BBC2 Play of the Week: Season 1, Episode 10

A Visit from Miss Protheroe (11 Jan. 1978)

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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 25 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Arthur Dodsworth has recently retired. He lives alone except for his budgie and memories of his late wife Winnie. One afternoon his nap is interrupted by the doorbell; his former secretary,... See full summary »



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Title: A Visit from Miss Protheroe (11 Jan 1978)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Hugh Lloyd ...
Mr. Dodsworth
Miss Prothero


Arthur Dodsworth has recently retired. He lives alone except for his budgie and memories of his late wife Winnie. One afternoon his nap is interrupted by the doorbell; his former secretary, Peggy Prothero, has come to visit. A brash, charmless woman who seems to take no pleasure in anything but putting people down, Miss Prothero wants to fill her old boss in on all the changes that have taken place at work since he left. Dodsworth isn't very curious, and as the visit wears on it puts a little strain on his politeness and patience. Miss Prothero doesn't enjoy it much either, but lingers on as there's a bombshell she wants to drop. The docketing system Dodsworth introduced thirty years earlier, which revolutionised the firm, has been scrapped by her adored new boss Mr Skinner. The crowning achievement of Dodsworth's career has just become obsolete, and she wants to tell him all about it. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

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Release Date:

11 January 1978 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A lot of talent involved. and worth seeing, but not up to the very best of any of the participants
9 January 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Amusing, but slightly one-joke premise that starts to wear out even in this brief 36 minute BBC film.

Mrs. Profroe, a self satisfied social climber, goes to visit her recently retired and recently widowed boss. On the surface her visit is to cheer him up by keeping him informed of what's going on at their old place of business, but in truth she's more interested in undermining his happiness and self-confidence.

Both Hugh Lloyd and Patricia Routledge give very good performances in this very stagy, one- set piece directed by Stephen Frears. But as good a writer as Bennett is, and as well observed his turns of phrase are, in the end, we don't know much more at the end of the piece than we do about 5 minutes in. Most of this consists of just running darkly funny variations of Miss Prothroe slowly driving poor Mr. Dodsworth crazy.

With this much talent taking part, that still gives one much to enjoy, in spite of the frustration as it slowly dawns that the piece is almost more a long comic sketch then a true play of greater depth that would show the best of all involved.

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