The UK TV Drama Guide
All dramas starting with the letter A. This is part two and takes you from The Affair to All Creatures Great and Small.
Head back to main uk tv drama guide page.
BBC1 / 1x90m-e / 1995
Writers: Pablo Fendves, Bryan Goluboff / Producers:David M. Thompson, John Smithson / Director: Paul Seed
Period drama. During World War II, a young married English woman has an affair with a black G.I.
With:- KERRY FOX as Maggie / COURTNAY B. VANCE as Travis / CIARAN HINDS as Edward Leyland / BEATIE EDNEY as Esther / ANNA CROPPER as Mrs Leyland / WILLIAM RUSSELL as Dr Hastings
AN AFFAIR IN MIND
BBC / 1x90m-e / 1988
Writer: Michael Baker / Novel:Ruth Rendell / Producer: Jacky Stoller
Thriller. A writer embroiled in a passionate affair with a married woman finds himself caught in a plot to murder her husband.
With:- AMANDA DONAHOE / STEPHEN DILLON / RICHARD HAMMATT / ANNE LAMBTON
A FOR ANDROMEDA
BBC / 7x45m-e / 1961 3 Oct – 14 Nov
Writer: Fred Hoyle, John Eliot / Design: Norman James / Producer: Michael Hayes, Norman Jones
Scifi drama serial. In 1970 in the Yorkshire Dales a group of scientists receive radio signals from space, once decoded these give them the ability to build a super computer. The computer demonstrates it’s power by creating a girl called Andromeda, one of the scientists decides the computer must be destroyed.
‘A For Andromeda’ (1961-62), is a half-forgotten gem from the BBC. This groundbreaking seven part science fiction serial would have become an all time classic and popular video series had the BBC not committed a criminal act of folly and wiped the tapes.
In the early sixties the BBC made a habit of wiping tapes in order to record over them, and in doing so did not consider the possibility that some of the shows they were wiping might have become classics that could have been enjoyed by future generations.
Surprisingly, even in the early sixties there were some viewers who had audio-visual recording equipment and some parts of episodes do exist and are occasionally seen at science fiction or television conventions however when shown these clips usually leave audiences cold because they are shown out of context.
‘A For Andromeda’ was a serial that had to be followed to be fully appreciated. The serial was co-written by acclaimed astronomer Fred Hoyle and veteran writer John Elliot. Hoyle’s scientific knowledge and Elliot’s writing skills combined beautifully to produce a character driven science fiction story that was both believable and exciting. The tragedy of the BBC’s wiping of the tapes is magnified by the fact that ‘A For Andromeda’ was ahead of it’s time and it’s theme of the discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence and its possible consequences is highly topical today. There is no doubt that had the BBC not have wiped the tapes ‘A For Andromeda’ would today be a much repeated and talked about science fiction serial. In 1962 a 6x45m-e sequel appeared called The Andromeda Breakthrough which saw scientist John Fleming forced on the run with Andromeda and having to join forces with Madeleine Dawney when a toxic enzyme threatens to destroy the Earth. In the sequel Susan Hampshire played the role of Andromeda.
With:- PETER HALLIDAY as John Fleming / ESMOND KNIGHT as Prof Reinhart / MARY MORRIS as Madeleine Dawnay / GEOFFREY LEWIS as Dr Geers / JULIE CHRISTIE as Christine/Andromeda / FRANK WINDSOR as Dennis Bridger / PETER DUCROW as Dr Hunter / PATRICIA KNEALE as Judy Adamson
Gross-Krasne / 39x30m-e / 1957
Producer: Michael Sadler
Action adventure series. The cases of policeman Paul Derek on patrol in East Africa.
With:- JOHN BENTLEY as Paul Derek
THE AFTER DINNER JOKE
BBC1 (Play for Today) / 1x75m-e / 1978
Writer: Caryl Churchill / Director: Colin Bucksey
Comedy drama. “Isn’t that a bit political?” Very on the money glimpse into the world of charity, Selby a secretary begins working for the charity division of a company and is determined to “do good” however she soon finds that charitable work has little to do with charity. Filmed in quite scattergun style at times the drama proves itself to be remarkably prescient.
With:- RICHARD VERNON / PAULA WILCOX as Selby / CLIVE MERRISON
ITV1 / 12x60m / started 24 September 2005 – 2006
Writer: Stephen Volk / Director: Maurice Phillips / Producer: Murray Ferguson
Alison Munday is a clairvoyant who sees and hears the dead and Robert Bridge is a psychology lecturer who is sceptical of her abilities and is writing a book about her with her co-operation. The episodes generally involve the solving of some murder-crime with the dead victim trying to get justice by giving Alison clues to their killer.
