Cruel Train

Cruel Train 1 cropped Cruel Train 2 cropped Cruel Train 3 cropped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Cruel Train was a drama transmitted in 1996. Chris Parr was the producer, with Malcolm McKay as the director, and script adaptor, from the novel by Emile Zola. Sean Van Hales was the director of photography, and Michael Pickwoad was the production designer.

The drama featured: Adrian Dunbar, Saskia Reeves, Alec McCowen, David Suchet, Jonathan Moore, and Minnie Driver.

The BFI database includes the following synopsis:

‘Drama set in wartime Britain. Rueben Roberts a deputy railway station master, discovers that he owes his job, marriage and home to the sexual favours that his wife Selena has been forced to grant to Arthur Grandrige, her godfather and the railway chairman. Rueben vows revenge and kills Arthur on the Brighton express train. The murder is witnessed by a railway worker, Jack Dando. When the police investigate, Rueben pursuades Selena to seduce Jack to buy his silence. However things soon spiral out of control.’ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/516788

The budget is listed in the BFI database as £1.25 million, and apparently it was also known as Beast in Man. The shoot lasted from 25th November to 22nd December 1994.

Thanks to the BBC Drama Village for giving me the photos for sharing and safe keeping.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

John Greening: ‘The station was a built set at an old Electric works ( which had some rail lines) by the Aston Expressway -Bill Hartley was the First AD.’

Gary Jordan: ‘Part of Screen two: SCREEN TWO – CRUEL TRAIN A dark & stylish drama set in wartime Britain, based on ‘La Bete Humaine’ by Emile ZOLA. Ruben ROBERTS discovers his wife has been sexually abused by her godfather since her early teens & coerces Selina to help him kill GRANDRIDGE. Sp s film
——————————————————————————
BBC Cprd Name: WORLDWIDE
BBC Item Type: Programme
BBC SubCatalogue: LONPROG TX DATE 22 Dec 1996′

Ian Barber: ‘And I was the AFM. Peter Lloyd was the 2nd Ad. Probably one of the best projects we ever worked on. The set was amazing. Built from scratch in a disused warehouse. We all had to wear masks because the air was black with soot from the steam engines. Alec McGowen was also in it, along with Sheila Reid and Brian Pringle.’

Mark Smithers: ‘Filmed at the GEC turbine and transformer works. The factory was pulled down shortly afterwards.’

Olly’s Prison – Photos by Willoughby Gullachsen

Photos by Willoughby Gullachsen, no reproduction without permission.

‘Olly’s Prison’ was a three part drama series produced at Pebble Mill by Richard Langridge.  The script was written by Edward Bond, and directed by Roy Battersby. It was transmitted in 1993, and was probably the last studio only drama to be recorded in Studio A at Pebble Mill.  Dave Bushell was the lighting director, and Bob Jacobs the 1st A.D. and Ian Barber the AFM.  Dave Bushell remembers it being a satisfying drama to work on, although not a bundle of laughs.

Mike Eastman remembers working on the series: “I had a small acting role in this production playing a prisoner, my filming days were just prior to Christmas 1991. It was the first time I had worked with Bob Jacobs as ‘first’, but went on to do lots more work with him later on.”

The BFI database http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/489433 includes this precis of the storyline:

Part 1: Tells the tragic story of Mike who sees his life crumble as his grip on reality becomes ever more tenuous. He shares a claustrophobic flat with his 16-year-old daughter, Sheila. Sheila is uncommunicative, like many teenagers, and Mike becomes increasingly frustrated by her silence. He resorts to violence.

Part 2: Bernard is serving a life sentence for the murder of his daughter. He attempts suicide but fails. His fellow prisoner Smiler uses his makeshift noose to hang himself.

(No precis of Part 3 is included)

‘Olly’s Prison’ featured Bernard Hill as Mike, Jonny Lee Miller as Smiler, Mary Jo Randle as Vera, George Anton as Frank, Bryan Pringle as Barry, Richard Graham as Olly, and Maggie Steed as Ellen.

 

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