The Beiderbecke Affair (1985)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 379 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Trevor Chaplin teaches woodwork and likes to listen to jazz. Jill Swinburne teaches English and wants to help save the planet. Trevor tries to buy some jazz records but this leads to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Beiderbecke Affair (1985– )

The Beiderbecke Affair (1985– ) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Complete series cast summary:
 Trevor Chaplin (6 episodes, 1985)
 Jill Swinburne (6 episodes, 1985)
 Det. Sgt. Hobson (6 episodes, 1985)
Terence Rigby ...
 Big Al (6 episodes, 1985)
Dudley Sutton ...
 Mr. Carter (6 episodes, 1985)
Keith Smith ...
 Mr. Wheeler (6 episodes, 1985)
Danny Schiller ...
 Little Norm (5 episodes, 1985)
Colin Blakely ...
 Chief Supt. Forrest (4 episodes, 1985)
Keith Marsh ...
 Harry (4 episodes, 1985)
Alison Skilbeck ...
 Helen / ... (3 episodes, 1985)
Sue Jenkins ...
 Janey (3 episodes, 1985)


Trevor Chaplin teaches woodwork and likes to listen to jazz. Jill Swinburne teaches English and wants to help save the planet. Trevor tries to buy some jazz records but this leads to meeting a "dazzlingly beautiful platinum blond", a suspicious detective sergeant and a strange pair of men running a junior football team. Big Al and Little Norm agree to help Trevor and Jill with their school supplies problems. Jill decides to stand as a local councillor. A tale of "Black Economies", council corruption and many strange characters all set to a background of Bix Beiderbecke. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

6 January 1985 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 parts)

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


The names of the leading characters were developed from the characters in Alan Plater's earlier series Get Lost! (1981). When the actors had to be re-cast, Plater looked for new names for what were similar characters. Neville Keaton from 'Get Lost' was a woodwork teacher who liked jazz and football. For the Beiderbecke Trilogy, he became Trevor Chaplin, Keaton and Chaplin being two of Plater's comic heroes. Judy Threadgold from 'Get Lost' was an English teacher and an environmentalist who had been named in homage to Sunderland A.F.C. goalkeeper Harry Threadgold. For the Beiderbecke Trilogy, she became Jill Swinburne, named after Newcastle United F.C. goalkeeper Tom Swinburne. See more »


[Helen has invited Trevor for lunch to meet her parents]
Helen: Mother's been up half the night with her stroganoff.
Trevor Chaplin: [flippantly] Well, what use is money if you haven't got your health?
See more »


References The Lone Ranger (1949) See more »


Cryin' All Day
Written by Frankie Trumbauer and Chauncey Morehouse
Performed by Bix Beiderbecke
See more »

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User Reviews

I liked the film and disagree with the review
31 December 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Having seen several of the later series, my wife and I were looking forward to this (the series opener) and enjoyed it very much. The review provided on this web page could only have been written by an American. There is a world of difference between American humour, which is mainly action based, and British humour, which relies heavily on the dialogue. By fast forwarding through the first two hours, the reviewer could only have made his incomprehension worse! you cannot watch British movies like that. On the other hand, perhaps his copy, like ours, had the content for disc 3 on the CD that was labeled 'Disc 1' in which case he could be forgiven for getting confused.

So far as the characterization is concerned, yes they are a little larger than life, and a little unusual, but as an expatriate Brit., I find most depictions of Americans by American actors equally unbelievable, and frequently find myself asking, "Would that bloke really behave like that?" PS. I spell in English English.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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