The Diary of Samuel Pepys 1958 BBC TV with Peter Sallis

When I remember Peter Sallis, it is not for Last of the Summer Wine or indeed ‘Wallace  and Gromit’ – it is for this BBC TV series which only ran for one season and 14 episodes.


Peter Sallis


Peter Sallis as Pepys  in this portrayal plays the role of Pepys with humour – as the picture above indicates – but also conveys  first and foremost that he is a devoted public servant.

This was Peter Sallis’ very first television role – and it was a starring role.

Also cast was Douglas Wilmer – who later played Sherlock Holmes – who played King Charles II with all the requisite charm and style we imagine, aided and abetted by  a well-trained spaniel.

Also cast was Paul Eddington as Sir William Coventry and Wensley Pithey who had played Friar Tuck in a BBC Robin Hood serial with Patrick Troughton as Robin Hood – I do remember that one.

Others cast were Bernard Archard and a very young Nannette Newman

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (4)

4 Responses to “The Diary of Samuel Pepys 1958 BBC TV with Peter Sallis”

  1. David Rayner says:

    I remember watching this serial every week in 1958 when I was eleven and thought it was very good at the time. Like you, when I think of Peter Sallis, I think of him as Samuel Pepys. It would have gone out live at the time, but just may have been telerecorded (filmed off a television monitor) in the days long before video tape. If not, it will remain just a memory and we’ll never see it again. Any way, even if it had been telerecorded over 61 years ago, who knows whether the recording still exist? The BBC have thrown a lot of important recordings away, including The Beatles forming the panel on ‘Juke Box Jury’ in 1963. Now what absolute idiot decided to junk that?

    • Movieman says:

      David. I am pleased that someone remembers the series and actually saw it as you did – and I did – although a long time ago, but we still remember it well. Thanks again for your comment. You are right the BBC chucked away a lot of valuable material. However a point I always make is that the advent of satellite TV saw many older programmes unearthed and re-shown with great success. The Galaxy channel was the first to do that some years ago and it woke up the BBC to what they had – and ITV although to a lesser extent. Now we have Talking Pictures doing that for forgotten films – Thankfully not forgotten now. With the regular viewing audience that Talking Pictures gets, that again underlines that a great many of us have been underfed in TV terms for so long. Neil

  2. David Rayner says:

    According to the IMDb, it was never given a cinema release in the UK, but was in Technicolor and ran for 73 minutes. Maybe the BFI might have a copy of it.

  3. David Rayner says:

    Sorry, posted the above on the wrong page.

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