TV UK TV

Lotus Eaters, The (BBC-1 1972-1973, Ian Hendry, Wanda Wentham)

Lotus Eaters

Drama series The Lotus Eaters, created by the fabulous Michael J. Bird, took us to the island of Crete where ex-pat English couple Erik and Ann Shepherd ran a bar in the resort of Aghios Nikolas. The series main focus is not just on recovering alcoholic Erik and Ann but the many people who pass through the Shepherd’s place. Regulars propping up the bar include wily old major Nestor Turton and American brother and sister Philip and Leigh Mervish.

In typical Michael J. Bird fashion as the series progresses more and more layers are peeled back on the Shepherd’s life not least their spy past.

Very popular at the time and still well remembered today. The Lotus Eaters was Bird’s breakthrough series – pretty much all of his later work, The Aphrodite Inheritance for example, would carry echoes of this and more often than not take us to somewhere in Greece. Ian Hendry and Wanda Ventham are terrific in the leads particularly in season two where revelations abound and both seem to be heading for a breakdown.

Lotus Eaters

production details
UK / BBC One / 15×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 April 1972 – 12 August 1973

Creator: Michael J. Bird / Associate Producer: Michael Glynn / Producer: Anthony Read

cast
Ian Hendry as Erik Shepherd
Wanda Ventham as Ann Shepherd
Maurice Denham as Nestor Turton
Thorley Walters as Major Woolley
Sylvia Coleridge as Mrs Woolley
Stefan Gryff as Captain Krasakis
Julia Goodman as Kirsten McLuhan

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 23 April – 18 June 1972
1. COLD WIND FROM THE NORTH (23 Apr 1972)
2. THE PRESENT MRS CLIVE (30 Apr 1972)
3. AND HERA HAD A SISTER (7 May 1972)
4. A TOUCH OF HOME (14 May 1972)
5. APHRODITE (21 May 1972)
6. A TIGER IN BRISTOL STREET (28 May 1972)
7. THE FASCINATING COUPLE (4 Jun 1972)
8. YOU MIGHT GET HURT, JOCASTA (11 Jun 1972)
9. THE CLIMBING WAVE (18 Jun 1972)

SEASON TWO 8 July – 12 August 1973
1. THERE AND BACK BY CANDLELIGHT (8 Jul 1973)
2. A KIND OF TREASON (15 Jul 1973)
3. A VERY LONG SPOON (22 Jul 1973)
4. BESIDE A CROOKED STILE (29 Jul 1973)
5. THE WELL DIGGERS (5 Aug 1973)
6. AND IF YOU HAVE TIME, LORD (12 Aug 1973)