Years before US TV viewers were introduced to the immoral exploits of the mega-rich oil barons of Dallas, the UK presented the day-to-day boardroom dramas of the high-powered executives of Mogul.
Mogul International was a major commercial oil corporation with worldwide interests. At the head of its board of directors was no-nonsense managing director Brian Stead, who, with financial advice from right-hand-man Willy Izard, maintained the company's interests in a fiercely competitive market. Due to its attention to detail, the studio-bound Mogul was much admired in the real oil world and won many fans. As the series progressed the attention shifted to the newer more dynamic members of Mogul's staff. With this move came a new focus and a new title.
When the series returned for its second season it was renamed The Troubleshooters and concentrated on the exploits of Peter Thornton and Alec Stewart, chief 'fix-it' men for the company. The duos troubleshooting activities took them (and therefore the viewers) around the globe, onto oil rigs and oil fields as far apart as Antarctica and Venezuela. Sharp writing from the likes of James Mitchell, Roy Clarke and Ian Kennedy Martin enabled the series to run for a total of seven years and during that time it managed to mirror -as well as predict, many real life events within the oil industry including disasters, racial tensions, political drama and industrial intrigue.
Mogul (and the The Troubleshooters format) was created by writer-producer John Elliot who allegedly based the fictional company on a real life one; BP. As well as a distinguished cast of actors and actresses the series also had the benefit of fine production work by Peter Graham Scott and Anthony Read. Those sitting in the directors chair included Ridley Scott.
Published on January 8th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.