Gareth Thomas - Chronological - 1980-1989

This section lists every professional appearance by Gareth Thomas that we have been able to trace. If you know of any additional material, dates, photos, events or anything interesting please contact Judith.

This section is continuously under development, with more details of Gareth's activities being added as we hear about them.

Note: the dates given for TV/Radio shows are where possible the first showing of the first episode where applicable, not when they were made.

RIPGareth has managed to die in a surprisingly large number of roles. The RIP symbol is shown against performances he is known to have died in.

Gareth has been known to bemoan the fact that he never gets to play lovers. The statistics seem to bear him out. Heart symbols indicate a romance, they appear to be heavily outnumbered by tombstones. (Parts where he is already married don't qualify. )

Gareth has said that he does't want to be thought of as just a Welsh actor, but as an actor who can do English and Welsh characters with equal ease. He has lived for a long time in England, and now in Scotland, after his early years in Wales. He has been cast in a lot of Welsh roles over the years. Leeks indicate Welsh parts.

Material here, comes from many sources including :- Blake's 7 magazine, Chris Blenkarn, Joyce Bowen, Sue Clerc, Robert Cheadle, Sue Cowley, Pat Fenech, The Freedom City Gazette (FCG), Horizon magazine, Julia Jones, Andrew Kearley, Gareth Randell, Judith Proctor, The Prydonian Renegade (March 96), Together Again - Action, TV Zone Special #4, Stellar Quines, Dundee Rep Theatre, Theatre Clwyd, The Magenta Partnership, Royal Lyceum Theatre - Edinburgh, Alan Stevens, Pete Wallbank, Andy Hopkinson, Mark Thompson, The Scottish Theatre Archive, Blake's 7 The Inside Story, The Archives of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Sheelagh Wells, Gareth Thomas and some very nice people who have asked not to be identified.

DateMediumEvent
22 Nov 1980TV
Hammer House of Horror: Visitor from the Grave (Made by Hammer Films for ITV, 1 hr). Horror anthology series. In this episode, Gareth plays Richard, the accomplice in a con trick. A woman is tricked into thinking she has committed a murder, and is being haunted by the ghost of her victim. Gareth's character impersonates a policeman, and a mysterious Indian guru called "Swami Gupta Krishna", as part of the deception. Also starred Simon MacCorkindale and Kathryn Leigh Scott.

The Policeman (66K)

Swami Gupta Krishna (65K)

Richard (72K)

1980ConventionStar One Convention, England, the first Blake's 7 convention. Gareth showed up at the auction at the end.
1980TheatreWhat the Butler Saw By Joe Orton. At the Sherman Theatre at the University of Wales at Cardiff, and later at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. Gareth plays the police sergeant (Sergeant Match) who ends up in a dress at one point. Also with Angharad Rees.
1981?Charity Walk Gareth along with many other actors and personailities led by Henry Cooper, walked around White City Stadium to raise money for the Variety Club (a charity run by actors), this raised 30,000.
1981Theatre
Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle. A pantomime (What is Pantomime) in which Gareth played King Rat. It ended on Feb 6th

RIP

Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#7): There was a period - I think it was in that period - I was doing Morgan's Boy, King Rat, Blake's 7 and people would turn around to me and say, "Whatever you do, you seem to die at the end of it! Is there anything that you can carry on living through?" When I was doing King Rat not long after Blake's 7, I got a letter from a woman saying, "My child was devastated when you were killed in Blake's 7 and I said to him 'Don't worry he's alive and well, and he's performing at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, and I'll take you to see him.' I bought the tickets and I came to see it, and what do you think my son felt when you died at the end again!" A lovely letter. I died in By the Sword Divided as well in a way which every actor likes to die...

Several reviews

1981TVPeter and Paul (3hr TV movie). In the last hour Gareth played Centurion Julius who escorts Paul (Anthony Hopkins) to Rome and guards him there.

