TV UK TV

We’ll Meet Again (ITV 1982, Susannah York, Ronald Hines)

well-meet-again-yanks

Period drama series We’ll Meet Again was set during World War II and followed the interaction between members of the US Eighth Air Force 525th Bomb Group air crew and the locals of the small Suffolk town of Market Wetherby, there is much initial distrust amongst the towns older inhabitants and much delight amongst the younger female ones.

It’s 1943 when the drama opens and some 2000 Americans have descended on the town. Key characters amongst the townsfolk included the well too do Dr Helen Dereham and her wheelchair bound husband, local shop keeper Albert Mundy (who detests the Yanks and everything they stand for) and pub landlord Jack Blair (and his two grown up daughters), whilst amongst the Yanks major players include Major Jim Kiley, wideboy Mario and Master Sergeant Chuck Ericson, who falls heavily for Jack Blair’s eldest daughter Vi.

We’ll Meet Again is a very strong drama series, and it is the personal aspect of the war rather than the battles that is at the heart of the series. Although of course the war is ever present, not everyone makes it through to the end of the series alive and Helen Dereham’s husband Ronald is injured whilst overseas and returns in a wheelchair (setting up a nice Lady Chatterley’s Husband type subplot when Helen falls for Major Kiley).

There is lots of romance and shenanigans going on and much is made of the privations of war, ie rationing, the black market etc. The show came in for some criticism on its original broadcast, especially over the limited use of the B-17 bomber which represented the might of the American flying power. Most of the time it was model shots and footage from 1940’s documentary film The Memphis Belle, although the crew did have the use of one real B-17 (which was painted in the wrong colours!)

Filmed in Lenham and West Malling (as well as in the studio).

We'll Meet Again

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×90 minute episode 12×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 19 February – 14 May 1982

Creator and Script Editor: David Butler / Music: Denis King / Musical Directors: Denis King, Max Harris / Technical Consultant: Col. D.W. Brewer U.S.A.F. (Retd) / Flying Sequences: The Sally B, B17 Ltd / Costumes: Sue Thomson, Frances Haggett / Producer: Tony Wharmby

cast
SUSANNAH YORK as Helen Dereham
RONALD HINES as Ronald Dereham
MICHAEL J. SHANNON as Major Jim Kiley
RAY SMITH as Albert Mundy
PATRICK O’CONNELL as Jack Blair
JUNE BARRY as Vera Mundy
JORIS STUYCK as M/Sgt Chuck Ericson
LISE ANN McLAUGHLIN as Patricia Dereham
PATRICK PEARSON as Peter Mundy
NATALIE OGLE as Letty Mundy
LYNNE PEARSON as Rosie Blair
KATHRYN POGSON as Vi Blair
ED DEVEREAUX as Colonel Rufus Krasnowici
GAVIN O’HERLIHY as Capt Red Burwash
JEFF HARDING as Lt Harvey Wallis
DAVID BAXT as Sgt Mario Bottone
JAMES SAXON as Sgt Elmer Jones
TIMOTHY STETSON as Sgt Danny Coogan
RICHARD LE PARMENTIER as Capt Lester Carson
CHRISTOPHER MALCOLM as M/Sgt Mac McGraw
LOU HIRSCH as Sgt Hymie Stutz

ONE SEASON
13 Episodes /1x90m-e 12x60m-e / 1982 19 February – 14 May
1. ALL DAY AND EVERY DAY
WRITER: David Crane
The residents of the small Suffolk town of Market Wetherby await the arrival of a group of Yanks, the Eighth Air Force 525th Bomb Group. The older residents are wary but the young girls of the town can’t wait to get to know the airmen better.
With:- SUSAN ENGEL as Phyllis Lambourn / RICHARD LE PARMINTER as Captain Lester Carson / STUART MILLIGAN as Pilot / MAX HARVEY as Ist Lt / ALAN WESTLAKE as Sgt Santorini / ROBERT GARY as 1st Sgt / NIGEL McLAUCHLAN / MICHAEL WATKINS as 3rd Sgt
DIRECTOR: Tony Wharmby

