The Stars Look Down (TV serial)

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The Stars Look Down
Directed by Roland Joffé
Alan Grint
Howard Baker
Starring Ian Hastings
Susan Tracy
Alun Armstrong
Christian Rodska
Norman Jones
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13
Running time 60 min. (per episode)
Original network ITV
Original release 4 September – 27 November 1975

The Stars Look Down is a 1975 British television adaptation written by Alan Plater from A. J. Cronin's novel The Stars Look Down, which was originally published in 1935. The Granada production was directed by Roland Joffé, Alan Grint and Howard Baker and starred Ian Hastings as David Fenwick and Susan Tracy as his wife, Jenny. Other versions include a 1940 British film and a 1971 Italian television adaptation.

Set between 1910 and 1930, the story follows the lives of people from the coal mining town of Sleescale in North East England. David Fenwick and Joe Gowlan both leave the mines hoping for better prospects, while the mine owner's son Arthur Barras comes into conflict with his father.


The series aired in 13 one-hour episodes from 4 September 1975 to 27 November 1975.[1]

# Title Directed by Original airdate
1 "Daily Bread" Roland Joffé 4 September 1975
Unrest among the mine workers causes some to consider other options.
2 "Escape" Alan Grint 11 September 1975
David Fenwick has an opportunity to leave Sleescale. Joe Gowlan has a new job at a factory in Newcastle and starts seeing Jenny Sunley.
3 "Love" Roland Joffé 18 September 1975
David Fenwick falls in love with Jenny Sunley. Joe does not want to be tied down and stands aside. The mine workers in Sleescale face changes when mine owner Richard Barras acquires a new contract.
4 "Useful Employment" Roland Joffé 25 September 1975
Jenny and David Fenwick are married. Joe Gowlan returns to town. David's father Robert Fenwick is worried that the mine will flood.
5 "Inherit the Earth" Howard Baker 2 October 1975
Robert Fenwick and other miners are trapped when the mine floods.
6 "Battlefield" Alan Grint 9 October 1975
Richard Barras and his son Arthur are divided over the inquiry into the mining disaster.
7 "Heroes" Roland Joffé 16 October 1975
During the First World War, David Fenwick joins the army. Joe Gowlan's boss also joins up, leaving Joe in charge of the factory and alone with his boss's wife. The conflict between Arthur Barras and his father comes to a head.
8 "Casualties" Howard Baker 23 October 1975
As the war continues, David Fenwick receives good news while Joe Gowlan gets a surprise.
9 "Victory" Alan Grint 30 October 1975
A note is discovered that sheds light on the mine disaster.
10 "Rebuilding" Roland Joffé 6 November 1975
11 "New Ground" Howard Baker 13 November 1975
Joe Gowlan becomes successful and David Fenwick reaches a turning point.
12 "The Promised Land" Alan Grint 20 November 1975
David and his wife Jenny are reunited. The mine is destroyed.
13 "Marrers" Roland Joffé 27 November 1975
David Fenwick's life comes full circle.



  1. ^ "The Stars Look Down", BFI Film and TV Database. Retrieved 14 February 2011.

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