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Good Life, The (BBC-1 1974-1978, Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal)

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Much loved sitcom The Good Life saw Tom Good and his wife Barbara tire of the rat race and decide to go self sufficient in the middle of Surbiton, much to the initial distress of their next door neighbours Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

The first episode Plough Your Own Furrow sets up the premise nicely with Tom Good celebrating his 40th birthday and realising that there has to be more to life than getting up and going off to do a job you don’t really like (he’s a graphic designer making the little toys you used to find in cereal packets before they started giving away computer games), he then talks his wife Barbara into his idea of living a completely self sufficient lifestyle – but with the twist of staying put right where they are in the middle of Surbiton. Before you know it they have dug up their front and back garden, planted vegetables and got themselves a goat called Geraldine.

All of this is contrasted with the their middle (would be upper) class neighbours Jerry and Margo Leadbeatter. Margo and Jerry think Tom and Barbara are mad of course but they do genuinely like and care about their neighbours and it’s the interaction of the four of them that makes the show so successful. The rest of the episodes deal with the Good’s getting to grips with their new lifestyle and with Tom using his skills to build a generator (The Thing in the Cellar) that works on the waste produced by their pigs.

The 45 minute special was a Royal Performance in which the Queen was a member of the audience. In the US the show is known as Good Neighbors because of a show already being titled The Good Life over there.

Felicity Kendal, Richard Briers The Good Life

production details
UK / BBC One / 29×30 minute episodes 1×45 minute episodes / Broadcast 4 April 1974 – 10 June 1978 4 Seasons + 2 Specials

Writers: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey / Music: Burt Rhodes / Titles: Oliver Rhodes / Producer: John Howard Davies

cast
RICHARD BRIERS as Tom Good
FELICITY KENDAL as Barbara Good
PENELOPE KEITH as Margo Leadbetter
PAUL EDDINGTON as Jerry Leadbetter

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 4 April – 16 May 1975
1. PLOUGH YOUR OWN FURROW
2. SAY LITTLE HEN…
3. THE WEAKER SEX
4. PIG’S LIB
5. THE THING IN THE CELLAR
6. THE PAGAN RITE
7. BACKS TO THE WALL

the good life

SEASON TWO 5 Dec 1975 – 23 January 1976
1. JUST MY BILL
2. THE GURU OF SURBITON
3. MR FIX-IT
4. THE DAY PEACE BROKE OUT
5. MUTINY
6. HOME SWEET HOME
7. GONE TO POT?

SEASON THREE 10 September – 22 October 1976
1. THE EARLY BIRDS
2. THE HAPPY EVENT
3. A TUG OF THE FORELOCK
4. I TALK TO THE TREES
5. THE WIND-BREAK WAR
6. WHOSE FLEAS ARE THESE?
7. THE LAST POSH FROCK

SEASON FOUR 10 April – 22 May 1977
1. AWAY FROM IT ALL
2. THE GREEN DOOR
3. OUR SPEAKER TODAY…
4. SUIT YOURSELF
5. SWEET AND SOUR CHARITY
6. ANNIVERSARY

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 26 December 1977
SILLY BUT IT’S FUN

A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE OF THE GOOD LIFE 10 June 1978
WHEN I’M SIXTY 65 (This was a Royal Performance with the Queen in the audience and a special introduction from Brian Jones as well as commentary from Brian Johnston.

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Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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