Angus Wilson (1913-1991) wrote his novel "Late Call" in 1964, and 20 years later, Anthony Burgess ranked it as one of the 99 best novels written since 1939. This led to its inclusion in the... See full summary »






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Series cast summary:
Dandy Nichols ...
 Sylvia Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
Leslie Dwyer ...
 Arthur Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
 Howard Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
Timothy Morand ...
 Ray Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
Nigel Crewe ...
 Mark Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
Rosalyn Elvin ...
 Judy Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
Danielle Carson ...
 Young Sylvia Calvert (4 episodes, 1975)
 Myra Longmore (3 episodes, 1975)
Geoffrey Adams ...
 Chris Milton (3 episodes, 1975)
Fanny Carby ...
 Lorna Milton (3 episodes, 1975)
Diana King ...
 Sally Bulmer (3 episodes, 1975)
Rosemarie Dunham ...
 Muriel Bartley (3 episodes, 1975)
Nicholas McCardle ...
 Geoff Bartley (3 episodes, 1975)
Hugh Sullivan ...
 Wilf Corney (2 episodes, 1975)
Raymond Mason ...
 Jack Parsons (2 episodes, 1975)
Alison Dowling ...
 Mandy Egan (2 episodes, 1975)


Angus Wilson (1913-1991) wrote his novel "Late Call" in 1964, and 20 years later, Anthony Burgess ranked it as one of the 99 best novels written since 1939. This led to its inclusion in the rec.arts.books compilation list of the 425 "Greatest Books of All Time." The central character is the elderly Sylvia Calvert, and Wilson wanted to "find a way of suggesting the absurd and the compassionate at the same time in Sylvia's story," and with her son, "the sudden, incidental and completely horrible in the deadly respectable world." Adapting Wilson's novel into four episodes (each approximately 50 minutes in length), Dennis Potter expanded Wilson's prologue ("The Hot Summer of 1911") into the drama's centerpiece, intercutting between past and present as he probed spiritual desolation in the English Midlands. Retiring from a lifetime of hotel domestic service, Sylvia Calvert arrives with her husband Arthur to live with their overly fastidious son in the New Town of Carshall, where they ... Written by Bhob Stewart <>

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Release Date:

1 March 1975 (UK)  »

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(4 episodes)
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User Reviews

A genuinely haunting drama
26 May 2004 | by (Sunny Southend, UK) – See all my reviews

I saw this when it was shown on UK BBC2 back in 1975, and I believe it has never been repeated. It was television drama at it's very best, and I was not surprised to find that Dennis Potter had a hand in the dramatisation. This TV version of the book worked so well because it was put together by folk who understood both media. A musical score by Dudley Simpson was the icing on the cake.It was so good that the lovely Dandy Nicholls had a chance to show that she was an excellent actress. I don't know if it still exists in some form. I hope it has survived. I was quite young when this was first aired but I have never forgotten it. I would interested to see other user comments on this drama.

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