The Human Jungle
The Human Jungle

ABC Television Ltd., ITV weekend programme contractors for the Midlands and North, commissioned ‘The Human Jungle’ TV film series from Independent Artists (Television) Limited, of Beaconsfield Studios, Bucks.

This series of thirteen one-hour episodes is designed primarily for the United Kingdom television audience. The stories are based on the case histories of a London Psychiatrist – ‘Dr Roger Corder, M.D., D.P.M.’ of Harley Street, London, his young male assistant–Dr James Davis, a young female psychiatric social worker–Jane Harris, an attractive young secretary–Nancy Hamilton, and his teenage daughter–Jennifer.

Julian Wintle and Leslie Parkyn, the well-known feature film-makers who have been responsible for such recent successes as ‘This Sporting Life’, ‘The Fast Lady’, ‘Waltz of the Toreadors’ and ‘Crooks Anonymous’, are producing the series. The starring role of ‘Dr Roger Corder’ is played by Herbert Lom, the distinguished Czech-born star of theatre and films. ‘Dr Davis’ is played by Michael Johnson, Jane Harris by Mary Steele, Nancy Hamilton by Mary Yeomans and Jennifer Corder by Sally Smith.

Writers on the series include John Kruse, David T. Chantler, Lewis Davidson, Leo Lieberman, Bill Mcllwraith and Robert Stewart.

The film directors include John Ainsworth, Sidney Hayers, Jimmy Hill, Vernon Sewell and Don Sharpe. The Art Director is Harry Pottle.

During the production of ‘The Human Jungle’, no concessions have been made to trans-Atlantic TV market requirements. All British actors portraying British parts play them with the natural home accent required by the locale. The total cost of the series, made entirely by ABC Television without partners of any kind, is approximately £300,000 for the first thirteen episodes.

The stars


who plays Jennifer Corder.

Sally Smith, aged 20, with fair hair and blue eyes, is only five foot high, but her dynamic personality often makes her seem ten foot tall. Sally was dancing almost before she could walk and at the age of three went to ballet school. At twelve she made her first professional appearance. Now she has made three films and achieved considerable success in London’s West End theatres where currently she is starring in ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’. As Dr Corder’s wilful daughter, Jennifer, she is delightful.

Michael Johnson


who plays Dr Jimmy Davis.

No problem for 23 year-old, 6 foot Michael Johnson when he told his parents that he wanted to be an actor, for his father, a school teacher, was already a leading light in the amateur dramatic society in Grimsby, where Michael was born. He was noticed in a small role in a film ‘Seven Keys’, and invited to test for the plum television part as Dr Davis, assistant to Dr Corder in ‘The Human Jungle’.


who plays Jane Harris, assistant to Dr Corder.

Aged 29, slender, with brown hair and blue eyes, Mary Steele was born in Hampstead and was evacuated to Cornwall during the war, where she went to school. After matriculating, she went to ballet school then to the Bristol Old Vic and five other repertory companies before graduating into films and the West End theatre. For her role as a psychiatric welfare worker in ‘The Human Jungle’, Mary has talked with people in that field, prison visitors and probation officers to gain background authenticity.


who plays Nancy Hamilton, Dr Corder’s secretary.

Mary Yeomans was born near Rubery, Worcs., 31 years ago, the daughter of a builder. When, after schooling in Birmingham, Mary asked to go to drama school, her parents were horrified.

As a compromise, she agreed to study to be a school teacher, but also studied acting part time at the Birmingham Repertory School.

The role of Nancy, the reliable bastion between Dr Corder and his patients is her biggest television opportunity to date.

The Lost Hours


When Henry Gray and his wife Julia arrive at the house of his Chairman, the party is in full swing. Norman Williams, successful and popular, leads them into the midst of the noise to start introductions.

It is when Norman introduces Henry to an attractive blonde, that Julia breaks down. ‘Is this the one, Henry?’ Julia taunts him. He pretends not to hear. Have you found that he’s sly, attractive and forty-six? Has he told you I’m too skinny? Is that what you tell her, Henry?’

In the confusion which follows guests force her out to another room to lie down. But when Henry returns with a glass of water, Julia has slashed her wrists.

Visiting the hospital, Henry finds Julia still in a disturbed state. He tells the doctor that for months she has had this insane jealousy, but there is no other woman.

Julia is seen by psychiatrist Dr Roger Corder. Gently he questions her. No, there are no children, and now he has been stolen from her by this other woman. As she describes her, he finds that Julia is describing a person completely opposite to herself. Corder also finds that Henry is often late home, sometimes staying out all night.

Talking to Henry, the doctor learns of the ceaseless nagging over the other woman, the phone calls to the office, etc. And the late nights? ‘Strictly business’, says Henry.

Corder’s assistant, Jimmy Davis, thinks it is a clear case of transference. Unable to bear Henry children, Julia has started to hate herself, and is jealous of the woman she would like to have been. Corder is not sure that this is all.

Questioned by Corder about Henry, Norman Williams is surprised when the late nights are mentioned. A good executive. Henry always leaves on time. No vices. Lives like clockwork. It is Corder’s turn to be puzzled. Worried about Henry, Norman Williams watches him leave the factory, hesitate by his car, and then wander off down the road. Concerned, he follows him down to a railway bridge, where Henry watches the trains, plays with a couple of kids, and then, going into the station, vanishes. Corder joins Norman in the watch on Henry. Again it is the railway station, but this time they watch him leave his briefcase, jacket and tie at the Left Luggage Office. He moves off but once again they lose him.

Next day, in Corder’s consulting room, Henry, back to his normal self, is encouraged to talk about his early life. It was a hard one, no toys, just hard study to obtain a scholarship. At sixteen, he had to leave school and support his family. No, he is not resentful. But he has a sense of loss.

As Corder shows Henry out, they meet the doctor’s daughter, Jennifer. Later she tells her father that she has seen the man before. Where? At the ‘Cat’s Picnic’, a teenage Twist Club.

At the hospital, Dr Jimmy Davis and Jane Harris, Corder’s nurse, are having difficulty with Julia. Henry has not visited her-he has disappeared.

At the Club, they join the jostling crowd of kids, and suddenly spot their man. Clad in a black leather jacket, with a night’s growth of beard, Henry is in the middle of the throng. They watch as he tries to become one of the mob, watch his despair as he finds that they accept him as an ‘oddball’, but always on the outside.

In desperation Henry goes outside, joins the gang of ‘ton up’ leather-jackets around their shining bikes and as Jimmy and Jane follow, strides a machine and races off down the road, with other bikes in pursuit like a swarm of locusts. It is Jimmy Davis who rescues him as he crashes. At the hospital Henry lies in the men’s ward, his search for the youth he never had ended. So different in themselves, his illness and Julia’s have helped to drive them over the edge. Now with the guidance of Roger Corder and his team, they could help to cure each other.

Leonard Sachs
'Henry Gray' (LEONARD SACHS) tries to relive his lost youth at the Cat's Picnic, a teenage club.
The Human Jungle

‘Henry Gray’ (LEONARD SACHS) comforts his wife ‘Julia’ (URSULA HOWELLS).

Businessman ‘Henry Gray’ (LEONARD SACHS) tries to mingle with the youngsters outside a twist club.