13 October 2005 | geffers
Each episode a farce
This was a long running, popular, comedy that ran on ITV during the early 1970's. Patrick Cargill is the author Patrick Glover of tacky thrillers who is separated from his wife, but has custody of his two teenage daughters. Also in the picture is Nanny, the housekeeper, and Georgy his agent, with whom he's also having a long-running relationship. Oh, and there's an enormous St Bernard dog, called H.G.
Each episode is a mini farce, usually with a misunderstanding that leads to conversations which drive Patrick wild. There seems to be a real studio audience for the first few years, and then canned laughter - the standard audio which ITV always used at this time, and which can be recognised, began to be used, and the programme suffers from this.
One thing different to the norm is the introduction as the titles play - a little story unfolds, which usually leaves Patrick in a mess. The later series lost this, so there was just a rather twee, but pointless scene during the titles, with some exceptions, for instance in the last episode of series six. There's also action at the end, actors chaotically moving around.
This comedy is very much played as though it were on stage, and it has a quality of perhaps just a little hamminess which enhances rather than detracts. The wordplay can sometimes be too fast for the studio audience who don't always react to the more subtle jokes.
The first three series can be bought: the first two in black and white only from Australia, but for the rest you'll have to seek out copies from traders. If you can get hold of them, I'd particularly recommend series four and five, and there's a definite dulling of quality after this.