TV Cream

The Wednesday Play

Boneyard, the

Wednesday Play series producer James MacTaggart was succeeded by Peter Luke at this point in the series, leading the overall tone of the series to perhaps waver more to the theatrical from MacTaggart’s more contemporary, social-realist domain, though the former directed this well-received black comic study of police inspector Nigel Davenport having his judgment called into question when he reveals his experiences of psychic “visions”. Based in part on the real life case of corrupt Metropolitan Police Detective Sergeant Harold Challenor, which also inspired the character of inspector Truscott in Joe Orton’s stage farce Loot, produced theatrically in the same year. Writer Clive Exton’s baroque tyle demanded (as he insisted) a sober, simplistic direction, which was achieved here, though not before a few false starts involving some over-elaborate production design, which Exton and MacTaggart agreed to scrap during production. Sadly Exton’s sole Play for Today, The Rainbirds, fared rather less well. Support came from Michael Robbins and John Barron.

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