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Star Quality: Mr and Mrs Edgehill (BBC 1985, Judi Dench, Ian Holm)

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In this period drama it is 1939 and Mr and Mrs Edgehill, who have been running a plantation, are due, with the winds of war blowing across the horizon, to leave their home in Somala to return home to England. Mrs Edgehill is very keen to get back home but Whitehall bods see Eustace Edgehill as the “perfect person” to act as sole British representative in some far flung outpost, Cowrie Island, which is to be a vital refuelling station for the Americans. Eustace is naturally keen to take on what he believes is a position of some importance but Dorrie Edgehill isn’t too impressed. However in the end both of them find a new sense of understanding about themselves and their place in the world.

The other five Star Quality tales were all around an hour long whilst Mr and Mrs Edgehill ran to feature length. Shot on location and very nicely too. There is quite the melancholic heart to the drama. Dame Judi is quite dowdy and subdued in the first half but her character’s strength begins to shine through once she realises her husband needs her.

production details
UK / BBC TV-Quintet-Arts and Entertainment Network (for Star Quality) / 1×85 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 15 December 1985 @ 9.05pm

Writer: T.R. Bowen / Story: Noël Coward / Script Editor: Alan Drury / Title Illustration: Clive Francis / Director of Photography: John Else / Production Design: Don Homfray / Costume Designer: Colin Lavers / Music: Stanley Myers / Executive Producer for Quintet Films: Victor Glynn / Producer: Alan Shallcross / Director: Gavin Millar

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cast
JUDI DENCH as Dorrie Edgehill
IAN HOLM as Eustace Edgehill
RACHEL GURNEY as Lady Cynthia Marchmont
ALAN MacNAUGHTON as Sir Humphrey Logan
DAPHNE GODDARD as Lady Eloise Logan
AMANDA PAYS as Vivienne
RAYMOND FRANCIS as Admiral Sir Arthur Gurney
JOHN HARDING as Neville Sterne
MADGE HINDLE as Bett Howell
ROBERT BLYTHE as Charlie Howell
SHANE RIMMER as Brod Sarnton
JOHN HORSLEY as Sir Mostyn Llewellyn
HENRY MOXON as John Petrie
MARTIN WIMBUSH as Henry Ceram
PAT STARR as Irma Handley
JAY RUPARELIA as Ippaga
PHILIP O’BRIEN as clipper captain
ANDREA BROWNE as stewardess
RICHARD BOYLE as Geoff Handley
HILARY PAUL as Ahmed
NIHAL DAYANANDA, JAYANTHA FERNANDO, U.D.L. GUNASINGHE, SAMAN KANNANGARA and M.K. SRILAR as Samolan boys


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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