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The Lotus Eaters 

Erik and Ann Sheppard run a bar on a Greek island, but all is not what it seems: both have murky pasts that they would prefer to forget. Erik is a reformed alcoholic and Korean war veteran ... See full summary »


Michael J. Bird




2   1  
1973   1972  


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Series cast summary:
Ian Hendry ...  Erik Shepherd 15 episodes, 1972-1973
Wanda Ventham ...  Ann Shepherd 15 episodes, 1972-1973
Stefan Gryff Stefan Gryff ...  Captain Michael Krasakis 12 episodes, 1972-1973
Anthony Stamboulieh Anthony Stamboulieh ...  Nikos 12 episodes, 1972-1973
Maurice Denham ...  Nestor Turton 11 episodes, 1972-1973
Frank Duncan Frank Duncan ...  Cotton / ... 9 episodes, 1972-1973
Karan David Karan David ...  Katerina 8 episodes, 1972


Erik and Ann Sheppard run a bar on a Greek island, but all is not what it seems: both have murky pasts that they would prefer to forget. Erik is a reformed alcoholic and Korean war veteran invalided out of the British army after a nervous breakdown. He left England after being controversially cleared of murdering a young girl. Ann, unknown to him, is a 'sleeping' agent, who had been instructed to marry him as a cover. Unfortunately, she has become genuinely attached to him, and trouble looms when her superiors decide to activate her for a mission. Their attempts to break her affections include sowing doubts in her mind as to whether Erik did in fact kill the girl in England. This dilemma is brought into sharp focus when another young girl is murdered, under very similar circumstances. Loyalties are tested to the very limit before the truth can be reached. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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Did You Know?


Wanda Ventham was 11th hour casting choice replacing a actress who dropped out. See more »


Referenced in Remembering Douglas Camfield (2013) See more »

User Reviews

A slow burner that turns into a rollercoaster
24 February 2021 | by michaelprocterSee all my reviews

I discovered the TV author Michael J Bird first through my partner recommending The Aphrodite Inheritance, then Who Pays the Ferryman (superb) and finally realising that The Dark Side of the Sun (very interesting) was a TV production of his I had seen as a teenager and had found made a vivid impression on me. The Lotus Eaters is Michael J Bird's first production: It is a little dated in attitudes but once you get used to the characters and central premise, like all of his other TV, I found this absolutely compelling. Whilst I agree with the lead reviewer on this page that the first series is somehow more gentle and easy to watch (it is 11 episodes or so) I take issue with the idea that Series 2 (which wraps up the central plot) is a disappointment caused by a "young director" (as far as I know Viktors Ritelis was a well thought of director and learned his trade with the great Douglas Camfield who directed a couple of episodes in Series 1). If Series 2 had never happened, viewers would have been left with an unresolved plot, and whilst different to Series 1, I found Series 2 to be very poignant and emotional as well as being dramatic, if a little less diverse, given its shorter 6-episode focus, and every single episode is written by the series creator, Michael J Bird - which perhaps makes it more "one note". All in all, a great, original, inventive, ground-breaking series: The fact that the alcoholic background of Ian Hendry's character somewhat reflects the actor in real life, adds an extra dimension of realism. Michael J Bird has a unique voice, and I have yet to see a production of his that fails to engage and entertain, which given this series was made in 1972-3, is no mean achievement. Some great familiar TV actors seen also from this period: Stefan Gryff and Maurice Denham giving particularly fine and interesting performances. In short, despite its flaws, I loved this series.

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Release Date:

23 April 1972 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Crete, Greece

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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