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Play for Today, an anthology series of plays carrying on in the tradition of its predecessor The Wednesday Play, presented controversial works by such writers as Dennis Potter, David Mercer, Alan Bennett, and Jim Allen, with such directors as Ken Loach, Alan Clarke, Philip Saville, and Mike Newell. Several plays in the series led to various spin-offs, including Play for Tomorrow and Rumpole of the Bailey.

Genres: Drama | Science-Fiction
Station: BBC One (UK)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Ended
Start: 1970-10-15

Play for Today Season 1 Air Dates


S01E01 - The Long Distance Piano Player Air Date: 15 October 1970 20:20 -

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The story of one man's obsession (to win the world long distance piano-playing record) and the battle for good (his wife) and evil (his agent) that rages around him.


S01E02 - The Right Prospectus Air Date: 22 October 1970 20:20 -

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What would it be like to go back to school in middle-age and have one's chances all over again? This is the question John Osborne asks in his first TV play for many years.


S01E03 - The Lie Air Date: 29 October 1970 20:20 -

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A rare foray into television for Ingmar Bergman, this brilliantly made, disturbing film stars Frank Finlay in the story of a 70s middle-class marriage build on deceit and delusion.


S01E04 - Angels Are So Few Air Date: 05 November 1970 20:20 -

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Cynthia's a bored housewife. The dishy angel at the door could be the answer to one of her prayers. Dennis Potter's fascinating fable about fantasy, and having your wings clipped.


S01E05 - The Write-Off Air Date: 12 November 1970 20:20 -

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Where do playwrights get their ideas from? George Salverson , the distinguished Canadian author of The Write-Ofi, took this story straight from life when a friend telephoned to say that he had lost his job but for six months had been too proud to tell anyone.


S01E06 - I Can't See My Little Willie Air Date: 19 November 1970 20:20 -

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When it's time to wet the baby's head, it's surprising the secrets that emerge ...


S01E07 - A Distant Thunder Air Date: 26 November 1970 20:20 -

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A boy's hero-worship of his distinguished father is threatened by the intrusion of echoes from the hero's wartime past


S01E08 - Hearts and Flowers Air Date: 03 December 1970 11:00 -

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S01E09 - Robin Redbreast Air Date: 10 December 1970 20:20 -

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Norah Palmer owns a cottage In the country. She is a modern woman, used to city life, and totally unprepared when the setting and the people begin to take on an ancient and terrifying meaning.


S01E10 - The Hallelujah Handshake Air Date: 17 December 1970 20:20 -

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Henry sets out to join a church and passionately help the parish. Slowly but surely his habits of exaggeration and lying begin to catch up with him.


S01E11 - Alma Mater Air Date: 07 January 1971 20:20 -

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Jimmy Nicholson , back from the Middle East, visits his son at the public school where he was educated. He discovers that the traditions by which he has guided his life appear to be obsolete.


S01E12 - Circle Line Air Date: 14 January 1971 20:20 -

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A play by a student about a student, and his unexpected reactions to the pressure or vacuum of student life. Something, too, of what the rest of us look like from that young point of view


S01E13 - Hell's Angel Air Date: 21 January 1971 20:20 -

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The adopted child is useful; the grown-up boy a problem. But it isn't so easy to drop a person.


S01E14 - The Piano Air Date: 28 January 1971 20:20 -

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Change is hard when you're older -even change for the better.


S01E15 - Billy's Last Stand Air Date: 04 February 1971 20:25 -

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Billy is his own boss. But Darkly has plans for him ...


S01E16 - The Rainbirds Air Date: 11 February 1971 20:20 -

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John Rainbird is in a coma after a suicide attempt. He falls prey to fantasies involving his relatives and nightmare creatures.


S01E17 - Reddick Air Date: 18 February 1971 20:20 -

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Charges that the Rev ' Red' Reddick is exploiting his youth club members leads to an explosive confrontation ...


S01E18 - The Foxtrot Air Date: 29 April 1971 20:20 -

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Arthur and Gwen, a cosy middle-aged couple, remember with nostalgia the pre-Motorway Britain of their youth. When Tom, an old friend, returns from voyaging the world their life takes a strange new turn.


S01E19 - When the Bough Breaks Air Date: 06 May 1971 20:20 -

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When Sheila, a young mother, fails to explain satisfactorily to the doctors how her baby fractured its skull, Margaret Ash down, an NSPCC social worker, is asked to investigate. Poverty, ignorance, a work-shy husband, and almost a tradition of family instability - these are only some of the things she discovers.


S01E20 - Orkney Air Date: 13 May 1971 20:20 -

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S01E21 - The Rank and File Air Date: 20 May 1971 20:20 -

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This story by the author of The Lump and The Big Flame explores the effects of a strike both on the men themselves and on their families


S01E22 - The Man in the Sidecar Air Date: 27 May 1971 20:20 -

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A famous and successful woman novelist is in the middle of a book about a woman enjoying the self-destruction of her husband's self-respect. The situation is paralleled in her own home.


S01E23 - Everybody Say Cheese Air Date: 03 June 1971 20:20 -

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Every year beach photographer Henry Hunter goes back to Mar-gate to stay with his old friend Frank and his efficient landlady wife Hylda. But now people are taking their own pictures and Frank is getting older ...



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