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Play For Today: Dog Ends (BBC-1 1984, Leonard Rossiter)

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In Play For Today Dog Ends the Time is Tomorrow. Christmas. Middle aged Arthur is growing weary of looking after his ageing, increasingly frail father. At the funeral for the father of his friend Henry who died at the same time as his beloved pet dog, Arthur lets slip the fact that his dog is also nearing the end of his time. Henry suggests the vet who helped him could also help Arthur only for there to be a serious mis-understanding over just what it is the Vet actually does.

A bitterly funny black comedy, Dog Ends takes plenty of shots at the British Welfare system, it’s set ever so slightly in the future and the Vet is revealed to be a pawn of the “government” who are apparently getting people used to the idea of “voluntary euthenasia” as a way to keep the numbers down.

Lots of fun, with a huge amount of comedy of recognition Dog Ends actually has all the elements of a classic farce. Almost all of the action takes place in the Arthur’s dining room and a young David Threllfall is almost unrecognisable as Arthur’s go-getting son Robert.

classic quote
“Family discussions are all very well, but not in the home”

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production details
UK / BBC One / 1×72 minute episode / Broadcast 17 July 1984

Writer: Richard Harris / Script Editor: Leonard Kingston / Music: Jim Parker / Costumes: Valerie White / Production Design: Stuart Walker / Producer: Andree Molyneux / Director: Carol Wiseman

Series: Play For Today / Season Fifteen Episode Eleven

cast
LEONARD ROSSITER as Arthur
PAT HEYWOOD as Beatrice
DAVID THRELLFALL as Robert
LESLEY MANVILLE as Vivienne
BRYAN PRINGLE as Henry
JOHN GRILLO as The Vet
CHARLES LAMB as Grandad
LIZ CROWTHER as The Doctor
SIMON WHITE as The Baby
QUEST as The Dog

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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