1 9 8 6 (UK)
11 x 50 minute episodes
It was hard to tell who the heroes were in John Mortimer’s Paradise Postponed, Thames Television’s blockbuster about dotty socialist vicar Simeon Simcox (Michael Hordern) – “The Red Rector” of the village of Rapstone Fanner – and how he died and left all his money (including a fortune in brewery shares) not to his two sons but to Leslie Titmuss (David Threlfall), a local lad turned Tory MP.
Perhaps Fred (Paul Shelley), the rector’s youngest son, was the character we should have liked. He had ‘Standards’ – but no spine. or the other Simcox son, successful novelist Henry (Peter Egan).
Most people, though, enjoyed David Threlfall’s unscrupulous Titmuss more – if only for his Edward Heath vowels.
The Thames Television series spanned thirty years but seemed all stop-start with too much talk and not enough action, and in the frequent flashbacks, the actors always looked the same age.
Fred Simcox finally learned the truth about his father – and that the Simcox, Fanner, and Titmuss families were linked in a way that no one could have imagined.
Truths of all sorts also caught up with Leslie Titmuss, who risked losing both his fortune and his political career.
Thames also produced a three-part sequel, Titmuss Regained, in 1991.
Rev. Simeon Simcox
Sir Nicholas Fanner
Lady Grace Fanner
Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Titmuss
Death of a Saint | The Temptation of Henry Simcox | Chez Titmuss | Living in the Past | The Wrongs of Man | The Lost Leader | And a Happy New Year to You, Too! | Enigma Variations | The Gods of the Copy Book Headings | Faith Unfaithful | The Simcox Inheritance