Gareth talking to Barbara Teichert in The Prydonian Renegade: I remember doing a thing in Greece, an American production of the Acts of Peter and Paul, with Bob Foxworth as Peter and Tony Hopkins as Paul. I had a scene, five minutes I think it was, almost a five minute speech, with another British actor playing Nero, and it was the usual thing, half past eight in the morning or something, you come in, yes, fine where's the camera, mumble mumble, mumble mumble, here you go, "Turn over and action!" Went straight through this, he said, "Cut!" and everybody applauded. And I thought, "Well, that's very flattering, that's rather nice, good morning, world." And when I spoke to some of the technicians afterwards, I said, "That's very nice," and they said "What do you mean?" and I said, "Applauding, I thought that was great." "Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, ah, no offense meant here, but American actors can't do more than thirty seconds at a time. You do five minutes at once, my God." And I said, "Well that's what I get paid for, isn't it?"

This is available from Amazon (US - NTSC format only).

23 Jan 1981TVBergerac: Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie BBC1, Popular police series starring John Nettles, set on Jersey. Gareth played a villainous ship's captain called "Towers" in this episode.
1981TVGhosts No known information, is this a valid entry?
13 Jan 1982TV
The Bell (BBC), Gareth was in all 4 episodes of this Iris Murdoch adaptation playing James Tayper Pace.

From the 1969 Penguin paperback edition - "When a group of well-meaning neurotics and perverts come together in a lay religious community to try to forge a new and better life, the situation calls out all the humour and insight for which Iris Murdoch is famous. The theme of her novel is the dark conflict between sex and religion, symbolised by the new and the old bells of the abbey convent across the lake. Here is a story which again demonstrates this writer's unusual sensitivity and her talent for creating character."

Gareth (FCG#7): We had a scene where he (Ian Holm) was washing up cups and I was drying them. It was a sort of a religious community, and we had the scene to play whilst we were washing and drying our cups. The director Barry Davis was filming it, and we came to the end of the scene, and nobody said, "Cut," so Ian and I just carried on in character all the time for about one and a half minutes, which is a long time. We were making up things, but all connected with the show. Barry Davis kept nearly thirty seconds of that in.

It was also shown at the BFI - National Film Theatre (Pts 1 & 2 20 Aug 2002, Pts 3 & 4 30 Aug 2002)

1982ConventionEdgecon England , Also known as Convention at the Edge of the World, another B7 Con.
24 July 1982TV
Dogfood Dan and The Carmarthen Cowboy (Yorkshire TV, 1 hr play). Gareth plays Aubrey Owen, lorry (truck) driver and hapless would-be seducer. This is a comedy about two long distance lorry drivers who become friends. (The title refers to their CB radio handles - Gareth is "The Carmarthen Cowboy").

Aubrey Owen with "Dogfood Dan"(54K)

Aubrey lives in North Wales, his friend in Southern England. They regularly drive opposite routes to each other - as one's driving North, the other's going South, and vice versa. They meet in a transport cafe half way. They both start having affairs when they're away from home. The irony is that they each have an affair with the other's wife, completely unbeknownst to the other. Also starring David Daker as "Dogfood Dan". Written by David Nobbs (creator of Reginald Perrin), this was later made into a BBC sitcom, which was rubbish and didn't feature Gareth.

Gareth (Horizon NL#21): The writer told me it was going to be made into a series, and he said: "I want you and David Daker, but the BBC are doing it not ITV." So I phoned my agent, but my agent came back and said: "Unfortunately David Daker is doing 'Boon', and therefore can't do this, and the BBC have said they either want both of you or neither." And so my one chance to do a Light Entertainment series went out the window. C'est la vie, that's the business.

20 Jan 1983TV
The Citadel: BBC episodes 1-3, 8-10 (1982, 10 1 hr episodes.) Period medical drama, based on a novel by A.J. Cronin. Gareth plays Dr. Philip Denny, an alcoholic coming off the bottle, and best friend of the lead character, played by Ben Cross. Denny's part is bigger in the TV series than in the original Cronin novel.

Ep.1, tx. 20 Jan 1983. Ep.2, tx. 27 Jan 1983. Ep.3, tx. 3 Feb 1983. Ep.8, tx. 10 Mar 1983. Ep.9, tx. 17 Mar 1983 and Ep.10, tx. 24 Mar 1983. Although recorded in 1982.

Talking to Joe Nazzaro in Horizon 33 Joe: Having worked steadily for the RSC, was there any problem getting back into television again?

Gareth: I suppose at that time my profile was pretty high. The Citadel came along, and I seized at that, playing an alcoholic who comes off the bottle; I loved that. I then got Morgan's Boy, so I was probably still a name in the business. It really wasn't difficult getting back in at all.

