Wednesday 17 May 2023

Zuleika Robson


Zuleika Robson in Young Sherlock, BBC 1982

 Zuleika Robson:

Not a stage name, it seems, but one presumably given in honour of the titular femme fatale 'Zuleika Dobson' of Sir Max Beerbohm's 1911 satire on the absurdities of Oxford undergraduates. In any case, the wistfully pretty Zuleika Robson began her acting career as a child in the 1960s. With her winsome Victorian doll-like looks, she excelled in roles in children's classics such as the BBC's 1967 production of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', 'Heidi', 'Anne of Green Gables' and its sequel 'Anne of Avonlea'

As Susan in a publicity shot for the BBC's
'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', 1967
In Anne of Green Gables

On the cover of TV Times promoting  the ITV
drama 'A Man of Our Times'

That slightly other-worldly prettiness also translated well into oddball art films, thrillers and horror, including 'Isadora' (1968) 'The Blood on Satan's Claw' (1971), 'Revenge' (1971, AKA 'Inn of the Frightened People'). 

With Roberta Tovey in 'The Blood on Satan's Claw' (1971)

'Revenge' (1971)

With young womanhood came a slew of appearances in TV dramas, from the excellent 'The Changes' to moderate primetime successes 'Bouquet of Barbed Wire', 'The Lady Killers', RF Delderfield's 'People Like Us', and lower-brow fare such as 'Return of the Saint' and the quotidian 'Crown Court'. Film roles seem to dry up, with the exception of the typical Robin Askwith sex comedy 'Let's Get Laid' (1978).    

A minor role in 'Melissa', a Francis Durbridge
mystery thriller from 1974

In the fine 1981 childrens' drama 'Break in the Sun'

 The trail goes cold after 1982's enjoyable 'Young Sherlock' series from Granada TV, so any information on her career after this would be very welcome. I hope she didn't leave the acting profession entirely. But in any case, for now, here's our small salute.   

Zuleika Robson-imdb


Monday 15 May 2023

Sarah Bullen


 Sarah Bullen: 

A member of a dynasty of prominent English equestrians - famous in show jumping and eventing circles - Sarah Bullen also had a brief but fascinating acting career, mostly during the 70s and 80s.   

The Bullens at home, Sarah at left.

In fact, she appears in many episodes of 'Space: 1999', sometimes as crew member Kate, but also often uncredited. This seems to have catapulted her into a number of roles, including the horsey drama 'International Velvet' (1978) with Tatum O'Neal and Christopher Plummer, for which she must have been a shoo-in.  The same year saw her in a couple of bigger parts, in the  spy dramas 'The XYY Man' with the great Don Henderson, and 'The Sandbaggers' with Roy Marsden.   

One of many 'Space:1999' appearances 

With Chris Jenkinston in 'The XYY Man' 

Publicity still as agent Jill Ferris in 'The Sandbaggers'

A sort of peak could have come with a starring role in the auction-room drama, 'The House Of Caradus', however, despite the impressive sounding title it turned out that drama in auction-rooms is thin on the ground, in Chester anyway, and the family wrangles were not sufficient to keep audiences tuning in.  Things taper off a little from here, with appearances in 'Dick Turpin', 'Solo', and 'A Perfect Spy' and a fleeting moment in 'The Fourth Protocol (1987).   

The wholesome face of '70s cigarette advertising

A charming presence through a period of excellent British TV, and well deserving of our salute.  

Bonus: Sarah Bullen was co-presenter of a PBS part-animated documentary based on David Macaulay's book 'Castle' which explores the design of medieval fortifications in a way which was apparently much admired by early Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts. You can see the whole thing here.

Sarah Bullen-imdb