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Zakes Mokae television 1960s



Zakes Mokae starts in British television on high profile shows such as Danger Man.




Story Parade:

A Dragon to Kill

The Radio Times lists Story Parade: A Dragon to Kill as broadcast on  24 July 1964.  Based on a story by Kenneth MacKenzie it was dramatised by Peter Yeldham, with director Bryan Stonehouse.  Zakes Mokae is credited as Zakks Mokae (note misspelling).  Information from BBC website here.

The tv.com website says "The Story Parade was an anthology series from the BBC, with each drama adapted from a novel or short story written in the previous 30 years."  In the list of 16 episodes it does not list Dragon (from here).


Danger Man logo 

Danger Man

The Secret Agent

Danger Man, called Secret Agent in the USA, is a series about special agent John Drake played by Patrick McGoohan. The first episode in 1960 pre-dated James Bond by 2 years, and ran for 86 episodes. McGoohan brings an intelligence to the role, which evolved into the cult series The Prisoner.

The Galloping Major (2.4) 1964 is one of the poorer episodes, with Drake sent to an unnamed African country- though he lands at Accra Airport in Ghana- to ensure there is no foul play in the upcoming elections.

Danger Man

For his cover he plays a major, and because he goes everywhere he is called the galloping major.

Zakes Mokae has a small but capable role as assistant to the president. 

Zakes Mokae in Danger Man

As with many Danger Man episodes there is a twist at the end.

There is some good framing of images.

Danger Man

Danger Man Patrick McGoohan

The director was Peter Maxwell, with the episode written by David Stone who also adapted Polanski’s ’s Repulsion.

Danger Man credits Zakes Mokae





Crane: The Man with the Big Feet

Crane was a series of 55 in episodes for British ITV 1963 to 1965.

The series was a "1960’s adventure series that notched up 39 episodes as it followed Richard Crane who gave up the rat race to open up a beachfront bar in Morocco (which of course looked suspiciously like a studio backlot) where naturally he found mystery and intrigue at every turn. Crane was not an overly good guy though and was not averse to the odd bit of smuggling to make ends meet... " from Memorable TV here.

Mokae appears in series 3, the episode The Man with the Big Feet which aired on 6 Dec 1964 (from Memorable TV).  "A local mystic prophesies that [sidekick] Orlando will die. Crane investigates" (from WikiMili  here).  Zakes Mokae plays Achmet.  The episode seems to be lost.

The director was Christopher Hodson and the writer was Ludovic Peters (from Action TV here)   Crane was played by Patrick Allen.

Gerald Flood appears in this, and also Ancient and Modern which also features Mokae. 



Theatre 625 

Theatre 625:

Seek Her Out

An episode from Theatre 625, a drama series on BBC2 broadcast on 2 Jul 1965. Alan Gibson directed (and would direct Mokae again in Troubleshooters) and the writer is Giles Cooper.  Other episodes in the series included Fugard's Mille Miglia (without Mokae).  Information from BBC site here.

Zakes Mokae plays Shale in the episode Seek Her Out- "In an underground railway station in London, a young woman is appalled to witness a murder and now realizes that she could be the next victim." from tv.com here).

 Title logo from episodes of the series (though this episode may be lost).



Jemima and Johnny

Jemima and Johnny

A short 28 minute film directed by Lionel Ngakane in 1965.  Ngakame was mainly an actor and like Mokae would appear in Danger Man and The Troubleshooters, though not with Mokae.

The story opens with a man handing out racist leaflets.

Jemima and Johnny

On the streets children play behind the horse-and-cart,to the annoyance of the owner.

Jemima and Johnny

But black kid Jemima and white kid Johnny meet and walk together.

Jemma and Johnny

They see a blind man (Zakes Mokae) trying to cross the road... 

Jemima and Johhny - Zakes Mokae

...and they help him over.

Jemima and Johnny

After this they continue their travels, and when they don't return their parents become worried and call the police.

When the police find the children they are in an unsafe building and part collapses.  The police bring out the children, helped by the man who handed out the racist leaflets.

Jemima and Johnny

Will the innocence of Jemima and Johnny change his views, or the relief and happiness of her parents?

