Every character in this complex and extraordinary made-for-television comedy film is an easily-recognisable stereotype – seen through the eyes of the main characters, Joe Marriot (Jack Shepherd) – a writer of children’s books – and his wife, Sarah (Zoë Wanamaker).
There’s Pratt and Mrs Pratt; Fatty Granada; Topless and Mrs Topless; the Fitness family; the In-The-Trades; and countless others – all enjoying (or pretending to enjoy) their French holiday at a ghastly campsite in Brittany.
The Marriots represent the “ideal family” – loving, considerate, communicative – until the arrival of a catalyst, in the shape of the delightfully amoral and uninhibited Early Bird (Miranda Richardson).
Will Joe succumb to her charms? Will Sarah feel jealous? Will everyone leave the campsite alive?
Writer Andrew Davies (who was also the author of A Very Peculiar Practice) based the story loosely on a holiday he and his family had several years earlier.
The film debuted on BBC1 at 9.30 pm on 27 December 1989.