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Oh, Doctor Beeching! (BBC-1 1995-1997, Paul Shane, Jeffrey Holland)



Period sitcom. In 1963 a small branch railway line is on the verge of closure thanks to the efforts of railway boss Dr Beeching.

Reuniting PAUL SHANE, SU POLLARD and JEFFREY HOLLAND (Hi-de-Hi!, You Rang, M’Lord?), the series is set in rural 1960s Hatley railway station – a real family concern. Head porter Jack Skinner (Shane) is married to May (JULIA DEAKIN), who runs the buffet, and they have a daughter, Gloria (LINDSAY GRIMSHAW).

Bookings clerk Ethel (Pollard) is the mother of gormless Wilfred (PAUL APSDEN), porter and general dogsbody, while signalman Harry Lambert (STEPHEN LEWIS) runs a few sidelines from his signal box. Other regulars include engine driver Arnold (IVOR ROBERTS) and fireman Ralph (PERRY BENSON), guard Percy (TERRY JOHN) and neighbour Vera Plumtree (BARBARA NEW).

But the days of their steam-age idyll are numbered. New, fault-finding Station Master Cecil Parkin (JEFFREY HOLLAND) is due to arrive, and rumours abound that Dr Beeching, Minister of Transport, is set to axe a large number of lines.

There was a Pilot broadcast 14 Aug 1995, which, when the first season started was reshown but with newly filmed inserts.

production details
UK | BBC One | 19×30 minutes | Broadcast 8 July 1996 – 28 September 1997

Writers: David Croft, Richard Spendlove
Producer: David Croft

Paul Shane as Jack Skinner
Jeffrey Holland as Cecil Parkin
Su Pollard as Ethel Schumann
Barbara New as Vera Plumtree
Stephen Lewis as Harry Lambert
Perry Benson as Ralph
Lindsay Grimshaw as Gloria
Terry John as Percy
Paul Aspen as Wilfred Schumann
Sherrie Hewson
Felix Bowness
Julia Deakin as May Skinner
Ivor Roberts