Screen One

television series

Screen One is a British television anthology drama series, produced by BBC Studios and distributed by BBC Worldwide. It was shown on BBC1 between 1991 and 1998.[1] Sixty films were made over six series. Some were shown as stand-alone specials.

Screen One
Written byVarious
Directed byVarious
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series7
No. of episodes60 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Richard Broke
  • Margaret Matheston et al.
  • Ruth Caleb
  • Andrée Molyneux et al.
CinematographyJohn McGlashan et al.
Editor(s)Ken Pearce et al.
Running time90 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s)BBC Studios
DistributorBBC Worldwide
Original networkBBC1
Picture format4:3 (576i)
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original release10 September 1989 (1989-09-10) –
15 February 1998 (1998-02-15)

The BBC's Play for Today ran from 1970 to 1984. After it ended, Kenneth Trodd was asked to make a new series of one-off television dramas. These became Screen Two. They were shown on BBC2 in 1985. Play for Today had often been a studio-based form of theatre on television. Screen Two was shot entirely on film.

In 1989, the series was adapted for more mainstream audiences on BBC1 as Screen One. It followed the lead taken by Channel 4, whose television films had later been released in Cinemas. Screen One had actors familiar to television and film audiences, including Alfred Molina, Sean Bean, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Alan Bates, Judi Dench, James Fox, Keith Allen, Bob Peck, Alun Armstrong, Marina Sirtis, David Jason, Brenda Blethyn, James Bolam, Adrian Edmondson, Alison Steadman, Timothy West, Clive Russell and Janet McTeer. Several actors also made their on-screen debuts during the series, including Keira Knightley in the fifth series episode Royal Celebration.

In 1993, the BBC moved away from single dramas to make series and serials. In 1994, Screen One was a six-episode series. This was the last full-length series of Screen One. Eight one-off specials followed. The last one was shown on 15 February 1998.

Transmissions change

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
18 (7 + 1 Special)10 September 1991 (1991-09-10)27 December 1991 (1991-12-27)
210 (8 + 2 Specials)2 September 1993 (1993-09-02)1 January 1993 (1993-01-01)
310 (8 + 2 Specials)20 June 1993 (1993-06-20)1 January 1994 (1994-01-01)
49 (8 + 1 Special)6 September 1994 (1994-09-06)31 October 1994 (1994-10-31)
585 September 1995 (1995-09-05)24 October 1996 (1996-10-24)
67 (6 + 1 Special)6 February 1996 (1996-02-06)16 October 1996 (1996-10-16)
78 (8 Specials)20 January 1997 (1997-01-20)15 February 1998 (1998-02-15)

Episodes change

Series 1 (1991) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"One Way Out"Mick FordRobert Young10 September 1991 (1991-09-10)
Starring Bob Peck, Denis Lawson, Samantha Bond and Enn Reitel
2"Nineteen 96"G. F. NewmanKarl Francis17 September 1991 (1991-09-17)
Starring Keith Barron, Alun Armstrong, Keith Allen, Dudley Sutton, Roger Brierley, Clyde Pollitt and Roger Nott
3"The Accountant"Geoffrey CaseLes Blair24 September 1991 (1991-09-24)
Starring Alfred Molina and David Graham
4"Home Run"Andy ArmitageNicholas Renton1 October 1991 (1991-10-01)
Starring Michael Kitchen, Tom Georgeson, Keith Barron, Dean Harris, Dominic Jephcott, Christine Kavanagh and Andrew Powell
5"She's Been Away"Stephen PoliakoffPeter Hall8 October 1991 (1991-10-08)
Starring Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Michael Carter, Rosalie Crutchley, Donald Douglas, David Hargreaves, Geraldine James, Hugh Lloyd, René Zagger and Barnaby Holm
6"The Mountain and the Molehill"David ReidMoira Armstrong15 October 1991 (1991-10-15)
Starring Michael Gough, John Carson, Paul Brooke, Roger Brierley, Peter Howell, Ian Thompson and James Appleby
7"Blore M.P."Robin ChapmanRobert Young22 October 1991 (1991-10-22)
Starring Timothy West, Oscar Quitak, James Warwick, Barry Jackson, Stephen Moore, Ray Winstone, David Jackson, John Baddeley and Clyde Pollitt
8"Ball-Trap on the Cote Sauvage"Andrew DaviesJack Gold27 December 1991 (1991-12-27)


