27th March - 2nd April 1976
Birth of a Hope was transmitted on Wednesday 31st March 1976.
As this episode began the second series, Radio Times gave over a half page feature to the return of Survivors. This included a reminder of who the main characters are (minus Abby of course), and a paragraph from the pen of script editor Jack Ronder, which describes the state of play in Survivors' Britain, a year after the death.
It is interesting that Ruth is introduced in the feature as Paul's love interest. The text reads 'Loves, and is loved by Paul Pitman', despite the fact they don't meet until the end of this first episode.
This is perhaps the only place we learn any of the regulars ages. According to the feature, Greg is 35, Charles is 38, Jenny is 26 and Ruth is 25.
Jack Ronder's paragraph provides insight into his vision for the series, namely descent into medieval life, rather than the gradual return to civilisation which is played out in the final series, after he had parted company with the show.
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The new series was also featured on pages 3 and 13. The latter being a preview written by Chris Dunkley, TV critic of the Financial Times.
7 days in TV
Saturday 27th March: Richard Heffer (Jimmy Garland) appeared as Det-Sgt Alan Bruton in Dixon of Dock Green at 6.05pm in an episode entitled 'Vagrant' by Derek Ingrey. The episode was directed by Blake's 7 producer Vere Lorrimer.
Sunday 28th: The first episode of Go with Noakes was transmitted today, in which John Noakes (of Blue Peter fame) accompanied by his faithful dog Shep, got to grips with the Lakeland Games. The TV event of the week (according to Radio Times anyway) was the ballet Romeo and Juliet performed by the Bolshoi. This went out at 8.15pm on BBC2.
Monday 29th: Mr Benn encountered the Red Knight at 1.45, whilst at 4.30pm Peter Jeffrey (Garland's arch-enemy Knox in Garland's War) started to read In The Grip of The Lemon Fever on Jackanory. David Troughton (Stan in Lights of London 1) was in the second episode of a production of Our Mutual Friend on BBC2 at 9pm.
Tuesday 30th: Vision On with Tony Hart, Pat Keysell and Sylveste (as he was then known) McCoy was broadcast between John Craven's Newsround and Captain Pugwash at 5.15pm. That evening's Play for Today 'Early Struggles' concerned Paul Nicholas' attempts at single parenthood as Kevin. Amanda Barrie, Tom Conti and Gwyneth Strong were also in the cast.
Wednesday 31st: Survival expert and fan of Survivors, Anthony Greenbank appeared in Country Search at 4.45pm demonstrating his skills. Survivors went out in its usual 8.10pm timeslot and was sandwiched between a film, Men of Action: the Saga of Hemp Brown and the Nine O'Clock News with Peter Woods. This was followed by Sportsnight, in which Southampton, Crystal Palace, Derby County and Manchester United were profiled in a preview of the 1976 FA Cup semi-finals. On BBC2 at 10.20pm, Delia Paton, who would make her Survivors debut five weeks later as Mina, appeared as Madame Meister in the drama Microbes and Men, a six part series on the men who conquered disease, which this week concentrated on Louis Pasteur played by Arthur Lowe. David Troughton made his second appearance of the week in the same drama as Viala.
Thursday 1st April: The life of Edgar Wallace, born that day in 1875, was profiled this evening at 9.25 and previewed heavily in Radio Times
Friday 2nd April: Eric Deacon, who would later play Steve Walter (Law of the Jungle, Bridgehead) was Peter to Brian Blessed's (Brod in Law of the Jungle) Sir Godfrey de Gules in the children's drama The Dragon in the Dungeon today at 5.15pm. It seems he was one of Brod's boys earlier than we thought. Nula Conwell and Linda Robson (Over the Hills) who seemed to appear in everything together in the 70s, played Stephanie and Linda in BBC2's Playhouse: A Martyr to the System, written by BBC drama stalwart, Andrew Davies. The play also featured Annie Hayes (Lorraine in Corn Dolly) as Julie.
[Below left: Edgar Wallace, and Below right: members of the Bolshoi rehearse.]
K Children's shoes with their Kayspring soles (!), the Audi 80 and the Hoover Junior and Starlight cleaners dominated the colour advertising pages this week...
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