With:- LESLEY SHARP as Alison Munday / AMDREW LINCOLN as Robert Bridge
AFTER MISS JULIE
BBC2(Performance) / 1x80m-e / 1995
Writer/Director:Patrick Marber / Play:August Strindberg /
Period drama. In 1945 Miss Julie the upper class daughter of a Labour MP sets out to seduce her father’s chauffeur John.
With:- GERALDINE SOMERVILLE as Miss Julie / PHIL DANIELS as John / KATHY BURKE as Christine
LWT ‘By Alan Bennett – Six Plays’ / 1x / 3 February 1979
Writer: Alan Bennett / Director: Stephen Frears
Drama. An oriental hotel waiter with no English is searching for a woman called Iris.
With:- HENRY MAN as Lee / ALAN BENNETT / PETE POSTLETHWAITE / RICHARD GRIFFITHS / ANNA MASSEY / THORA HIRD
THE AFTERNOON PLAY
BBC1 / 15x60m,50m / 2003-2005 / 2:00pm
A series of stand-alone plays for a daytime audience featuring a number of well-known names. The running times varied. See episode guide here for full details:-
(1st series/2003) 1) Turkish Delight; 2) Coming Up For Air; 3) The Real Arnie Griffin; 4) Heroes and Villains; 5) Girls’ Weekend.
(2nd series/2004) – 6) Venus and Mars; 7) Sons, Daughters and Lovers; 8) Drive; 9) Viva Las Blackpool!; 10) Glasgow Dreams.
(3rd series/2005) – 11) The Hitch; 12) The Trouble With George; 13) The Good Citizen; 14)Reverse Psychology; 15) The Singing Cactus.
(4th Series/2006) – 16) Tea With Betty; 17) The Last Will and Testament of Billy Two Sheds; 18) Your Mother Should Know; 19) Are You Jim’s Wife?; 20) Molly
Actors appearing included Denise Welch, Jeremy Sheffield, June Whitfield, Glynis Barber, Robson Green, Tina Hobley, Jamie Theakston, Michael French and Caroline Langrishe.
BBC2 / 1x85m-e / 25 January 1987
Writer: Simon Gray; Director: Christopher Morahan; Producer: Kenneth Trodd
James is drawn into a tangle of misunderstanding, intrigue and murder following the rediscovery of Penny, his childhood sweetheart.
With: BOB PECK as James / MIRANDA RICHARDSON as Penny / BARRY FOSTER as Derek / GARY WALDHORN as Boris / MARY MILLER as Deidre Pilkington
AFTER THE BOOM WAS OVER
ATV (‘The Sound of Laughter’) / 1x30m-e / 1977 25 Aug – Thurs 7.00pm
Writer: Connor Fraser / Producer/Director:Les Chatfield
Comedy. The tribulations of a young couple attempting to buy a house.
With:-TIM WYLTON as Jack Tatham / GABRIELLE LLOYD as Sally Ashcroft / MARTIN C. THURLEY as Mr Airedale / JONATHAN PRYCE as Mr Ambrose
AFTER THE WAR
Granada / 8 episode of variable length / 1989
Writer: Frederic Raphael / Producer: Michael Cox / Design: Chris Wilkinson, Stephen Fineren
Period drama series.
With:- Vivienne Burgess as Clarissa Jordan / Anton Rodgers as Samuel Jordan / Robert Reynolds as Joe Hirsch / Susannah York as Irene Jameson / Denis Quilley as Ned Corman / Adrian Lukis as Michael Jordan / Michael Siberry as David Lucas / Henry Goodman as Mr Hirsch
AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS SPECIALS
ITV1 / x60m / 2001 – continuing
A series of specials reminiscing mainly on well known television series or institutions and reuniting and catching up with surviving cast members.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (28 Mar 2001)
THE WALTONS – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (21 July 2002)
AFTER UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS (4 August 2002)
THE BROTHERS – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (11 August 2002)
DALLAS – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (18 August 2002)
MISS WORLD – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (1 September 2002)
GREASE: AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (19 November 2002). The cast of the film musical are reunited.
Z CARS – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (23 December 2002)
STAR TREK – AFTER THEY WERE FAMOUS (19 July 2003) – meeting up with the stars of the original 1960s series – it also featured some recently discovered behind-the-scenes colour home-movie footage shot during the making of the series by a regular extra.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
BBC1 / 5x30m-e / 1994
Producer: Joanne Reay
Anthology series of five fact based dramas recounting stories which are almost too good to be true.
