The Wednesday Play: Season 1, Episode 122

The Gorge (4 Sep. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.5
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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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Title: The Gorge (04 Sep 1968)

The Gorge (04 Sep 1968) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Billy Hamon ...
Mike
Constance Chapman ...
Lily
Reg Lye ...
Jack
Neil Wilson ...
Stanley
Betty Alberge ...
Ivy
Elna Pearl ...
Chris
David Webb ...
Cyclist
John Woodnutt ...
Norman
Hilda Braid ...
Joyce
Brian Gear ...
Potholer
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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, the Cheddar Gorge. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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Drama

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4 September 1968 (UK)  »

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

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User Reviews

 
The Gorge - my review after nearly 40 years!
21 August 2007 | by (Glasgow) – See all my reviews

Yes, I agree with what John says. This programme had an enormous effect on my brother and myself at the time, dealing frankly with what was obsessing us in a world providing absolutely no sex education except what you procured for yourself. I was 16 at the time, at an all-boys school. The Wednesday Play had by this time established itself as much more cutting edge than ITV's Saturday Night Armchair Theatre. It seemed the producers were deliberately seeking to provoke thought on major social issues, accepting scripts that pushed controversially against the limits on what was "permissible". The Wednesday Play was a front line of the Permissive Society. My brother and I were extremely lucky that Mum and Dad, both in their 40s, had started using the recently acquired first motor car to go out for 'runs' on Wednesdays (some sort of second courtship!) and usually didn't get back before the Play finished. We'd be sitting on the edge of our seats, one eye on the window in case they came back early, puffing away on our forbidden ciggies, electrified at how the plays dealt so frankly with sex compared to the rest of TV at that time. I'm fairly sure my first glimpses of female breasts and even nipples were in this series (there was enormous conservative backlash that these were obscenity, and they were always excitedly discussed at school next day, even more than the Avengers or the latest Beatles exploits.) In those days of no repeats, no videos and no commercial breaks, we might sit for an hour desperate for the toilet but unwilling to go in case we missed the few seconds everyone would be talking about tomorrow! This particular play always stuck in my mind as one which really excited me. The boy had the same problems as me and my brother, as I recall: chronic shyness (maybe even bad acne!), obsession with women but no way of finding out more about them or getting close, strict authoritarian parents who believed they were doing the right thing by forbidding everything he naturally chose for himself, belittling his self confidence and even controlling him with violence ('Good Christian parents'!) I'm sure Mary Whitehouse complained about this one - she wanted the whole series banned. I'm so grateful for the courageous enlightened avant-garde people who pushed back the barriers with this series, many of them motivated no doubt by the use of 'psychedelics' and the idea that there was a cultural revolution in progress to allow more control to the younger generation. Anyway, I'm sure this play was a major milestone at the most crucial stage in my development - and that of the Baby Boom generation. I'd love to see it again. It is more worthy of analysis and appreciation than most of the plays released in theatres during the period which are more famous. Today's kids and grand-kids would have a much better idea of where they're coming from if they saw this. It should be possible. Much of it was shot outdoors so it must be on film somewhere.


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