Four of Hearts:
In the 1990s ITV began signing the stars of popular TV series up to Golden Handcuff deals, which would keep them working for the channel on undefined projects, often purposely different from the roles which had made them stars. In 1965, there were no Golden Handcuffs but with Patrick Wymark award-winning, voted most popular actor by readers of TV World and already recording the first series of ATV's The Power Game (which would be broadcast on 13 December 1965 ),the London weekday contractor Rediffusion kept him occupied with Four of Hearts.
Four of Hearts was an umbrella series of four plays, produced by Cyril Coke who had directed Wymark in the previous year's adaptation of Crime and Punishment. The plays were loosely connected by the concept of romance and gave Wymark with the opportunity to play four lead characters very different from John Wilder.
27 September 1965 Tilt by Mike Watts, a writer who specialised in humorous episodes of series such as Come Buttercup, Come Daisy for Out of the Unknown, and the film Crooks In Cloisters. Wymark played Ernie, the self-deceiving owner of an amusement arcade. A big fish in a small pond, Ernie believes he's liked by the layabouts playing his pinball machines and attempts to impress the avaricious Josie (June Barry). He dreams of a new start where he can make a success of his life and abandons his wife Fay (Stephanie Bidmead ), selling the arcade for a share in a betting shop. Unsurprisingly, the self-centred Josie sets him up to be attacked and robbed, and a chastened Ernie returns to his wife. Reviewing the play, The Times found Wymark, "ebullient..but touching in his unchangeable youthfulness."
4 October 1965 Please Take My Wife by Plane Makers scriptwriter Raymond Bowers. This play turns the Wilder marriage upside-down. Wymark plays Perry, a dull bespectacled, bowler-hat wearing civil servant married to glamorous and wealthy model Barbara Murray. Believing his wife has been unfaithful, Perry aspires to an affair with young bohemian painter Freda (Ann Bell). (The Power Game would reverse this theme in the 7 November 1966 episode The Dead Sea Fruit)
October 11 1965 This Year's Girl by Allan Prior. Patrick Wymark plays farmer Tom Delahanty, who annually replaces his girlfriends in order to placate his domineering mother (Sonia Dresdel). Carole Mowlam plays London secretary Tracy, who comes to work for Delahenty, but finds herself vying with local post office worker Ann (Anne Cunningham) to become "this year's girl". Tom Delahanty's real obsession is his herd of pride Herefordshire bulls, and director Cyril Coke took his cast on location to a farm in Benington, Hertfordshire to get the appropriate atmosphere.
Monday 18 October 1965 Summertime Ends Tonight by Paul Lee. Patrick Wymark plays Miles Parker QC who is on his way to court when he finds his parking space blocked a scooter. He demands that art student Lyn (Phillipa Gail) move and finds himself losing an argument over rights of way. They meet again and despite the gap in ages an affair begins.
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