14 May 2007 | kimblebear
What is it about James Bolam?
I'm not sure what it is about James Bolam, but whatever he's in from "The Likely Lads" right through to "New Tricks" he seems to carry the show.
In this though he's at his best, wheeling & dealing, there isn't a minute that goes by where he isn't on the make - both in money and his love life.
That being said he is being hard pushed by Jean Heywoood who plays the hard and gritty Bella, a woman with the world on her shoulders but most times with a smile on her face and a gin in her hand.
Susan Jameson plays a tough talking socialist (it's quite amazing how often she seems to put on great performances with JB) who you just want to thump and say "stop being so stupid woman!".
I agree with a previous reviewer in that series 4 does rather let the programme down. It does appear that this may have been a case of greedy TV executives trying to squeeze out every last bit of revenue from a hit series. In fact I think "When the boat comes in" would definitely have scored 10/10 if it hadn't been for this.
Surprising then that it hasn't been shown more often on TV - but perhaps they are still making too much money out of the DVD to give people the opportunity of seeing it free again.
However keep listening out for "You shall have a fishy on a little dishy" - you never know