The Brothers (1972 - 1976)

Willie Oleson

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My first thread in the UK soaps forum!

I've just finished the first series (we shall not speak of "seasons" in this thread) and I'm happy to report that it's very good.

Compared to other TV series from the 1970s I find it surprisingly coherent and to the point, eventhough I also love the unexpected weirdness that you usually find in these old productions (e.g. The Lotus Eaters).
Some of the dialogue is a bit novel-style, but only when it suits the character or situation.

The story cuts to the chase with the reading of the will after the family has buried its patriarch.
There are a few nasty suprises but overall they manage to cope with the new situation - or so it seems.
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Most of story focuses on the company and how the new directors try to fit in, combined with several personal plot lines here and there - The Onedin Line on wheels, as it were.

The characters and the actors portraying them are all very watchable, the role of daughter Barbara seems to be the most difficult to play because there's some passive-aggressive stuff going on but sometimes they completely forget about that and then she becomes a little bland.

The interior of the Hammond's residence has some interesting gothic-shaped decoration and ornaments.
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The main colour of the living room is brown, of course.

Patrick O'Connell will take over from Glyn Owen as oldest son Edward Hammond in the next series.
I think this is the first permanent recast in the prime time soap genre.
I haven't seen any of series 2 yet so I can't rate O'Connell's performance, but I'm definitely going to miss Glyn Owen.
And maybe, after only 10 episodes, that's a testament to the quality of and my soapy involvement in this series.
 
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Willie Oleson

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Series 2

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I'd be lying if I said that this was a very exciting follow-up to the first series. It's very tame compared to Dallas and Dynasty eventhough it sort of does the same thing.
There's also a leisurely approach to the filming of the scenes which could confuse the modern viewer since many modern tv dramas wouldn't do anything without explaining, indicating or foreshadowing something.
The episodes are open-ended but there are no cliff hangers, and I guess that also makes it a little less addictive (*wobbly/sepia flashbacks to Beryl disappearing into the mine shaft* - oh stop it, stop it!).

However, the actors can sink their teeth in a well-written script, and that makes it very, very enjoyable. There are a few tiny mistakes that were overlooked rather than having the actor doing it again.

Just like the Mermaid Yard in HOWARDS' WAY, the Hammond Company is constantly teetering on the brink of financial disaster. It never feels as big or important as losing Ewing Oil or anything like that, but they have these endless and way too formal boardroom meetings in that ugly, dreary room that doesn't look like anything, let alone a boardroom, and sometimes it borders on satire.
Half-Hammond-sister Barbara visits her art mentor in France, and how did they show it? An obnoxious French waiter and the sound of - hold on - the sound of flies!
I mean…

Anyway, back to the financial problems, purely out of necessity they are getting mixed up with a cheeky Australian self-made man, wonderfully portrayed by Mark McManus.
I thought I recognized him but I've decided that he looks like Mark Owen.
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He also cites one of Australian's greatest poets Dorothea MacKellar. "I love a sunburnt country..."
I thought, hey wait a minute, I know that poem - but how? I've never read that book.

Ann Hammond, married to the middle brother Brian, is the family antagonist, but more in a literary kind of way. She smoulders and slithers and there's something conniving about everything she says and does.
I wouldn't call her a villain, but she's a very difficult woman with a sharp tongue.

Youngest brother David is getting married to fashion model Jill, but he's also had a one-night stand with her roommate Julie who looks like a young Jackie Collins (but it's Gillian McCutcheon).
Julie is a blasé and provocative girl with a dirty mouth but when the wedding becomes reality she loses her cool. I guess some people underestimate their own feelings.

Brian Hammond almost had an affair with a school teacher who looks like Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey, but she's really Anna Fox with a very obscure IMDB filmography. She speaks very softly and educated, but nearly all her sentences end in a high-pitched tone so it sounds as if she's singing her script.

Nitwit secretary Marion (a "real fountainhead of information") has been replaced! Boo, hiss!
Patrick O'Connell will take over from Glyn Owen as oldest son Edward Hammond in the next series.
I had no problem accepting him as NuTed, it's still exactly the same character.
I've read on the internet that he wanted out of the series and pursue a career as painter, which is interesting because one of his last scenes in season series 2 is a conversation with half-sister Barbara about (not) pursuing her career as a painter.


Let's see what's on the agenda for the next boardroom meeting.
 

Angela Channing

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I was too young to watch or even be aware of this series when it was first broadcast but recently became interested in seeing it when I was researching the background to different shows so I could write descriptions of them for the World Cup of Soap Operas.

