1 9 8 2 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
This BBC comedy had all the elements of a pleasant, after dinner relaxation. It showed the England that will always be, at least on television. There was nothing unpleasant about this story of a strange man forcing his way into the house of a defenceless woman.
The Good Life‘s Richard Briers was still in Surbiton, this time as Travis Kent, an errant lodger kicked from one landlord to the next landlady.
“Goodbye, Mr Kent” is what everyone couldn’t wait to say minutes after meeting him.
Hannah Gordon, previously seen as Mrs Telford in Telford’s Change, was the divorced Mrs Jones who was not an experienced landlady. Mrs Jones also had trouble with her 14-year-old daughter, Lucy.
As the foil for the likeable Briers, Gordon was intelligent and competent but rather uninspiring.
Each was a reject from a broken marriage, living lives to which they were not accustomed. Money was a constant worry: Kent borrowed his, and Mrs Jones, who had a mortgage to pay, monitored the cost of phone calls.
The show was clearly appealing to a cultured audience. In the few instances in which Kent and Jones found they could communicate, he correctly identified a piano concerto by Rachmaninov and she quoted Shakespeare while demanding his prompt exit. (“Now what was it Shakespeare said?” Briers puzzles. “Out damn spot!” quoth Mrs Jones).