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Yesterday's TV presents The Human Jungle

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: July 02, 2009

Herbert Lom

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DURING the Bugle’s long running series looking back at yesterday’s TV programmes, the most popular to jog the memory have been Westerns or crime stories, including a string of famous detectives. But spinning off the spool not far behind have been adventures, and medical dramas, and in this week’s pick from Alan Keeling’s exhaustive research, psychiatrists ...

"In the 1960s series, The Human Jungle, Herbert Lom played the part of Doctor Roger Corder, an eminent Harley Street psychiatrist and consultant to St Damian’s General Hospital. This brought Corder into daily contact with many people from different walks of life; the old, the young, the rich and poor, and the weak and strong, who all had one thing in common; different degrees of mental illness. It was TV’s chance to broadcast a subject that had long been taboo. The team led by Doctor Corder included his faithful secretary, Nancy Hamilton (Mary Yeomans), who tried to keep him on the straight and narrow, and his assistant, young Doctor Jimmy Davis, played by Michael Johnson. Doctor Corder was a widower who lived with his slightly rebellious teenage daughter Jennifer, played by Sally Smith.

Twenty-six hour long episodes were filmed in black and white, firstly at Beaconsfield Studios and later at Elstree Studios, and produced by Independent Artists Ltd. Filming took place during 1963/4 and ABC TV broadcast the series in the Midlands in 1965 on a Saturday evening. The programme also boasted a fine list of guest artists, including Jess Conrad, Derek Farr, Andre Morrell, Ian Bannen, Margaret Lockwood, Dennis Price, Sylvia Syms, Joan Collins, Dame Flora Robson, Kay Walsh, Richard Johnson, Rita Tushingham, Benard Lee and Peggy Cummins.

With every story based on the cases of a real life practising psychiatrist, the show proved to be a success in every ITV region, and years later was given a rerun on Channel 4 on Tuesday evenings."

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