Home Television Drama Foundation, The

Foundation, The

1 9 7 7 – 1 9 7 8 (UK)
26 x 60 minute episodes

This ATV drama series was set in the cut-throat world of big business where Davinia Prince (Lynette Davies) took her late husband’s place in the boardroom of property firm the Prince Organisation.

Successful tycoon Don Prince (Keith Barron) – who founded the organisation – died of a heart attack in the first episode, leaving Davinia everything.

Rather than sell off the company, she opted to run it herself even though she had no real business experience. Her decision brought her into conflict with the other board directors but also brought new admirers, keen to get their hands on her wealth.

The first series showed Davinia on her way to the top and asserting her authority.

The second series revealed a more vulnerable boss lady: vulnerable to the effects of love and to the threat of a take-over by Sam Wyatt – the canny boss of a rival building firm, (played by Fulton Mackay).

Regular characters included the Chairman, Sir Clive Farmer (John Barron), Managing Director Ronnie Bartlett (Geoffrey Whitehead), company solicitor Gareth Brown (William Gaunt), family doctor Richard Montagu (Peter Copley) and Davinia’s daughter, Emma (a young Patsy Kensit).

Romance was provided by Mark McManus (later of Taggart fame) who played Bill Wood, the construction manager of Sam Wyatt’s rival organisation.

The Foundation was critically acclaimed and popular with viewers throughout its two-season run.

An attempt was made to produce an American version, with Elizabeth Montgomery (from Bewitched) as Davinia, but it went no further than the pilot stage.

Lynette Davies drowned in 1993 – aged just 45 – at Lavernock Point, on the coast of the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. The cause of death was later determined as suicide.

Davinia Prince
Lynette Davies
Emma Prince
Patsy Kensit
Ronnie Bartlett
Geoffrey Whitehead
Sir Clive Farmer
John Barron
Gareth Brown
William Gaunt
Helen Cleaves
Dr Richard Montagu
Peter Copley
Geoffrey Tatum
Ellis Dale
Paul Prince
Andrew Dove
Terry Bickles
Gerald Sim
Anthea Holloway
Eddie Prince
Bernard Lee
Patricia Wyatt
Janet Spencer-Turner
Tom Pearson
Michael Craig
Sam Wyatt
Fulton Mackay
Bill Wood
Mark McManus
Christine Schofield
Carole Baxter
Rosemary Williams
Douggie Taylor
Nicky Henson
Mary Francis
June Ellis
Philippe de Vries
Sandor Eles