Starring Jack Shepherd, Zoë Wanamaker, Miranda Richardson and Michael Kitchen

Series 2 (1992—1993) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"News Hounds"Les Blair (uncredited)Les Blair2 December 1992 (1992-12-02)
Starring Adrian Edmonson, Alison Steadman, Steven Mackintosh, Edwina Currie, Paul Kember and Nigel Pegram
2"Frankenstein's Baby"Emma TennantRobert Bierman9 December 1992 (1992-12-09)
Starring Nigel Planer, Kate Buffery and Elizabeth Carling
3"The Police"Arthur EllisIan Knox16 March 1993 (1993-03-16)
Starring Oliver Ford Davies, Derek Martin, Arbel Jones and Paul Collins
4"Sweet Nothing"Vincent O'ConnellTony Smith23 March 1993 (1993-03-23)
Starring Lee Ross, Charlotte Coleman, Simon Cadell, Victor Maddern and Michael Melia
5"Can You Hear Me Thinking?"Monty Haltrecht & Beverley MarcusChristopher Morahan30 March 1993 (1993-03-30)

Starring Judi Dench, Michael Williams, Charmian May, Pik-Sen Lim, Cyril Shaps, Sally Bretton and Christopher Burgess

  • Released on DVD on 5 November 2007 as part of The Judi Dench Collection.[2]
6"One Last Chance"Andrew KazamiaGabrielle Beaumont7 April 1993 (1993-04-07)
Starring Marina Sirtis, Bernard Spear and Eileen Way
7"Sticky Wickets"Fletcher WatkinsDewi Humphreys14 April 1993 (1993-04-14)
Starring Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, Gillian Elisa, George Sewell and William Thomas
8"Survival of the Fittest"Julian MitchellMartyn Friend21 April 1993 (1993-04-21)
Starring Timothy West, Jean Anderson, Nerys Hughes and Elizabeth Spriggs
9"Dark City"David LanChris Curling11 May 1993 (1993-05-11)


Starring Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, Vusi Dibakwane and Thapelo Mafokeng
10"Happy Feet"Michael BradwellMichael Bradwell11 May 1993 (1993-05-11)


Starring Phyllis Logan, Jim Broadbent, Derrick O'Connor and Chris Jury

Series 3 (1994—1995) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"Skulduggery"Phil DavisPhil Davis20 June 1994 (1994-06-20)


Starring David Thewlis, Robin Weaver, Patsy Palmer, Charlie Creed-Miles, Jake Wood and Robert Pugh
2"Hancock"William HumbleTony Smith1 September 1994 (1994-09-01)
Starring Alfred Molina, Frances Barber, Clive Russell, Paul Brooke, Kenneth Gilbert and Nick Burnell
3"Tell Me That You Love Me"Adrian HodgesBruce MacDonald8 September 1994 (1994-09-08)
Starring Judith Scott, Sean Bean, James Wilby, Michael Cochrane and Barbara Ward
4"Filipina Dreamgirls"Andrew DaviesLes Blair15 September 1994 (1994-09-15)
Starring Bill Maynard, Charlie Drake, David Thewlis, Geoffrey Hutchings and Lee Cornes
5"Dancin' Thru the Dark"Willy RussellMike Ockrent22 January 1995 (1995-01-22)

Linda is out on her hen night, while her fiance is out on his stag night. Linda is having major doubts about getting married. When both groups arrive at a club, they find the band fronted by her ex-boyfriend—and the love of her life—Peter. Linda has to decide: does she stay and settle down, like her friends want her to, or does she chuck it all in and run away with Peter?

Starring Claire Hackett, Con O'Neill, Julia Deakin, Simon O'Brien and Mark Womack

6"Ex"William HumblePaul Seed29 January 1995 (1995-01-29)
Starring Griff Rhys Jones, Geraldine James, Penny Downie, Dermot Crowley, Mary Jo Randle, Bruce Montague and Colin Douglas
7"Prince"Julie BurchillDavid Wheatley6 March 1995 (1995-03-06)
Starring Sean Bean, Janet McTeer, Celia Montague and Jackie McGuire
8"Alive and Kicking"Al Hunter AshtonRobert Young13 May 1995 (1995-05-13)

Stevie "Smudger" Smith is a heroin dealer and an addict. His wife Marie is also an addict, and when their baby, Jason, is born he is addicted too. When Jason is taken into care, Marie leaves Smudger to get clean and win Jason back, with the help-of unorthodox drug counsellor Liam Kane. Stevie and Liam are soon at loggerheads as Stevie wants his wife and son back, but realises he can only do this if he also gets clean. In trouble with his old gang and his rivals, he does so, but has no interest in the conventional rehabilitation on offer. He decides to form a football team of recovering addicts, helped by his old coach, Earl.[4]

Starring Lenny Henry, Robbie Coltrane, Jane Horrocks, Paul Barber, Annabelle Apsion, Imogen Boorman, Geff Francis, Jillie Meers and Sakuntala Ramanee
9"A Question of Attribution"Alan BennettJohn Schlesinger20 June 1995 (1995-06-20)

Starring James Fox, Prunella Scales, Geoffrey Palmer, David Calder, John Cater and Edward de Souza

