1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Mog (Enn Reitel) is a cat burglar – hence his nickname – who fakes insanity to avoid prison and gets himself committed to the suburban Briardene psychiatric hospital (where his mother works as a general dogsbody) under the supervision of icy head doctor, Mrs Mortensen (Catherine Schell).
The security at Briardene is less stringent than it would be in prison, so Mog has no difficulty popping out of the hospital at night in order to pull off his burglaries, then sneaking back in with his swag – his absence having gone undetected.
Regular characters included Mortensen’s daughter, Miranda (Abigail Cruttenden) who had a crush on Oliver (Christopher Villiers), black inmate Earl (Malcolm Frederick), who believed he was a member of the British nobility, F.K. Henderson (Tim Wylton) and Captain Greenaway (Alan Shearman).
None of the “guests” in Briardene had any discernible mental affliction – they all seemed to be just eccentrics or dreamers who simply couldn’t cope in the outside world and had chosen to withdraw into the peace and comfort of a psychiatric hospital.
The series debuted on 26 May 1985 and aired on Sunday nights at 10.00 pm.
The show – based (loosely) on a novel by Peter Tinniswood – was really quite tasteless and dire and was inevitably compared with the much funnier sitcom Porridge – which was also written by the comedy team of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.
Sir Peter Wakefield
A Suitable Case for Treatment | Within These Walls | A Night Out | A Blow for Sanity | Mad Dogs and Englishmen | Unrepeatable Offers || Remembrance of Things Past | Outward Bound | Food for Thought | A Fate Worse Than Death | You Can’t Always Get What You Want | One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest | It Happened One Night