Gareth Thomas - Chronological

DateMediumEvent
30 Oct 1970TVZ Cars: Public Relations BBC police drama.
1970TheatreBlack Comedy At the Gate Theatre in Dublin and the Lyric in Belfast, Gareth played Brindsley

This was a double bill, together with Decameron (the 77th story of the Decameron).

Gareth (Horizon NL#21): In it I was playing a sort of roving jester, who literally wandered out and ad-libbed in the audience and all sorts of things, as well as being the link-man. And the review raved about this Decameron, raved and raved about it, but never mentioned me at all. Then there was a break in the paragraph and the next paragraph was about Black Comedy, and it started off: 'What more can we say about Mr. Thomas?' and that was it! Somebody pointed this out to me and I thought 'That's ridiculous, they haven't said anything about me!' So the stage manager phoned up the newspaper, and I got a charming letter from this lady reviewer - can't remeber her name now - showing me the original review, which the newspaper editor had slashed without reading it at all. Just took a chunk out, because they didn't have space. And in fact, it had been an absolutely wonderful review! Hence, 'What more can we say about Mr. Thomas?'.

May 1971TVCoronation Street (Granada TV) Gareth appeared in two episodes of this very long running soap, playing Mel Ryan, a sauna expert.
1971TheatreDuchess of Malfi At the Royal Court Theatre, London
1 Sep 1971TVPublic Eye: Man Who Didn't Eat Sweets Gareth is often incorrectly credited as being in this episode. (The Internet Movie Database is wrong).

15 Sep 1971TVPublic Eye: Transatlantic Cousins (Thames TV) This was a long running detective series starring Alfred Burke as Marker, a seedy private enquiry agent only just on the right side of the law - it was all very gritty and down to earth.

Gareth played "Tom Lewis", he later played the same character in "The Bankrupt" on 8th November 1972.

1972FilmThe Ragman's Daughter

Directed by Harold Becker, written by Alan Sillitoe. Starring Simon Rouse, Victoria Tennant, Patrick O'Connell and Leslie Sands. A story about a Nottingham layabout who falls in love with an exciting middle class girl. We don't know who Gareth played or how big a role it was - he has said that his part was filmed at United Daries in Streatham in South London.

20 Jan 1972TV
Stocker's Copper (BBC Play For Today, 1 hr). Herbert Griffith, a policemen from Glamorganshire, one of a group of policemen specially trained to handle riots, is sent to Cornwall to police a clay miners' strike. He is billeted with a local miner's family. After initial suspicion and hostility from the miner, the two become close friends. However, as the strike escalates from non-violent to violent protest, Griffith's job ends up in direct conflict with his friendship.

It was written by Tom Clarke, directed by Jack Gold, and starred Gareth Thomas, Jane Lapotaire and Bryan Marshall. Gareth received his first BAFTA best actor nomination for this.

It is also shown at the BFI - National Film Theatre on April 18 and also May 1, 2003.

Reviuew by Ruth Kenyon.

Herbert Griffith singing along with the miners (31K)

This was Gareth's first major TV role and his first BAFTA (British Academy Film and Television Awards) best actor nomination.

Gareth talking to Ken Armstrong in the Blake's 7 Magazine: I was telephoned by my agent who asked me how long it would take me to get to the BBC TV Centre. I replied I could get there in half an hour. Fine, he said. "Get there as fast as you can and meet a chap called Jack Gold. There could be something there for you."

When I arrived at the BBC, Jack Gold met me, gave me a pint of beer, took me to a locked office. He handed me a massive tome of a script and told me to lock myself in the office, read the script, then call in at his office when I was finished. I followed his instructions, then took the script back to him. He told me to wait a few minutes as the producer of the play was coming over. I was asked to read some parts from the script then told that it was all settled. "You'd better take the script with you," he said. "We start rehearsing at the end of September and shooting starts a week later." As you can guess, I walked out in a daze. When I arrived home, my agent rang me and said, "Well done. You've got it." "Got what?" I asked. "The leading part of course!" The play was entitled Stocker's Copper and was the story of the Cornish Clay miners strike of 1913. I believe I'm right in saying it won an award... And took me into ten solid years of TV work!