I'm loving your reviews of this series and it's definitely on my list of shows to watch in the near future.
 

James from London

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I've never seen The Brothers either, but I always assumed this sketch of Fry and Laurie's was a parody of it:

 

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I have never seen the Brothers and was in bed when it was shown in UK but i remember my mum was a fan and liked the cast, was it shown in UK on a sunday evening?

I loved Tenko which starred Jean Anderson and my mum always said she played a tough matriarch in The Brothers as head of a family and business and was not to be messed with
 

Willie Oleson

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3 episodes into SERIES 3 and it's evident that more and more soap is bubbling up to the surface.
Some of that has to do with a few supporting characters "crossing over" from the previous series, and their roles have expanded too.

Jennifer Kingsley's daughter Barbara returns home with...a surprise husband.
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He's hyperactive and has a tendency to break things, which is why Barbara wants him to steer clear of matriarch Mary's valuable porcelain.
Mary is very fond of Barbara, but she passionately hates her mother, Robert Hammond's former mistress - and only former because he died.
But she knows that she has to tolerate her if she wants to keep in touch with Robert's bastard.

David's wife Jill's inheritance has saved Hammond Transport Services from bankruptcy, and yet the boardmeetings are getting more heated and emotional.
And when everybody's against somebody, Ann Hammond smells the opportunity to move her husband into the position of managing director, currently held by oldest brother (and chairman) Edward.
There's some very subtle manipulation going on when she decides to cosy up to her mother-in-law, and these 3 episodes have also given me more insight into these characters.
You're stronger than Brian, you're the one who's got to make it work. Do you still love him, Ann?
I don't think I want the sort of love you're talking about. I don't think I could cope with it.
The best part of that comment is that it tells me everything I don't know about her. It means everything, and yet it doesn't give anything away.
But I could definitely interpret this Hammond couple as the prototype for the Urquharts in HOWARDS' WAY.

1974 also means that I've entered a more fashionable part of the seventies. There's talk of men's clothes boutiques (Italian import, of course) and the Hammonds mingle with flashy and pushy advertisers during a cocktail party. (nose pressed against the screen, afraid to miss any of the details).

One of them is Nicholas Fox, Barbara's former art mentor who has traded his bohemian lifestyle for a more commercial one, also the reason why Barbara didn't want to see him anymore. And give up art school altogether.
The notorious womanizer is making things difficult for Ann, who has just re-established herself as the devoted and supporting hausfrau (with an agenda).

Foreman Bill Riley, previously old man Hammond's right-hand man, reluctantly confides in Jennifer about his domestic issues.
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"The other day, I went home early for once. Our kitchen window looks out on to a brick wall….and she was standing at the sink looking out the window. And she said to me: Do you know how many bricks there are in that wall? I can tell you, I've counted them a thousand times over".
This sudden, off-screen soap saga appears to be another example of Series 3's slightly melodramatic approach.

In the meantime,the bitchy and sarcastic Julie Lane knows exactly what's wrong with David and Jill's marriage, and this understanding is part of the attraction.
When David comes home after a night with Julie, he finds his wife in the living room, crying. He didn't know that her modelling gig in Liverpool was cancelled.
And this also means that the Hammonds are dipping their toes in cliff-hanger water, which is awesome, of course.
 

Willie Oleson

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If I see kindness and consideration, my instinct is just to stamp it out

Ann Hammond is a properly miserable soap wife, and it's funny that Brian's almost-affair woman, Pamela, has become involved with the Hammond marriage again.
But there's a good reason, because Pamela isn't married and therefore far more objective and helpful in Ann's self-analysis.
I find it all very mesmerizing, and to be honest I had not expected the writing for the women to be this good.

The animosity between Mary Hammond and Jennifer Kingsley erupts into a very emotional argument - interestingly, most of the aggression comes from Jennifer, the mistress.
It's a wonderfully surprising scene, and eventhough it's purely interpretable I feel there's something metaphorical about the heated argument.
I think it's too easy to say that Jennifer hates Mary just because Mary hates her. She's clever enough to understand that the wife would never accept the mistress, and certainly not as a future daughter-in-law (!)
And yet she accuses Mary of being an evil woman, and that's not at all how I see it.
It's all good and well to take it on the chin and say "je ne regrette rien", but I wonder if there are some hidden feelings of guilt and shame being triggered by Robert Hammond's widow.

