John Le Mesurier Play for Today coming to BBC4

The BBC will air an episode of their Play for Today strand, The Traitor in May 2024. They have announced that the episode, written by Dennis Potter, will air on their arts and culture channel BBC4.

Traitor stars John Le Mesurier as Adrian Harris. Harris was an agent for British Intelligence, but also a double agent for the Soviet Union. Reporters want to find out about his apparently paradoxical views. He says he believes in Communism and in some aspects of the British way of life. These two things don’t seem compatible. The play explores the crumbling of the man in whom these two things seem to co-exist.

First aired on October 14th 1971, Traitor was a part of the BBC‘s popular Play for Today series. Play for Today was an anthology series consisting of a one-off story in each episode. There were 306 episodes produced between 1970 and 1984. Most of these survive in the archive. Plays and novels were adapted for the programme, with episodes ranging from fifty to a hundred minutes in length. Traitor is 58 minutes in length. It has not been aired on the BBC since 1987.

Traitor co-stars some other familiar faces, including film actor Lyndon Brook, well-known for such performances as the best friend of Douglas Bader in Reach for the Sky. Also appearing is Richard Marner, who would later become best-known to British audiences as the Nazi Colonel in sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo.

John Le Mesurier is primarily remembered as a comedy actor. He most-often played character parts, usually of an affable, upper-class type. He brought charm and suaveness to his roles. His most well-known role is as Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army. However, he played in many other comedic roles on both the small and large screen, as well as radio. He starred alongside Peggy Mount and Sid James in George and the Dragon. He played the prison governor in The Italian Job and a barrister in The Pink Panther. He was prolific in comedy. Traitor is a rare opportunity to see Le Mesurier in a heavier, straight dramatic role.

The Play for Today episode Traitor will air on BBC Four on Wednesday 22nd May 2024 at 10 pm.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Dixon of Dock Green Episode Review: Sounds

Tue May 14 , 2024
Continuing in our series reviewing the surviving episodes of Dixon of Dock Green currently airing on Talking Pictures TV, this week I will discuss 1974’s Sounds. Originally broadcast by the […]
Dixon of Dock Green episode Sounds

You May Like