• Show TV Channels

    Hide TV Channels

  • Show Radio Channels

    Hide Radio Channels

  • Show Years

    Hide Years

  • Issues

Close group

Close group

The Second Man


We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
A comedy by S.N. Behrman.
[Starring] Michael Denison and Joyce Heron

The action of the play takes place in Clark Storey's flat on the West Side of New York City
"...For, together with, and as it were behind, so much pleasurable emotion, there is always that other strange second man in me, calm, critical, observant, unmoved, blase, odious."
Tonight's play, though it is produced in the dress and settings of the present day, was written a quarter of a century ago - at the tail-end of the jazz and flapper age, when the first world war was fading comfortably from memory and the second had not yet begun to cast its shadow over the Bright Young Things. The period has been preserved in the English theatre, like a beetle in amber, in the works of Coward, Lonsdale, and the later Maugham; and in America by a number of similarly witty craftsmen who included Samuel Nathaniel Behrman. It was the twentieth-century's golden age in the field of glossy, sophisticated comedies-elegant, civilised trifles, with dialogue that had the sparkle of the champagne that inevitably found its way into every one of them.
The Second Man, set in a studio apartment on New York's West Side, omits the more obvious trappings of this restlessly gay era (no one dances the Charleston or speaks of 'speakeasies'), but it is as well to realise that the characters have their roots in that careless world of 1927.
Their talk and their problems have to do mostly with the stuff that, so legend has it, makes the world go round; with the joys and sorrows of the world's oldest emotion; in short, with love-and with infatuation (which is the faintly deprecatory word we give to love when we get over it).
Clark Storey and the three people who are in and out of his apartment throughout the play are all suffering the pangs and uncertainties of the amorous condition, and their affairs overlap and interlock in a way which is remarkably hostile to synopsis. It is enough to say, perhaps, that Storey himself-a part-time writer and full-time cynic - is fighting a growing love for Monica, because he wants to marry Kendall who is nice and rich and can support him in the manner to which he would like to become accustomed; that Kendall is willing to accept him on these outrageous terms; but that Monica, although affianced to Austin, carries a blazing torch for Storey and is, moreover, both pretty and predatory.
(Kenneth A. Hurren)


Writer: S.N. Behrman
Settings: John Cooper
Producer: Leonard Brett
Kendall Frayne: Joyce Heron
Clark Storey: Michael Denison
Austin Lowe: Arthur Hill
Monica Grey: Gene Anderson

Tell us more or contact us

Do you know something about this programme that we have not included above?
Or would you like to ask the Genome team a question?

Tell us more or contact us

About this project

This site contains the BBC listings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009. You can search the site for BBC programmes, people, dates and Radio Times editions.

We hope it helps you find information about that long forgotten BBC programme, research a particular person or browse your own involvement with the BBC.

Through the listings, you will also be able to use the Genome search function to find thousands of radio and TV programmes that are already available to view or listen to on the BBC website.

There are more than 5 million programme listings in Genome. This is a historical record of the planned output and the BBC services of any given time. It should be viewed in this context and with the understanding that it reflects the attitudes and standards of its time - not those of today.

Feedback about The Second Man, BBC Television, 21.00, 24 February 1953
Please leave this link here so we can find the programme you're referring to: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/cc4419ef752e43418d1e82ac087387fa

Welcome to BBC Genome

Genome is a digitised version of the Radio Times from 1923 to 2009 and is made available for internal research purposes only. You will need to obtain the relevant third party permissions for any use, including use in programmes, online etc.

This internal version of Genome, which includes all the magazine covers, images and articles as well as the programme listings from the Radio Times, is different to the version of BBC Genome that is available externally/to the public. It is only available inside the BBC network.

Your use of this version of Genome is covered by the BBC Acceptable Use of Information Systems Policy and these terms.

BBC Guidance

This historical record contains material which some might find offensive
Continue Cancel