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 Vacant Chair

Delphi Lawrence
DELPHI LAWRENCE as 'Anne Phillips', the anxious wife of a director hoping for promotion.
The Human Jungle


When the elderly Managing Director of a vast northern steel plant dies suddenly, there is difficulty in appointing his successor.

There are four working directors on the Board, each a very different personality. Basil Phillips is a self-made man of fifty, with an authoritative, if not domineering manner. A man who likes a laugh, but not against himself.

Also fifty, George Hunter went to the right schools, mixes easily, and oozes confidence. He and Basil have been friends for years.

David Stephens is sixty, an owl of a man, the Chief Accountant.

Percy Roberts is younger, a bachelor of forty-five, a quiet, unassuming man lacking personal magnetism and generally considered to be of little consequence. It is Percy who travels to see Dr Roger Corder, and explains their dilemma. As he points out, there are two brilliant men on the Board, Basil and George, and as they are personally so different, it was thought to be a good idea to ask the psychiatrist to act as arbiter. Dr Corder agrees to travel north for a week and make a recommendation – nothing more. He asks that the two men should be advised of what is happening. He will start off by interviewing the people who come into daily contact with them. Little does Dr Corder realise as he begins this case that the reactions of industrial executives under stress can correspond closely with those of a small boy who, at the time, is another of his patients.

George is delighted when he hears what is happening. After all, his relationship with the staff is excellent. Brenda, his rather heavy drinking wife, promises, rather cynically, to support her loving husband should she be interviewed. Basil, on the other hand, is angry. How do the workers know anything about the Managing Director’s job? Anne, Basil’s second wife, his first having been killed in a car crash, is slim and attractive. She has a brittle charm that will certainly be used to further her husband’s success.

As the interviews continue, the supporters for each faction seem to be about even. There are those who consider George to be a tailor’s dummy, and those who feel that Basil would be a despot. Talking to Corder, Dr Jimmy Davis feels that George veers towards the democratic group-system, while Basil is the paternalist, the benevolent autocrat.

Tension rises on Saturday night when Corder, Jimmy and his daughter, are asked to a party for George Hunter’s son, Pete, who is twenty-one. Both wives, Anne and Brenda, seek out Corder, and subtly plant remarks detrimental to the other’s husband. George and other women? – well! Such a lot of gossip when Basil’s first wife died in that crash. He was driving, you know. Corder’s daughter, Jennifer, goes off to another party with Pete, and when she hasn’t returned to their hotel by 5 am Corder is worried. When eventually she comes in, having had to walk home after an unpleasant incident, the doctor is furious, and wastes no time in letting the boy’s father know it. To George and Brenda it looks as if his chances of the post have gone. The parents encourage Pete to try to make it up with Jennifer.

Basil is on top of the world – poor old George. But his bonhommie doesn’t last long when Corder sends for him and accuses him of having lied during his interview. Basil admits that he had taken outside advice on the answers that Corder would have considered to be correct.

Basil is off to Finland to pick up, he hopes, a million pound order. Before he leaves he invites Corder and the Hunters to a dinner party at his house to celebrate his return.

During Basil’s absence. George, by skilful negotiations averts a strike in the plant.

Basil returns without the order.

At the dinner party the room becomes a verbal battleground, with accusations and denials flashing across the table. The only silent person present is Corder. It is he who brings the party to order.

Next day Corder hands the name of his choice to the Chairman – it is Basil Phillips.

As he explains to Jimmy Davis, the company needed a forceful personality to take it by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it yelled with life. George Hunter was an excellent administrator, but he was inclined to let people come to him. But Phillips was his man because, as it had been said before, he put fire into people’s bellies.

HERBERT LOM as ‘Dr Corder’ with DANNY GROVER as ‘Arthur’, the little boy whose problem is more important than a directors’ squabble for promotion.

Sally Smith
SALLY SMITH as 'Jennifer', Dr Corder's daughter.

LLOYD LAMBLE as ‘Basil Phillips’ and DELPHI LAWRENCE, as his wife ‘Anne’.