  • Adapted from the Alan Bennett play. Won the 1992 BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama. Prunella Scales was also nominated for Best Actress. Released on DVD on 26 October 2009 as part of Alan Bennett at the BBC.[5]
10"Adam Bede"Maggie WadeyGiles Foster1 July 1995 (1995-07-01)


Starring Patsy Kensit, Julia McKenzie, Jean Marsh, Freddie Jones, Paul Brooke, Patsy Byrne, Roy Evans, Edward Jewesbury and Michael Robbins

  • Released on Region 1 DVD in 2007.[6]

Series 4 (1995) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"A Very Polish Practice"Andrew DaviesDavid Tucker6 September 1995 (1995-09-06)
Starring Peter Davison, David Troughton, Joanna Kanska, Alfred Molina and Gertan Klauber
2"Disaster at Valdez"Michael BakerPaul Seed13 September 1995 (1995-09-13)
Starring Christopher Lloyd, John Heard, Rip Torn and Paul Guilfoyle
3"Born Kicking"Barry HinesMandie Fletcher20 September 1995 (1995-09-20)
Starring John Abineri, Nicholas Courtney, Norman Bird, Thomas Craig, George Irving, Terry Wogan, David McAlister, Sheila Ruskin, Garfield Morgan, Norman Mitchell and Martin Cochrane
4"Black and Blue"G. F. NewmanDavid Hayman27 September 1995 (1995-09-27)
Starring Linus Roache, Martin Shaw, Iain Glen, Ray Winstone, David Morrissey, Don Henderson, David Thewlis, Madhav Sharma and Colin McFarlane
5"Seconds Out"Lynda La PlanteBruce MacDonald4 October 1995 (1995-10-04)
Starring Steven Waddington, Tom Bell, Derek Newark, Jack Watson, Nick Brimble, Frank Mills, Thomas Craig, Tim Barlow, Eric Mason and Roy Heather
6"Running Late"Simon GrayUdayan Prasad11 October 1995 (1995-10-11)
Starring Peter Bowles, Michael Byrne, James Fleet, Jim McManus, Ian McNeice and Roshan Seth
7"Losing Track"Roger EldridgeJim Lee18 October 1995 (1995-10-18)
Starring Alan Bates, Geraldine James and Michael Culver
8"Trust Me"Tony SarchetTony Dow25 October 1995 (1995-10-25)
Starring Alfred Molina, Hywel Bennett, Jill Gascoine, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Edna Doré, Harry Towb, Derek Benfield and David Simeon
9"Ghostwatch"Stephen VolkLesley Manning31 October 1995 (1995-10-31)


Starring Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, Mike Smith and Craig Charles

  • Released on DVD on 25 November 2002.[7]

Series 5 (1995-1996) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"Wide-Eyed and Legless"Deric Longden & Jack RosenthalRichard Loncraine5 December 1993 (1993-12-05)

Starring Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Thora Hird and Moya Brady

  • Later released in cinemas. Re-titled The Wedding Gift in America. Released on Region 1 DVD in 2011.[8]
2"A Foreign Field"Roy ClarkeCharles Sturridge12 December 1995 (1995-12-12)

Starring Alec Guinness, Leo McKern, Geraldine Chaplin, Lauren Bacall, Jeanne Moreau and Dorothy Grumbar

  • Later released in cinemas. Released on DVD on 3 August 2008.[9]
3"Down Among the Big Boys"Peter McDougallCharles Gormley19 December 1995 (1995-12-19)

Louie, the Glasgow detective son of a policeman, is about to marry the daughter of the accomplished robbery chief JoJo. Louie is placed in charge of investigating a mystery thief before his wedding. Jojo comes to realize that Louie is looking for him and wrestles with how to handle this.

Starring Douglas Henshall, Billy Connolly, John Murtagh, Ewan Stewart, Maggie Bell and Ashley Jensen

  • Released on DVD on 25 September 2006.[10]
4"Royal Celebration"William HumbleFerdinand Fairfax26 December 1995 (1995-12-26)
Starring Kenneth Cranham, Minnie Driver, Rupert Graves, Leslie Phillips, Keira Knightley and Gordon Salkilld. This was Knightley's first screen appearance.
5"Tender Loving Care"Lucy GannonDewi Humphreys3 March 1996 (1996-03-03)
Starring Dawn French, Rosemary Leach, Joan Sims, Peter Jones and Llewellyn Rees
6"Money for Nothing"Tim FirthMike Ockrent10 March 1996 (1996-03-10)
Starring Julian Glover, Martin Short, Christien Anholt, Paul Reynolds, Tim Preece, Wolf Kahler and Sean Baker
7"Wall of Silence"Maurice Gran & Laurence MarksPhilip Saville17 March 1996 (1996-03-17)
Starring Bill Paterson, Warren Mitchell, Timothy Busfield, John Bowe and Brigitte Kahn
8"The Bullion Boys"Jim HitchmoughChristopher Morahan24 March 1993 (1993-03-24)

The true story of how Britain's gold reserve was secretly transferred to Liverpool at the start of the Second World War.