1972TVThe Man at the Top Thames TV. Series based on John Braine's novels "Room at the Top" and "Life at the Top." The series starred Kenneth Haigh. There were several related programmes staring Kenneth Haigh all of which had the word Top in the title. This was filmed shortly after Stocker's Copper was broadcast.
17 Sep 1972TV
Country Matters: The Watercress Girl (Granada TV; 1 hr). Gareth plays Frank Oppidan a wood worker who romances two women, in rural England. Includes a very brief, dimly lit, partial nude scene.

Frank Oppidan (43K)

Frank Oppidan (50K)

23 Aug 1972TVSutherland's Law (BBC Drama Playhouse), this was a pilot for the full Sutherland's Law series that was shown the following year.
8 Nov 1972TVPublic Eye: The Bankrupt. (Thames TV) This was a long running detective series starring Alfred Burke as Marker, a seedy private enquiry agent only just on the right side of the law - it was all very gritty and down to earth. Gareth played Tom Lewis, a chauffer who gets tricked out of a lot of money, in this episode, which opened the sixth season.
13 June 1973TV
Sutherland's Law (BBC 1973-6). Gareth plays Alec Duthie. Duthie is the Scottish equivalent to an assistant district attorney, working for Sutherland who is played by Iain Cuthbertson. Gareth did his own mountain climbing. Gareth was in most episodes of the first season, including at least the following:
  • A Cry for Help - Duthie is referred to, but doesn't appear
  • The Climb
  • The Running Man
  • The Ship
  • Return
  • The Killing
  • The Runaway
  • The House
  • The Sea

The BBC have released 10 episodes from season 1 as a DVD.

25 Apr 1974TVSpecial Branch: Alien Thames TV. Action series about two stylish policemen, played by Patrick Mower and George Sewell. Gareth appeared in this fourth season episode, which also featured Patrick Troughton.
8 Dec 1974TV
David Copperfield (BBC, six 1 hr episodes). Gareth plays Edward Murdstone, David's step father, and succeeds in creating a thoroughly nasty charcter. He is in 3 of the episodes, Episodes 1,2 and one other.

It was also shown at the BFI - National Film Theatre (Parts 1-3 20 Dec 1994, Pts 4-6 27 Dec 1994).

Edward Murdstone (49K)

1974Film
Juggernaut (United Artists, 1974). A thriller directed by Richard Lester, in which a mad bomber threatens a transatlantic ocean liner. The star cast includes Richard Harris, David Hemmings, Omar Sharif, Anthony Hopkins, Ian Holm, Shirley Knight, Roy Kinnear (Keiller in Gold), Cyril Cusack and Freddie Jones. Gareth has a very minor part as a Liverpuddlian joiner working on the ship.

Speaking to Jackie McGlone of The Scotsman on 24 Jan 2000. Gareth was filming the Richard Lester movie, Juggernaut, with Richard Harris and Omar Sharif in 1974. They sailed for days around the Atlantic on a Russian cruise ship looking for storms. One afternoon they were comfortably ensconced below deck watching Scotland play Ireland at rugby. Suddenly the picture wobbled. "The ship was turning around. Sharif dialled the bridge and instructed the captain to steer a straight course until the game was finished. And he did. Now that is what I call being a Hollywood star."

The Joiner at work (50K)

23 Jan 1975TVBreath (BBC - Play for Today) Play about asthma. Also starring Liz Smith.

Written Elaine Feinstein. Angela Pleasance is a young mother isolated by her chronic asthma and descending into paranoia. Gareth Thomas is her husband, Liz Smith her suspicious housekeeper.

28 Mar 1975TVThe Revivalist BBC Wales. Gareth plays an evangelist who thinks he has seen God.
31 Mar 1975TVChurchill's People (BBC), Gareth was in Episode 14.
9 Apr 1975TVFight Against Slavery (BBC, six 1 hr episodes). Gareth plays Thomas Clarkson, a reformer in the 3rd-5th episodes. He is also seen in the opening titles, singing in church, but is otherwise not in the first episode. His character has blond hair and a pony tail.
10 Sep 1975TV
Shadows: After School (Thames TV 1/2 hr ep). A teacher named Benson near the begining.

