Tightrope UK childrens series


1972 - United Kingdom

At first sight there appears to be no apparent reason why Redlow Comprehensive School should be different from any other school of its kind. Until, that is, a strange television transmission has one pupil walking a tightrope of fear. 

The sixth form students are busy studying for their exams when a television broadcast they are watching is interrupted by a picture of their school and the following announcement is heard: "I have a message for you. How well do you know your staff?...Who and what are they?...Can you trust them?...I am the voice of truth." 

Tightrope (from ATV) was the creation of Victor Pemberton whose previous writing credits included Dr. Who and Ace of Wands, and starred 18 year-old Spencer Banks as Martin Clifford, a sixth form student who unwillingly becomes involved in the ruthless world of espionage from the moment he is knocked from his bicycle as he returns to school one afternoon. Banks had previously scored with younger viewers as young Simon Randall in the Sci-Fi series Timeslip

The two other main characters in Tightrope were Forrester (played by John Savident, later to star as butcher Fred Elliot in Coronation Street), a somewhat eccentric character who kept the viewers wondering just which side he worked for, and Harvey (David Munro) -a teacher of sixth form pupils. Also appearing is a young Sue Holderness, later famous as Boycie's other half, Marlene in Only Fools and Horses and Green, Green Grass

Adding to the drama was an isolated Airforce base where unusual activities seemed to have some link with the mysterious happenings at Redlow School and a local shop-keeper who also hid a mysterious secret. The questions that arose from this tense and exciting serial were littered with red herrings and each episode ended on a cliffhanger, the truth not being unearthed until the final episode. The series was originally made in colour, but copies of these were lost or destroyed. However, in 2011, Network DVD released the complete series of episodes from available film elements, sadly all in monochrome. However, it does give viewers a chance to view this children's drama series once again.

Published on February 7th, 2019. Written by Noel Onely for Television Heaven.

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