Jemima and Johnny

A small part for Mokae as the blind man, seconds long, but done well  and he would next have a meatier role in the film of Graham Greene's The Comedians.

Jemima and Johnny

 Images from the film on BFI Player (free!).



Zakes Mokae - Market in Honey Lane

Market in Honey Lane with the episode Some of my Best Friends are....S!

"This soap serial, in trying to demonstrate an earthy, natural society, succeeded somehow in showing how very nice, how indomitably life-loving, how British and human and working-class life is.  Inspired to some extent by Granada TV's success with Coronation Street (ITV, 1960-), ATV's Market in Honey Lane was a very conventional TV serial, setting up minor heartbreaks and conflicts so that the writers could dissolve them, usually, in a flood of cosy sentimentality... Market in Honey Lane ran for two series from April 1967 to March 1968, and was then shown at various times around the schedules (in various regions) with the title shortened to Honey Lane. The focus of this now twice-weekly serial was the changing life of the Soho area" (from BFI Screenonline here).

Mokae appears in the episode Some of my Best Friends are... (s0metimes listed as Some of my Best Friends are  ------!) credited as Prince Ahmed.  The episode is directed by Cecil Pety and was broadcast on 29 Feb 1968 (from imdb here)

Wikipedia lists it as one of the television lost episodes.




The Day the Sea Caught Fire

The episode The Day the Sea Caught Fire, from season four, directed by Alan Gibson 1968.  The BBC soap about Mogul, a fictional oil company.  Zakes Mokae plays Joshua Macey. information by kind permission from
www.action-tv.org.uk/mogul/mogul/mog_guide_03.htm .



The Old Campaigner

The Old Campaigner with the episode White Man's Tomb. 

The BBC's The Old Campaigner is a "...Sitcom following womaniser James Franklin-Jones (Terry-Thomas), an international salesman who uses his business trips to search for beautiful women" from British Comedy Guide here).

In White Man's Tomb Zakes Mokae plays the police lieutenant.  "This is the most exotic assignment that 'F.J.' has been given by Balsom's Plastics and it leads him and his assistant Clancy to try to clinch a deal with an emergent African state. It also leads him, as usual, into a great deal of trouble".  It was broadcast on 27 Dec 1968 (from BBC here)



Thirty Minute Theatre:

Where Have They Gone, All the Little Children?

Part of the BBC television drama series "Thirty-minute Theatre".  The play was written by Charlotte and Dennis Plimmer and starred Michael Gwynn, Glyn Houston and Mokae in 1969.  (Source The Times, 6 Jan 1969). The play tackled the Biafran war.




ITV Sunday Night Theatre:

Hazel and Her New Gas Cooker

Part of the British ITV television drama series "Sunday Night Theatre".  The play was written by Bill MacIlwraith and starred Patricia Routledge and Jack Hedley with Zakes Mokae playing John Smith in 1969.  (Source imdb).  Buying a new gas cooker turns out to be a bad choice for the Day family.



Plays of Today:

Beyond the Sunrise

Beyond the Sunrise.  Six of Britain's top TV playwrights were given the opportunity to write the plays they had always wanted to write… John Hopkins's play Beyond the Sunrise is about two African politicians - one a modern politician, the other the guardian of traditional values - who are caught up in a conflict of loyalties which ends in bloodshed and sacrifice with Johnny Sekka as The Chief, Calvin Lockhart as Akanu, Joseph O'Conor as Aston. James Ferman directs and Zakes Mokae plays Nguru. It was broadcast on BBC Two, 11 Sept 1969. (from BBC website here).

The series title Plays of Today should not be confused with the series Play for Today.



ITV Playhouse

ITV Playhouse:

Ancient and Modern

Ancient and Modern broadcast on 29 Dec 1969 with Gerald Flood and William Lucas.

"An Orwellian world in which a Socialist Public School is opened,despite the good intentions and efforts from staff to produce a school of equal opportunity and excellence, the school ends up like all the others."   Directed by Guy Verney and written by Gu Slater.   Mokae plays Gavin Lesotho. (from imdb here).

Flood and Mokae also appeared together in Crane.



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