Pretty much created for the lovely Dame Thora Hird by Dick Sharples, who had had a hand in Thora’s previous hit sitcom In Loving Memory, Hallelujah is a mid 1980’s situation comedy that followed the misadventures of Salvation Army Captain Emily Ridley. When the series opens aging, Emily is on the verge of being pensioned off by the sally ann top brass but instead is sent to work her magic on the sinful folk of the Yorkshire town of Brigthorpe. Emily is thrilled at what she sees as a new opportunity to flush out the town’s sinners. She takes with her, Alice Meredith (Patsy Rowlands) her ever faithful niece.
Emily definitely has her heart in the right place but her good intentions always come unstuck as she tangles with Brigthorpe’s working class folk. Dame Thora was a devout Christian and was also heavily affiliated with the real life Salvation Army being a guest speaker for them on many occasions, in later years she was also the long time host of the BBC’s Sunday Worship show and it is clear she is very much in her element here. David Daker, best known for playing Harry Crawford in Boon, pops up as main support in the second batch of episodes playing the put upon Brother Benjamin.
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 15×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 29 April 1983 – 21 December 1984
Writer: Dick Sharples / Title Music: The James Shepherd Versatile Brass / Producer: Ronnie Baxter
THORA HIRD as Emily Ridley
PATSY ROWLANDS as Alice Meredith
DAVID DAKER as Brother Benjamin (Season 2)