Jennifer and Edward rekindle their friendship/love/friendship, it's that typical soapy to-and-fro situation, and if they would marry he'd become the stepfather of his half-sister.
As the oldest son who had been working with his father since he was a boy, he had expected to inherit the business, or at least have total control over the company.
He was the one who opposed to the idea of sharing Hammond Transport Services with his brothers and the secretary/oops! mistress.
This may sound like a familiar scenario, but he's actually the most likeable Brother.
Youngest brother and ex-bon vivant David Hammond treats his lovely wife very badly, and Jill's friend Julie Lane still openly chases after David. She even tells David's mother during their argument. "He happens to be the one I want".

Brian is also no longer as naive and laid-back as he was in series 1 and 2. He's become jealous and pushy, but he's also the one who makes me laugh.
It's such a joy to watch all these vibrant characters so I don't really care where the story takes me.
Ah, and there's a face I recognize.
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But I had to wait for the end credits to see his name. Yes, I ought to be ashamed of myself.

As per usual with these old TV productions, the location scenes look much grittier than the scenes that were filmed in the studio.
But this has never bothered me, and it's kind of how I remember those faded colours.

This is from a Dover-Boulogne episode, I think it's also the first (*cough-cough*) action-packed storyline.

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Oh I hate it when people put names on their bourgeois houses. I wouldn't call it pretentious, but it shows an imagination that isn't imaginative at all.
Every time I see it, and there are lots where I live, it just makes me cringe.

The pop hits so far:
Peace Train - Cat Stevens
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles
Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) - Peter Sarstedt
And I think there was another one by Cat Stevens, a psychedelic-tribal party tune for Jill's pseudo-bohemian friends.

My personal The Brothers tune of the week:
 
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Willie Oleson

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Series 1 was good, series 2 was better and series 3 was fantastic. I can see why this was such a popular series in the Netherlands.
Boardroom drama and fatal affairs, but they're all very human and therefore very likeable.
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There's also bad news: The Brothers Series 4 starts September 1 1974, and the next episode of that other very British tv series is scheduled for January 11, 1975.
In other words, my dual watching is completely out of sync now.
 

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There's also bad news: The Brothers Series 4 starts September 1 1974, and the next episode of that other very British tv series is scheduled for January 11, 1975.
In other words, my dual watching is completely out of sync now.
I know the feeling. Stay strong.
 

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Well, how to describe series 4? Is it a first-rate soap opera, as described by the Observer?
As I've mentioned before, it's not as soap-y addictive as its 1980s counterparts, but I think the addictiveness is in the quality of story-telling.
The detail in script and performance makes it a mature and highbrow soap opera, and no matter how long the scenes are they never waste a single minute of it. I notice this because I often forget to breathe when I'm very focused.

The business part is very elaborate and it's obvious that the writer has done his homework.
If you don't like watching "talk shop" then THE BROTHERS is probably not the best choice for you.
Personally, I find it fascinating, and most of the drama derives from those very business storylines.

Jennifer Kingsley's daughter Barbara (and her ADHD husband Johnny) have emigrated to British Columbia - when was the last time I've heard of that place...high school? And does it still exist?
Series 4's new character is Bill Riley's wife Gwen, played by Margaret Ashcroft. There's nothing earth-shattering about this character but she also has her own way of saying things.

Who said that the car phone was an eighties thing?
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I already know that Hilary "Ann Hammond" Tindall won't appear in series 5 and 6, and she's going to be sorely missed.
But Brian is still there, and Richard Easton is a very, very good actor. They're all very good but he's my favourite.

Foreman Bill Riley has (reluctantly) agreed to become a member of the board, but he still calls the brothers Mr Edward, Mr Brian and Mr David. So funny.
He and his wife visit brother David and his lovely wife Jill, and then Jill shows Gwen around the new apartment. "Shall we start with the bedroom?"
Such a 70s and 80s thing to do.

I wonder if the 1976 US prime time soap EXECUTIVE SUITE was something in the style of The Brothers.
And speaking of dates, TB series 5 starts April 6, 1975 and THRILLER series 5 starts April 12, 1975 which means I'm almost back on schedule. Hurrah!





Yes!
 

Willie Oleson

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Series 5 starts with a double whammy.
Brian and Ann are officially divorced and she and the children have moved back to her parents' place. And David's wife Jill...well, she's dead!
Losing two Hammond wives doesn't seem like a very good plan, but three episodes later I have changed my mind about that.
Brian and Ann's story has been told, there's no need to drag it out and it also doesn't make sense to keep her around if they have new plans for Brian.
And since this is a character-driven soap they simply need the space to make that happen.

