Having created and written several hit I.T.V. sitcoms such as 'George & The Dragon', 'For The Love Of Ada', and 'Love Thy Neighbour', Vince Powell and Harry Driver did it again with this vehicle for Jimmy Jewel, with whom they'd worked on 'Nearest & Dearest'.
Jimmy played 'Tommy Butler', a garrulous pensioner forced to move out of his house by the local council and live with daughter 'Vera' ( June Barry ) and her objectionable husband 'Brian' ( Larry Martyn ). Feeling unwelcome, he goes for a walk in the park, and meets 'Charlie Harris' ( Charlie Hawkins ), a young Cockney tearaway being raised by his single mum ( Jo Warne ). The old man becomes a father figure to the boy and soon they are to be seen fishing, walking and sharing their wildly differing views on life.
This could not be made today, given the current mass hysteria about paedophiles ( generated mainly by the tabloid press, who've been hypocritically running photos of topless young women on their on their pages for years ). One second season episode addressed this concern directly: Tommy was told by Vera that nasty gossip was circulating about him and Charlie, a stand-out moment in what was essentially a gentle comedy series. For once the normally boisterous studio audience was silent.
Four series were made in total. 'Spring & Autumn' was warm, funny, altogether charming, a product of a time when two people of differing ages need not be afraid to conceal their friendship. Paul Lewis' title theme is magnificent too.
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