Under rated Fox was actually an example of the Thames/Euston location filmed crime drama at it’s best. At it’s heart Fox is concerned with The Family and has a great soundtrack with “cockney geezer” songs (with lyrics by series creator Trevor Preston) that help drive home certain points about the characters.
Basically Fox is about the ageing Billy Fox and the powerful grip he holds over his large family of five sons and their associated offspring. Each episode generally focuses on a different son, all of whom have their own issues. Youngest son Kenny is an on the up boxer but when he kills an opponent in the ring it sends him on a downward spiral; Phil is a mature student at University and doesn’t get on with his father who thinks he is betraying his roots. He ends up fleeing to New York.
Joey is a typical London cabbie, obsessed with birds until he meets fashion designer Bette whose avant garde ways knock him for six. Ray is an ex-con now running a nightclub with an estranged wife and a problematic teenage daughter and then there is Vin, he runs a building company but wants to move to the country to run a pub.
Billy somewhat surprisingly dies around the half way mark and his death is something of a catalyst for the the break up of the family.
Filmed and set in South London Fox was broadcast over 13 episodes on the ITV network in 1980. Boasting a stunning performance from Peter Vaughan as Billy Fox and supporting performances from a stellar cast including Elizabeth Spriggs, Bernard Hill, a young Ray Winstone, Karl Howman, Larry Lamb and Eamon Boland.
UK / ITV – Thames – Euston / 13×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 March – 2 June 1980
Writer: Trevor Preston / Music: George Fenton / Lyrics: Trevor Preston / Script executive: Linda Agran / Executive Producer: Verity Lambert / Producer: Graham Benson / Director: Jim Goddard
PETER VAUGHAN as Billy Fox
ELIZABETH SPRIGGS as Connie Fox
RAY WINSTONE as Kenny Fox
BERNARD HILL as Vin Fox
LARRY LAMB as Joey Fox
DERRICK O’CONNOR as Ray Fox
EAMON BOLAND as Phil Fox
ROSEMARY MARTIN as Renie Fox