Home Television Comedy Tropic


1 9 7 9 (UK)
6 x 60 minute episodes

This serial from ATV was based on the bawdy best-selling novel Tropic Of Ruislip by Leslie Thomas which provided a searing exposé of life behind the curtains of an imaginary executive suburban housing estate.

The setting of Tropic was Plummers Park – a tranquil suburb with seething social activity just beneath the surface.

It had a railway line that split an executive estate from its council-house neighbours. Another boundary was the canal, where the Reverend Ivor Boon (John Clive) – wild-eyed cleric of St James the Less – saw his efforts to draw the community together sink along with the aptly-named cruiser Titanic.

Then there was the golf club where husbands claimed to be when dallying at The Load of Hay. In the centre was The Jolly Grinder, convenient to the station – and for a drink on the way home.

Main characters included Audrey and Andrew Maiby (Hilary Tindall and Ronald Pickup). They lived with their daughter Lizzie (Kate Dorning) at No. 12 Upmeadow. Andrew was a dreamer, a thwarted poet, and an aspiring novelist.

His patient wife Audrey was worried about both her husband and her rapidly growing daughter.

Ena and Simon Grant (Bobbie Brown and James Cormack) lived at No. 23 Upmeadow. He was busy getting on with his life; she lounged around all day in a bikini.

Cynthia and Geoffrey Turvey (Charlotte Howard and Ronald Lacey) lived just down the road at No. 6. She had her eye on the local gossip, while Geoffrey’s eye was on beautiful, bored Ena Grant.

Teenager Bessie White (Lynne Morgan) lived on the council estate with her kleptomaniac grandad (Tony Sympson). Bessie tumbled into a romance with married Andrew Maiby.

Polly Blossom-Smith (Hilary Pritchard), meanwhile, was the odd-woman-out of Plummers Park.

Andrew Maiby
Ronald Pickup
Audrey Maiby
Hilary Tindall
Polly Blossom-Smith
Hilary Pritchard
Reverend Ivor Boon
John Clive
Geoffrey Turvey
Ronald Lacey
Cynthia Turvey
Charlotte Howard
Ena Grant
Bobbie Brown
Simon Grant
James Cormack
Bessie White
Lynne Morgan
Lizzie Maiby
Kate Dorning
Miss Jankin
Rosalind Knight
Tony Sympson
George Malpas
Nichola McAuliffe