1 9 8 5 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
This black comedy from Yorkshire Television starred Andrew Sachs (finally throwing off the mantle of Manuel from Fawlty Towers) as Tony James, a hard-pressed middle-aged business executive (a director with Playtime Electronics) who is almost gleefully informed by his doctor (Alan David) that he is the first person in England to have succumbed to the newly-discovered, very rare disease Felikosis (or “tick-tock disease”) – which will make Dr Harry very famous and leave Tony dead as a doornail in six months.
There are no obvious symptoms, but the outcome is unmistakable. The disease is called “tick-tock” because it runs like clockwork, and the sufferers can chart the exact moment when they will shuffle off this mortal coil.
Tony is understandably less enthusiastic than his doctor about the deal . . .
None of Tony’s family helps – especially his ambitious, crawling son Peter (Robert Daws), whose only concern seems to be to get on in his father’s firm.
The unusual seven-part comedy series was written by the author, sometimes actor, folk singer, cafe guitarist, stage manager and TV voice-over man Wally K Daly.
Daly’s wife, Judy Cornwell, co-starred as Tony’s wife, Vanessa, cossetted from harsh reality by a cocoon of pink gin, bridge and genteel dinner parties.
The fourth member of the James household is teenage daughter Jane (Colette Barker), who has given up speaking altogether and doesn’t say a word throughout the seven episodes.
Dr Harry Eaton