A Horseman Riding By (BBC-1 1978, Nigel Havers, Prunella Ransome) (1978)
Period drama serial A Horseman Riding By is based on R.F. Delderfield’s series of novels. It sees Paul Craddock (played by Nigel Havers in one of his first big starring roles) coming home from the Boer War and buying a run down country estate in Devonshire called Shallowford. As Squire, Craddock has to turn the run down and neglected estate into a going concern.
At first running into conflict with estate manager John Rudd (played by Glyn Houston) Craddock quickly comes to respect Rudd and the pair work together to turn the estate around. Paul also falls for the beautiful Claire Derwent and the pair get married.
Handesomely shot in the BBC’s classic serials vein A Horseman Riding By also features some familiar faces in the supporting cast including Pam St Clement (Eastenders), Joby Blanshard (Doomwatch), Forbes Collins (Poldark), and Madge Ryan.
TV Critic Philip Purser at the time bemoaned the sometimes less than lavish budget afforded the series with the clever comment “only one horseman you notice… and he was riding by”.
Broadcast 24 September – 17 December 1978