AGATHA CHRISTIE – A LIFE IN PICTURES
BBC2 / 1x90m / 22 September 2004
Writer/Director: Richard Curson-Smith / Producer: Colette Flight
The story of Agatha Christie’s early life – told in flashbacks from two points – that of the older Agatha at a 1960s press call celebrating 10 years of The Mousetrap play, and that of the younger Agatha struggling to regain her memory with a psychiatrist following an accident which resulted in her famous disappearance for a couple of weeks.
With:- OLIVIA WILLIAMS as Agatha Christie / ANNA MASSEY as Older Agatha / RAYMOND COULTHARD as Archie Christie / BERTIE CARVEL as Max Mallowan / STEPHEN BOXER as Psychiatrist / MARK GATISS as Kenyon
THE AGATHA CHRISTIE HOUR
Thames / 10x60m-e / 1982
Executive Producer: John Frankau / Producer: Pat Sandys
Period crime drama anthology series looking at some of Agatha Christie’s less well known short stories. Writers included William Corlett.
AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE
ITV1 / 8x120m / 12 December 2004-2006
A fresh series of adaptations of Agatha Christie’s detection novels starring Geraldine McEwan as the elderly lady who cannot resist getting involved. Each episode featured a guest cast of well known actors Each episode featured a guest cast of well known actors including the likes of Joanna Lumley, Amanda Holden, Jamie Theakston.
With:- GERALDINE McEWAN as Miss Jane Marple
AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT: See Poirot
AN AGE OF KINGS
BBC / 15x60m-e / 1960 28 Apr – 17 Nov
Writer: William Shakespere / Music: Sir Arthur Bliss / Producer: Peter Dews
Five interlocking Shakespere plays Richard II, Henry’s IV, V, and VI and Richard III, played in one cycle to look at 86 years of British history.
With:- PAUL DANEMAN / ROBERT HARDY / SEAN CONNERY / EILEEN ATKINS / DAVID WILLIAMS
AHEAD OF THE CLASS
ITV1 Network / 1x120m / 30 January 2005
Writer: Robert Jones / Director: Adrian Shergold / Producer: Elli Jason
Drama based on real events. In 1995 Philip Lawrence the headmaster of St George’s school in London had been murdered. In 2000 as a last-ditch attempt to save the unruly school from closure Lady Marie Stubbs is brought in and manages to totally transform the pupil’s behaviour and character of the school.
With:- JULIE WALTERS as Marie Stubbs / REECE DINSDALE as Sean Devlin / TONY SLATTERY as Stuart Stiles / HANNAH YELLAND as Tracey O’Leary / N’DEAYE BA as Trudy Gower
UK / BBC / 1x90m-e /1991
Writer: Guy Hibbert / Producer: Michael Wearing / Director: Pedr James
Drama. A millionaire rock promoter with problems in his private life begins an intense love affair with the wife of a vicar.
With:- DONALD SUMPTER as Frank / JULIET STEVENSON as Lucy / SIMON CHANDLER as Paul / CHRISTINE ROSE as Gemma / JEREMY CLYDE as Gerry / PHYLLIDA SEWELL as Peggy
Anglia / 3x50m-e / 1997
Period comedy drama serial. During World War II two singers in a dance band cross swords with gangsters.
With:- ROBSON GREEN / JEROME FLYNN as Eddie / JULIA SAWALHA as Dolly Nightingale / WARREN MITCHELL as Ray Smiles / JANE LAPOTAIRE / JIM CARTER / JAMES COSMO
BBC / 1x80m-e / 1987
Writer: Malcolm McKay / Director:David Attwood
Drama. A USAF bomber crew are stationed in an underground hanger in England, boredom soon sets in and events begin to get out of control.
With:- ANTON LESSER / CLIVE MANTLE / CATHERINE RUSSELL / DAVID LANSBURY / NORMAN BEATON
Yorkshire / 9x50m-e / 1982
Creator:Wilfred Greatorex / Music:Tony Hatch / Producer:Michael Ferguson / Executive Producer: David Cunliffe / Aviation Advisor:Dick Millward
Period drama series. With the second world war at an end demobbed pilot Jack Ruskin sets about trying to start his own airline.
