With The Wednesday Plays, I have tried as much as possible to steer clear of sci-fi, since - and let's face facts here - there's plenty enough of that on this 'ere blog already. However, doing so has meant steering clear of possibly the most famous 'double bill' in Play For Today history: The Flipside of Dominick Hide and Another Flip For Dominick.
Set in both the 1980s and 2130, the first play sees time-travelling researcher Dominick Hide (Peter Firth) return to his own past to investigate an ancestor. There he meets a woman, Jane (Caroline Langrishe). And that's all I can say without spoiling it for you.
So popular was the first play that writer Alan Gibson bowed to popular demand and brought all the characters back for a sequel two years later, about which I can tell you even less because I'll spoil the first play if I do. Let's just say it involves another time-traveller and leave it at that.
While being quite slight things that probably won't impress the hard-core SF fan, they are, as with most BBC sci-fi plays, more about relationships and people than concepts. Both plays contrast the society of the future with the conventions of English society as it was then, as well as the differences between relationships. They also largely rely on Peter Firth's endearing performance to draw in the viewer, particularly since he seems to know remarkably little about how to survive in the present day for a man whose job it is to know all about the past.
Since their original airings, both plays have been repeated several times and are available on DVD as well (for a mere £6, too). But you can watch them both below. Enjoy! Don't forget, if you like them, buy them so that the creators are rewarded.
- September 11, 2013: The Wednesday Play: Play For Tomorrow (1982)
The Wednesday Plays are the BBC1 series Play For Tomorrow