Benson (41K)

1975FilmMafia Junction Drama directed by Massimo Delmano. Produced by Monymusk Productions Ltd, London An Italian-British co-production filmed in London, Lebanon (Beirut), and Rome. Starring Stephanie Beacham and Patricia Hayes. The plot concerns a woman who uses her body to deceive men and get what she wants in life. Gareth plays a trench-coated detective who follows the male lead, and gets caught doing it... Little more is known about this at present - we can't find it in any reputable film guide! It appears to have been an Italian language film, so the British actors may well have been dubbed. We do know it was released as an NTSC video in 1989, retitled as Superbitch (or sometimes given as Super Bitch). The video jacket states prominently "Featuring Gareth Thomas", even though he's only in it for a few minutes.

Apr 1 1975TVEdward VII (ATV) Gareth plays Lord Charles Beresford in 2 episodes. - "Dearest Prince"; and "Scandal". (Was called Edward the King when broadcast in the US). Anna Massey played Queen Victoria. The series ran from 1st April 1975 to 24th June 1975.

Gareth tells of sitting in a restaurant booth one evening and grumbling to his agent about the similarity of the roles he was playing. Given his background, King's School, Oxford, etc., why did he never get offered upper-class roles? Three days later, he was unexpectedly offered the part of Lord Charles Beresford in "Edward VII". Gareth asked the director what had made him think of him. He replied, "I was sitting in the next booth."

29 Dec 1975TV
How Green Was My Valley. (BBC, six 1 hr episodes). the fiery minister the Rev Mr Griffith (Rev Mr Gruffydd in the book) one of the leads. The other episodes where Jan/Feb 1976.

This has been released on video, see Video details and reviews.

The Rev Mr Griffith (38K)

16 Feb 1976TVJackanory. (BBC Childrens TV - five shows of 15 mins). Gareth reads children's stories.

He read the story "Tales From Lapland" in 1976, and was broadcast on BBC-1 with the following titles: "Draugen And His Red Cap" (Part One, 16/02/76), "The Poor Boy Who Looked For Wook And Found Riches" (Part Two, 17/02/76), "Stallo And His Servant" (Part Three, 18/02/76), "Aslak And The Mermaid" (Part Four, 19/02/76) and "The Family Strong" (Part Five, 20/02/76). Sadly none of these episodes exist in the archive, although I'm sure that there are sound recordings of these programmes somewhere.

Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG #7): I did it once many years ago, the best paid job in the BBC. It was a children's series called Jackanory, and it was basically people sitting there reading storeies for kids. You go in, you rehearse for half a day, and because you've got the autocue, you don't have to learn it, and you go in and do it and it's a flat-rate fee. When I did it, I think it was a hundred pounds a day, per show, and it was a fifteen minute show. As I said, you go in on Thursday afternoon, you rehearse it on Thursday afternoon, you record all five on Friday, so you get five hundred pounds from the BBC for a day and a half's work!

1 Sep 1976TV
Star Maidens (Made by Portman Productions for ITV and German TV - 1976, thirteen 1/2hr episodes in the series).

(first screened on Scottish TV 1 Sep - 1 Dec 1976 - the rest of the country followed a few months later)

Its available on video in German!.

Adam and Shem (39K)

Gareth is Shem, a rebel on the run from a domineering female villain (that sounds familiar...) The planet Medusa (written as Mendusa) is an SF cliche, ruled entirely by women in kinky boots and PVC hotpants, where men are kept as slaves. Shem escapes to Earth with fellow slave Adam. At the same time, some Earth people are taken to Medusa. It's quite amusing if you don't take it seriously. The production itself, however, doesn't seem to know if it should be comic or serious. This was apparently due to artistic differences between the British and German producers! Gareth's character is in 8 episodes of the series: 1-5, 8, 11, and 13. Also starred Judy Geeson and Derek Farr (Ensor).

In more recent years, this has been shown as a feature length film compiled from several of the episodes - unfortunately, Gareth's bits have mostly been cut out. He appears at the start and then largely disappears. (The action of the film concentrates on the Earth people on Medusa.)