The cast according to the IBDB was:

Directed by: Peter Jefferies, Mike Vardy
Writing credits: A.J. Cronin (novel), Don Shaw

Cast overview:
Ben Cross Andrew Manson
Clare Higgins (I) Christine Barlow
Wendy Alnutt Angela
Colin Baker (I) Vaughn
Sarah Berger Toppy
Raymond Bowers Dr Llewellyn
Niall Buggy Con
Michael Cochrane Freddy Hamson
James Copeland Urquhart
Janet Davies (I) Mrs. Watkins
Richard Davies (II) Dr Watkins
Tenniel Evans Dr Page
Don Fellows Robert Stillman
Oliver Ford Davies Reverend Parry
John Garvin (I) Dr. Bramwell
Michael Gough (I) Sir Jenner Halliday
Cynthia Grenville Miss Page
Olwen Griffiths Mrs. Bramwell
David Gwillim David Hope
Davyd Harries Emlyn
Jane How Mrs. Vaughn
Milton Jones Rees
Charles Kay Mr Hopper
Lyn Langridge Mrs. Howells
Anne Mannion Mary
Buster Merryfield
Sharon Morgan Mrs. Williams
Beryl Nesbitt Annie
John Nettleton Charles Ivory
Susan Porrett Miss Cramb
Dilys Price Mrs. Llewellyn
Sion Probert Mr. Williams
David Pugh Joe
Lyn Rees Sam
Ray Smith (I) Mr Owen
Dyfed Thomas Dai Jenkins
Gareth Thomas Philip Denny
Jack Walters (II) Thomas
John Welsh (I) Sir Robert Abbey
Wendy William Sylvia
Tim Wylton Ed Chenkin
Carmen du Sautoy Frances Lawrence

Dr. Philip Denny (43K)

Dr. Denny (51K)

10 May 1983TheatreEducating Rita by Willy Russell. Gareth played Frank. At the Theatre Royal Windsor until 27 May 1983.
8 July 1983TV
Shades of Darkness: Bewitched (Granada TV, 1 hr). Gareth plays Owen Bosworth.

A man is haunted by the ghost of a dead girl, his friend - Owen, the girl's father, and the local minister try to discover what is happening. A chilling tale with more in it than initially meets the eye. The director was John Gorrie and Martyn Hesford has a small part. This is significant as both were to work on Morgan's Boy a year later.

This programme is also known as "She Abides".

Owen Bosworth (68K)

29 Feb 1984TVStrangers and Brothers (BBC Episodes 8 and 9, 1 hour each). Series based on the novels by C.P. Snow. Gareth plays a scientist who speaks out against the atom bomb.
10 Oct 1984TV Interview
Pebble Mill at One (BBC) Live lunchtime magazine programme. Interviewed with Morgan's boy playwright, Alick Rowe. Note for Americans: Pebble Mill is the name of the BBC's Birmingham studios, from where this programme was broadcast.

Alick and Gareth (47K)

11 Oct 1984TV
Morgan's Boy (BBC, eight 1 hr episodes). Gareth plays Morgan Thomas, a Welsh hill farmer struggling with the help of his nephew to keep his home in the ecomonically desperate 1980s. Excellent but depressing. This is probably Gareth's best work to date and he was nominated for a BAFTA (British Academy Film and Television Awards) award for it. He himself describes it as probably his favourite part. It was written by Alick Rowe, who also novelized it. See Morgan's Boy for many pictures from this programme.

Morgan (74K)

The director was John Gorrie and Lee (Morgan's nephew) was played by Martyn Hesford.

RIPGareth talking to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#4):

Gareth: I did a series in England recently; one of the most difficult things I've ever done, actually, because the character was totally opposite to me, a Welsh hill farmer. It ended up the big boys moved in, kicked him out, and he couldn't cope with that. His whole life, and his parents were on this hill farm, so they kick him out and he goes back. His mother's room was a shrine to him, so he takes everything out into the courtyard and burns it, goes into the shed, shoots his sheep dog and shoots himself. It was a very beautiful story, nominated for various awards, and about two months later it was ... I'm sorry, am I boring you?

Joe: We'll give you a signal.

