TV Cream

TV: S is for...

Salve Regina

EARLY ENTRY in that most benighted of dramatic genres, the post-apocalyptic “bunch of raggle-taggle survivors shout at each other in the wasteland thus providing pithy commentary on modern society” format. In this case a pair of Commedia Dell’Arte-type buffoonish males (played by AL ‘TW3’ MANCINI and the majestic GRAHAM ‘BRITANNIA HOSPITAL’ CROWDEN – although if John Sessions was around then he’d have been a shoo-in) quarrel and fuss over resplendently conceited bag lady MIRIAM KARLIN, who styles herself the queen of a department store gutted by nuclear holocaust. All very nice and hermetic, until an astronaut, who was up in space when the bomb went off, returns to Earth and enters the scene… and she’s a woman! GLENDA JACKSON, no less! This won’t end well…

An LWT production, from the time when they were all about the high-minded artsy side of telly, before they slid inexorably into the wall-to-wall shiny floor game. (No chance of meeting the viewer halfway, you chaps in the tower?) Bluff populist types will roll a knowing eye on hearing this was a winner of the Observer playwriting competition, judged by, among others, Kenneth Tynan. Well, he would choose that sort of thing, wouldn’t he? The writer in this case was EDWARD BOWMAN, an air traffic controller from New Zealand, and the whole thing was somewhat overshadowed by the feverish coverage of the run-up to the first Apollo moon landing. Mannered experimental drama nil, skinhead Yanks bobbing about in silver boiler suits 1. ‘Twas ever thus…

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