Oliver (we never learn whether this is his first name or his surname) is a middle-aged lecturer in Comparative Religion, with a passion for trivia, crosswords and anagrams, and a very strange taste in jokes. Having been made redundant from the University of the Rhondda Valley, and with no family ties, he decides to set off on a quest to find "Aristotle", a setter of crosswords. He soon teams up with WPC Diane Priest, who has just been suspended from the police force because she has been asking too many questions about a local murder that seems to implicate the Chief Constable. Pursued by Baxter ("the man with no name"), Oliver and Diane visit Shrewsbury, North Yorkshire, Durham, Hadrian's Wall and Kirkleven (in the Scottish highlands) on their journey to find "Aristotle" in the Orkney Isles. Along the way they uncover a major scandal centred around a property company. The laconic humour and the laid-back style are similar in many ways to _"Beiderbecke Affair, The" (1985) (mini)_, _... Written by
Martin Underwood <email@example.com>
When Alan Plater wrote the novel "Oliver's Travels" on which this TV series is based, he dedicated it to his friend and fellow resident of Hull, Tom Courtenay. When the BBC decided to dramatise the novel for TV, Plater hoped that Courtenay would play Oliver, and was not pleased either with the casting of Alan Bates or with the way that Giles Foster directed the series. See more »
A very funny, very romantic and very British mini-series
I saw this mini-series on "Mystery" on PBS and absolutely loved it. I usually hate movies/shows with a romantic bent but Alan Bates and Sinead Cusack have the most wonderful (and non-saccharine) chemistry of anybody I have seen. It was lovely to see a romance between two intelligent people who have plenty of lines on their faces instead of the typical 'Friends' twentysomethings. I honestly had to check the credits to make sure they weren't married to one another.
The writing overall is very well done, especially the conversations between Oliver and Diane, the two main characters. The plot has enough twists and turns to keep you interested and the humor is...well...very British. But very very funny. Highly recommended.
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