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Brothers, The (BBC-1 1972-1976, Patrick O’Connell, Jennifer Wilson)

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The Brothers was one of the most popular BBC Shows of the 1970’s and one that set the format for many other series that followed, especially big American soaps like Dallas and Dynasty and the same teams mid 1980’s sea-faring drama Howard’s Way.

The Brothers begins when elderly Robert Hammond dies and instead of leaving the running of his large scale haulage company, Hammond Transport, in the capable hands of eldest son Edward Hammond he instead devides it equally between his three sons Edward, David and Brian and also his personal assistant Jennifer Kingsley. At the reading of the will it is revealed, much to the disgust of Robert’s ageing wife Mary, that Robert had for years been having an affair with Jennifer and the pair had a daughter, Barbara, now 17. The Season one cast with Glyn Owen as Ted.

Initially there is much distrust of Jennifer’s motives and naturally enough Mary Hammond is none too pleased to see her continue with the company but it quickly becomes obvious that she does have the best interests of the company at heart. Her daughter Barbara didn’t know who her real father was and was hit hard by her new found position in the world. Edward was the most affected and spent much of the first season trying to persuade the others to sell out their shares to him. Season two saw the expansion of Hammond Transport when Australian chancer Harry Carter arrived on the scene, trying to buy a block of land next door to Hammond to run his own haulage business from, the brothers though were having none of it and forced him into a take-over but giving him a seat on the board in the process.

With boardroom battles well to the fore the brothers very quickly set about expanding the Hammond empire and over the course of the series major additions to the cast included financial whizz Paul Merroney (who very quickly became the character you love to hate), his wife April (for the final season anyway) and then when the company move into the air-frieght business there is the arrival of Jane Maxwell and Don Stacey. The actual business of haulage is never overly seen although the truckies are represented by take no nonsense Bill Riley who has worked for Hammonds for most of his life. Of course the series concentrates as much on the personal lives of the brothers as it does on the business side of things, David was something of a playboy, married model girl Jill and tried a career in motor racing; Brian’s wife Ann was your archetypal bitch, wanted Brian to better himself and gave him a very hard time. Meanwhile Edward and Jennifer ended up falling in love and got married halfway through the series.

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Richard Easton as Brian and Kate O’Mara as Jane Maxwell.

By the fifth season Hammond’s had expanded greatly with the addition of the airfield and in season six the company faced it’s biggest upheaval yet when Hammond’s merged with dutch company Van Der Merwe.

A fabulously enjoyable series The Brothers remains a highly strong drama. The show has lingered long in peoples memories too, on 11th August 2002 there was a special called After They Were Famous which looked at the post Brothers careers of most of the major players and on Sunday 10th February 2008 there was a half hour special looking at the history of the show as part of the Cult Of… series.

Incidentally in the first season Edward was played by Glyn Owen before Patrick O’Connell took over from season two onwards.

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 92×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 March 1972 – 19 December 1976

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Creators: Gerard Glaister, N.J. Crisp / Costumes: Barbara Kronig (season one), Tudor George / Theme Music: Dudley Simpson / Associate Producer: Ian Strachan (season one) / Script Editors: Douglas Watkinson (seasons five and six), Cicely Cawthorne (season seven) / Producers: Gerard Glaister (seasons 1-3), Ken Riddington (seasons four and five), Bill Sellars (seasons six and seven) / Executive Producer: Ken Riddington (from season six)

