Zig Zag: Hungry Times

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started10th Oct 1983
ended17th Oct 1983
last rpt10th Feb 1988
5 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🏛️History
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English

Zig ZagHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: The NormansNext unit: ComputersHierarchyNext.gif
BBC TV drama for junior topicsHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: The Sleepers on the HillNext unit: The Saga of Gunnar GoldhairHierarchyNext.gif

Hungry Times is a unit of the BBC Schools TV series Zig Zag from the 1980s, covering Miscellany for Primary pupils.

Accompanying Zig Zag's unit on The Normans, this two-part drama serial tells the story of a Saxon family in the year 1086, struggling after the Norman invasion in the face of new laws, curfews and plagues on their animals which leave them hungry and desperate but still proud Saxons.

Young Gerth tries to poach rabbits for his family's supper, while his father Alfred refuses to take part in the Domesday Book census. Hugh, son of the local Norman landowner, reaches out to support the family and befriend Gerth's sister.

Troubles intensify when Hugh is thrown from his horse and badly injured. The family must decide whether to help him even as the Norman soldiers continue to hunt poachers, capture Gerth, and put him on trial.

Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. drama The Trap #1983-10-10-00-00-0010 Oct 1983
2. drama The Trial #1983-10-17-00-00-0017 Oct 1983


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1983-84 Autumn 1983 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 2:40pm BBC2
Summer 1984 Friday, 9:08am BBC2 Subtitle Slot
1985-86 Autumn 1985 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 2:40pm BBC2
1987-88 Spring 1988 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 1:38pm BBC2


Starring David Bartlett as Gerth
Godfrey James as Alfred
Daryl Back as Hilda
Freda Dowie as Edith
Michael Goldie as Sir Walter
Mark Colleabo as Hugh
With Paul Angelis as Sergeant
Richard Williams as Clerk
Stewart Fell as Juggler
Designer George Kyriakides
Writer Ian Taylor
Producer & director Tom Stanier



There were the usual teacher's notes available.

A playscript of the drama was also available, specially adapted for performance by schools.



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