Gareth: I went down to the pub I used to drink in at lunchtime [and this man came up and said] "Oh Gareth, bloody great to see you, bloody fantastic! What are you doing here?" and he said, "Do you remember John?" and I said "John?" He said, " A bit like Morgan," which is the character I played. [He said] "He was a bit like Morgan." I said "Yes I remember; he had a beard," and he said, "That's right, that's John. Anyway, He shot himself last week, and left a message saying, Morgan's Boy showed me how to do it" and I thought, "Jesus Christ, how much responsibility can I take for what actually goes on?

8 May 1984TV
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Naval Treaty (Granada, 1 hr). Series of top notch adaptations of the Conan Doyle stories, starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes and David Burke as Dr. Watson. In this episode, Gareth plays Joseph Harrison, whose sister's fiance is a Foreign Office clerk entrusted with a top secret and ultra-important treaty - which subsequently vanishes without trace. Holmes has to unravel the mystery, before the country suffers and the clerk's career is destroyed.

Joseph Harrison and Holmes (43K)

23 Nov 1984TV InterviewChildren in Need (BBC), TV telethon raising money for childrens charities, hosted by Terry Wogan.
1984TVLove and Marriage: Dearly Beloved (Yorkshire TV, 1 hr). Gareth plays the lead as husband Stephen, a doctor whose marriage is having problems.

Gareth talking to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#7):

Joe: Do you get nervous, letting the real you show through the cracks sometimes?

Gareth:Well, I'll tell you something. I did a show a number of years ago - I can't remember what it's called now - with an actress that I knew by reputation but had never actually met. A very fine actress, and I knew her husband, but I didn't know her. The first scene ... Picture the first rehearsal: "How do you do, I'm Gareth Thomas..." The first scene begins at the moment of orgasm, and you think, "Now wait a minute, this is very personal here! Shall we start by saying which side of the bed would you like to sleep on?" There you suddenly ... you use experience, okay, but there is a frightening situation. How much of yourself do you actually show? I'm not telling on that one [laughter], but there's an example; if it happens, okay. That's an exception, because the last time I played a lover was about twenty years ago, but there is an example where you have to convice and say in the back of your mind, "I'm acting" That's a very difficult situation.

17 Feb 1985TV
By the Sword Divided: series II: RIP (BBC - 1st series was in 1983). Costume drama series, set during the English civil war. Gareth played the part of Major General Daniel Horton, one of Cromwell's soldiers (a Roundhead) - and a lover. Part of this was filmed at Rockingham Castle. Gareth appeared in 3 of the 8 episodes -
  • 5 - Forlorn Hope, set in 1655
  • 6 - The Mailed Fist, set in 1657
  • 7 - Retribution, set in 1658
Gareth in TV zone special #4: I died in By the Sword Divided - I was poisoned, I was stabbed, I ran onto the end of a sword, everything.

Daniel Horton (47K)

With his lady love (39K)

19 Mar 1985TheatreBeside the Sea By Brian Jefferies. At the Theatre Royal, Windsor until 6 April 1985. Gareth played Arnold who is the focal point as the poet / deckchair attendant, who sees and knows all. - Gareth described this as a "wierd play".
1 July 1985TV
Dramarama: Silver (Scottish TV; half hour children's drama anthology.) This episode is about a boy who cannot come to terms with his father's death in an accident and is unable to walk without crutches. A photo of his dead father is actually a photo of Gareth, thus earning him another tombstone. Gareth appears again in the fantasy form of Long John Silver from Treasure Island, eventually forcing the boy to leave his dream world and get on with his life. RIP

Silver (Close up) (17K)

Long John Silver (17K)

5 Jul 1985Convention
Scorpio 3 con US, the first American convention appearances for Gareth Thomas and Sheelagh Wells. This was until 7th July at the Hyatt Oakbrook Hotel in Chicago.

2 Sep 1985TVDuel with An Teallach RIP (BBC 1 hr). Gareth plays Charles Handley, sturdy but doomed mountaineer. This is a re-enactment of a mountain climbing tragedy. The actors did all the actual climbing.
1986Theatre
The Benefactors Writen by Michael Frayn. Produced by Hiss and Boo productions. Opened in Nottingham, and then went to Richmond. Other dates include the New Theatre, Cardiff, March 24-29; Grand Theatre Wolverhampton for the week ending April 19th; Alexandrea Theatre, Birmingham for a week from May 6th (see TV interview of 7th May from Birmingham) and the University of Warwick Arts Centre for a week from May 12th. Week starting May 19th at Darlington, may 26th Manchester, June 2nd Edinburgh, June 9th Glasgow, June 19 Swindon, June 23rd Bath. May also have been in Cambridge and other venues. Gareth played Colin.

