Peace with Terror

1963 | United Kingdom

Frederick James Parsons is fanatical, dedicated, sincere; with his willing but slow-witted accomplice, Harry Warblow, he has planned a crime so sensational that it will surely call world-wide attention to his aims. Confidently he sets the wheels in motion, and then events take charge.

Peace With Terror, first of the new Television Playhouse series which was broadcast on Friday 21 September 1962, had originally been scheduled for a June showing. But ITV decided that Peter Cushing's performance was so strong and the production more suitable for a weekday rather than Sunday night, that is was decided to hold it over. Cushing himself said at the time, "I had lots of letters, and many kind people stopping me in the street, asking where I'd got to that Sunday that I felt quite guilty." 

Cushing plays Parsons, a text-quoting religious fanatic who heads a far-out sect called The Union for Peace. With the help of a hired accomplice, Harry Warblow (Brian Wilde), he evolves a sort of latter-day "Gunpowder Plot." But his objective is to blow up, not Parliament, but the War Office. There, he believes, lurk the "war-mongers"-and only by killing them off can he hope to preserve the peace of the world. 

Peace With Terror was an ATV Network Production. Sheila Manahan also starred as Alice Parsons. The play was produced by Quentin Lawrence. After it finished at 10.45pm ITV transmitted the first of a brand new programme in which teams of students from all over Britain met in a contest of general knowledge: University Challenge.    

Published on April 4th, 2020. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

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