With:- ROY MARSDEN as Jack Ruskin / RICHARD HEFFER as Peter Witney / SEAN SCANLAN as McEvoy / POLLY HEMINGWAY as Jeanie Shaw / TERENCE RIGBY as Ernie Cade
A IS FOR ACID
ITV1 / 1x120m / 9 September 2002 / 9:00pm
Writer: Glenn Chandler / Director: Harry Bradbeer / Producer: Alan Dossor
1940s drama based on the true story of one of Britain’s most notorious murderous, John George Haigh, who charmed his victims before killing them and disposing of their bodies in baths of acid.
With:- MARTIN CLUNES as John George Haigh / KEELEY HAWES as Gillian Rogers / RICHARD HOPE as Archie Henderson / CELIA IMRIE as Rose Henderson / JOHN FLANAGAN as Arnold Burlin / BARBARA MARTEN as Emily Haigh
ITV Network / 1x90m-e / 2000 (Monday 25 December 6.15pm)
Writer: Simon Nye / Producer: Lisa Clark / Director: Geoff Posner
Comedy. ITV’s now traditional yearly from the stalls pantomime, this time telling of Aladdin’s adventures with the genie and the magic lamp and his love for a princess.
With:- ED BYRNE as Aladdin / PATSY KENSIT as Princess / JOHN SAVIDENT as Widow Twankey / GRIFF RHYS JONES as Emperor / MARTIN CLUNES as Abanazer / RALF LITTLE as Wishee Washee / PAUL MERTON as Spirit of the Ring / JULIAN CLARY as Genie of the Lamp / BILLY MURRAY as Police Chief / LISA RILEY as Princess’s hand maiden / MEERA SYAL / TRISHA GODDARD / LESLIE PHILLIPS / S CLUB 7
ALAN BLEASDALE PRESENTS
Channel 4 / 4x120m-e / 1994
Producer: Alan Bleasedale
Four writers new to TV drama are given a prestigeous treatment by channel 4 and Bleasdale. The plays were 1. SELF CATERING, 2. REQUIEM APACHE, 3. BLOOD ON THE DOLE, 4. PLEASURE
THE ALAN CLARK DIARIES
BBC2 / 6x30m / started 17 March 2004 (previously shown on BBC4)
Dramatist and Director: Jon Jones / Producer: Kate Lewis
The dramatised memoirs of MP Alan Clarke as he works as a government minister during the 1980s.
With:- JOHN HURT as Alan Clark / JENNY AGUTTER as Jane Clark / JULIA DAVIS as Jenny Easterbrook
BBC / 1x100m-e / 1951 12 Aug
Writers: Edward Sammis, Guy Morgan / Producer: Stephen Harrison
Wartime drama. During the second world war a group of allied P.O.W.s use a dummy as a stand in during roll calls as cover for their escape attempts.
With:- BILL TRAVERS / MICHAEL GOUGH / FERDY MAYNE
Granada / 100x30m-e / 1985-86
Executive Producer: Bill Podmore
Drama series. The problems of a group of stall holders in a converted Manchester Market complex. This show was planned to be a long running soap to rival Coronation Street but never really took hold of the ratings.
With:- DAVID HARGREAVES as Derek Owen / JOHN MICHIE as Tony Fraser / NOREEN KERSHAW as Lynne Harrison / JOHNATHON BARLOW as Roy Harrison / HELEN SHAPIRO as Viv Harker / ANTHONY BOOTH as Ted Pilkington / BERNARD SPEAR as Morris Ransome / CAROL KAYE as Miriam Ransome / BURT CAESAR as Phil Smith / PAUL BHATTACHARJEE as Jaz Sharma / DEV SAGOO as Raju Sharma / PHILIP TAN as Lam Quoc Hoa / PIK-SEN LIM as Ly Nhu Chan
Channel 5 / 2x90m-e / 1999 / 15- 16 Nov Mon & Tues 9.00pm
Writer: Laura Lamson / Novel: Peter James / Producer: Jill Green / Director: Peter Smith
Thriller serial. American Connor Molloy poses as a patents lawyer to investigate the pharmaceutical company Bentik-Lange who he believes was responisble for the death of his father. Molloy teams up with Julia, daughter of scientist Dr Richard Bannerman, to get at the truth.
With:- EDWARD HARDWICKE as Dr Richard Bannerman / RUTH GEMMELL as Julia Bannerman / GRANT SHOW as Connor Molloy / ANEIRIN HUGHES as Sam Wentworth / KEN DRURY as Tony Hoggin
BBC ‘Love Story’ / 4x30m-e / 1982
Writer: Andrea Newman
Romantic drama serial. A female journalist goes to stay with her best friend and begins an affair with her husband.
