1 9 7 4 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes
Thick As Thieves was a British sitcom starring John Thaw (in a role very different from The Sweeney or Inspector Morse) and Bob Hoskins. The series ran for only eight episodes, but every episode was hilarious.
George Dobbs (Hoskins) is a career criminal. Well . . . he’s a burglar who was never very good at it.
In the first episode, he is released a day early after a three-year gaol sentence. He returns to his house in Fulham and discovers his wife Annie (Pat Ashton) in bed with George’s criminal colleague Stan (Thaw).
Annie is glad to have her husband home, but she has no intention of giving up her relationship with Stan either, so the three set up house together.
George starts out unwilling to share his wife with Stan, but gradually accepts this as the series progresses.
George and Stan are the archetypal ‘odd couple’: friends with radically different personalities who clash constantly but respect each other’s differences.
It’s clear that Annie genuinely loves both men, and she clearly enjoys being the centre of the threesome.
Thick As Thieves was penned by the excellent scriptwriting team of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.
The pair wanted to develop the series further and send both men back inside; but two things happened: LWT bosses dithered – they thought the writing was too clever and could go over people’s heads; and John Thaw appeared in an Armchair Cinema film called Regan – which led to him being offered the lead role in The Sweeney.
Clement and La Frenais took the idea to the BBC instead, who developed the idea into Porridge.