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In late-'80s Britain, Porterhouse College Cambridge is an anachronism, its students uniformly male and (in the vast number of cases) privately educated. When the incumbent Master dies (from a stroke brought on by overeating) the government revenges itself on Porterhouse by appointing as his successor an old graduate, the politician Sir Godber Evans. One of the tiny minority of state-school students the college has had forced on it over the years, Evans returns to his alma mater determined to drag this bastion of privilege into the twentieth century. The elderly academic staff cease their bickering and close ranks against him, but the new Master finds his most implacable and unscrupulous opponent in Skullion, the college porter. Written by
Peter Brynmor Roberts
The title song "Dives in Omnia" ("There's Money in Everything") was sung by a-cappella group "The Flying Pickets" whose version of the Yazoo song "Only You" had recently been in the charts. See more »
[Referring to the College Feast]
Sir Godber Evans:
Don't you find this a little indulgent? Particularly in the present economic circumstances.
Oh, we never bother with "present economic circumstances".
We find that they tend to go away after fifty years or so.
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Take one college steeped in religion, whose aim is not to produce high class students but to succeed in every master having a stroke brought on by gluttony. When the old master dies, Sir Godber Evans and his fiend of a wife Lady Mary blaze in to take over and soon tradition flies out the window in the face of radical plans: contraceptive machines and scholars! The Faculty aren't happy and neither is Scullion, the head porter, who is eventually sacked. His recompense though is awesome indeed and sparks really begin to fly.
This has to be one of the most biting attacks on the institution ever written. Unbelievably well cast, marvellously acted and directed, it cracks on a pace and runs to a terrific conclusion. Unlike his contemporaries David Jason has a skill with successfully creating many diverse roles. This is one of his best one-off roles. But look out for Paula Jacobs as the "buxom bedder"!!
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