With:- ISLA BLAIR as Alexa / CHRISTOPHER BLAKE / JOANNA DAVID
ITV1 / 2x90m / 25-26 August 2003
Writer: Paul Abbott / Director: David Richards / Producer: Judith Hackett
Thriller. After working as a waitress at an anniversary party, Marcey returns late at night to collect her forgotten handbag and witnesses the husband, Greg, standing over the body of a man. Greg swears the man died accidentally but when it subsequently emerges that the man was having an affair with Greg’s wife which Greg knew nothing about he realises it seems like he has a strong motive for murder and Marcey colludes with him to cover up his involvement. With:- MICHAEL KITCHEN as Greg / SOPHIE OKONEDO as Marcey / PHYLLIS LOGAN as Linda / HILARY MACLEAN as Steph / ADAM KOTZ as Danny / SADIE SHIMMIN as Wendy / TOM KNIGHT as Martin / JEROME WILLS as Stan
BBC / 1x75m-e / 1965 black and white
Writer: Dennis Potter / Director:Gareth Davies
Period drama. The story of how the Reverend Hodgson aka Lewis Carroll came to write Alice in Wonderland.
With:- GEORGE BAKER as Hodgson / ROSALIE CRUTCHLEY / DAVID LANGTON / DEBBIE WATLING
ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
ATV ‘Six of the Best’ / 1x30m-e / 1965 11 Aug – Wed 9.10pm / bw
Writer: Ray Cooney / Producer: Alan Tarrant / Director: Albert Locke
Comedy. Piano teacher Olive Taplow suffers unwanted attentions when she moves into a flat that was formerly occupied by a ‘lady of the night’.
With:- DORA BRYAN as Olive Taplow / JOHN ALDERTON as Alf / CHARLES CARSON as Pop / JOHN COLLIN as Eddie
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
There have been many versions of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy.
1936: BBC D:George More O’Ferrall 1x25m-e
1946: BBC D:George More O’Ferrall 1x40m-e With:-VIVIEN PICKLES as Alice / Erik Chitty / Gwyneth Lewis
1960: BBC 1x70m-e as The Adventures of Alice Writer/Producer: Charles Le Faux / With:- GILLIAN FERGUSON as Alice /
1966: BBC Director: Johnathon Miller 1x80m-e
With:-ANNE-MARIE MALIK as Alice / PETER COOK as The Mad Hatter / WILFRED LAWSON as Dormouse / MICHAEL GOUGH as The March Hare / also with John Gielgud, John Bird, Alan Bennett, Peter Sellers, Michael Redgrave and an uncredited Eric Idle.
1973: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Thames / Producer: Daphne Shadwell 12x15m-e / With:- CAROL HOLLANDS as Alice
1973: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS BBC2 / 1x75m-e 25 December 9.15pm Writer/ Director: James McTaggart / Music:Herbert Chappell / Costume: Mary Woods / Design: Eileen Diss / Producer: Rosemary Hill / With:- SARAH SUTTON as Alice / Geoffrey Bayldon as The White Knight / Brenda Bruce as The White Queen / Freddie Jones as Humpty Dumpty / Richard Pearson as The White King / Judy Parfitt as The Red Queen / Stanley Lebor as Goat&Carpenter / Jeffrey Segal as Man in White Paper / Jonathan Cecil as Old Father / Stephen Moore as Haigha / John Scott Martin as The Red King
1985:ALICE IN WONDERLAND / Anglia 5x25m-e / With:- GISELLE ANDREWS as Alice
1986: ALICE IN WONDERLAND / BBC Writer/Director:Barry Letts 4x30m-e / With:- KATE DORNING as Alice
1998: ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS / C4 Writer: Nick Vivian / Producers: Trevor Eve, Simon Johnson, / D:John Henderson 1x95m-e With:- KATE BECKINSALE as Alice / MICHAEL MEDWIN as Red King / SIAN PHILLIPS as Red Queen / GEOFFREY PALMER as White King / PENELOPE WILTON as White Queen / STEVE COOGAN as Gnat / GARY OLSEN as Tweedledum / MARC WARREN as Tweedledee / IAN HOLM as White Knight / GREG WISE as Red Knight / IAN RICHARDSON as Wasp
2000: ALICE IN WONDERLAND / C4-Hallmark-Babelsberg Int – GMBH / 1x15m-e / 23 April Sunday 6.05pm / Writer: Peter Barnes / Director:Nick Willing / Titles: Chris Allies / Choreographer: Pat Garrett With:- Tina Marjorino as Alice / Martin Short as The Mad Hatter / Miranda Richardson as The Queen of Hearts / Ben Kingsley as Major Caterpillar / Whoopi Goldberg as Cheshire Cat / Gene Wilder as The Mock Turtle / Robbie Coltrane as Tweedledum / George Wendt as Tweedledee / Christopher Lloyd as The White Knight / Pete Postlethwaite as Carpenter / Ken Dodd as Mr Mouse / Simon Russell Beale as The King of Hearts / Liz Smith as Miss Lory / Elizabeth Spriggs as Duchess / Peter Ustinov as The Walrus / Sheila Hancock as The Cook
ITV ‘Play of the Week’ / 1x60m-e / 1962 bw
Drama. A young sculptor finds himself becoming obsessed with the sculpted head of a young girl.
