Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983–2004)
The adventures of a gang of British workmen abroad. Combines black and white humour with moments of drama, poignancy and drunkenness. In series 1, the lads head to Germany seeking work, and are thrown together by virtue of shared nationality and a run-down wooden hut. The story follows the lads' relationships with women, Germans and each other, and their attempts at passing the time away from home, saving money and ordering food in a German curry house. The series ends with new employment legislation forcing some of the Brits having to choose between the UK and their new-found pleasures abroad. Two years later the gang are reunited for a second series, in which they travel to Wolverhampton to rebuild both the "magnificent seven" and Barry's home for his impending marriage. A further offer of work sees the lads head to a Derbyshire stately home in need of refurbishment. Here they fall foul of an irritable pub landlord, suspicious locals, a less than enlightened employer and the Inland Revenue. Finally, they are packed off to Spain as illegal workers for Tyneside villain Ally Fraser, and they fall under the unwelcome spotlight of tabloid publicity. Despite this, they still manage to indulge in some serious drinking practice AND complete the building work.
- In the first series, Dennis Patterson (Tim Healy), Neville Hope (Kevin Whately), and "Oz" Ozbourne (Jimmy Nail) leave Newcastle to go and find work in Dusseldorf, Germany. They sign up with the German authorities but because they are late arriving at the construction site due to Oz's wreck of a car, they are told by gaffer Herr Grunwald (Michael Sheard) that they have to join cockney carpenter Wayne Norris (Gary Holton), and fellow brickie "Bomber" Busbridge (Pat Roach) from Bristol in one of the wooden huts and stay there while they work. Electrician Barry Taylor (Timothy Spall) from Birmingham, and plasterer Albert Moxey (Christopher Fairbank) from Liverpool later join them, the latter is later revealed to be an arsonist on the run from the law after he set fire to his boss' hut for victimization.
In the second series, two years has passed, and Thatcher's Britain has still made it hard for the gang to find work. Oz and Barry have done a stint re-building in the Falklands in the aftermath of the war, Bomber has turned to wrestling, Dennis has got himself in debt with a shady Newcastle businessman called Ally Fraser (Bill Paterson) who he has to work for in order to pay it off, and Neville is a stay at home dad. Barry is the only one who is doing well for himself after saving his money from Germany and the Falklands, and after meeting a woman called Hazel (Melanie Hill), he has bought his own house ready to movie in to with her and get married. He contacts the gang to join him to help him with the house, and after they do, Dennis has another job offer for them - to do some work for Ally Fraser - first on a manor in the countryside then to build him a swimming pool at his villa in Spain.
In the third series, fifteen years has passed since their job in Spain, and times are tough and desperate for some. Dennis is now a taxi driver, Neville's has his own business but is going through a mid-life crisis while struggling with the VAT, Moxey is a caterer for a gangster in his home city, and Bomber's health isn't too good. Along with Barry, who's now a successful businessman with a Russian wife, they all reunite for Oz's funeral. But are shocked when they discover he isn't actually dead, only an excuse to get them all together again. Oz has been in prison and during that time helped a disgraced politician, Jeffrey Grainger (Bill Nighty) get by, and now he wants him and his team to pull down the Middlesborough transporter bridge so that a new estate can made, and they will make a big profit from it. It isn't long before Oz realises that Grainger has conned him, and desperate to salvage something, Oz advertises it on the internet about a bridge for sale, and luckily a Native American community in Arizona are interested.