Gareth (Horizon NL#21 in 1988): "At that time, I was offered the part of Fogarty in The Onedin Line. I didn't realize it was going to go on to be what it was. It went on for a very long time, but it was only a pilot at that stage. I was offered the chance of that, or three months doing Star Maidens. And I needed the money! So I chose three months doing an independant television show, obviously, because the money was far, far greater. That was one of the many mistakes I made in my career. Having said that, I don't mean I didn't enjoy Star Maidens. And there were some very fine actors in it.

"It was a long time ago. It was a multi-national thing. We had Hardy Kruger's daughter, my co-lead was a frenchman called Pierre Brice, one of the directors couldn't speak any English. One of the directors was actually a very well known cameraman and horror film director, Freddy Francis. What was it about? I really can't remember. I do remember I was supposed to have some form of extraordinary powers, I can't remember exactly what. And I think I had a blonde streak or something. One blonde streak down the side of my hair."

  • 1 - Escape to Paradise - Gareth
  • 2 - Nemesis - Gareth
  • 3 - The Nightmare Cannon - Gareth
  • 4 - The Proton Storm - Gareth
  • 5 - Kidnap - Gareth
  • 6 - Trial
  • 7 - Test for Love
  • 8 - The Perfect Couple - Gareth
  • 9 - What Have They Done with the Rain?
  • 10 - The End of Time
  • 11 - Hideout - Gareth has a major role
  • 12 - Creatures of the Mind
  • 13 - The Enemy - Gareth
It was also shown at the BFI - National Film Institute on 6 Aug 1993.

24 Sept 1976TV
VICTORIAN SCANDALS "A Pitcher of Snakes" Gareth Thomas plays author William Makepeace Thackeray in Granada's VICTORIAN SCANDALS play 'A Pitcher of Snakes' - the story of Thackeray's relationship with his best friend's wife - on Friday September 24th, at 9.00pm.

It was the 4th show in a series of 7 shows that started Sept. 3, 1976 and ended Oct. 15, 1976.

This is sometimes listed as "The Life of Thackeray".

Gareth portrays the writer Thackeray both as a young and an older man.

The date stamp on the back of the photo is 24th September 1976.

Young Thackery

Thackery

10 Jan 1977TV
Children of the Stones (HTV West, 10 Jan - 21 Feb 1977, 7 1/2 hr episodes). Creepy and very memorable children's drama serial. Gareth plays astro-physicist Professor Adam Brake, widowed father of the lead boy. He investigates a mysterious stone circle with his son in 1970s England. This was filmed at Avebury in Wiltshire. Also starred Iain Cuthertson and Freddie Jones.

  • 1 - Into the Circle
  • 2 - Circle of Fear
  • 3 - Serpent in the Circle
  • 4 - Narrowing Circle
  • 5 - Charmed Circle
  • 6 - Squaring the Circle
  • 7 - Full Circle

Adam Brake (67K)

7 Jan 1977TVCaesar and Cleopatra By George Bernard Shaw (Southern TV) TV film directly from a stage play. Alec Guiness is Casear. Gareth only has one line.
8 Mar 1977TVFathers and Families. (BBC) Gareth was in Episode 6, as a writer.
12 Apr 1977TV
Gotcha. (BBC - Play for Today). Duration between 1 hour and 90 minutes.

On his last day at school, a 'no hope' 16 year old pupil holds his teachers hostage using a motor-bike petrol tank as a bomb.

Review.

Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG #4): I did a one-off at the BBC, which is about a young kid in high school who held two teachers for ransom by keeping a lighter or lit a cigarette over the petrol tank of a motorbike in a small locker room. He held them for ransom, and my character was called Farty, at least he called him Farty. Mary Whitehouse, who I suppose is like Ralph Nader over here, she's our equivalent, and it was shown on the box to great acclaim, and then it was going to be repeated about two years later, and she got the repeat banned. I thought, "Shit, silly woman; it's been shown already." If people are going to hold teachers to ransom with a lit cigarette, it would have happened already. It wasn't gratuitous violence; that was what happened, and it's gone and done and has been shown, and why get it banned now? I wrote to her, actually and I said, "Regardless of your moral attitude, I feel that if I had the money, which I don't (aren't you lucky!) I would sue you for loss of wages, because when it's repeated I get more money, and who the hell are you to turn around and say I will stop that man from getting more money." I never got a reply.
28 Nov 1977TV
Who Pays the Ferryman?: A Dead Man to Carry My Cross (BBC, 1 hr). One of several drama serials the BBC did in the seventies, set on the Greek Islands. In episode 4, Gareth plays Tony Viglis, an Australian accompanying his grandfather's body back to Crete for burial. He meets with unexpected opposition from the local people because of an old vendetta. Filmed in Crete.

