Home Television Drama Mallens, The

Mallens, The

1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 0 (UK)
13 x 60 minute episodes

The Mallens should have been drowned at birth, not made into two long series by Granada.

Based on Catherine Cookson’s bodice-ripper, this poor man’s Wuthering Heights portrayed life in High Banks Hall where an oversexed Victorian tyrant (John Hallam) had illegitimate children sprinkled all over the moors, a ruthless streak in his heart – and a white streak in his hair.

Hallam played the wicked hard-drinking Squire Thomas Mallen who raped and pillaged his way across the 19th-century Northumbrian moors, leaving a string of babies with the same white-streaked quiff (The ruthless squire’s distinguishing white streak through his black hair made him resemble a human badger).

When Mallen eventually went bankrupt he moved in with his nieces and promptly raped one of them, who got pregnant and died. In the end, realising his wickedness, he committed suicide.

A second series followed focusing on Mallen’s deaf illegitimate daughter Barbara (Juliet Stevenson), who had a doomed romance with Michael Radlet (Gerry Sundquist) – the illegitimate son of her ruthless half-brother Dick (David Rintoul).

Tragically Gerry Sundquist committed suicide in 1993, aged only 37.

Although set in Hexham, Northumberland, the series was filmed in and around the hamlet of Thorpe in Dovedale, Derbyshire, with Ilam Hall deputising as Mallens stately home, High Banks Hall.

Thomas Mallen
John Hallam
Barbara Mallen
Juliet Stevenson
Michael Radlet
Gerry Sundquist
Donald Radlet
John Duttine
Dick Mallen
David Rintoul
Barbara Farrington
Pippa Guard
Anna Brigmore
Caroline Blakiston
Mary Peel
Mary Healey
Jane Radlet
Gillian Lewis
Harry Bensham
Matthew Long
Matthew Radlet
Ian Saynor
Constance Radlet (Farrington)
Julia Chambers
Michael Radlet Sr.
John Southworth
John Bensham
Neil Dickson
Jim Waite
Jeremy Clay
Sarah Waite
Julie Shipley
Dan Bensham
Michael Thomas
Kate Bensham
Victoria Williams
Dick Irwin
Mathilda Bensham
Anne Reid
Aggie Moorhead
Polly Hemingway
Patrick Ferrier
Michael Elwyn
Geoffrey Wilkinson
David Howey
Phil Corke
Richard Harradine
Anthony Head
Michael Johnson
Jenny Pearson
Caroline Goodman