Fifty years after its first transmission, the BBC's 'Play for Today' anthology series remains one of British television's most influential achievements. Between 1970 and 1984, it brought the UK's best writing, acting and directing talents into our living rooms, challenging audiences and pushing the boundaries of TV drama. 'Play for Today: Volume 1' brings together seven iconic feature-length dramas for the first time, in a collection that exemplifies the breadth and brilliance of this groundbreaking strand.
The Lie (1970) The great Ingmar Bergman's first British teleplay foreshadows his better-known miniseries 'Scenes from a Marriage' in its characteristic examination of a disintegrating relationship.
Shakespeare or Bust (1973) Brian Glover (Kes) features as Bard-loving miner Art, who, along with mates Ern and Abe, make a poignant, comedic canal-boat pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon in a wistful waterways road movie.
Back of Beyond (1974) Desmond Davis, whose career spanned 'Girl with Green Eyes' to 'Clash of the Titans', directs 'This Sporting Life's' Rachel Roberts as reclusive widow Olwen, befriended by papergirl Rachel with momentous consequences.
A Passage to England (1975) Uncle and cousin in tow, Anand needs to get to England from Amsterdam and Brit fisherman Onslow is his best hope. 'The Long Good Friday' director John Mackenzie adds grit to the comedy, penned by 'Minder' creator Leon Griffiths.
Your Man from Six Counties (1976) From the writer of 'Yanks' and 'Chariots of Fire' comes a tale of the Troubles as, after his father's death, Belfast boy Jimmy heads for his uncle's farm. But even in Ireland's far west, his new start is under threat.
Our Flesh and Blood (1977) Alison Steadman (Abigail's Party) is set on a 'natural' birth while leading her husband (Bernard Hill, Boys From the Blackstuff) against an officious establishment in the satirical shape of Richard Briers' (The Good Life) Mr. Smythe.
A Photograph (1977) When an inexplicable photograph arrives in the post, Michael Otway's world is turned upside down. John Stride (The Ice House) and Stephanie Turner (Juliet Bravo) star in what the Daily Mail called 'grand guignol in the British manner'.