ACTION TV ONLINE EPISODE GUIDE
action-adventure serial Hurricane proved popular fare in the weekend
tea-time slot for BBC Television, taking as it did the premise
of the events leading up to and transpiring immediately after a natural
disaster on the West Indian island of Laguna. The two central
characters, Midge Lammerton and Jessica de Boissiere (Susanne
Neve and Dolores Mantez), were young nurses completing their
training in London as the story opened, the former a scatty and
unpredictable young woman with concerns that she will not "make the
grade", as it were, whilst the latter was a confident and accomplished
young woman who had fully mastered the rigours and regulations inherent
in such a compassionate profession. |
As Midge narrowly passes her leaving examinations, the pair are assigned to the small island of Laguna where they will start their active service, and whilst Jessica is a West Indian native and readily adapts to the new environment, Midge finds life difficult and wonders whether she has made the right career choice. However, their personal and professional concerns are soon thrown to one side when a violent hurricane sweeps across the island, destroy townships, shacks and the like, leaving the dead, injured and homeless desperately requiring medical treatment and immediate sanctuary. The story explored the demands upon nurses in such disaster scenarios, and the bounds to which they will go in order to preserve human life in such stressful circumstances.
The early-evening timeslot prevented Webber from engaged in a more in-depth and adult study, but the serial itself proved gripping and entertaining over six weeks in the summer of 1961. In support of the two leading ladies, notable appearances were made from George Rovey, Bari Johnson, Nan Marriott-Watson, Nadia Catthouse, Philip Locke, Jerry Stovin and Gordon Tanner, and the serial was produced and directed by Joy Harrington. Regrettably, the serial was neither globally exported nor commercially realised, and was not retained in the BBC Archives during the junking policy the corporation embraced during the 1960s and 1970s.
The series was created and written by C E Webber. The series was produced and directed by Joy Harrington. Film Sequences for the series were provided by the BBC Children's Film Unit.
Publicity : The new six-part serial by C E Webber that begins today is a modern adventure story set in the West Indies. It concerns two young nurses, Midge Lammerton and Jessica de Boissiere, who, when the story begins, are finishing their training in London. Jessica, who comes from Jamaica, has passed her finals. But Midge, her English friend, is beginning to despair of ever making the grade as a nurse. It is not that she does not love the work itself, but there are so many rules to remember. Rules about the proper way to make a bed, to wear your cap, to speak to patients, and so on, and Midge is one of those people who are sometimes described as "scatty". What has all this to do with a hurricane? It has a great deal. For if Midge had never despaired of making a good nurse she would never have gone to the West Indies with her friend Jessica, never have found herself trapped on the tinly island of Laguna, never have experienced the hurricane nor made the discovery, "Once a nurse always a nurse". Probably few of us in this country realise what a hurricane is like, or can imagine the terrible suspense beforehand and the devastation it leaves in its wake, particularly in the smaller islands where the houses are flimsy shacks and means of communication scarce or non-existent. There is suspense, too, of another kind. Who are the three strangers who arrive in a small boat on the eve of the hurricane? Why does Midge's brother Bob mysteriously disappear shortly after their arrival? Will scatty Midge with her Nurse's Manual and the island's one First Aid tin be able to cope with the injured and with the epidemic that is the aftermath of destruction? Will the island's one solid building, the exclusive Tourist Hotel, open its doors to the homeless? C E Webber is one of the few people in this country who have had first-hand experience of a hurricane in the West Indies, and he has given us an unusual and highly exiting real-life adventure story. (Radio Times, July 2, 1961).
Notes : Episodes were originally transmitted 5:00pm to 5:30pm on BBC 1.
© Matthew Lee, 2004.
Please note synopsis are taken from the original Radio Times listings for the day of transmission.