ACTION TV ONLINE EPISODE GUIDE
Cast : Ronni Ancona, Honor Blackman, Sally Bretton, Ben Miller, Basil Moss, Hayley Henderson, Anouska Bolton-Lee
Notes : Scottish impressionist Ronni Ancona was born in 1968 and has recently found fame with the comedy show Alistair MacGowan's Big Impression as well providing written material for The Sketch Show. Born in 1927 Honor Blackman needs no introduction to genre fans as crime busting Cathy Gale in two seasons of The Avengers. Amongst her most recent appearances are roles in the supernatural thriller The Sight and the film Bridget Jones's Diary. Ben Miller is one half of comedy duo Armstrong and Miller. His partner, Alexander Armstrong, appears in the episode And Now The Fearing. Character actor Basil Moss has also appeared in the Gerry Anderson film Doppelganger (in an uncredited role as a technician) and the UFO episode Exposed.
Genre roots : Ronni Ancona obviously bases her performance on Ingrid Pitt in the film The Vampire Lovers.
Cast : Mark Gatiss, John Thomson, Melanie Gutteridge, David Y Cheung, Mark Benton, Tony Tang, Lourdes Faberes, Paul Courtenay Hyu
Notes : Mark Gatiss is a member of The League of Gentlemen and has also made guest appearances in Spaced and the remake of Randal And Hopkirk (Deceased) for which he also co-wrote an episode of with Jeremy Dyson. John Thomson began as a stand up comedian before finding fame as a member of The Fast Show. He has recently demonstrated an equal ability for dramatic roles with his portrayal of the character Pete Gifford in the series Cold Feet. Melanie Gutteridge has also appeared in Casualty, The Vice, Manchild and Rockface as the regular character Caroline Morrison. Actor Mark Benton played Charlie Hardiman in several episodes of Boon and later appeared in episodes of Ballykissangel, Holby City, Randal and Hopkirk (Deceased), Nature Boy, Human Remains and Clocking Off.
Genre roots : The name Sir Donald Tyburn is derived from the short lived film production company Tyburn Fims. Steve Coogan's character Nathan Blaze is a mixture of Peter Wyngarde and Edwardian adventurer Adam Adamant Lives! The episode is a spoof of the Fu Manchu tales written by Sax Rohmer. Some of the action takes place on Talon Street - a nod to the Doctor Who adventure The Talons Of Weng-Chiang which featured a giant rat in the sewers beneath London. This spoof features a giant crab.
Cast : Graham Crowden, Louise Page, Brendan Stapleton, Nia Roberts, Lisa Hayes, Simon Pegg, Graham Duff, Michelle McTernan, Dave Lamb
Notes : Enduring character actor Graham Crowden was born in Edinburgh in 1922 and started his career as a trainee assistant stage manager before turning to acting. He has appeared in a tremendous number of plays, films and TV series with more recent appearances in Midsommer Murders (Ring Out Your Dead), Mr Charity and The 10th Kingdom. As well as acting Louise Page is also a writer with credits on the series Bad Girls and the daytime BBC soap Doctors. Actress Louise Page had previously appeared in the drama series Border Cafe as Naomi. Simon Pegg co-created the Channel Four sitcom Spaced and has also appeared in the comedy series I'm Alan Partridge, Big Train and Hippies. He had a minor role in the blockbusting American series Band Of Brothers as William S Evans. Dave Ledger is another comedy actor with roles in People Like Us, Hippies and Rhona.
Genre roots : Professor MacLewton's name was possibly inspired by the director Val Lewton. The script spoofs Jekyll and Hyde and the Hammer film The Reptile.
Cast : Julia Davis, Alexander Armstrong, John Dugan, Sheila Keith, Graham Duff, Robin Lermitte, Zoe Oakes, Felicity Montagu, Rosie Cavaliero, Olivier Tobias, Vince Williams
Notes : Olivier Tobias was born in 1947 in Switzerland as Olivier Tobias Freitag. Tobias rose to prominence as heartthrob in the 70's with his lead role as Arthur in the HTV production Arthur of the Britons and as Jack Vincent in The Adventurer. Other notable appearances followed in Jesus of Nazareth and Smuggler with film roles in The Stud and Arabian Adventure. Tobias has continued to appear in many European productions, particulary in Germany, as well as undertaking roles in British TV series such as Boon, Robin of Sherwood, The Knock, Sharpe and Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married. Actress Julia Davis has appeared mainly in comedy roles including the programmes People Like Us, Big Train, Jam and Human Remains which she also co-wrote. As well as being one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller Alexander Armstrong has also portrayed the luckless vet Nick in the BBC 1 comedy show Beast. Sheila Keith is something of a living legend to horror British horror cinema fans with her roles in the Pete Walker directed films House of Whipcord, Frightmare, The Comeback and The House of the Long Shadows. Her TV roles include the recurring character Mother Stephen in the sitcom Bless Me Father, Auntie Ella in a couple of episodes of Hamish Macbeth and guest appearances in The Saint (Legacy for the Saint) Agony and Lovejoy. Actor Robin Lermitte has had roles in episodes of Tales of The Unexpected (Wink Three Times), Campion, Goodnight Sweetheart, Peak Practice, The Bill and as Detective Sergeant Graves in the BBC series Between The Lines. Felicity Montagu is probably best known as the long suffering personal assistant Lynn in the Steve Coogan starring I'm Alan Partridge.
