5 April 2013 | Suburbanite
Fondly remembered series
First, a warning: if you want to see this series do NOT read the earlier review entitled 'Middle-Class Angst' as its author has thoughtlessly related the entire story including all the concluding revelatory plot details and leaves you with nothing else to find out.
My comments are based on the memory of how this series struck me at the time. I haven't seen it since a repeat showing in 1983 so I'm writing this 30 years since my last viewing! The story hinges on May's marriage to a stuffy Colonel despised by her grown-up children Oliver and Elizabeth from her previous marriage. They all flee the big, cold, gloomy house he's pressured her into buying, including the Colonel's own daughter, the cripplingly shy Alice - palmed off into her own dull suburban marriage.
We then see 4 developing stories - May and the Colonel whose behaviour becomes more unsettling, Alice in her unwanted marriage, dilettante Oliver trying to find some purpose while lusting after aloof unattainable rich kid Ginny, and Elizabeth whose domestic cookery services lead her into an unexpected relationship. The idea of the series title, of things hidden, is threaded through all these stories very nicely. Through the 30-year haze I recall good performances, a compelling set of story lines, and emotional penultimate scenes. I also recall surprise that the older sister in children's comedy drama Kids From 47A had blossomed into the stunning Christine McKenna, playing insufferable trust-fund child Ginny.
I wonder what happened to David Gwylim, who played Oliver. The Gwylims were an acting family if I recall correctly. Oliver's some-time girlfriend Sukie was played by Diane Bull, who sadly died in the late 1990s at the too-young age of 46.
I'd love to see this show again. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, as not having seen it for 3 decades it might look rubbish now. Elizabeth Jane Howard's original novel is well worth a read though. But stay away from that other review!