Jeeves and Wooster

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Jeeves and Wooster
Jeeves and Wooster title card.jpg
The title card of Jeeves and Wooster
Format Comedy-drama
Created by Clive Exton
Starring Hugh Laurie
Stephen Fry
Composer(s) Anne Dudley
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 23 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 50 minutes[1]
Production company(s) Picture Partnership
Productions
[1]
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Original run 22 April 1990 (1990-04-22)[1] – 20 June 1993 (1993-06-20)[1]
Stephen Fry (left) as Jeeves & Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster.

Jeeves and Wooster is a British comedy-drama series adapted by Clive Exton from P.G. Wodehouse's "Jeeves" stories. The series was a collaboration between Brian Eastman of Picture Partnership Productions and Granada Television.

It aired on the ITV network from 1990 to 1993, with the last series nominated for a British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series. It starred Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster, a young gentleman with a "distinctive blend of airy nonchalance and refined gormlessness",[1] and Stephen Fry as Jeeves, his improbably well-informed and talented valet. Wooster is a bachelor, a minor aristocrat[2][3] and member of the idle rich. He and his friends, who are mainly members of The Drones Club, are extricated from all manner of societal misadventures by the indispensable valet ("gentleman's personal gentleman"), Jeeves. The stories are set in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1930s.

When Fry and Laurie began the series they were already a popular double act (see Fry and Laurie) due to regular appearances on Channel 4's Friday Night Live and their own show A Bit of Fry & Laurie (BBC, 1987–95).[1]

In the television documentary, Fry and Laurie Reunited (2010), upon reminiscing about their involvement in the series, it was revealed that they were initially reluctant to play the part of Jeeves and Wooster but decided to do so in the end because they felt no one else would do the parts justice.

Theme and opening credits[edit]

The theme (called "Jeeves and Wooster") is an original piece of music in the jazz/swing style written by composer Anne Dudley for the programme.[4] Dudley uses variations of the theme as a basis for all of the episodes' scores and was awarded a British Academy Television Award for her work on the third series.[5]

Characters[edit]

Many of the programme's supporting roles—including significant characters such as Aunt Agatha, Madeline Bassett, and Gussie Fink-Nottle—were played by more than one actor. One prominent character, Aunt Dahlia, was played by a different actress in each of the four series. Conversely, Francesca Folan played two very different characters: Madeline Bassett in series one and Lady Florence Craye in series four.

Episodes[edit]

Four series were produced, with 23 episodes in total; each series but the first consisted of six episodes, with all being broadcast each spring from 1990–3. The five episodes of the first series were directed by Robert Young and first aired in April and May 1990. The second series, directed by Simon Langton, aired in April and May 1991. The third series, directed by Ferdinand Fairfax, aired from March to May 1992. Fairfax also directed the six episodes of the fourth and final series, which initially aired in May and June 1993.

Reception[edit]

The third series of Jeeves and Wooster won a British Academy Television Award for Best Design for Eileen Diss. The final series won a British Academy Television Award for Best Graphics for Derek W. Hayes and was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series; it also earned a British Academy Television Award for Best Original Television Music for Anne Dudley and a British Academy Television Award for Best Costume Design for Dany Everett.[5]

In retrospect, Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline called screenwriter Clive Exton "the series' real star", saying his "adaptations come surprisingly close to capturing the flavour of the originals" by "retaining many of Wodehouse's most inspired literary similes."[1]

DVD releases[edit]

Granada Media released all four series on DVD in Region 2 between 2000 and 2002. On 1 September 2008, ITV Studios Home Entertainment released Jeeves and Wooster: The Complete Collection, an eight-disc box set featuring all 23 episodes of the series.[6]

In Region 1, A&E Home Video released the entire series on DVD in the US and Canada.

In Region 4, Shock Entertainment has released the entire series on DVD in Australia. It was initially released in season sets in 2007/2008, followed by a complete series collection on 4 August 2008.[7]

DVD Title Discs Year Episode count Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Complete Series 1 2 1990 5 27 March 2001 23 October 2000 5 September 2007
Complete Series 2 2 1991 6 27 March 2001 28 May 2001 2 December 2007
Complete Series 3 2 1992 6 2 January 2002 17 June 2002 31 January 2008
Complete Series 4 2 1993 6 26 March 2002 16 September 2002 5 May 2008
Complete Collection 8 19901993 23 26 November 2002 1 September 2008 4 August 2008

Locations[edit]

  • Interior shots of Skeldings Hall (Bobbie Wickham's house) were filmed at Home House – a historic house in London.
  • Totleigh Towers was filmed at Highclere Castle, Hampshire.
  • Other location shots of "Trouble at Totleigh Towers" were filmed at West End, Waltham St. Lawrence, Berkshire.
  • Exterior shots of Brinkley Court were filmed at Barnsley Park, Gloucestershire in series 1 and Hall Barn, Buckinghamshire in series 4.
  • All interior shots of Brinkley Court were filmed at Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire.
  • Interior and exterior shots of Chuffnell Hall, in series 2, were also filmed at Wrotham Park.
  • Shots of Chuffnell Regis, Devon were filmed in Clovelly, Devon.
  • Scenes from "Bertie Sets Sail" were filmed in Halton House, Buckinghamshire
  • Chuffnell Regis Station shots were filmed at Horsted Keynes Station - Bluebell Railway, Sussex.
  • Ditteridge Hall ("Jeeves Takes Charge") was filmed at Englefield House, Berkshire.
  • Twing Hall ("The Purity of the Turf") was filmed at Stanway House, Gloucestershire.
  • The "Victoria Hotel" and the "Hotel Riviera" in Westcombe-on-Sea ("Pearls Mean Tears") were filmed in Sidmouth, Devon.
  • Chuffy, ("Jeeves in the Country"). Some of the exterior shots in the gardens of the estate are filmed at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
  • Barmy's Aunt's House ("Kidnapped!") was filmed at Clandon Park, Surrey.
  • Deverill Hall ("Right Ho, Jeeves") was filmed at Joyce Grove, Oxfordshire.
  • Fothergill Hall ("Comrade Bingo") was filmed at Dorney Court, Buckinghamshire.
  • Lord Worplesdon's New York residence ("The Once and Future Ex") was filmed at Gaddesden Place, Hertfordshire.
  • Exterior shots of Stuyvesant Towers, Wooster's residence in New York City in series 3 and 4, were filmed at Senate House in Bloomsbury, the central library and administration building for the University of London.
  • Exterior shots of Berkeley Mansions, Wooster's residence in London, were filmed at 2 Mansfield Street, Marylebone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jeeves and Wooster at the BFI's Screenonline
  2. ^ The Hon. Algernon Wooster is mentioned in Something Fresh, a Blandings Castle book written by P. G. Wodehouse
  3. ^ Bertie Wooster's Uncle George, the brother of Aunt Agnes, is a peer (a 'Lord') whose surname is also Wooster
  4. ^ "The World of Jeeves & Wooster - Original Soundtrack". annedudley.co.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Awards for Jeeves and Wooster (1990) from Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ "Jeeves and Wooster - Complete Collection [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robert Daws, Richard Dixon, Mary Wimbush, John Turner, John Woodnutt, Michael Ripper, Francesca Folan, Elizabeth Heery, Richard Braine, Richard Garnett: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-29. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]