Career in Independent Television
One of the plays Shubik had produced for Play for Today was John Mortimer’s “Rumpole of the Bailey” (broadcast 17 December 1975), starring Leo McKern as the eponymous barrister. McKern had greatly enjoyed playing the role and had indicated it was a part he would be interested in returning to. Shubik commissioned six new Rumpole scripts from John Mortimer with a view to making a series but a change of senior personnel in the BBC led to the project being put on hold. In late 1976, Shubik departed the BBC for Thames Television and brought the Rumpole scripts with her. Shubik produced the first season of Rumpole of the Bailey in 1978 and commissioned the scripts for the second before leaving Thames for Granada Television where she was hired to produce an adaptation of Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet.
When Granada got cold feet about the scale of the project and the cost of filming in India, Shubik suggested that she produce an adaptation of Scott's Staying On as a pilot. Staying On was made in 1980 and put stars Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson together on screen again for the first time since Brief Encounter. Its success led Granada to give the go ahead to the Raj Quartet, which was filmed as The Jewel in the Crown and became one of Granada's most celebrated productions, placed twenty-second in the British Film Institute's 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. Shubik did not produce The Jewel in the Crown, having moved on to write the screenplay for the film Girl on a Swing for Columbia Pictures, but, having worked extensively on the fourteen scripts, was given a “devised by” credit at the start of each episode.
Read more about this topic: Irene Shubik
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