Jill's death doesn't happen in episode 5.1, no it happened when I was watching Dallas and Thriller and Doctor Who reviews.
There's definitely a feeling that she's not there, but she has been away before to do a fashion shoot or show in another town or even another country.
When David meets a neighbour who's been abroad for three months she asks about Jill.

And I brought a little present back for her, too. Will she be back soon?
No.

She's dead.
They had been building up to this cliff-hanger, naturally, but there's something very odd about it. It feels more like an adjustment in the script, like when an actor has died.
Thankfully that was not the case (and she's still alive), so it's an interesting alternative to the car crash/hospital scenes that we usually see in soap operas.
Brian has moved in with David for emotional support, but since he's grieving his divorce this could have created a sense of "upstaging" each other's misery.
In less capable hands this scenario could have gone terribly, terribly wrong.

If it was the decision to free the two brothers from their previous storylines then I think they did the right thing by doing it simultaneously. Make the decision and get it over with - ah, such a contrast with the endless boardroom discussions.
It was very nice to see these brothers interact in a more emotional ambience, that couldn't have happened if Brian was still involved with Ann.
In episode 2, David has an emotional breakdown and this basically wraps up the dead Jill story in a rather satisfactory way.

Brian however is not handling things very well. The divorce, the traffic accident (nothing to do with David and Jill's accident) and the heavy workload in his new position as managing director result in medicine and alcohol abuse, anxiety attacks and other physical discomfort.
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He needs psychiatric treatment, I have no idea where this is all going!
Either way, it's interesting that the provision of all this big, big drama solely rest on the shoulders of the male actors. And they do it so very well.

Paul Merroney. Hm, I haven't warmed up to him yet eventhough he does exactly what a Paul Merroney needs to do. I have no problem with the financial technobabble - The Brothers take their soap very seriously - but I find him a bit humorless and colourless. A name in a suit.
That also applied to his predecessor Martin Farrell (played by Murray Hayne) but his boring appearance was his characteristic, and that's why I never found him boring at all.
Maybe Paul Merroney needs a dash of his future Doctor Who persona, just to add a more personal touch to the story. Enfin, we'll see.

Jean Anderson is always superb in her role of Mary Hammond, but I'm going to highlight Bill Riley's wife Gwen because she's so completely different from that boardroom world and she continues to surprise me with her sometimes bold, sometimes awkward and sometimes quirky reactions. But the Rileys never put themselves down.
 

Willie Oleson

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Edward Hammond and Jennifer Kingsley finally tie the knot and mother Hammond just has to deal with it. But she does it as graciously as possible, considering that her new daughter-in-law was her husband's mistress - for many, many years.
A photographer is present to immortalize the happy couple, and each photo is also a still, sort of a mini-montage.
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Since this is a very old tv production, and since a photo represents the future past (instead of the present) I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of melancholy.
Come to think of it, I had a similar experience when I watched Angela and Rob's wedding in Sons & Daughters.

The boardroom has been relocated, things will never be the same again!

But look at those fabulous colours, beige and brown, and ashtrays everywhere.
They also mention the oil crisis, but didn't that happen in 1973?

Speaking of crisis, Caress Morell has arrived, kicking and screaming.
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I hope she's going to find Paul Merroney's weak spot because it's his cool and flawlessness that makes him kinda boring.
 

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Willie Oleson

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The boardroom has been relocated, things will never be the same again!
Oh yes, they will! And they're still voting on moving onto the next item on the agenda, and even that results in endless quarrels. It's really something else.

Series 5 is another fascinating installment, mostly because it lacks the emphasis that the 80s soaps reserve for their more crucial moments and developments.
All the mundane stuff and mundane dialogue seamlessly blend with those bigger moments.
There's no build-up, no score that informs the viewers to move to the edge of their seats, and this makes it feel constantly surprising, even when there aren't any surprises.

The story arcs are not very structured and yet nothing looks like an unnecessary subplot or filler, although I'm sure some people would disagree with that.
The Brothers also have their Rashid Ahmed, and then suddenly he's in Mary Hammond's living room while Caress Morell's drunken ex-husband impersonates a belly dancer while other guests discuss the soon-to-be-adopted baby's name with some of the business storyline still in the background.

I've learned what a Judas sheep is, all new American movies appear to be disaster movies (according to Edward Hammond), Mary Hammond thinks it's time for a mini-shareholder's meeting and Ted and Jennifer are listening to an instrumental cover version of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Get Down", must be one of those tacky Stereo Sound Parade LPs.

