The Stars Look Down (TV serial)

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.

The Stars Look Down
Directed byRoland Joffé
Alan Grint
Howard Baker
StarringIan Hastings
Susan Tracy
Alun Armstrong
Christian Rodska
Norman Jones
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes13
Running time60 min. (per episode)
Original networkITV
Original release4 September 
27 November 1975

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 Joffé4 September 1975 (1975-09-04)
Unrest among the mine workers causes some to consider other options.
2"Escape"Alan Grint11 September 1975 (1975-09-11)
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 Joffé18 September 1975 (1975-09-18)
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 Joffé25 September 1975 (1975-09-25)
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 Baker2 October 1975 (1975-10-02)
Robert Fenwick and other miners are trapped when the mine floods.
6"Battlefield"Alan Grint9 October 1975 (1975-10-09)
Richard Barras and his son Arthur are divided over the inquiry into the mining disaster.
7"Heroes"Roland Joffé16 October 1975 (1975-10-16)
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 Baker23 October 1975 (1975-10-23)
As the war continues, David Fenwick receives good news while Joe Gowlan gets a surprise.
9"Victory"Alan Grint30 October 1975 (1975-10-30)
A note is discovered that sheds light on the mine disaster.
10"Rebuilding"Roland Joffé6 November 1975 (1975-11-06)
11"New Ground"Howard Baker13 November 1975 (1975-11-13)
Joe Gowlan becomes successful and David Fenwick reaches a turning point.
12"The Promised Land"Alan Grint20 November 1975 (1975-11-20)
David and his wife Jenny are reunited. The mine is destroyed.
13"Marrers"Roland Joffé27 November 1975 (1975-11-27)
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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