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Thomas and Sarah (ITV 1979, John Alderton, Pauline Collins)

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Thomas and Sarah

Period drama series Thomas and Sarah was a spin off from Upstairs Downstairs. Former parlourmaid and chauffeur to the Bellamys, Thomas and Sarah set up home together in 1911 and get involved in various adventures. The pair had actually left Upstairs Downstairs midway through the series and despite it being six years later this series sort of picked up from they had left off in that show though.

A second season of the show was planned and indeed some preliminary location work was filmed (since wiped) but a major ITV technicians strike led to the cancellation of the series. Speaking at the time of the broadcast of the show Alderton, who was the catalyst for getting this series made, said he hoped that Thomas and Sarah would emigrate to the US which could then bring in an American TV Network and give the show a long run.

One interesting fact is that in one episode of Upstairs Downstairs (A Family Gathering) there was mention of Thomas and Sarah having married but in this series they are not and when the series begins Thomas is still a chauffeur and Sarah was living quietly in Surrey.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 13×50 minute episodes / 14 January – 8 April 1979

Creator: Sagitta Productions / Music: Harry Rabinowitz / Script Editor: Alfred Shaughnessy / Executive Producer: Tony Wharmby / Producer: Christopher Hodson

cast
John Alderton as Thomas Watkins
Pauline Collins as Sarah
Graham Cull as Tubby
Maria Charles as Madge
Peter Thornton as Charlie
Norman Bird as Gilbert
Charles West as Sir Joseph Weidler

THE EPISODES

1. BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Sarah is working as a companion to Grace Laughton when Thomas Watkins, now owner of a garage, reappears in her life.

guest cast
Jessica Benton as Grace Laughton / Sally Home as Lady Selina Wellingham / Ian Thompson as The Reverend Horkesly / Barbara Bolton as Edna / Gillian Hawser as Nanny / Maxwell Shaw as Monsieur Defarge / Ursula Hirst as Auntie Em / Susan Field as Mrs Monger

writers: Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
director: Christopher Hodson

 

2.THE SILVER GHOST
Mr Bellamy sends his Rolls Royce to Thomas asking him to sell it leading Thomas to get mixed up with crooks.

guest cast
John Castle as Sid Pollitzer / John Bryans as Louis Pollitzer / Richard Steele as Embarkation Officer / Richard Grant as Lord Pendleton / Barbara Keogh as Lady Pendleton / Helen Keating as Maggie / Dave Carter as Fred

writer: Alfred Shaughnessy
director: John Davies

 

3.THE BITERS BIT
Thomas and Sarah find themselves a little out of their depth when they are accidentally invited to a swanky dinner party.

guest cast
Sarah Badel as Felicity Stokeleigh-Pomeroy / Rupert Frazer as Lord Peter Purley / Georgina Melville as Lady Victoria Arlington / Christopher Godwin as Sir Roger Arlington / Norman Ettlinger as Duke of Lindfield / Kevin Stoney as George Aston / Stacy Davies as Van Driver / John Rolfe as Bennet / Prudence Rennick as Duchess Of Lindfield

writers: Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
director: David Askey

 

4.THE VANISHING LADY
Thomas attempts to track down Sarah and is surprised to find her working with a Chinese magician.

guest cast
Peter Gordon as Maurice / Andy Ho as Chang Le Yen/ Jacqui Chan as Naomi / Sally Sanders as Carlotta / Stephen Greif as Pocock / Charles Cork as Bert / Frank Lee as Barnaby/ Wally Goodman as Pianist

writer: Jeremy Paul
director: Christopher Hodson

5. MADE IN HEAVEN
Thomas and Sarah (linked in with Thomas getting a job as a caretaker in an empty house) set up a marriage bureau.