cast
JEAN ANDERSON as Mary Hammond
GLYN OWEN as Edward Hammond (season 1)
PATRICK O’CONNELL as Edward Hammond (seasons 2-7)
RICHARD EASTON as Brian Hammond
ROBIN CHADWICK as David Hammond
JENNIFER WILSON as Jennifer Kingsley
HILARY TINDALL as Ann Hammond (seasons 1-4)
GABRIELLE DRAKE as Jill Hammond (seasons 1-4)
JULIA GOODMAN as Barbara Kingsley (later Trent) (seasons 1-3)
DEREK BENFIELD as Bill Riley
MARGARET ASHCROFT as Gwen Riley (from season 4)
MARK McMANUS as Harry Carter (season two)
ANNA FOX as Pamela Graham (seasons 2-3)
JONATHAN NEWTH as Nicholas Fox (seasons 2-4)
GILLIAN McCUTCHEON as Julie Lane (seasons 2-3)
MURRAY HAYNE as Martin Farrell (season 4)
CARLETON HOBBS as Sir Neville Henniswode (seasons 4-6)
COLIN BAKER as Paul Merroney (seasons 5-7)
LIZA GODDARD as April Winter (later Merroney) (season 7)
CAROLE MOWLAM as Clare Miller (seasons 5-6)
KATE O’MARA as Jane Maxwell (from season 5)
MIKE PRATT as Don Stacey (season 5 – season six episode six)

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE  10 March – 12 May 1972
1. END OF THE BEGINNING
2. DOWN TO BUSINESS
3. CONFRONTATION
4. DECISIONS
5. THE PARTY
6. TURNING POINT
7. THE PERFECT DAY
8. CRISIS
9. A WORM IN THE BUD
10. FULL CIRCLE

SEASON TWO  14 January – 8 April 1973
1. A FAMILY GATHERING
2. WHEELS AND DEALS
3. THE TROJAN HORSE
4. SNAKES AND LADDERS
5. LABOUR PAINS
6. NEGOTIATIONS
7. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE
8. ERRORS OF JUDGEMENT
9. STORM BIRDS
10. TIGHTROPE
11. A MARRIAGE IS ARRANGED
12. WOMEN ARE TRUMPS
13. NO HARD FEELINGS

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SEASON THREE 3 February – 5 May 1974
1. THE HAMMOND ACCOUNT
2. THE NEWLYWEDS
3. SUSPICIONS
4. TUG OF WAR
5. HIJACK
6. RILEY
7. TRADE WIND
8. ECHOES
9. AN IMPOSSIBLE DEBT
10. POWER FOR SALE
11. CONSPIRATORS
12. PERCHANCE TO DREAM
13. RETURN TO NOWHERE

SEASON FOUR  1 September – 8 December 1974
1. EMERGENCY
2. SECRET MEETINGS
3. INVESTIGATIONS
4. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
5. PARTINGS
6. LONELINESS
7. HIT AND MISS
8. PUBLIC CONCERN
9. THE RACE
10. SATURDAY
11. THE GUILT BENEATH THE GINGERBREAD
12. A BAD MISTAKE
13. THE FALL GUY
14. THE CRUCIAL VOTE

SEASON FIVE  6 April – 29 June 1975
1. LIFE GOES ON
2. THE SELF-MADE CROSS
3. TIGER BY THE TAIL
4. BREAKDOWN
5. SPECIAL LICENCE
6. FLIGHT OF FANCY
7. A VERY SHORT HONEYMOON
8. BIG DEAL
9. PACKAGE DEAL
10. END OF A DREAM
11. THE JUDAS SHEEP
12. JENNIFER’S BABY
13. WARPATH

SEASON SIX 25 January – 18 April 1976
1. RED SKY AT NIGHT
2. A CLEAN BREAK
3. RED SKY IN THE MORNING
4. ORANGES AND LEMONS
5. WHEN WILL YOU PAY ME?
6. TENDER
7. THE MOLE
8. THE CHOSEN VICTIM
9. BLOOD AND WATER
10. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
11. TRY, TRY AGAIN
12. THE BONUS
13. BIRTHDAY

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SEASON SEVEN  5 September – 16 December 1976
1. TO HONOUR AND OBEY
2. HOME AND AWAY
3. INVITATIONS
4. THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES
5. MANOEUVRES
6. ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
7. THE DISTAFF SIDE
8. CROSS CURRENTS
9. RIPPLES
10. CELEBRATION
11. WINDMILLS
12. THE GOLDEN ROAD
13. OUT OF THE BLUE
14. THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR
15. THE ORDEAL
16. THE CHRISTMAS PARTY


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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