Starring David Jason, Tim Pigott-Smith, Gorden Kaye, Brenda Blethyn, Geoffrey Hutchings and Paul Angelis

Series 6 (1996) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"Bambino Mio"Colin WellandEdward Bennett6 February 1996 (1996-02-06)


Starring Julie Walters, Georges Corraface, John McArdle and Orlando Urdaneta

  • Released on VHS on 24 January 2000.[12]
2"A Breed of Heroes"Charles WoodDiarmuid Lawrence4 September 1996 (1996-09-04)
Starring Samuel West, Robert Bathurst, Alexander Armstrong, Daniel Flynn, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Jonathan Firth, Richard Griffiths and Shaun Dingwall
3"Pat and Margaret"Victoria WoodGavin Millar11 September 1996 (1996-09-11)

Starring Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Don Henderson, Duncan Preston, Thora Hird, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Shirley Stelfox, Roger Brierley, Tenniel Evans and Charles Pemberton

  • Released on DVD on 21 May 2007.[13]
4"Two Golden Balls"Maureen ChadwickAnya Camilleri18 September 1996 (1996-09-18)
Starring Kim Cattrall, Claire Skinner, Christopher Ellison, Rowena King and Leslie Phillips
5"Meat"Danny BoyleJohn Madden25 September 1996 (1996-09-25)
Starring Jonny Lee Miller, Sarah-Jane Potts, Peter Wight and John Simm
6"Murder in Mind"Jenny DiskiRobert Bierman2 October 1996 (1996-10-02)
Starring Cathryn Harrison, Trevor Eve, Anna Massey, Steven Mackintosh, Bruce Alexander and Christopher Owen
7"Doggin' Around"Alan PlaterDesmond Davis16 October 1996 (1996-10-16)
Starring Elliott Gould, Geraldine James, Alun Armstrong, Ewan McGregor, Liz Smith, Ronnie Scott, Stephen Marcus, Jamie Foreman, Larry Lamb, Judy Flynn and Tony Caunter

Specials (1997—1998) change

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1"The Plant"Jonathan LewisJonathan Lewis20 January 1997 (1997-01-20)
Starring Joanna Roth, Valentine Pelka, Eoin McCarthy, Sally Dexter and Ian Burfield
2"Trip Trap"Lucy GannonDanny Hiller9 March 1997 (1997-03-09)
Starring Kevin Whately, Stella Gonet, Sue Roderick and Helen Griffin
3"Killing Me Softly"Rebecca FraynStephen Whittaker7 July 1997 (1997-07-07)
Starring Maggie O'Neill, Peter Howitt, Julian Kerridge and Annabelle Apsion
4"Truth or Dare"TBAJohn Madden31 August 1997 (1997-08-31)
Starring John Hannah, Helen Baxendale, Susan Lynch, Ben Daniels, John Fraser and John Michie
5"Gobble"Ian Hislop & Nick NewmanJimmy Mulville21 December 1997 (1997-12-21)
Starring Kevin Whately, Keith Barron, Jack Dee and Peter Egan
6"Deacon Brodie"Simon DonaldPhilip Saville8 March 1997 (1997-03-08)
Starring Billy Connolly, Patrick Malahide, Catherine McCormack, Lorcan Cranitch and Siobhan Redmond
7"Hostile Waters"Troy Kennedy-MartinDavid Drury26 July 1997 (1997-07-26)

Starring Rutger Hauer, Martin Sheen, Max von Sydow, Colm Feore and Michael Attwell

  • Released on VHS in 1998
8"Our Boy"Tony GroundsDavid Evans15 February 1998 (1998-02-15)
Starring Ray Winstone, Pauline Quirke, Neil Dudgeon and Philip Jackson

References change

  1. "Screen One". BBC. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. "The Judi Dench Collection". Amazon UK.
  3. "Dancin' Thru the Dark - Digitally Restored & Remastered". Amazon UK.
  4. 2015 review by Mark Cunliffe at; retrieved 24 January 2018
  5. "Alan Bennett at the BBC". Amazon UK.
  6. "Adam Bede". Amazon UK.
  7. "Ghostwatch". Amazon UK.
  8. "Wedding Gift". Amazon UK.
  9. "A Foreign Field". Amazon UK.
  10. "Down Among the Big Boys". Amazon UK.
  11. "Martins at War - The Bullion boys". 22 May 1940. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  12. "Bambino Mio". Amazon UK. February 1999.
  13. "Pat & Margaret". Amazon UK.

Other websites change