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I was quite shocked when I saw the swimming pool in the backyard of the Hammond residence. It's almost vulgar!

Roll on, series 6.
 

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When it comes to the US prime time soaps I usually have no idea who wrote what, but since every episode of THE BROTHERS start with the "episode title X written by N.J. Crisp" I noticed that the first episode of series 6 was not written by N.J. Crisp.
And episode 2 and 3 are also written by different writers.

In the series 5 cliffhanger, Edward received the news that the mother of the baby (currently fostered by the Hammonds) had changed her mind about the adoption.
The series 6 premiere starts with a little time-jump and apparently the biological mother had changed her mind again.
But there's still time before the custody issue will be settled legally, so she can change her mind again and again. And it's exactly the uncertainty of it all that has turned Jennifer Kingsley Hammond into a nervous wreck.
From that point of view I can understand why they sort of adjusted the cliffhanger story, it shouldn't end too soon.

Brian has been released from the sanitarium and after a holiday in Italy (during that time-jump) he makes a second surprise return.
Paul Merroney re-appoints him as the company accountant and he's expected to attend the board meetings but he's not allowed to say anything.
So funny.

Eventually, the biological mother of baby William decides that she's not giving him up for adoption, and Jennifer goes full on Claudia Blaisdel.
"Maybe they'll die and then they have to give him back to us!"
But it's interesting that there had to be a baby in the first place. Jennifer already has Barbara and when she and Edward dated it never became a topic of conversation.
Maybe she wanted to have a child with Ted to overwrite the history she's had with his father, and make her marriage to the son look like the "real thing" - an official family.

Another interesting detail is that William's mother has recently married, and the husband (not the baby's father) works for Hammond Transport Services Ltd.
Now that itself isn't so extremely interesting, come to think of it, except that the resident soap-doctor Dr. Ivan shares this information with Ted.
The logic behind this reveal is hilarious: Jennifer, who's becoming more and more unhinged, should never find out who the parents are. And then Ted tells Bill Riley and Bill tells his wife Gwen, for exactly the same reason: to keep it a secret.
Completely unnecessary, a secrecy-conspiracy is born.

Edward has always been the rational one during all this baby drama, but when he's talking to Gwen about all the clothes and toys that should be given to the parents when they come to the house to pick the baby up he clearly struggles with his emotions, and it just feels more poignant than Jennifer's big moments.

Soap meets soap. Mother Mary Hammond has bought a dishwasher, and while she and son Brian are trying to figure out how much detergent needs to go into the dishwasher they also discuss Sir Neville's interest in Mary. Is he going to pop the question? "Oh don't be so silly, Brian! Then again, it would solve some problems".
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It's just so wonderful.

David gets involved with a dangerous Francaise and Bill Riley never says nothing, he says "nowt".
Paul Merroney is conflicted about his loyalty to the bank now he's become more and more personally involved with the Hammonds and their company.
That's all very nice and lovely but it's only a vulnerability in spoken words. I don't need to see a nicer Paul Merroney but I'd love to see more frustration. The frustation of a pre-eighties yuppie who has underestimated the soapy byproducts of his Hammonds project.
Nevertheless, he's part of the gang now so I kinda like him anyway.
 

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When Brian Hammond talks about Don Stacy he mentions "underneath all that Somerset Maugham exterior", and indeed, he is one of the most colourful characters in The Brothers.
His scenes with his ex-wife, air freight chief Jane Maxwell, are larded with literary references - to and fro - and while that could be appreciated for the performance itself I think that the obligatory punch makes their scenes a little predictable.

Their divorce, long before these characters were introduced, has strengthened their relationship but at the same time it prevents them from moving on.
When Don fails his medical exam he's no longer allowed to fly her planes, which happens to be his one and only passion. But at the end it turns out that he did it on purpose, to no longer have reason to be there, despite Jane's offer to do something else.
And yet he can't bring himself to leave her, so he wants Jane to give him his marching orders. Which she does, with tears in her voice, and so it all ends on a melancholic note anyway.

As per usual, Hammond Transport Services Ltd is looking for a new big project to expand the company, and they find it. Well, it finds them, sort of.
The office is filled with activity, including Jennifer's input which puts an end to her baby drama, the non-stop sound of typewriters, files and numbers that need to be checked, and everybody's telling someone to ask someone else to come into their office.
They're being sabotaged by their competitor, a small but impressive guest role by Jack May, but the Hammonds' counter-espionage notwithstanding, the project falls through.