Gareth talking to Joe Nazzaro at the Scorpio 5 con (FCG#4): "All I can say about it, and I'm now going to blow my own trumpet, and Barbara standing there over on your right knows I don't normally do it - all I can say is that Michael Frayn came to see it in matinee in Cambridge. We didn't know he was there, and he came backstage and we chatted, and he wrote a letter to the director, saying, "I have seen two West End productions, I have seen one production in Sweden, and I have seen a Broadway production, and this wipes the floor with the lot of them."

Benefactors (50K)

7 May 1986TV Interview
Pebble Mill at One (BBC), Live lunchtime magazine programme. Interview with fellow "Benefactors" star Stephanie Turner. This was during the period the play was on in Birmingham (where Pebble Mill is).

Gareth and Stephanie (51K)

3 Nov 1986TheatreHenry IV parts 1 & 2 and Henry V English Shakespeare Company (ESC). Gareth played Glendower, Lord Chief Justice, Scroop and Fluellen.

They toured England, Wales, Germany, Paris and spent six weeks in Toronto.

DatesVenue
3-15 Nov 1986Theatre Royal, Plymoth
17-22 Nov 1986New Theatre, Cardiff
24-29 Nov 1986Theatre Royal, Norwich
1-6 Dec 1986Theatre Royal, Nottingham
8-13 Dec 1986Theartre Royal, Bath
?-31 Jan 1987Paris
2-7 Feb 1987New Theatre, Hull
9-14 Feb 1987Empire Theatre, Sunderland Review
16-21 Feb 1987Grand Theatre, Leeds
23-28 Feb 1987Apollo Theatre, Oxford
2-7 Mar 1987Palace Theatre, Manchester
9-14 Mar 1987Hippodrome, Birmingham
16 March - 25 April 1987The Old Vic, London
SometimeHamburg, Germany
9 May - 20 June 1987Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto for 6 weeks
SometimeNew York

Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#7): I was phoned up out of the blue by a theatre director (Michael Bogdanov) for whom I have enormous respect, who had turned me down for a job some years before. He only likes working with people he's worked with before, and I wasn't one of them. But this time I was phoned up by him to play the Welsh parts in Henry IV pt 1, Henry IV pt 2 and Henry V. This was for a new company being set up to tour around Britain, France, Germany and Toronto Canada. I hemmed and hawed, and I finally said yes, okay, because I admired the director.

We did Henry VI pt 1 on Monday, Henry VI pt 2 on Tuesday, Henry V on Wednesday afternoon, Henry VI pt 1 on Wednesday evening, Henry VI pt 2 on Thursday, Henry V on Friday, and all three on Saturday; that was twelve hours of theatre. It was known as "The Marathon." Doctors have said that going on stage, if you take it seriously and get nervous, is the equivalent of having a minor car crash. We used to walk in on a Saturday morning and say, "Goddamn it, I'm sitting here, I'm hung over, and I've got three minor car crashes to go through in twelve hours in this bloody theatre! What am I doing for a living?" Having said that, we did it in Hamburg, Germany on a Sunday, and it was fifteen minutes before they allowed us off the stage. They were cheering, stamping, shouting, whistling - everything. It was amazing; it was an experience I'd never had before. It was ten minutes before they let us out of the Old Vic in London. It was directed as a trilogy, so that Saturday was actually the great day. You came up knackered but on a great high, really on a high, which meant that Monday was hell! We went from sublime to the ridiculous on that one, because we did the trilogy on a Saturday in Paris and opened in Hull on a Monday. I suppossed that's like saying we did a trilogy in Tinsel City and then opened up on Monday in Detroit! No offense to the people of Detroit.

After this run, Gareth was offered the John Woodvine part of Falstaff but refused it, since he didn't have time to really study it and make it his own. He said if he had done it, he would have been imitating Woodvine's version.

Michael Bogdanov and Michael Pennington wrote a book, "The English Shakespeare Company: The Story of The Wars of the Roses" about the first three seasons of the ESC.

