Capitalising on the notoriety of the B.B.C.-2 series 'Casanova' ( written by Dennis Potter, and starring Frank Finlay ), 'Casanova 73' cast Leslie Phillips as 'Henry Newhouse', a suave lounge lizard, not far removed from the character he played in the 'Doctor' films.
The level of humour was epitomised by the title sequence; it showed Henry at the wheel of an open-topped sports car, eyeing up various mini-skirted lovelies, in particular a sexy garage attendant who suggestively inserts her pump into his fuel tank.
Henry seemed to charm the clothes off every gorgeous chick he met, such as Cyd Hayman or Maureen Lipman, but this being a sitcom, things would not go as smoothly as planned.
In one episode, Henry went mad trying to find a tape recorder hidden in the flat where he and his latest conquest had just had sex. In another, he panicked after a frumpy friend of his wife's ( Josephine Tewson ) spotted him dining out with his newest amour. In yet another, he travelled to his son's private school to investigate a complaint brought by a sexy maths teacher. Newhouse Junior had taken pictures of said teacher skinny dipping in some woods. Henry tried to smooth things over by wining and dining the woman, but they got drunk and wound up in bed. The evidence of Henry's guilt was visible when he removed his shirt in his wife's presence - in the heat of passion, the teacher had scrawled sums all over his back.
The show was pure farce, with innuendos flying around like confetti at a wedding. Why his wife Carol ( who knew of his adultery ) didn't divorce him was a real mystery.
Galton and Simpson intended it as a humorous comment on the so-called 'permissive society', but the Mary Whitehouses of this world didn't appreciate the joke, branding it 'lewd' and 'smutty'. The B.B.C. agreed, and shifted it to a post-watershed slot, where it was quietly forgotten.
One unmade script, in which Henry took Carol to a wife swapping party, was later used in the 1977 Yorkshire T.V. series 'The Galton & Simpson Playhouse'. Richard Briers played Henry on that occasion.
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