The Wednesday Play: Season 1, Episode 123

The Gorge (4 Sep. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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From of the BBC's 'Wednesday Play' series. A comedy in which a teenage boy reluctantly accompanies his ghastly family on a coarse bank-holiday day out to local beauty spot and tourist trap,... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview:
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Constance Chapman ...
Reg Lye ...
Neil Wilson ...
Betty Alberge ...
Elna Pearl ...
David Webb ...
John Woodnutt ...
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Brian Gear ...


From of the BBC's 'Wednesday Play' series. A comedy in which a teenage boy reluctantly accompanies his ghastly family on a coarse bank-holiday day out to local beauty spot and tourist trap, the Cheddar Gorge. Written by D.Giddings <>

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Release Date:

4 September 1968 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Referenced in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

13 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Christopher Morohan's (1968) television film of Peter Nichol's screenplay was first aired by the BBC as part of a contemporary drama series billed as 'The Wednesday Play'. Just to state the obvious, it was show on telly each Wednesday evening.

It was a platform for up and coming writers and directors which included early opportunities for talent of the quality of Denis Potter, Jeremy Sandford, Alan Plater.. and many more.

It's certainly a testament to the impact this film had that I labour under the delusion that I can effectively review it it some 38 years after I first saw it, on the basis that I seem to be the only person alive able to remember what it was about and what it meant to people like me, then aged 12 years old.

Ostensibly, for me, it was a play set in a well-known holiday spot in the west of England. 'The Gorge' is Cheddar Gorge. Figuratively, a combination of a very well-known cheese that survives to this day, and a geological feature of remote antiquity.

But really it was a boy and girl on holiday with their parents, who stole brief interludes together among the ferns and heather.

The dialogue of these scenes, for somebody exiled in a boys Grammar School, was priceless, because it reflected two members of the opposite sex, reeling from the unexpected hormonal effects of puberty - but able to speak frankly to one another about it.

I kid myself that I can remember part of the dialogue, in which the well-upholstered young lady is being addressed by the frank but confused young gentleman.

The subject is tits. He says, with disarming honesty, something along the lines of - If I had tits, I'd play with them all the time but she replies - Yes, I did that.. but it's like playing with your fingers...

It's hard, I suppose, for people aged 12 in 2006 to imagine a time when sex was only conspicuous by its absence. Everywhere it should have been, like everyday conversation, it was missing.

Just for perspective.. across the Atlantic.. Alfred Kinsey's 'Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male' had been published twenty years earlier in 1948. 'Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female' was published in 1953, fifteen years before I saw this film on TV.

But in England, on BBC Television, somehow.. young people like me managed to begin to grasp the differences between how men and women approach love and sex from such different angles from plays like 'The Gorge'.

I look back, aghast, and wonder how this unusual play contributed so much to a process of understanding which so often founders in everyday life.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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