Adventure Weekly

1968 | United Kingdom

'Adventure Weekly' was the name of a junior newspaper set up by five budding reporters; Peter (Brent Oldfield), Andy (Len Jones), Tubby (Ian Ellis), Swot (Frank Barry) and Fred (Elizabeth Dear). As dynamic young reporters they got involved in a whole series of adventures spread over 13 episodes which included capturing a team of post office robbers and covering the story of an unexploded WWll bomb. 

The kids are offered facilities within the local 'Cliffsea Reporter' offices, itself an ailing publication with a very modest circulation which is faced with imminent closure until it is bought out by London based newspaper magnate Lord Huntingford. Even then the junior journolists are faced with losing the paper's support until they mount a successful campaign to save it and ultimately uncover their biggest scoop to date. 

The series was originally conceived as a seven-part childrens' drama by the late Shaun Sutton, who was later to become BBC TV's Head of Drama, but when the extra episodes were added Sutton realised that he was too involved with other projects and he called in Victor Pemberton to write six of them. It was Pemberton's first job for the BBC and he remembers it with affection: "Although the idea was hardly earth-shattering, the series and characters were really very appealing. I enjoyed the job very much, not only because it gave me valuable television writing experience, but also because it gave me the chance to work with the late Joan Hickson, that enchanting Miss Marple in a later BBC TV series." 

Sutton was instrumental in casting Patrick Troughton in the role of Doctor Who and then chose Jon Pertwee to succeed him. Victor Pemberton went on to have a close association with 'Who' and the series was directed by another Doctor Who legend; Barry Letts. The other episodes were written by Ian Shurey and P.J. Hammond, the latter of whom devised the science fiction series Sapphire and Steel.

Published on November 29th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.