1 9 8 2 – 1 9 8 5 (UK)
12 x 30 minute episodes
23 x 60 minute episodes
After being demobbed at the end of WWII from his post as an RAF stores clerk stationed in Bombay, former professional footballer Corporal Harvey Moon (Kenneth Cranham) returns home to the East End of London (Hackney) to discover that his family friends and neighbours have assumed him dead.
His fag-ash wife, Rita (Maggie Steed), has mourned his passing by accommodating as many American GI’s as possible, while his 17-year old daughter Maggie (Linda Robson) has become romantically involved with his best friend, Lou Lewis (Neil from The Young Ones), and his youngest child, Stanley, has become a street-wise kid with a street-wise mouth.
His house has also been flattened in an air raid.
Shine On Harvey Moon illustrated how Briton’s went about rebuilding their shattered post-war lives amid rationing and rebuilding. It also reflected the social attitudes of the day towards family life, sex and marriage.
The series followed Harvey through to 1948, by which time he had rebuilt his life, dated his son’s headmistress, been elected a Labour councillor and finally reconciled with Rita.
Unfortunately, his new home was destroyed by an unexploded wartime bomb.
Ten years after the last episode, Shine on Harvey Moon was revived for one more series of six 30-minute episodes with the story rejoining Harvey (now played by Nicky Henson) in 1953, having again split from Rita.
Harvey was now living at home with his tough old Ma, whose objections to the influx of coloured immigrants to the country was compounded by Harvey’s decision to give room and board to his Jamaican friend, Noah.
Meanwhile, his son had been conscripted into the RAF and his daughter was set to marry Neil from The Young Ones . . .
As a result of the special chemistry displayed in the series between childhood friends Linda Robson and Pauline Quirk, a series was written specifically for them, which became Birds of a Feather.
Kenneth Cranham (1)
Nicky Henson (2)