IMDb > "One Foot in the Grave" The Wisdom of the Witch (1995)

"One Foot in the Grave" The Wisdom of the Witch (1995)

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David Renwick (written by)
David Renwick (by)
View company contact information for The Wisdom of the Witch on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
25 December 1995
A witch predicts an untimely end for Victor. Patrick and Pippa prepare to move far away from the Meldrews, but then Patrick gets stuck with Victor while trying to escape his secretary's jealous boyfriend. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
An Episode Among the Absolute Best One Foot in the Graves Ever See more (1 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Richard Wilson ... Victor Meldrew

Annette Crosbie ... Margaret Meldrew
Angus Deayton ... Patrick
Janine Duvitski ... Pippa

Phil Daniels ... Melvin
Rachel Bell ... Lorna
Joanne Engelsman ... Christine
Bruce Byron ... Tunstall
Peter McNally ... Gridley
Peter Terry ... Postman

Virge Gilchrist ... Party Guest (as Virginie Gilchrist)
Tony Sibbald ... American
Boris ... Edwin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dick Vosburgh ... Voice (voice) (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Susan Belbin 
Writing credits
David Renwick (written by)

David Renwick (by)

Produced by
Susan Belbin .... producer
Original Music by
Ed Welch 
Film Editing by
Mike Houghton 
Production Design by
John Asbridge (designer)
Art Direction by
Steve Wright 
Costume Design by
Richard Winter 
Makeup Department
Vanessa White .... makeup designer
Production Management
Lesley Bywater .... production manager
Art Department
Amanda George .... properties buyer
Alison Rickman .... paintbox artist
Ron Venables .... construction manager
Sound Department
John Hooper .... film sound
Nick Roast .... sound: studio
Visual Effects by
Dave Chapman .... video effects
Chris Lawson .... visual effects designer (as Christopher Lawson)
Roy Alon .... stunt performer
Gabe Cronnelly .... stunt performer
Nick Hobbs .... stunt performer
Steve Whyment .... stunt arranger
Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Kempton .... studio lighting (as Christopher Kempton)
Martin Kempton .... studio lighting
John Record .... film camera
Duncan Unsworth .... studio camera supervisor
Casting Department
Judy Loe .... casting advisor
Editorial Department
Sue Collins .... vision mixer
Mark Lawrence .... vt editor
Music Department
John Du Prez .... music arranger: closing title music
Eric Idle .... composer: closing title music
Eric Idle .... music performer: closing title music
André Jacquemin .... music producer: closing title music
Other crew
Jo Cole .... assistant floor manager
Christine Gernon .... production assistant
Lesley Hardstaff .... production secretary
Maggie Kelleher .... programme finance assistant
Jonathan Paul Llewellyn .... production associate
Philip Quinn .... studio resource manager

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Cinematography by
John Record 
Art Department
Maddy Turnbull .... art department assistant (as Madeleine Turnbull)
Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | UK:12 (video rating) (1996)

Did You Know?

Tony Sibbald's final acting role.See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
An Episode Among the Absolute Best One Foot in the Graves Ever, 25 February 2013
Author: Troll_Dahl from United States

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm a little surprised that there aren't any other reviews for this episode, since some of the other OFITGs individual episodes have reviews and I'd consider this one of the best, most memorable episodes ever. Mind you, I think there was never really an episode that was below par but some are especially good. And unlike you might expect, the longer Christmas specials were no exception; the show never suffered in my opinion from changing story format--and there were episodes that ranged from 30 to 90 minutes throughout the series. Indeed, the longer (60-90 min.) episodes were of such high quality that it's often like watching a little movie. In this one, one of the later specials (and this is a show that sometimes seemed to get *better* as it went on), things are even more convoluted and wacky and the extended time provides more opportunities to shove in subplots and sidetracks without the episode ever coming near falling apart.

Reading what information there is available on line about this series, I've learned that this special was originally conceived as the series finale and would have ended with Victor dying in his struggle with a violent intruder. The intruder subplot is still in the episode and having watched it a number of times, I can easily see how the story may have been adapted from that ending to what ended up on the air. This episode basically involves two major events that happen to coincide in time: the Meldrews' cousin Ursula dies suddenly, leaving a large in the countryside full of her things to take care of, and Patrick and Pippa, the Meldrews' next-doors, are finally moving away. That in itself is a major moment, as they'd been trying to sell their house for several years on the show and their neighborly relations (or lack thereof) with Victor had been a running element of the story. I can see how David Renwick may have conceived that element as a resolution to the series, since it wraps up a major plot line, alters a core aspect of the character dynamics (the neighbors aren't neighbors), and even though the show went on and Patrick and Pippa kept appearing intermittently, having them move on could conceivably have resolved that conflict with Victor that was so important in the show and resolved a major part of the premise the show had assumed since those two characters entered in the second series.

Basically, trying not to spoil too much, what can only be effectively described as a cluster**** occurs when Patrick's house-moving operation gets tangled up with Victor's house *clearance* operation and circumstance conspires to create a living hell for everyone involved. Also in the mix are a psycho jealous boyfriend, a very dodgy hotel, a giant tarantula, and a tarrot-reading witch who predicts that Victor will come to a bad end. It's also the middle of winter and the fact that there are blizzard conditions does nothing to help.

This is a particularly good episode for fans of Patrick and Victor, as those two end up spending lots of time together in forced confinement. Among other things, Patrick accidentally ends up locked in Victor's car boot (trunk) at one point, ending a really hilarious encounter between the two involving a bottle of toilet-freshner employed as a weapon. In an interesting turn, perhaps again suggesting that Renwick was originally trying to tie up all threads, Patrick and Victor actually start to get on for a bit while stuck together at Ursula's house during the snowstorm. One of the funniest moments comes when they are playing a board game while a bit tipsy, and instead of picking up the cup with the dice in it, Victor picks up the glass he was drinking from and, accidentally rolling his ice cubes and splattering his drink all over the table. But of course, that goes wrong goes wrong as well, when one of the most convoluted OFITG cock-ups ever comes to light. There is something very interesting and pleasurable about seeing the characters stuck with each other adverse circumstances. Maybe it's because one can relate in some way to all of the chaos and to those situations in which you are "trapped".

All in all, this is one of the best, funniest, and most memorable episodes. I would even suggest that a person could start with this episode, if they are willing to sit through an hour-long special. It doesn't set up or explain the original premise but you don't need to know all of that background to get and appreciate what's going on here and it gives a really good flavor, I think, of what the show is like and allows you to see it at its best.

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