1 9 8 4 (UK)
6 x 50 minute episodes
Allison (Judy Loe) and Jerry (Gawn Grainger) Reynolds have been married for 16 years and live in a pleasant area of Suffolk. Jerry commutes to London daily, where he works in research and development for a large electronics company.
They have two children – 15-year-old Jason (Edward Rawle-Hicks), who attends a Norfolk public school and 11-year-old Barry (Nigel Stewart), who goes to the local primary.
What begins as a normal day becomes a nightmare when Jerry fails to arrive home from work on his regular train. Suddenly, he has become a statistic, one of about 5,500 people who go missing in England each year without explanation.
Allison is stunned to be visited by Chief Inspector Marsden of Special Branch (Billy Murray), who tells her that some sensitive files logged out to Jerry have also disappeared.
She also discovers that Jerry has been consulting a marriage guidance counsellor.
Over six episodes, Allison has to contend with shock, confusion, grief, obscene phone calls, and cruel jokes, and she and the children suffer a great deal.
In the final episode, Jerry eventually rings for a railway station showdown. It turns out he has been “finding himself”, and – oh, yes, there was a woman involved, now you come to mention it. But basically, it was “time for a change”.
Instead of pushing him onto the live rail or roasting him on a barbecue, Allison takes him home, cooks his supper, gives him the bed (while she sleeps on the sofa) and persuades the boys to be nice to Dad, even though he is walking out!!
Gregory de Polnay
Chief Inspector Marsden