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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… January 1972

Spyder's Web
Friday, 28th January 1972


The spy drama of slim repute – starring Patricia Cutts, Anthony ‘if I may be sh-eated?’ Ainley and Clive Hawksworth running an intelligence agency under the cover of an ailing British film company called Arachnid – gets to grips with that perennial early-1970s talking point for self-consciously sophisticated drama; the permissive society. In a tale entitled ‘The Executioners’, a morally outraged organisation are offing those they consider responsible for pedalling filth. To learn about those victims, let’s turn to TV Times’ beautifully written summary: “A blue film maker, a trendy leftist and a liberal educationalist.” How to apprehend the baddies? It’s over to Cutts as Charlotte ‘Lottie’ Dean who sets out to “weave a web to catch the executioners by making the bluest sex film ever made.” You didn’t get that on Bugs.


Comedy PlayhouseBy all means, Open All Hours or All Gas And Gaiters and even Are You Being Served? which originated in this run, but spare a thought for the workaday, never-amounted to anything episodes too. This one, Born Every Minute, was written by composer, playwright and rhubarb farmer Jack Popplewell, and paired Ronald Fraser with James Beck as a pair of conman-in-arms, who are vying for the affections of the same woman, Juliet Harmer off of Adam Adamant Lives!

10.30pm BYGONES, ITV
Long-running ‘our region’ show from Norwich, in which Dick Joice met folk plying defunct trades. As doughty and dusty as anything that was ever revealed by the rotating knight, this  features an old woodman and horseman from Framlingham in Suffolk who talk in dialect about their lives, their jobs and – oh God – the changes they have seen. Proto-Rick Steins, really. Then, back to the studio where Dick will ‘of course’ (it says in the TV Times billing) be revealing another mystery item.



  1. THX 1139

    January 27, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    How were Veronica Carlson and Peter Sallis NOT in Taste the Blood of Dracula together? Spyder’s Web would have to do.

  2. Glenn A

    January 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Information about Spyders Web is sparse online, seemingly these were government agents who worked out of a film studio and went after terrorists and political extremists. It must never have become a cult hit, or been that popular, as only one series was made and the only contributor on IMDB states that at times it was wooden and the studio sets looked cheap. However, nice to see The Master Mark 2.

  3. Borgduck

    February 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    The Master?

  4. Glenn A

    February 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Yes, Anthony Ainley was The Master in the last Tom Baker series and in the Peter Davidson era. It is this Master who pushes the Doctor off Jodrell Bank, forcing him toe regenerate.

  5. Matthew Harris

    May 6, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Mark 3, please. Four if you count Pratt and Beevers separately, but they were clearly intended to be the same iteration of the character and furthermore UNIT dating windows are too small must go – NOW.

  6. George White

    March 22, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Bygones was featured in a few episodes of Tales of the Unexpected, as it was an Anglia production.
    Theme was a version of Wheels Cha Cha.

  7. Sidney Balmoral James

    March 23, 2021 at 8:07 am

    There’s been quite a few a reminiscences of the late Anthony Ainley on the Popbitch website in recent months – all affectionate mind you – from his his habit of responding to fans by writing them a letter in character as the Master, to the photo album he kept in his car of his conquests and Tom Baker’s unrepeatable description of his endowment. I always thought him extremely frightening when I was a child, even among the varied horrors of vintage era Who. Love that TV Times description – ‘the bluest sex film ever made’: slightly odd premise for a prime time drama in 1972. You didn’t get that in The Protectors.

  8. Glenn Aylett

    March 23, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Sometimes LWT could be daring and did originally start out in 1968 with quite high brow aims that had to be toned down to get bigger audiences. However, while they were probably best known for On The Buses in the early seventies, they could bring out some edgy stuff like Spyder’s Web. Then there was a brutal, uncompromising( for the time) police drama called New Scotland Yard, where John Woodvine battled political extemists, terrorists and violent criminals, that is almost as forgotten as Mr Ainley/s series.

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