This gentle sitcom, written by Carla Lane, who later went on to write the Liver Birds and Bread, was undoubtedly the most successful vehicle for her style and I am pleased that Acorn Media have got hold of it for release on video. Ria, played by Wendy Craig, appears to be a very happily married mother with two teenage sons, and her husband Ben, played by Geoffrey Palmer, is a lugubrious dentist. His hobby is collecting butterflies, however, you could be excused for thinking that it is arguing with his sons, the thoughtful Russell and the ever cynical Adam
After 19 years of what seems to be ideal wedded bliss, Ria starts to think that she is being taken for granted and longs for some excitement in her life. This arrives in the form of Leonard, a handsome businessman who she bumps into one day, whom she dreams will sweep her off her feet.
The entire second series of this Carla Lane sitcom are released on the 8th October by Acorn Media and also include the Christmas Special. First broadcast in the year that Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, Nottingham Forest won the European Cup (now I remember that from the school playground!) and The Knack topped the charts with My Sharona.
Of course, times change, but the comedy still remains as good as ever. With each video running to 120 minutes, and containing 4 episodes a piece, they are great value at £12.99 and will be in all good stores, or available direct from Acorn.
SERIES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
The first series consisted of 6 half hour episodes, and was broadcast on Friday night at 9pm between the 10th November and the 15th December 1978 on BBC 2. With no official titles for the episodes, those given have been culled from various sources and watching episodes.
The second series, roughly a year later, was a further 7 half hour shows, broadcast on BBC 2 on a Monday evenign at 9pm between 26th October and 3rd December 1979. There was also a Christmas Special broadcast at primetime (7.25pm) on BBC 1.
|The Two Meet||10.11.78||Volume 1|
|The Silence is Broken||17.11.78||Volume 1|
|Comtemplating Work||24.11.78||Volume 1|
|How About Lunch?||1.12.78||Volume 2|
|The Protest||8.12.78||Volume 2|
|He's Got To Go||15.12.78||Volume 2|
Another year passed before the third series was broadcast. Consisting of 7 half hour shows, this reverted back to BBC 2 at 9pm on a Tuesday evening between the 9th September and 21st October 1980.
|Fox Hunting||5.11.79||Volume 3|
|A Dog's Life||19.11.79||Volume 3|
|Keeping Fit||26.11.79||Volume 4|
|An Attractive Visitor||3.12.79||Volume 4|
|Xmas Special||22 Dec 79||Volume 4|
The final series, three years after the last series, was broadcast between the 7th September and 19th October 1983, but was preceeded by a special short in a Christmas compilation a year earlier. The 7 episodes that comprised the last series went out at 9pm Wednesday evenings on BBC 2, but was not the final time Ria and Leonard were seen as in 2000, a short reunion took place on the Children in Need evening on BBC 1.
|An Empty Cage||9.9.80|
|Give Me Shelter||14.10.80|
|Xmas Short||27.12.82||10 minutes|