2. HANDS ACROSS THE SEA
WRITER: David Butler
Danny is in hospital in critical condition. Major Kiley and local bigwig Helen Dereham cross swords when Letty accuses one of the G.I.’s of assault.
With:- GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister Dickson / ALISON ELLIOTT as Nurse Ann Weston / MELANIE HUGHES as Mary / JOHN BLEASDALE as Charlie / GRAHAM CULL as Corporal / MICHAEL TURNER as Police Sergeant Wilson / NIGEL McLAUGHLAN as M.P. Sergeant / STURAT MILLIGAN as Hardwick R/T Voice / HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / SAM DORAN as William Bilton
DIRECTOR: Christopher Hodson

3. THE MILK RUN
WRITER: David Butler
Letty tells her brother she is pregnant but tragedy awaits her when her G.I. boyfriend Harvey is killed whilst on a mission.
With:- JULIA McCARTHY as Ruby Bilton / HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / SAM DORAN as William Bilton / STUART WILSON as Sid Davis / PAM ST CLEMENT as Elsie / RICHARD LE PARMINTER as Captain Lester Carson

4. ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK
WRITER: David Butler
Major Kiley is ordered to get into the good books of Helen Dereham and soon finds himself charming the locals at a dinner party. Mario is getting in deep with Sid the Spiv and M/Sgt Mac MacGraw is getting friendly with the married Sally Bilton. Meanwhile relations between the ‘yanks’ and the English soldiers are getting increasingly fractious.
With:- STUART WILSON as Sid Davis / SUSAN ENGEL as Phyllis Lambourn / JULIA McCARTHY as Ruby Bilton / HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / JOHN BLEASDALE as Charlie / GRAHAM CULL as Corporal / PETER HOWELL as Colonel Riggs-Danby / HILARY WONTNER as Sir Arthur Maylie / ROGER OSTIME as Mr Powell / PHILLADA SEWELL as Mrs Troughton
DIRECTOR: Tony Wharmby

5. THE BIG ONE
WRITER: David Butler
Even with her husband home and a wheelchair bound cripple following a direct hit on his tank, Helen Dereham is finding it difficult to disguise her feelings for Major Kiley. Sally’s husband has been apparently killed and Mac offers her his shoulder to cry on. Meanwhile at an Independance Day dance the American and English soldiers kiss and make up.
With:- STUART WILSON as Sid Davis / JULIA McCARTHY as Ruby Bilton / HOLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / SAM DORAN as William Bilton / RICHARD LE PARMINTER as Captain Lester Carson / JOHN BLEASDALE as Charlie / GRAHAM CULL as Corporal / GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister Dickson / KAREN DE BEAUFORT as Mario’s Partner
DIRECTOR: John Reardon

6. UP THE SMOKE
WRITER: David Crane
The Americans have been suffering heavy losses but some of the boys take a trip to London to recuperate. Kiley and Helen take the final step towards an affair and Sid is in deep trouble.
With:- STUART WILSON as Sid Davis / JILL BAKER as Mavis / CHRISTINA JONES as Dolly / MARTIN FRIEND as Hotel Barman / GREG POWELL as 1st Seaman / GRAEME CROWTHER as 2nd Seaman / TIP as 3rd Seaman
DIRECTOR: Peter Cregeen

7. FIGHTING MEN
WRITER: David Crane
Hymie and Elmer have a major falling out over Rosie the pub landlords daughter and preparations are getting underway for Chuck and Vi’s wedding. Letty is working hard to keep her pregnancy secret from her father and Sally gets a shock when her apparently dead husband turns up.
With:- STUART WILSON as Sid Davis / DAVID SADGROVE as Stan Bilton / SAM DORAN as William Bilton / MADELEINE CHRISTIE as Nanny / LEON EAGLES as Detective Sergeant Roberts
DIRECTOR: Christopher Hodson

