One of my earliest cult television memories, Captain Scarlet was a fascinating early addition to the UK's science fiction programming canon.
The Mysterons sent shivers up my spine when I viewed early 1980s re-runs on RTE. Even now, the series still holds a dark edge and is Anderson's finest supermarionation effort. The ruthless attacks by the Mysterons were realistic and sometimes very bleak in their nihilism.
Barry Gray's theme tune is instantly recognisable and just swings for the entire duration. Once again, a television show makes me nostalgic for a time before I was born.
Monday 21 December Emmerdale Farm - 9 April 1973 Monty Python's Flying Circus - 'Owl-Stretching Time' Northern Exposure - 'Roots'
Tuesday 22 December Steptoe And Son - 'The Siege Of Steptoe Street' Man About The House - 'Somebody Out There Likes Me' Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - 'Marjorie Doesn't Live Here Anymore'
Wednesday 23 December Emmerdale Farm - 10 April 1973 The Jensen Code - Episode 5 Rumpole Of The Bailey - 'Rumpole And The Age For Retirement' Thursday 31 December Tales Of The Unexpected - 'Light Fingers' On The Buses - 'Busmen's Perks' The Forsyte Saga - 'Into The Dark'
Friday 1 January Emmerdale Farm - 16 April 1973 Family Guy - 'Whistle While Your Wife Works' Homicide: Life On The Street - 'Justice, Part 1'
Saturday 2 January The Equalizer - 'The Distant Fire' Perry Mason - 'The Case Of The Demure Defendant' The Sopranos - 'The Sopranos'
Sunday 3 January Wonder Woman - 'The Bermuda Triangle Crisis' Department S - 'The Pied Piper Of Hambledown' NYPD Blue - 'The Backboard Jungle'
Nice but dim. That was Budgie, a likeable petty criminal, played to perfection by Adam Faith for two series in the early 1970s.
His mentor was the hectoring and bumptious Charlie Endell (Iain Cuthbertson giving it socks) while his long-suffering (what other type is there?) girlfriend Hazel (Lynn Dalby) provided suitable eye candy and a dose of realism for some of Budgie's far-fetched business ideas.
God, this one really made me laugh. Especially the dodgy mags smouldering on the football pitch and the blue movie that turned out to be slapstick in the form of "Lorne 'n 'Ardy".
The theme tune is taken from the Standard library and was composed by Nick Harrison. It was replaced by a much less memorable effort for the second series.
Carla Lane was the writer behind Bread, a likeable sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1991.
The programme centred around a Liverpool family called the Boswells who were perpetually "living on their wits". Their escapades were funny and often raised a laugh but belied the darker strain that lay beneath - how difficult it was for a working class family to survive in Thatcher's Britain.
Carla Lane was interviewed on Brass Eye in 1997 and came across as entirely humourless - not a fair reflection on her, I think.
The upbeat and catchy theme was written and performed by Dave Mackay.
Blake's 7 was one of the earliest series shown on RTE's second channel - RTE 2 - back in early 1979. It was a fascinating futuristic series with a bleak outlook.
Gareth Thomas played the part of a Roj Blake, an idealistic troublemaker who escapes from the remote penal colony Cygnus Alpha. He is ably assisted by a thief, a murderer, a fraudster, a smuggler, a telepathic guerrilla fighter and Zen, the master computer.
A dystopian masterpiece which is just as relevant today.
Dudley Simpson (who had previously worked on Doctor Who for many years) composed the memorable theme.
When this originally aired - 1982 - I thought it was one of the coldest programmes ever. Time has not changed my opinion.
Bird Of Prey stars Richard Griffiths as a civil servant who unwittingly stumbles into a combination of rogue intelligence, espionage and conspiracy. While the series makes for exciting viewing, the general harshness and unfeeling nature of the majority of the cast make for extremely uncomfortable viewing.
Life is cheap seems to be the selfish mantra here.
The theme was composed by Dave Greenslade and aptly complements the computer / electronics setting.
The Big Match was originally a Sunday afternoon staple whereas the BBC would show football highlights on Match of The Day the previous night. It started broadcasting in 1968 but by 1980 had won over the Saturday night slot for alternate seasons.
Brian Moore and Jim Rosenthal were the presenters that I remember best. Avuncular, knowledgeable and a joy to watch.
The theme tune had a number of incarnations. This one, by David Ordini, was used from 1974 to 1980. It's easily the best of the five with a jaunty feel that really set viewers in the mood for some top class action.
Big Deal was an likeable comedy drama about a chronic gambler (Ray Brooks) and his long-suffering girlfriend (Sharon Duce).
It ran from 1984 to 1986 and still holds up well today. The poker scenes are well acted, if somewhat unrealistic in the hands that are dealt, while the theme of gambling as an illness is depicted with sensitivity.
The theme tune makes me nostalgic for those early teenage years - watching this on Sunday nights with the prospect of school looming the following day. It's sung by Bobby Guppy of Buck's Fizz fame.
Bergerac, a gripping crime series that ran for ten years, was based in the unusual setting of Jersey.
Jim Bergerac, played by John Nettles, was an unorthodox and flawed detective sergeant with a penchant for booze and a clatter of girlfriends. My preference is for the early years (1981 to 1983 or so) where the fantasy element was largely absent.
The theme tune has a lilting Gallic flavour and was composed by George Fenton. It is instantly recognisable and very evocative of its surroundings.