There are quite a few scenes with characters tripping over cords or bumping a foot or leg against a piece of furniture, and in one particular scene it looks as if Robin "David" Chadwick is unintentionally amused by extras in the background in a pub setting.
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The infectious laughter could be the result of extras acting a little bit too enthusiastic, but they could also be crew members performing as extras.
And maybe it looks exactly the way it is supposed to be, but in the context of that scene I can't think of any reason why.

Bill Riley may be a member of the board, but he and Gwen are the working class characters that many working class viewers can identify with.

Even without a whiff of parody or satire they are amusing and entertaining to watch. Maybe it's the idea of seeing one's own ordinary problems being integrated with the high-stakes drama that makes it look funnier and more exaggerated than it actually is.
Either way I find their discussion about the pros and cons of new curtains absolutely mersmerizing.

Paul Merroney is still a bit of a mystery to me. Initially I got the idea that he saw the potential in the Hammond company as something that could make a killer deal and - subsequently - further build his reputation in The City.
And eventhough he never stops acting as the antagonist it's not always clear where his loyalties are. The Hammonds also have a tendency to blunder and then I even sympathize with him. He's currently working on a 5 year expansion programme which is pretty long-term for a "killer deal".

His super-efficient secretary-with-benefits, Clare, has a typical TV announcer's look. She doesn't always like Paul and she doesn't want to love him, but eventually she realizes that she's losing more and more of herself.
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Considering how low-key and unscripted this whole affair played out I found her exit suprisingly sad. I'll miss her.

The Hammonds in Holland! (well, only Paul) - just in time to record that Dutch release only Christmas LP (which I must have).

Too bad they didn't use Dutch actors, then at least they'd have gotten original broken English, instead they had British actors (as if I wouldn't recognise you, Carmen Du Sautoy!) speaking English with a weird French/Japanese accent. Their attempt at conversation in Dutch is just insulting - that is, the part that I could actually understand. Tut tut!
It's interesting that they chose the name Van Der Merwe, which is more common in South-Africa, hence the Van Der Merwe family in the mini-series Master Of The Game (played by Donald Pleasence and Cherie Lunghi).

Another oddity is the way the end credits appear during the last scene, rather than the title cards.
Well I guess it could have been the very last scene, although not a particularly satisfying one. Thankfully this is not the case because there's series 7 with 16 episodes instead of 13.
And Paul Merroney is going to marry April Winter (the name has already caused a lot of hilarity amongst the cast).
 

Willie Oleson

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A new title card and intro sequence for series 7.


Robin Chadwick has lost his voice in episode 1, but the show must go on.
Ann Hammond and her children have returned from France (where she was living with Francois, how "novel") and she's still embittered and full of regret about all the things she missed out on. But she can't turn the clock back, and that's why she's never going to be satisfied or happy, not now and not in the future.
She describes herself as "a woman who really smokes cigarettes".
The storyline is about daughter Carol who doesn't want to live with her mother (and her lovers) anymore. Carol talks, and talks and talks. I think she talks even more than NuFallon Carrington.
Son Nigel still exists but I haven't seen him since series 1.

Mother Mary Hammond has come down with flu and as a side effect she's very emotional about everything.

It's very interesting to see someone cry for no particular reason at all.
Gwen suggests to Mary to eat some of that Swiss stuff ("muesli", Mary says), I guess it was not yet a very common product at that time. History is being written here.

Paul Merroney compares people from the Middle Eastern to Daleks.
I'm trying to find a word to describe the voice of his wife April, but maybe that word hasn't been invented yet.
April is a modern snob, sarcastic but not too cynical, upbeat but not too lovely. I think they took a lot from Kate O'Mara's character Jane Maxwell.

Paul has a new secretary and she's, oh my god, such a gem.

Thankfully, they don't get along at all.

Jane Maxwell uses a very seventies mirror for her make-up, it's funny that people always open their mouths when they do something about their eyes, eventhough it makes no difference whatsoever.
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She's sort of dating brother Brian but she's found her business ally in brother David. Jennifer Hamond can't stand her and thinks she worming herself into the family (wow, that's rich coming from her!).
Edward and Jennifer are going through a marital mini-crisis (no big drama yet) and Edward thinks they're not "fresh" anymore. But he finds April Merroney very refreshing - maybe it's her voice?

The last 8 episodes, I wonder what's going to happen and how it will end. But it shouldn't end, it's too soon!

Chart hit on The Brothers
 
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