The Good Life is definitely a classic amongst the sitcom and is amongst a rare breed of programmes that drew on classical actors, rather than those known for comedy, to star in the show. It is also the most famous of the shows to come from the excellent writing team of Esmonde and Larbey.
These two writers started on radio with sketches for I'm Sorry I Read That Again and followed this up with shows of their own, latter moving medium, when their idea of a man giving up his job to become self sufficient was seen as an ideal opportunity for Richard Briers, at the time, hot property at Auntie.
Esmonde and Larbey chucked in their regular work and became professional full-time writers and the result was four series of brilliance. The cast, along with Briers, was Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and the late Paul Eddington, although it was Peter Bowles who was first approached to play Jerry! He later got his chance to work with Penelope Keith in To the Manor Born, and it is probably due to the fact that he turned down The Good Life and hence hadn't already played the screen husband, that he was able to take the role in Manor Born.
Acorn have now released all the episodes that they can get the rights to, with the fourth series (bar one episode) released on a double DVD with the Royal special.
If this wasn't enough, for the true fan (and I must rank among their numbers as I have had pet hamsters called Margot and Barbara!) there is a book, written by Richard Webber - a Celebration of The Good Life. This has been a help witht he construction of this page, and has a very in depth episode guide, as well a lot fo interviews and well researched facts about the series. To top it all, there are a wealth of colour and black and white stills littering the book. Priced at £12.99, and published by Orion books as a coffee table softback, this is well worth the money. It is available in the shops now and has the ISBN 0 75281 830 9
SERIES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Special
|Plough Your Own Furrow||4.4.75||Volume 1|
|Say Little Hen ...||11.4.75||Volume 1|
|The Weaker Sex?||18.4.75||Volume 1|
|Pig's Lib||25.4.75||Volume 2|
|The Thing in the Cellar||2.5.75||Volume 2|
|The Pagan Rite||9.5.75||Volume 2|
|Backs to the Wall||16.5.75|
|Just My Bill||5.12.75||Volume 3|
|The Guru of Surbiton||12.12.75||Volume 3|
|Mr. Fix.It||19.12.75||Volume 3|
|The Day Peace Broke Out||2.1.76||Volume 4|
|Home, Sweet Home||16.1.76||Volume 4|
|Going to Pot?||23.1.76||volume 4|
|The Early Birds||10.9.76||Volume 5|
|The Happy Event||17.9.76||Volume 5|
|A Tug of the Forelock||24.9.76||Volume 5|
|I Talk to the Trees||1.10.76||Volume 6|
|The Windbreak War||8.10.76||Volume 6|
|Whose Fleas Are These?||15.10.76||Volume 6|
|The Last Posh Frock||22.10.76|
|Away From it All||10.4.77||Volume 7/DVD|
|The Green Door||17.4.77||Volume 7/DVD|
|Our Speaker Today...||24.4.77||Volume 7/DVD|
|The Weaver's Tale||1.5.77||Volume 7/DVD|
|Suit Yourself||8.5.77||Volume 8/DVD|
|Sweet and Sour Charity||15.5.77||Volume 8/DVD|
|Silly, But It's Fun||26.12.77||Xmas Special|
This was a special edition recorded in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
|When I'm 65||10.6.78||Volume 8/DVD|