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Drake’s Venture (Close)

A rare but memorable Network offering from Westward, with John Thaw in the role as the region's most famous explorer. An impressive cast in this one-off movie also included Paul Darrow (Blake's 7) and Charlotte Cornwell, as well as Michael Turner (Crossroads). But Drake's Venture carried with it a bitter irony. During its broadcast on 28 December 1980, Westward learned its ITV franchise would not be renewed and to make matters worse, a newsflash confirming the fact was shown during one of the ad breaks. In hindsight, you could say Westward saw their fate coming and scheduled the film deliberately in a last-ditch attempt to sway the IBA…