BBC2 ‘Scene’ / 1x30m-e / 1995
Writer/Director: Al Hunter Ashton / Executive Producer: Richard Langridge
Drama. After an absence of ten years Terry returns to his home town and meets again his first love Alison.
With:- SARAH JANE POTTS as Alison / JACK DEAM as Terry / CLIVE MANTLE as Jonah /KELLIE BRIGHT as Clare / LUCY DAVIS as Julie
ALIVE AND KICKING
BBC / 1x90m-e / 1991
Writer: Al Hunter Ashton / Producer: David M. Thompson / Director: Robert Young
Drama. Drug addicted dealer Stevie turns to a drug therapist when he realises he needs help, together the pair form a football team for fellow addicts.
With:- LENNY HENRY as Stevie ‘Smudger’ Smith / ROBBIE COLTRANE as Liam Kane / ANNABELLE APSION as Marie / JANE HORROCKS as Gail / IMOGEN BOORMAN as Hayley Forbes-Clinton / KARL TESSLER / GARRY ROOST / FAITH TINGLE / EWEN CUMMINS / MARK A. NEWMAN / HAKEEM KAE-KAZIM / BERESFORD LE ROY / CAL MACANINCH
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
BBC1-A&E / 88x50m-e 3x90m-e / 1978-80/1988-90
Creator: Johnny Byrne / Music: Johnny Pearson / Vetinary advisor:Jack Watkinson /Producer: Bill Sellars
Based on the highly popular books by James Herriot these gentle and homely tales of veterinary life between the 1930’s and 1950’s were set in Darrowby, Yorkshire.
The series began in the 1930’s when newly qualified vet James Herriott takes up a position working for Seigfried Farnon, a somewhat arrogant middle aged vet and his younger impetuous brother Tristan (who at the start of the show was yet to be qualified as a vet). Midway through season one James had fallen for and then married Helen, (Carol Drinkwater who played Helen and Christopher Timothy who played James became real life partners).
The series was immediately very popular and continued for three seasons, then, with the action having moved to the beginning of World War II and all three vets gearing up to get involved in the conflict the series was brought to what seemed like a natural conclusion. Then three years later there was a 90 minute Christmas Special (more or less by public demand) catching up with Herriot and the rest, then another special followed two years later. Again it looked like that was it until in 1988 the BBC decided to bring the series back.
The original run had followed faithfully the stories written by James Herriott whilst this later run, taking up the story to the 1950’s and bringing in a new vet in the shape of Scottish Calum Buchanan, relied more on original material.
The major difference in this version of the series is that Carol Drinkwater didn’t appear (she and Timothy were no longer an item and her role was taken by Lynda Bellingham). James and Helen’s children were now growing up but otherwise it was business as usual. Seigfried was still cantankerous, Tristan still an incurable romantic and James the family man.
During the show’s run many of the farmers James saw made regular appearances as did the character of Mrs Pumphrey and her troublesome dog Tricky Woo, spoilt to the Nth degree, James would find himself regularly attending to the dogs needs, although Mrs Pumphrey, who was very rich, usually looked after the boys very well.
With:- CHRISTOPHER TIMOTHY as James Herriott / ROBERT HARDY as Siegfried Farnon / PETER DAVISON as Tristan Farnon / CAROL DRINKWATER as Helen Herriott(78-80) / LYNDA BELLINGHAM as Helen Herriott(88-90) / JOHN McGLYNN as Calum Buchanan(88-90) / MARGARETTA SCOTT as Mrs Pumphrey / MARY HIGNETT as Mrs Hall(78-80)
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