Victor Meldrew is a retiree with an attitude who seems to attract bad luck. If he's not driving his long suffering wife Margaret crazy with his constant moaning, he's fighting with his ... See full summary »
Bernard Black runs his own bookshop even though he doesn't much like people who buy books and hates having customers. Next door to Bernard's shop is the Nifty Gifty gift shop run by Fran, ... See full summary »
Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »
The exploits of four friends, who are socially only marginally above what one of them calls "the freaks", are presented as they grow from their late teen years into adults and as they go on... See full summary »
Victor Meldrew is a retiree with an attitude who seems to attract bad luck. If he's not driving his long suffering wife Margaret crazy with his constant moaning, he's fighting with his neighbours. Written by
The 1995 Christmas Special was initially intended as the series' finale, and would have seen Victor being killed while saving Margaret from being attacked by a madman. The 1997 special was then intended to end the series with Margaret dying from a heart attack bought on from the strain of Victor's misadventures, but on both occasion the production crew got cold feet. It wasn't until the final series in 2000 that the team, in David Renwick's words, "plucked up the courage to kill Victor." See more »
With "One Foot in the Grave", David Renwick created a British icon, an ubiquitous catchphrase, as well as possibly the greatest situation comedy of its time. All from unlikely beginnings... Victor Meldrew, played by Richard Wilson (Renwick had him in mind when creating the character, and he was reluctant to play the part at first), can best be described as a grumpy old age pensioner, suddenly made redundant by an electronic piece of equipment, whose everyday actions reap disastrous, albeit hilarious, consequences. Of course the other characters add a lot of flavour to the series. The other main characters in "One Foot in the Grave" are Victor's wife, Margaret, played by Annette Crosby, who cannot be underrated in her role, as well as the ones with less screen presence who pop up from time to time: their neighbours and counterparts, Patrick & Pippa, played by Angus Deayton and Jane Duvitski, respectively; Margaret's friend, Mrs. Warboys; and the altruistic and left-side neigbour, Nick Swainey, all of whom are integral parts of the series; their idiosyncrasies clashing with Meldrew's. Although at first glance the characters in this series can seem rather one-dimensional, they really have a lot of depth to them. It is the only series which ran for so long I can think of whose episodes remain consistently funny, ranging from the various degrees of mildly amusing to absolutely, side-splittingly funny. It may be argued that a lot of the humour derived from this series comes from the way Victor reacts to other people. He doesn't suffer fools gladly! I believe that this series will stand the test of time, despite all the uniquely British references (especially the all-too-common time-sensitive ones, such as the names of contemporary celebrities). Even the theme song (sung & written by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame) is great. The series was broadcast over a 10-year period, from 1990-2000, spanning 6 seasons (36 episodes) plus seven Christmas specials of lengths ranging from 40 minutes to the one feature-length film, "One Foot in the Algarve" (1993). It's a shame the series had to end with both feet in the grave as a result of Victor's demise from a hit-and-run incident, but it certainly didn't overstay its welcome on the BBC.
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