Genre roots : Amicus Towers is obviously named after Amicus Films. Sheila Keith may have felt a certain sense of deja vu when playing Gypsy Grandma Lee. Some of her lines are inspired by dialogue spoken in the film Frightmare. This whole episode spoofs the many portmanteau British horror films.
Cast : Sarah Alexander, Jonathan Cake, Tom Bell, Tim Piggot-Smith, Roger Griffiths, Fiona Welburn, Graham Duff, Martin Gordon
Notes : Wide eyed actress Sarah Alexander has carved a niche in comedy with roles in such series as Red Dwarf (Stoke Me A Clipper), Drop The Dead Donkey, People Like Us, Armstrong and Miller, The Eleven O'Clock Show, Coupling and the award winning sketch show Smack The Pony which she also co-wrote. Until recently she was the romantic interest in real life for Gerald Harper of Adam Adamant Lives! and Hadleigh fame. Tom Bell was born in Liverpool in 1932 and started in local rep at the age of 15. After national service in the army Bell embarked on a career as a professional actor in the late 50's. Landing roles in classic British films such as Damn The Defiant!, The L Shaped Room, Lock Up Your Daughters!, Quest For Love and Straight On Till Morning Bell turned to TV once the British cinema industry went into decline. He appeared as Alan in the effective and downbeat BBC Play For Today: Stronger Than The Sun (1977) before making a splash as Frank Ross in Euston Film's Out. Amongst his many other TV roles are appearances in Reilly: Ace Of Spies, Chancer, Prime Suspect (and its sequels), The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Dalziel And Pascoe and Tube Tales. Tim Pigott-Smith found national fame as Captain Ronald Merrick in the series The Jewel in the Crown. His other roles include Doctor Who (The Claws of Axos and The Masque of Mandragora), Danger UXB, The Vice and more recently Spooks. He played Chief Constable John Stafford in The Chief for two years. Roger Griffiths has appeared as the semi-regular character D.S. Paul Timpney in several episodes of The Bill.
Genre roots : This is a pastiche of a segment of the portmanteau horror film Dr Terror's House of Horrors which originally featured Roy Castle as a musician who steals a voodoo secret.
Cast : Warwick Davis, Julie T Wallace, Angela Pleasance, Sarah Henderson, Tanya Myers, Tabitha Wady, Graham Duff, Hayley Henderson, Stephanie Bagshaw, Michael Pennington
Notes : Born in Surrey in 1970, 3' 6" actor Warwick Davis found fame in the title role of the 1988 Hollywood fantasy film Willow. He had also previously appeared in the blockbusters Return of the Jedi and Labyrinth and would later star in the horror films Leprechaun and it's three sequels. Other recent appearances include The 10th Kingdom, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as Professor Filius Flitwick. Born in 1961 actress Julie T. Wallace and followed in the footsteps of her actor father Andrew Keir. Amongst her first roles was Rosika Miklos in the Bond film The Living Daylights, but she found fame with her role as Ruth in the BBC production The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil. Alternating between guest roles in TV and supporting roles in film, Wallace has carved out a niche in playing dowdy or oddball female characters. She was most recently seen in an episode of the BBC Choice horror anthology series Spine Chillers. Angela Pleasence is the daughter of another famous actor, Donald Pleasance, and starred alongside her father in the British horror film From Beyond The Grave. An unfortunately sparringly used actress she has spent much of her career on stage but her other TV roles include the BBC adaptation of Chekov's The Wood Demon (1974), Mansfield Park, The Barchester Chronicles, The Bill, Crime Traveller (The Broken Crystal) and Midsomer Murders (Death of a Hollow Man). Tabitha Wady has also appeared as the regular character Katrina Bullen in the BBC daytime soap Doctors. Michael Pennington has had an acclaimed career as a Shakespearian actor with many roles in TV, film and stage productions of the writers work. Amongst his other roles are appearances in the TV shows Callan, Outside Edge, Freud (as Carl Jung), Cracker, Dalziel and Pascoe and Kavanagh Q.C.
Genre roots : The dwarf Tigon is named after another British horror film production company called Tigon. The whole episode is blantantly a spoof of the classic film Witchfinder General which was produced by Tigon.
Text © Andrew Screen with additional help from Bent Hal, 2002.