Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.

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Cast

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Derek Godfrey ...
David Waller ...
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David Dixon ...
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Christopher Guard ...
Kenneth Gilbert ...
Edwin Brown ...
Paul Greenhalgh ...
Christopher Bramwell ...
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Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.

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27 February 1980 (UK)  »

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The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: The Tempest  »

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Trivia

The visual effects seen in this episode were not developed for use here. They had been developed for Top of the Pops (1964) and Doctor Who (1963). See more »

Connections

Version of Whatever Next?: Episode #1.6 (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Stuff of Pleasant Dreams
10 May 2016 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Second in my viewing of BBC Shakespeare adaptations: as with the previous 'Measure for Measure', I'd not previously seen any version of the play, and was only vaguely acquainted with the plot.

Although the vengeful wizard, Prospero and to a lesser extent his sprite aide/conscience, Ariel, are the key characters, the title is an apt one in that it is the eponymous tempest, or storm - brought about by Prospero - which drives so much of the plot in that it causes to bring to Prospero's island those who had most wronged him. Not surprisingly, given that it is one of Shakespeare's later plays, I found it to be one of his most satisfying and intricately plotted, and although officially classed as a comedy, I'd probably also consider it a moral tale, in the choices and decisions it ultimately has Prospero make when he finally has his hated opponents at his mercy. Although I haven't done any further research or re-reading since my only viewing of this production, I was also interested with one of Prospero's speeches where he seemed to be suggesting that much of his situation might be entirely a dream, which would make the plot richer still (And, incidentally, the actual quote "We are such stuff As dreams are made on" was the source for Bogey's similarly memorable "that's the stuff that dreams are made of", from and about 'The Maltese Falcon')

As regards the production itself, I'd absolutely no problem with any of the sets, which more than fulfilled their functions, and allowed for the intelligence of the viewers to flesh them out; the scene where Nigel Hawthorne and Andrew Sach's character first appeared reminded me of various sets for Beckett's 'Happy Days', which is no bad thing. Acting- wise, Hordern was supreme, and well-nigh faultless; I don't understand some reviewers problem with David Dixon's Ariel, as he seemed to me to fit all the requirements of the role. Similarly, Hawthorne and Andrew Sach's characters' interaction with Warren Clarke's hirsute and mildly scary Caliban provided the necessary comic relief, ably, as they did their roles. The remaining performances and characters I'd largely consider functional.

Now I can't wait to compare and contrast with Julie Taymor's much- maligned adaptation; on the evidence of her enthralling and visually arresting adaptation of 'Titus Andronicus', I've no doubt that it will make for a worthwhile watch. On a side note, watching Andrew Sachs in this version, I was reminded of his recent very public 'spat' with Russell Brand and, given that they both played Trinculo, it should be interesting to see whose characterisation is the better one.


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