These two pictures come from Belgium TV, hence the Belgium sub-titles.

Tony Viglis

2 Jan 1978TV
Blake's 7 (2nd Jan 1978 - 21 Dec 1981). Gareth played Roj Blake in 28 of the 52 episodes, and also played 2 clones of Blake and a computer image of Blake. RIP
  • Season One (1978)
    • The Way Back
    • Space Fall
    • Cygnus Alpha
    • Time Squad
    • The Web
    • Seek-Locate-Destroy
    • Mission to Destiny
    • Duel
    • Project Avalon
    • Breakdown
    • Bounty
    • Deliverance
    • Orac
  • Season Two (1979)
    • Redemption
    • Shadow
    • Weapon
    • Horizon
    • Pressure Point
    • Trial
    • Killer
    • Hostage
    • Countdown
    • Voice from the Past
    • Gambit
    • The Keeper
    • Star One
  • Season Three (1980)
    • Terminal
  • Season Four (1981)
    • Blake

Roj Blake (81K)

Horizon 33 - talking to Joe Nazzaro Joe: There's an interesting story I heard concerning your final appearance in Blake. According to Chris Boucher, during the fatal confrontation scene between Blake and Avon, Paul's original line was supposed to be 'You betrayed me?' but he changed it to 'You betrayed me?' It's interesting how one word can change the context of a scene.

Gareth: Well, it changes the whole concept, because if you turn around and say 'You betrayed me' as a statement, that's fine, or you can say 'You betrayed me?' ie 'Was it actually you?' but it blows the whole thing when you say 'You betrayed me?' In some ways, I think Paul was right with that inflection, but if he was right, then he had to be killed as well. I loved Paul's idea of actually standing astraddle and actually protecting the man he had just killed. I thought that was beautiful, but if he uses the inflection 'You betrayed me?' then he had to be killed as well. Otherwise, we never know whether Avon died or not, and with the series it was necessary that we should never see Avon as the supremo. He was supremo by default, but when Blake came back, Avon immediatly had to settle down and be second in command. He can say 'You betrayed me?' and still possibly survive, but I think too many of the audience believed Paul, and it's dangerous to have a series like this and end up saying the man was in fact corrupt. I know I've said I wanted to see Blake's darker side, but I didn't want him to be corrupt. He was always completely dedicated to the cause, and I think he would have carried on if Avon hadn't killed him.

21 Jan 1978TV InterviewMulti Coloured Swap Shop (BBC TV) Live Saturday morning children's magazine show, hosted by Noel Edmonds. Gareth appeared with Paul Darrow.

9 May 1978TheatreCanterbury Tales At the Haymarket in Basingstoke by the Horseshoe company, Gareth played The Miller and The Chantecleer (The cockerel). This was during the period he was making Blake's 7. This ran from May 9th to May 20th. This adaptation from Chaucer was by Phil Woods.

The programme notes from Absent friends two weeeks later, quoted the following extracts from reviews: A comedian of some brilliance... an ideal Miller... excellent recounter... wonderful actor and 'The Most vulgar of them all' - fully justified Horseshoe's move in luring him away briefly from Blake's 7 onto the Haymarket stage. There are many people in Basingstoke who will never forget his entrance as Chanticleer, whatever remains in their memories of his excellent performances in Stocker's Copper, How Green Was My Valley and Sutherland's Law. We wish him well on the second series of Blake's 7.