Gareth Thomas appeared in the first (1986-1987) season. Michael Bogdanov said: "I rang Gareth Thomas, a fellow Welshman. He would do anything to give his Fluellen. His Fluellen turned out to be incomprehensible, North Walian, delivered with machine-gun rapidity. Very, very funny when you could understand it. He was so fast that subsequent versions of Henry V without him ran fifteen minutes longer." [pp. 33-34; GT was replaced by Sion Probert when he left the ESC.] There's a tiny picture of GT in this production, not very recognizable between the huge beard and the huge sheepskin hat.

The ESC got into a dispute with Equity about overtime payments. "The actors were represented by Morris Petty and Gareth Thomas. [...] Gareth was emotional. We had 'sold them down the river,' 'kicked them in the teeth.' All they had got for their pains was 'a slap in the face.'" [pp. 84-85; the tribunal awarded a fairly small amount to all the actors to settle the claim.]

Summing up the first season, Michael Pennington refers to "Gareth Thomas's marvellous Fluellen, loyal and verbose" [p. 93.]

GT's roles in the 1986-1987 tour, which ran from November 3 1986-June 27 1987, with 78 performances of each part of Henry IV and 79 performances of Henry V:

Henry IV Part 1 - Owen Glendower

Henry IV Part 2 - Lord Chief Justice (i.e., a shift from "The Rebels" to "The King's Party")

Henry V - Lord Chief Justice, Fluellen.

1986 - 1987TVThe District Nurse. (BBC) Period drama set in 1930's Wales, starred Nerys Hughes in the title role (Megan) and Sian Philips played her mother. Ran for 4 years from 1984 to 1987, with 13 episodes per year. We don't know which episode(s) or even which series Gareth was in.

Gareth recorded an episode of District Nurse in August or September 1986. (After Benefactors finished in July and before joining ESC.) So that means the show was probably aired in 87, though it could have been 86.

6th Sep 1987TV
Knights of God (TVS 6th Sep - 6th Dec 1987, thirteen 1/2 hr episodes). Gareth plays Owen Edwards, a Welsh rebel leader. (Was this guy getting typecast or what?) The series also starred Patrick Troughton (Doctor Who), John Woodvine, Julian Fellowes, and George Winter. The series is a sort of retelling of the Arthurian saga set in 2020 after a militant order, the Knights of God, have taken over England and are trying to stamp out the resistance led by Arthur (Troughton) and Edwards. Gareth is not in episodes 6,7 or 10, but has big roles in episodes 1 and 11. [[The series may have ended on 29th of Nov]]

Owen and Arthur (45K)

Owen Edwards (48K)

Owen Edwards (39K)

1987Convention
Scorpio 5 con US.

Gareth: (FCG#4) "As I say, everyone out there is paying my wages, and my reason for coming to an amateur con, not a professional one, its my way of saying thank you. Professional cons I've been asked to do, and I've turned them down. I said, no way, I will not do a professional con. Why? people say, because I know that some of the others do; Michael does, Jan does, I won't because those people out there have already paid to see me once already. Now they're paying to see me again. Why the hell should some bastard at the top cream that off? I don't want money for doing this. I want to say thank you. I don't want money, not for this. Why should some bastard up there be creaming it off? That's unfair of them".

8 Jan 1988TV
Tales of the Unexpected: The Colonel's Lady (Thames TV 9th season, show 104). Anthology series - drama with a "twist in the tale". Gareth has a cameo appearance at the beginning of this episode - a lady talks about an old love affair.
(35K)

29 Feb 1988TheatreDangerous Corner By J B Priestly, At the Churchill theatre Bromley, Richmond and Bath for 3 weeks, Gareth played Charles Stanton (a villain), with Judy Buxton (Inga in Hostage) as Freda Caplan. At Bromley from 29 Feb to 5 March.

Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#7): I did the actor's nightmare: a play by an author called J.B.Priestly called Dangerous Corner, a good old potboiler written in the '30s. My agent phoned me up on a Tuesday evening and said to me "Gareth, I've had Bromley Theatre on the phone and they're doing Dangerous Corner by J.B.Priestly. Do you know it?" I said "I know the name but I have never seen it, and I've never read it." He said, "Well, the villain (an actor named James Warwick) has slipped a disc. They're finishing this week in Bromley, and then they're going to Richmond here in Surrey, and then Bath. Would you take over? I said "Yes, Okay" and he said "Go down to Bromley tomorrow morning and get the script." I said, "Right," put down the phone, and thought to myself, "Jesus Christ, you have just walked into the actor's nightmare! You've got a steady cast going, they know what they're doing, they know the words, and I'm taking over!" I went down on Wednesday lunchtime, I got the script, I went to the pub on Wednesday lunchtime, I read the script, and I went on stage with it on Saturday afternoon (without the script). I worked my butt off! Now that is where somebody off the street couldn't do it. That's training. It's panic, but it's training.

Joe: You said you looked forward to a challenge...

Gareth: That was a challenge, and I got good reviews, too. The reason that I had been asked to do it was because the director of it had been the assistant director at the Royal Shakespeare Company when I did Orsino, and the fellow playing Cassio in Othello had dislocated his kneecap, and I took that over in four days. He admitted to me, he said, "I went through a list of my mates, and I thought Gareth! He did Cassio in four days; he can do this in three."

21 Aug 1988TV
Better Days HTV 1 hr). Gareth plays Gwilym, barrister and undutiful son to Glyn Houston.

Gareth (FCG#7): I did a show recently, which I enjoyed enormously, called Better Days, which was filmed down in Wales, where I played an absolute bastard (eat your heart out, Paul Darrow!). In fact, somebody said to me yesterday, who had gotten a tape of it and saw it, and they turned around and said, "Tell that man he owes me a drink," and I said, "Why?" He said, "Because I thought you were quite nice, but you're an absolute bastard, aren't you?" I said to him, "You mean I'm real on television and I'm just acting here? That's great; thank you. Haven't we got our priorities mixed up somewhere?"

Gwilym (18k)

Gwilym and Glyn (36k)

17 Oct 1988ConventionSpace City Con England, First convention that had both Paul Darrow and Gareth Thomas at the same time.
1988-1994TV
London's Burning (LWT). Popular, long running drama series about London firefighters. Gareth had a recurring role as the area commander, Assistant Chief Officer Bulstrode. Gareth left the series in December 94, when Bulstrode retired. The series has been released on video in the UK (two episodes per tape 52 minutes each episode), and might still be available (1997).

The character was brought in for one episode, but became a regular feature. He was based on a real-life fire chief who retired, so they wrote me out after eight episodes. My last line was: "I'm thinking of retiring at the end of the year." On film Thomas went on to say, "Now that's a good way to write yourself out of a series," and landed himself in hot water with the director for wasting film. "This used to be a profession and you used to be allowed to have fun. Now it's like any other business run by accountants and it's all about bottom lines.

Gareth was in the following:
Season 1 (1988) No eppisodes
Season 2 (1989) episode 5
Season 3 (1990) episodes 1,2,5,8
Season 4 (1991) episodes 9 and 10
Season 5 (1992) episodes 5,9
Season 6 (1993) episodes 4,5
Season 7 (1994) episodes 2,8,15.

We have also caught an uncredited appearance by Michael Keating

Taking to Nick, the station commander (32k)

Arriving at a major fire (40k)

Taking Charge (46k)

Sep 1988Audio TapeUnder Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. Gareth played Mog Edwards - this also stars seemingly every actor and singer in Wales - including Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Sian Philips, Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Mary Hopkin, Philip Madoc, Windsor Davies, Sir Geraint Evans, Ruth Madoc, Aled Jones, Ray Smith, Freddie Jones and Sir Harry Secombe.

This recording was released in 1988. A few years later, virtually the identical cast was brought together again and the performance was filmed. We believe that about an hour of this was shown on Television. The audio cassette was re-released at this time and the copyright date was changed to 1992. However the audio tape is not actually a recording of the filmed performance, but simply the 1988 recording re-packaged. Sadly, this tape is no longer avilable.

This wa definately shown in the US, and was probably shown by LWT (London Weekend Television) in 1988. Review

1989TVTo Each His Own ( TV movie 1 hours). Gareth plays an unscrupulous developer. Not BBC - therefore one of the ITV companies.
10 Feb 1989Convention
Gambit Con US B7 con, to 12th Feb 1989.

