PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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Mr_Wolf
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PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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A groundbreaking, high-calibre police drama, Wolcott was the first British production purposefully broadcast in the mini-series format – and also the first British drama to feature a black actor in a leading role.

Displaying the same rough, streetwise vibe as The Sweeney, Wolcott stars the charismatic George William Harris as a tough, loner detective with a gift for rubbing people up the wrong way. Winning massive viewing figures, its controversially unflinching depiction of crime ensured that it has never been repeated or released in any format until now. With all four episodes now transferred in High Definition from the original film elements, Wolcott includes early roles for Christopher Ellison, Hugh Quarshie, Warren Clarke and Rik Mayall.

Fresh out of uniform, supremely confident and keen to make waves, Wolcott is a man in the middle, facing hostility both from the community he polices and his colleagues in the Force. His investigations into the fatal stabbing of an old woman and a journalist soon uncover a brutal drug war being fought between criminal gangs…

http://networkonair.com/shop/search?doi ... ry=wolcott
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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Crikey!
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Thwaity
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Thwaity »

Is this actually an ATV programme? IMDb States it is. An ATV Bluray release!!

thebeekeeper
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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" First Black actor in a leading role"?

They forgot Dennis Alaba Peters In Department S 12 years earlier

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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thebeekeeper wrote:" First Black actor in a leading role"?

They forgot Dennis Alaba Peters In Department S 12 years earlier
I think that's debatable. He's a regular, certainly, so he's mentioned in the opening titles, but his credit's in a smaller typeface to all others he's not a co-star or lead, he's just a regular. I'd not more consider him a lead in that series than I would, say, Anthony Nicholls in The Champions.

I think it's more of a moot point that it gained "massive viewing figures". One of the four episodes made it into the national top 20 and the same one made it into one of the ITV regions' top tens. Compared to now, it probably did pretty well, but by the standards of the day, I don't think the ratings could be called "massive".
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thebeekeeper
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by thebeekeeper »

Definitely debateable.
I think of Department S having 4 lead actors simply because they all get equal airtime in the opening titles.
Strictly speaking he's not "the" lead but the Wolcott description does says "A" leading role and I would have thought even as 4th lead it was more of a milestone in 1968 than top billing in 1981.
I can't think of any other blacks in the main recurring roles of any weekly drama in between Department S and Wolcott - but I'm sure if there are more you'll be able to tell me what they are.

However - a Bluray release of a show of this vintage is great so I'll be getting this even though I didn't see it at the time

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Ross »

Josette Simon was a leading regular in Blake's Seven from January 1980.

A bit more obscure, Norman Beaton was the top billed actor for two series of Empire Road in 1978/9.

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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Ross wrote:A bit more obscure, Norman Beaton was the top billed actor for two series of Empire Road in 1978/9.
That one's unarguable, isn't it? "Starring" credit in Radio Times and his fizzog with pride of place in the opening titles. Good call.
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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thebeekeeper wrote: I can't think of any other blacks in the main recurring roles of any weekly drama in between Department S and Wolcott - but I'm sure if there are more you'll be able to tell me what they are.
If I'd had a better idea, I'd have posted it already, but Ross has the done the business, I think.
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drmih
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by drmih »

If we can include comedy, then obviously Rudolph Walker in Love Thy Neighbour.

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Mickey
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Mickey »

And Muriel Odunton in "Mixed Blessings" from 1978. Comedy is often judged differently though.

Dennis Alaba Peters hardly counts, surely. Yes his name is in the opening credits, but he rarely gets more than one or two lines per week. Anyway, whether or not the publicity blurb is hyperbole, this sounds worth a look!

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by thebeekeeper »

I didn't include comedy because the thread title doesn't relate to comedy.

Which is why I didn't mention Mixed Blessings , Love Thy Neighbour or The Fosters.

Of course Dennis Alaba Peters counts. He is on the opening titles of every single episode.
He had "a leading role in a UK show". His screen time is irrelevant

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

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thebeekeeper wrote:He had "a leading role in a UK show". His screen time is irrelevant
Hmmm, I think you're equating being a regular with being a lead and the two aren't synonymous.
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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by MDK »

Josette Simon (Blake's 7)also has a reasonably solid earlier claim in the drama genre, but whatever, this is a welcome release.

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by thebeekeeper »

Simon Coward wrote:
thebeekeeper wrote:He had "a leading role in a UK show". His screen time is irrelevant
Hmmm, I think you're equating being a regular with being a lead and the two aren't synonymous.
As Peters is on the opening titles of every episode I would class that as "a leading role".

A bit difficult with ITC shows as I can't recall any other artists who are regulars , as in every episode , who don't appear on the titles.
Pleny of "regulars" who turn up every so often though in various shows like Ivor Dean in The Saint and Randall.
But I think Peters does appear in every episode of Department S with varying amounts to do.

The difference with this release is that the black actor is the "star" , or the actual "lead" rather than just playing a leading role

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Re: PR: Wolcott: The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Simon Coward »

thebeekeeper wrote:
Simon Coward wrote:
thebeekeeper wrote:He had "a leading role in a UK show". His screen time is irrelevant
Hmmm, I think you're equating being a regular with being a lead and the two aren't synonymous.
As Peters is on the opening titles of every episode I would class that as "a leading role".

A bit difficult with ITC shows as I can't recall any other artists who are regulars , as in every episode , who don't appear on the titles.
Pleny of "regulars" who turn up every so often though in various shows like Ivor Dean in The Saint and Randall.
But I think Peters does appear in every episode of Department S with varying amounts to do.

The difference with this release is that the black actor is the "star" , or the actual "lead" rather than just playing a leading role
I have a feeling there are a couple of Dept S eps where Peters doesn't appear but I'd have to check - I don't think the title sequence changes. I mentioned earlier Anthony Nicholls in The Champions. His image doesn't appear in the title sequence, but his name does every time, and I wouldn't consider him to be a lead either.
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