We'll Meet Again

8. A WING AND A PRAYER
WRITER: John Gorrie
Vi and Chuck get married but their happiness is short lived when on Chuck’s next mission his plane is hit, Chuck is forced to bail out over Germany and Mario is killed.
With:- DAVID SADGROVE as Stan Bilton / LEON EAGLES as Detective Sergeant Roberts / DENNIS EDWARDS as Vicar / ROBERT SWALES as M.P. / DIKRAN TULAINE as Sergeant / MAC MACDONALD as Flight Controller
DIRECTOR: Tony Wharmby

9. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW
WRITER: John Gorrie
Pat Dereham tells her father that her mother is having an affair with Major Kiley. Stan Bilton has walked out on Sally but Mac is unsure whether to restart their affair.
With:- HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / MADELEINE CHRISTIE as Nanny / GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister / ROBERT GRAY as American Sergeant / IAN TYLER as Sergeant Billy Colvero
DIRECTOR: Christopher Hodson

10. OLD ENOUGH TO FIGHT
WRITER: John Gorrie
Peter Mundy will soon be old enough to join up but his father would sooner be the one to go. Elmer bets new boy Billy that he won’t ‘make it’ with Rosie. Major Kiley has agreed with Ronald Dereham that he won’t see Helen again.
With:- MADELEINE CHRISTIE as Nanny / GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister Dickson / DEBORAH MacLAREN as Nurse Tully / DANIEL WEBB as Young Recruit / NEVILLE BARBER as Recruiting Official / ROBERT GRAY as American Sergeant / IAN TYLER as Sgt Billy Colvero
DIRECTOR: Tony Wharmby

11. ONE DAY AT A TIME
WRITER: John Gorrie
Vi thinks she may be pregnant, Sgt Billy Colvero may have to be sent home to America after the authorities discover he is only sixteen but Elmer arranges to sneak Rosie into the base for one last meeting. Meanwhile Peter Mundy joins up.
With:- JULIA McCARTHY as Ruby Bilton / HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / SAM DORAN as William Bilton / IAN TYLER as Sgt Billy Colvero / RICHARD LE PARMINTER as Captain Lester Carson / MICHAEL JOHN PALLIOTTI as Lt Walter Leroy / GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister Dickson / CHRISTOPHER HOLMES as Waist Gunner
DIRECTOR: Christopher Hodson

12. EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
WRITER: David Butler
After taking part in a mission Jim Kiley has been shot and his life hangs in the balance. Stan Bilton has been killed on active service and his mother blames Mac and Sally. Meanwhile Elmer and Hymie get Peter drunk on a night out.
With:- JULIA McCARTHY as Ruby Bilton / HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / MADELEINE CHRISTIE as Nanny / GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister Dickson / DEBORAH MacLAREN as Nurse Tully / RICHARD LE PARMINTER as Captain Lester Carson / MICHAEL JOHN PALIOTTI as Lt Walter Leroy / KEVIN McNALLY as Pfc John Wyatt
DIRECTOR: Tony Wharmby

13. THE END OF THE BEGINNING
WRITER: David Butler
Kiley tells Helen that after the war is over he wants to marry her; Peter officially joins the army after turning eighteen; Stan Bilton’s mother ‘kidnaps’ Sally’s children Betty and William but Mac comes to the rescue. Letty goes into premature labour following an argument with her mother while after a gap of two months Chuck Ericson turns up alive and well.
With:- JULIA McCARTHY as Ruby Bilton / HOLLY WATSON as Betty Bilton / SAM DORAN as William Bilton / JOHN BLEASDALE as Charlie / MADELEINE CHRISTIE as Nanny / GILLIAN PHELPS as Sister Dickson / WALTER SPARROW as Bus Driver / KEVIN McNALLY as Pfc John Wyatt
DIRECTOR: Tony Wharmby