBC and he remembers it with affection: “Although the idea was hardly earth-shattering, the series and characters were really very appealing. I enjoyed the job very much, not only because it gave me valuable television writing experience, but also because it gave me the chance to work with the late Joan Hickson, that enchanting Miss Marple in a later BBC TV series.”
The series was filmed on location in the Seaford/Newhaven area which doubled for the fictional town of Cliffsea, while the interiors were filmed at the BBC studios in Bristol. The series was made in black and white and subtitled “five boys, a girl and a printing press.”
Frederica ‘Fred’ Somers