Play for Today: Robin Redbreast (1970)

UK, 10 December
videotape, 16mm film, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Series: Play For Today (1970-1993) – series 1, episode 8

A British horror television episode written by John Bowen and directed by James MacTaggart.

Plot Summary

BBC script editor Norah Palmer who decides to sell up and move to a house in a small village in the south of England. There she meets many of the eccentric locals and begins a relationship with Rob, a very strange young man who practices martial arts in his underpants in the woods. She soon becomes pregnant and, after a last-minute change of heart, cancels her planned abortion to return to the village where it becomes clear that she's been the pawn in a strange conspiracy and begins to fear for her life and that of her unborn child.


Directed by: James MacTaggart
Produced by: Graeme McDonald
Written by: John Bowen
Script Editor: Ann Scott

Anna Cropper (Norah)
Bernard Hepton (Fisher)
Amanda Walker (Madge)
Julian Holloway (Jake)
Freda Bamford (Mrs Vigo)
Andrew Bradford (Rob)
Cyril Cross (Peter)
Robin Wentworth (Wellbeloved)



  • Beddabled! no.7 ‘Something Witchy This Way Comes' pp.unpaginated – illustrated article (The Darkness of Our Own Minds: John Bowen's Robin Redbreast and A Photograph by Sarah Morgan/Jim O'Brien)


  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.357