The Tyrant King (ABC-Thames TV children's serial, 1968)


An interesting series with impressive pedigree, directed by Mike Hodge and adapted for television by Trevor Preston. Geoff Nash observes, "The series was based on a novel published by London Transport as an encouragement to young folk to discover London by public transport, hence the generous amount of eye candy for folks like us! The show was an early production from Thames Television in 1968 and therefore only shown in black and white. It was amazing then to find from the DVD that it was actually made in colour."

The plot takes the children on a scenic tour of London, against a prog rock soundtrack by artists such as The Nice, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Cream and the Rolling Stones.

Episode 1:
Establishing shots of London Transport RTs and Routemasters, including a D registration RML and a very close view of RT566 (HLX383)

Episode 2:
More specific views in this episode, including RT4714 (NXP999) on route 12 and an RM from the WLTxxx batch on 141, which it's implied the children are travelling on:
RM1697 on route 16 and RML2517 (JJD517D) on route 15:

Episode 3:
A roofbox RT turns with a Plaxton Panorama coach passing behind, and we seen another on route 12 between RMs near the Cenotaph:
Meantime the children run to catch RM528 (WLT528) on route 27 - note the adverts on the front:
....although RM528's destination has mysteriously changed en route!
This however is an E-registration RML:
Two RTs on route 38:
Diverse RMs and an RCL:
RM1271 (271CLT), and an RT with registration NLE8xx:
Not London Transport, but this is interesting - a Duple bodied Bedford VAL14. It's not clearly seen in the traffic, but registration is TGXxxxF - judging from a search on Google, it is probably TGX878F in the livery of Tudor of Ledbury but new to Super of Upminster:

Episode 4:
RM1318 (318CLT) is followed by RM1192 (192CLT)
....and an RM is followed by a Green Line RF and a Red Arrow MBA:


Episode 5:
Another glimpsed RT, this time RT1390 (KXW489):
Aerial views:
Extended overhead footage of an XA class Leyland Atlantean:
....and a Green Line RF:
Variety on route 12, comparing a roofbox RT with a non-roofbox RT, followed by a Plaxton bodied coach:

Episode 6:
Different footage of RT1390 (KXW489):
The children are still ridng the bus:
This rear view is of a rarity, a Ford 570E with Burlingham Gannet coachwork, registration xxxDLL, with fleetname 'Pullman Coaches':

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