23 May 1978TheatreAbsent Friends At the Haymarket Threatre in Basingstoke, by the Horseshoe Threatre Companny. By Alan Ayckbourn. This ran to June 3rd. Gareth was playing Paul.
1978DirectingThe Importance of being Oscar At the Questor's theatre in London. This is an amateur theatre that allows small proffessional groups to hire it. The show ran for a week and was produced on a very tight budget. This starred Simon MacCorkindale. Sheelagh Wells was also involved with some aspects of the production, such as getting hold of furniture for use as scenery. This was produced by Pendant Entertainment Productions Ltd. This was produced elsewhere (the Cambridge Festival and Ealing) but we are not sure that Gareth was involoved with the earlier productions.
10 Mar 1979TV InterviewMulti Coloured Swap Shop (BBC TV) Live Saturday morning children's magazine show, hosted by Noel Edmonds. Gareth appeared with Jacqueline Pearce to promote the current series of Blake's 7. They gave away various goodies as a competition prize, including a teleport bracelet. Asked if it was a working model, Gareth replied that it only worked if you were in range of the Liberator! To win the prize, you needed to answer the question: Who composed the Planets Suite? (Answer: Gustav Holst, of course.)
12 June 1979Theatre
Twelfth Night (RSC at Stratford) he played Orsino. This was played 75 times until 26th Jan 1980 (Concurrently with Anna Christie and Othello). This was also on the 11th March 1980 in Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne and 11 April at the Aldwych Theatre in London.

The RSC Programme Book said Gareth gave vigor to Orsino playing him as "Driven by his lovesickness into bitter aggression and rants (and raves) like a proverbial bear with a sore head which his name suggests." It was not the traditional droopy lovesick fop portrayal.

Gareth as Orsinio (39K)

Gareth (Horizon NL#33): "It was the last episode of Blake's 7 (ie the end of season 2) and I was in the bar when I was tapped on the shoulder. I turned round and there was Trevor Nunn (of the RSC). We started chatting, and he said, what are you doing? I said, I'm just finishing off this science fiction series Blake's 7 and he said what are you doing after that? and I said I had no idea. Three days later, I got an offer to go to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Of course I took it like a shot."

More Pictures of these roles at the RSC

Gareth in The Prydonian Renegrade: I was doing Orsino at Stratford in the Royal Shakespeare Company in Twelfth Night and I can't remember what the speech was now but I completely lost it. I couldn't remember the lines, anything - 'dried' as we call it in the profession - and I carried on waffling away until I actually got my brain back into gear and went back into the script agian. When I came offstage at the end of the scene, there was the director standing there. I said "Geez, I'm sorry, Terry. I don't know what the heck happened. I just couldn't remember a bloody thing. I just waffled and bumbled.." He said, "It doesn't matter, Gareth, Don't worry about it. What was fascinating was, the whole thing, all your waffle, was in pure iambic pentameter!" - so I'd kept to Shakespeare's rhythm.

6 Aug 1979Theatre
Othello (RSC Stratford) Gareth played Montano briefly then Cassio, he undertook this role as Cassio in only four days when the original actor playing Cassio (James Laurenson) dislocated his kneecap. Previous to his role as Cassio, he briefly played Montano. There were 52 performances until 25th Jan 1980 (Concurrent with Twelfth Night and Anna Christie). This was later played 26 Feb 1980 at Newcastle upon Tyne and 14 Aug 1980 Aldwych Theatre London.

On the 26th of Feb 1980 he was playing Cassio.

More Pictures of these roles at the RSC

Montano (10K)

15 Aug 1979TV
Border Country: Country Dance HTV Wales, 1hr. A story set in the Welsh border country. Ann Goodman daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother must choose between two men, Gabriel Ford an English shepherd working in Wales and Evan ap Evan (Gareth Thomas), a Welshman who owns land in England. The period is late 19th or early 20th century. Gareth can be heard speaking and singing in Welsh.

May also have been called Border Tales: Country Dance.

Evan ap Evan (16K)

Evan and Ann at a dance (19K)

10 Oct 1979Theatre
Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill (RSC "The Other Place" theatre in Stratford) Gareth played Matt Burke an Irish stoker. This was played 21 times until 22nd Jan 1980 (Concurrently with Twelfth Night and Othello). Later played 3 March 1980 at the Gulbenkian Studio in Newcastle upon Tyne and on 6th June 1980 at the Warehouse, Covent Garden in London.

Anna Christie is a two hour melodrama, Anna is abandoned by her father, raped by her cousin, she becomes a nurse, gives that up, takes up residence in a mid west cat house for two years and finally ends up marrying a drunkan lout of an Irishman.

More Pictures of these roles at the RSC

Matt Burke (46K)

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Last updated on 15th of September 2004.