April 2011 at the BFI

Press Gang - season two cast

Time for our regular look at what TV’s on at the South Bank in London in April. As well as previews of an Arena documentary about George Martin and ITV’s The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (with Paddy Considine and Peter Capaldi), there’s a children’s TV drama of the 80s season called ‘Dramarama and Beyond’, which should be worth watching if only for the Dramarama episode Mr Stabs and the first episode of Steven Moffat’s Press Gang. Yes, I know that’s a season two picture, but would you rather have Lucy Benjamin or Gabrielle Anwar in-shot?

  • 11th: Dramarama: Mighty Mum and the Petnappers + In the Pink
    The first and last episodes from ITV’s one-off play strand for children, Dramarama, which ran for eight seasons. Features an extended introduction by Alistair McGown, author of The Hill and Beyond: Children’s Television Drama – An Encyclopedia.
  • 12th: TV preview – The Suspicions of Mr Whicher + Q&A
    Adapted from the best-seller by Kate Summerscale, this stars Paddy Considine as Scotland Yard detective and “prince of sleuths” Jack Whicher, who inspired the first fictional detectives of Wilkie Collins and Dickens. Followed by a Q&A with director James Hawes, writer Neil McKay and a member of the cast (which includes Peter Capaldi and Geraldine Summerville).
  • 13th: Arena: George Martin
    The first feature-length profile of music producer George Martin.
  • 15th: Jukes of Piccadilly: The Corcelli Medallion (parts 1 and 2) + Dramarama: The Halt
    Old-fashioned English gentleman Brinsley Jukes divides his time between running a tea shop and playing detective. Followed by a moral tale in which surprising things happen to some football hooligans when they pass through a train tunnel. Should include an introduction by Dexter Fletcher.
  • 20th: Maggie + Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest, + Dramarama: Living Doll
    An episode of the Scottish children’s show in which working class Maggie rebels against her upbringing to dream of attending university, followed by the first episode of the only Dramarama play that became a series and an episode of Dramarama in which a child wishes her fighting parents could be as happy as her favourite dolls.
  • 26th: Grange Hill + Press Gang: Page One + Dramarama: Forever Young
    Zammo chases the dragon and gets a smack on the nose; the first episode of Steven Moffat’s drama set at a student newspaper; and a group of teachers go on a weekend seminar and learn something unexpected. Lee MacDonald and Erkan Mustafa (Zammo and Roland) from Grange Hill will introduce the evening.
  • 30th: Dramarama: Fowl Pest, Mr Stabs, The Wrong Button and Purple Passion Video
    Four of the weirder episodes of Dramarama, including the spin-off play from Ace of Wands, Mr Stabs with David Jason instead of Russell Hunter.

Champions’ priority booking: 11.30am March 7
Members’ priority booking opens: 11.30am March 8

£7.60 (members)
£5.25 (member concs)
£9.00 (non-members)
£6.65 (non-members concs)
Under 16s £5.

All shows are £5 on Tuesdays. Conc prices are available to senior citizens, students, unwaged and disability visitors. Proof of eligibility may be required.

As always, visit the BFI web site for more details.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.