Archive TV gems: The Power Game (1965-1969)

In the most recent ITV sale from those lovely people at Network Distributing I picked up three series, ‘The Four Just Men’, ‘Two’s Company’ (which I remember from when it first aired) and a blind buy, all three series over 12 DVDs of ‘The Power Game’.  Surviving from telerecordings and film elements since the videotapes containing this programme were wiped, the picture and sound quality is not of the best but this series is a surprising discovery for me, and after nearly fifty years, as gripping as it must have been to audiences back then.

Patrick Wymark (1926-1970) plays the leading role of industrialist John Wilder, who was previously seen in the factory-set drama ‘The Plane Makers’.  ‘The Power Game’ takes the drama into the boardroom and behind the scenes while Wilder takes on his rival Caswell Bligh (Clifford Evans), an engineering supremo and something of a Machiavellian.  Bligh has a son (Peter Barkworth) who share managing director duties with Wilder, while Wilder has an assistant (Jack Watling) who seems to lurk in the shadows, as well as a wife and mistress (Barbara Murray and Rosemary Leach).

Politics, business shenanigans, money, and more make this a heady brew and one I heartily recommend to fellow archive television enthusiasts, although you probably sailed on this particular boat long before I did.