March 1989Radio PlayThe Taff End 1 hr comedy about rugby supporters, by Ewart Alexander. Gareth plays Gary, a Welsh ex-rugby international who meets a friend of his. They both want a ticket to the England/Wales match. This was broadcast at about the same time as the annual England/Wales rugby match.
March 1989Radio PlayNew World in the Mourning wild Welsh comedy (BBC Radio 4) about God, politics (Thatcher vs. socialism), homosexuality, elections, personal ethics. Gareth plays Emlyn Parry of the Labour party, running for parliament.
12 Apr 1989TheatreInside Job At Theatre Royal, Windsor 12-29th of April 1989 and at other venues.

A Windsor Newspaper (Francis Batt): The Glamour of Life in Luton.

Who would not envy the glamourous life of a film star, making movies in exotic locations? Actress Prunella Gee - currently starring in the play Inside Job at Windsor's Theatre Royal - wondered just what attractive setting she would be working in when she was cast as Sean Connery's girlfriend (or one of them) in his belated comeback to the role of James Bond in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again.

"Some of the film was set in the Bahamas and some in the south of France. But guess where all my scenes ended up being filmed - in Luton" said Prunella. Her co-star in Inside Job, Gareth Thomas (of Blakes 7 fame) can beat that though. He was once phoned by a producer and offered the choice between two roles in a new production.

It was not until I had chosen the one I wanted that he had the cheek to tell me that it was all being filmed over here, while the other role I had turned down was being filmed in the Bahamas...

7 Jul 1989Convention
Scorpio 7 con US, Final Scorpio con. This ran until 9th July 1989.

Some of these photo's (and others) are at Anne Wortham's web site.

23 Jul 1989TV
Chelworth (BBC in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) all but the first of eight 1 hr episodes. It is about a multi-millionare businessman in Hong Kong, whose brother dies and leaves him the title to a very run down stately home. He comes back to England to take care of it. Gareth plays Peter Thornton, a Yorkshire farmer who becomes the estate manager. Stephen Grief and Janet Lees Price also appeared in this.

Peter Thornton (36K)

  • 1 - Coming Home - (Gareth's not in this episode)
  • 2 - A Wonderfully Wrong Thing
  • 3 - Shoping Around
  • 4 - The Rich Can Do Anything
  • 5 - You Can't Beat Mozart
  • 6 - Taking Your Profits
  • 7 - My Dear Jamie
  • 8 - A Real House
2 Oct 1989TV
Boon: Walking Off Air (Central TV). Comedy drama series about an ex-fireman who sets up a motorcycle messenger company and does occasional detective work - stars Michael Elphick, David Daker and Neil Morrissey. In this episode, Gareth plays Bill Stone, a radio station director.

Bill Stone (32K)

25 Oct 1989Theatre
King Lear Northcott Theatre, Exeter. Gareth played Lear. This ran until 18 Nov 1989.

RIP

Gareth as King Lear (39K)

Gareth in the Prydonian Renegade: I think Lear was certainly the most difficult thing I'd ever done on stage. You actually walk offstage totally and utterly exhausted. There's no two ways about that. That's it. You go out there, you give it everything you can, and you walk off and say, "Whew." I'll tell you how exhausted I got - sometimes I didn't even get to the bar for over half an hour! And there are lots of pitfalls. I remember, doing Lear, there was one occasion, a matinee I think it was, and Lear in the first scene, his first scene, towards the end of it he loses his temper for the first time and I mean really goes for Cordelia. Doing this matinee I suddenly thought "Why have all the cast turned upstage?" The audience didn't notice and I carried on. The line is, "So be my grave my peace, as here I give her father's heart from her." And apparently I'd said "As here I give her hather's fart from her," and all the cast cottoned on and turned upstage. But the audience didn't have a clue.

Late 1989VideoMasquerade Introduced a video tape about makeup for Sheelagh Wells.
16 June 1989TV
After the War (Granada TV), based on Frederic Raphael's novel, eight episodes a total of 10 hours. Gareth plays an artist called Guy Falcon in 2 of the episodes - Love and Kisses; and Yesterday and Tomorrow. Also featured Jan Chappel and Ed Bishop (UFO). The date given is that of the broadcasting of the first episode.

Guy Falcon (38K)

This publicity photo is left / right reversed.

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Last updated on 06th of May 2002.