The series focuses on the relationship between the staff of the ladies' department and the gentlemen's department in a mid-priced department store in London. Also involved in the humor and bickering are the floorwalker, the department manager, and the owner of the store. There were several cast changes, but most of the crew stayed on through the entire run.
As Frank Thornton (Captain Peacock, the floorwalker) points out in interviews, this show is appealing because it's about shops. Everybody knows what goes on in a shop. We see the bickering for display space, the outrageous lies told to clinch a sale, and the petty squabbles as management institutes ridiculous rules.
The one flaw to the series is that continuity stank. The departments in question bounced from floor to floor over the years, not because they were moved, but because the writers forgot where they were supposed to be!
A blessing to fans of the series is the new DVD collection which includes 34 episodes from the first five seasons. There were four Christmas episodes that are rarely shown on television, and two are in the time frame of this set. Also included is "Top Hat and Tails," which had been "lost" for twenty-five years. Once you see it, you'll understand why someone "lost" it until just recently (there's a scene that was surely considered inappropriate at the time).
This series has its down moments, but every episode brings laughs and joy. The quick wit and hilarious physical comedy remain timeless, even as the clothes seem more dated and the political references get stale.