'SEND FOSTER' was the title of my first foray into television scriptwriting, in 1965. It was part of a childrens’ series for Associated Rediffusion, one of the forerunners of Thames Television, and told of the weekly experiences of a junior reporter on a local newspaper. Its leading player was Hayward Morse, the son of Barry Morse, who was well-known for his role in the original US TV series 'THE FUGITIVE'.
Whilst doing rehearsals for 'ROSS' in London, Ruth Boswell asked me if I would be interested in writing for a new sci-fi childrens’ series for ATV, called 'TIMESLIP'. By the time I reached discussions for the show, that fine writer Bruce Stewart had already written nineteen episodes, and I was asked if I could come up with a storyline that could resolve the intricate but fascinating plot that had already been crafted. It was an immensely difficult assignment, but after a great deal of encouragement from Ruth and the show’s producer, John Cooper, I managed to get down to it. To this day, 'TIMESLIP' remains a cult, and rightly so. The work everyone put into the show, including players, production crew, and particularly Ruth and Bruce, is a constant reminder of the golden age of childrens’ television drama. If you want to see any stills from this production, I suggest you go to the official 'TIMESLIP' website. After this, Ruth asked me to come up with an idea for another childrens’ series, and I wrote 'TIGHTROPE', a somewhat quirky thriller set in a Comprehensive school, in which the leads were played by John Savident, Spencer Banks, and Pauline Quirke. The 13- part serial did extremely well in the childrens’ TV ratings, but ATV obstinately refused to commission a sequel as it appeared they had other plans to fill that slot!
In 1972, John Russell at Thames Television invited me to submit an idea for a four-part story to be included in their new childrens’ drama fantasy series 'ACE OF WANDS'. Devised by Trevor Preston, the series told of the adventures of the extraordinary mind-reader, Tarot, played by Michael Mackenzie, and his two assistants, Chas and Nikki, played by Roy Holden and Petra Markham. It was a very exciting project, and I clearly had a lot to live up to, but I eventually came up with a four episode story called, 'THE POWER OF ATEP', followed by a three episode story called, 'SISTERS DEADLY'. 'ACE OF WANDS' was immensely popular with children of all ages, and seems to remain so to this day – rightly so! I’m afraid I have no idea who keeps stills from 'ACE OF WANDS'.
In the same year, Jack Williams, a senior producer at ATV, invited me to contribute to a new detective television series called "NEW SCOTLAND YARD". My story concerned the pressure by an MP to get the trial re-opened of a man who was now thought to have been wrongly convicted after a woman in a sweet shop had been found battered to death in an identical way to the earlier victim. The episode was called, "ERROR OF JUDGMENT", and was directed by Oliver Horsbrugh.
The following year, Jack Williams again asked me to write an episode for his immensely popular series about a women’s prison, "WITHIN THESE WALLS", which starred Googie Withers. My story concerned the controversial imprisonment of an upper class actress who had been convicted of murdering her lover, but was found to be suffering from terminal cancer.