Armchair Theatre: Underground (1958)

UK, 28 November
broadcast live, black and white, 4:3
mono, English
Series: Armchair Theatre (1956-1974) – series 2, episode 12

A British science fiction television episode directed by William Kotcheff. Part way through the live broadcast, actor Gareth Jones complained of feeling unwell, collapsed and died from a heart attack. The cast and crew were ordered to improvise their way around the tragedy and the play continued, director Ted Kotcheff quickly restructuring the script as he went along, helped by production assistant Verity Lambert who looked after the camera movements from the studio gallery. The play was not recorded.

Plot Summary

Survivors of a nuclear attack struggle to survive in the ruins of the London Underground system.


Direction: William Kotcheff
ABC Television
Producer: Sydney Newman
Script: James Forsyth
Novel: Harold Rein
Designer: George Haslam

Donald Houston (Art)
Ian Curry (Bob)
Patricia Jessel (Cassie)
Warren Mitchell (Stan)
Gareth Jones (Carl Norman)
Andrew Cruikshank (Mr Thornton)
Edward Dentith (Elliot)
Peter Bowles (Simpson)
Launce Maraschal (old man)



  • The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction (3rd Edition) by Roger Fulton pp.674-675 – credits