guest cast
Thora Hird as Mrs Entwistle / Helen Lindsay as Lady Rudge / Hilary Mason as Mrs Sedley / Raymond Francis as Captain Dooley / Anne Jameson as Miss Pike / Anne Blake as Mrs Hoo-Fung / Leon Eagles as Potter / Lucinda Gane as Emily Rudge / Hugh Waters as Harold Entwistle / Valerie Phillips as Miss Webster / Sharon Morgan as Alice Williams / Anthony Woodruff as Mr Crichley

writer: Anthony Skene
director: John Davies

6. ALMA MATER
Thomas gets a job at the same school as Sarah and sets about exposing a scandal.

guest cast
Derek Godfrey as Dr Groom-Crombie / John Welsh as Mr Chater / Pat Keen as Mrs Battersby / Norman Scace as Bishop / Geoffrey Toone as General / John Saunders as Mr Drew / Matthew Ryan as Talbot / Adam Godley as Tomlinson / Paul Davies-Prowles as Mason

writer: Alick Rowe
director: David Askey

7.A DAY AT THE METROPOLE
Sarah meets an old friend from her music hall days while Thomas needs all the mechanical skill he can muster.

guest cast
Geoffrey Whitehead as Sir George Truscott/ Yvonne Antrobus as Lady Elise Truscott / Ruby Head as Madame Gladwin / Jill Hellerman as Ronnie / Victor Brooks as Phelps / Elena Secota as Mathilde / Pam St Clement as Mrs Hill

writer: Jeremy Paul
director: David Askey

8. THE POOR YOUNG WIDOW OF PECKHAM
A photograph of Sarah lays Thomas low but also almost brings him national acclaim.

guest cast
Norman Jones as Cyril Warboys / Rosemary Martin as Mrs Burridge / Eve Pearce as Sister Teresa / Hilary Gasson as Nurse Cecilia / Charles Lamb as Arthur Dooley / John Moore as Mr Irvine / Heather Canning as Mrs Green

writer: Jeremy Paul
director: Marek Kanievska

9. THERE IS A HAPPY LAND
Thomas wants revenge after Sarah tricks him into turning his back on the chance of a new life in America.

guest cast
Marion Mathie as Mrs Bradley-Norton / Doreen Mantle as Mrs Ryder / Mary Macleod as Miss Jenkins / Mia Nadasi as Juli / Raymond Adamson as Dr Gordon / Gertan Klauber as Max / Neville Barber as The Rev Ryder

writers: Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
director: David Askey

10. RETURN TO GETHYN
Sarah solves an old mystery when the couple visit Thomas’s long lost family.

guest cast
Gary Raymond as Eli / Shirley Cain as Mrs Hughes / Aubrey Richards as Byron Jones / Pamela Miles as Olwen Watkins / Nesta Harris as Mrs Watkins / Marged Esli as Bessie Evans

writer: Angharad Lloyd
director: Christopher Hodson

 

11. PUTTING ON THE RITZ
Thomas and Sarah infiltrate high society.

guest cast
Sheila Gish as Polly / Jonathan Hyde as Charles / Michael Lees as Henry / Monica Grey as Lady Andover / Peter Howell as Lord Andover / Frances Bennett as Lady Weidler

writers: Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
director: Marek Kanievska

12. THE NEW RICH
A gamble by Thomas results in a change of status for him and Sarah.

guest cast
Nigel Hawthorne as Wilson / Barbara Hicks as Mrs Ambrose / Marjorie Hogan as Mrs Fitzgerald / Sarah Carthy as Ethel / Jonathan Darvill as John The Footman / Linda Robson as Nelly / Kate David as Dot / Morris Perry as Henry Tanby

writer: Anthony Skene
director: John Davies

13. LOVE INTO THREE WON’T GO
Thomas and Sarah find themselves in dire straits and forced to return to domestic service. Sarah decides to complicate matters by falling for their new lord and master Richard DeBrassey.

guest cast
Anton Rodgers as Richard De Brassey / William Moore as Dr Savile / George Malpas as Old William / Monty James as Priest

writers: Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
director: Christopher Hodson