15 November 2001 | Steffen_John
Pleasing Irish series
One of my favourite series. Ballykissangel is an example of how Ireland can produce quality family drama with wonderful characters and good writing against a picturesque backdrop of the Irish countryside.
Filmed at Avoca in Ireland it follows the characters in the fictional town of Ballykissangel, mainly the Catholic priest Father Peter Clifford. Hidden underneath the weekly episodes was the quietly growing attraction of Father Peter and Assumpta Fitzgerald (pub owner of Fitzgeralds)
The series had a slightly quirky edge to it and its humour helped make the series such a ratings winner. The show went for 6 seasons but the best episodes were the first 3 seasons. After the end of the first 3 the two main characters left and the the creator and writer, Kieran Prendiville, also handed over the reins to other writers. The show was never the same and lost some of its humour. Then Peter Hanley (Ambrose) left the show. Later on the series suffered more blows with actors, Birdy Sweeny (Eamonn) and Tony Doyle (Brian Quigley), dying in real life.
With falling ratings Season 6 saw Ballykissangel given some new life with the arrival of a more charismatic priest, Father Vincent Sheahan (played by Australian Robert Taylor) and the return of the original writer Kieran Prendiville. Despite Season 6 being more enjoyable, and showing more promise, it was decided to end the show after 58 episodes.
Personally I think it could have continued as long as Kieran Prendiville held its reins but it was not to be.
Ballykissangel will go down in television history as an example of how good an Irish production can be, which, at its best, was extremely likeable.