Second Thoughts (TV series)

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Second Thoughts
Genre Sitcom
Created by Jan Etherington
Gavin Petrie
Starring Lynda Bellingham
James Bolam
Belinda Lang
Julia Sawalha
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 49
Production
Running time 30 minutes
(including commercials)
Production company(s) LWT
Distributor ITV Studios
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 3 May 1991 (1991-05-03) – 14 October 1994 (1994-10-14)
Second Thoughts
Genre Sitcom
Running time 30 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Lynda Bellingham
James Bolam
Belinda Lang
Creator(s) Jan Etherington
Gavin Petrie
Writer(s) Jan Etherington
Gavin Petrie
Air dates 1 November 1988 (1988-11-01) to 23 July 1992 (1992-07-23)
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 31

Second Thoughts is a British comedy television programme that ran from 3 May 1991 to 14 October 1994. It was broadcast on the ITV network and made by the ITV company LWT. It was followed by a sequel, Faith in the Future. Second Thoughts followed the lives of two middle-aged divorcees, Bill MacGregor and Faith Greyshott, from very different backgrounds trying to develop a relationship, despite the pressures pulling it apart (namely Faith's two teenage children and Bill's devious ex-wife Liza, who works alongside him).

Second Thoughts was based upon the real-life relationship of the writers, husband and wife Jan Etherington and Gavin Petrie. It originally aired as a radio series on BBC Radio 4 broadcast between 1 November 1988 and 23 July 1992. The radio series consisted of four series and a Christmas special broadcast in 1992 with a total of 31 episodes. The radio scripts were used for the television series on ITV. The fifth series was considered weaker than the first four series; it was the only series not to be based on the original radio scripts.

Second Thoughts ended on 14 October 1994, but has since been repeated on ITV3. The original radio series is often replayed on BBC7.

Characters[edit]

  • Bill Macgregor (James Bolam) - An art editor of a style magazine where he works alongside his bitchy ex-wife Liza.
  • Faith Grayshot (Lynda Bellingham) - Faith is a freelance illustrator who occasionally does work for the style magazine Bill works for.
    She has two teenagers from her previous marriage, Hannah and Joe. The children and the dog often come before Bill.
  • Liza Macgregor (sometimes known as Liza Ferrari) (Belinda Lang) - Bill's ex-wife, Liza is a histrionic woman with expensive tastes.
    Liza works for the same magazine as Bill and is constantly interfering with Bill and Faith's relationship.
  • Hannah Grayshot (Julia Sawalha) - Faith's teenage daughter and eldest child.
  • Joe Grayshot (Mark Denham) - Faith's teenage son. Joe is obsessed with football and only shows interest in girls when they like football.
  • Hilary (Louisa Rix in series 1; Paddy Navin in series 2 and 3) - Faith's best friend who is unlucky in love.
  • Richard (Geoffrey Whitehead) - Bill's boss at the magazine. Richard is married to Marjorie, but having an affair with Liza.
  • Marjorie (Georgina Melville)
  • Callum (Ian Henderson) - Bill's cousin.
  • Defor the Dog (Levi)

Episode guide[edit]

Series 1: 1991[edit]

# Title Airdate
1 "Found and Lost" 3 May 1991 (1991-05-03)
Faith introduces Bill to her children as they prepare to move in together.
2 "Match of the Day" 10 May 1991 (1991-05-10)
In spite of Liza's interference, Bill and Faith are reconciled and Faith suggests Bill goes to watch Joe playing football.
3 "Night Moves" 17 May 1991 (1991-05-17)
Bill decides it's time he spent the night at Faith's house. But with two children and a dog to contend with, it's not going to be easy.
4 "She who hesitates" 24 May 1991 (1991-05-24)
Bill asks Faith to go out with him for the evening. But when she is unable to because of her commitments at home, he criticises her lack of spontaneity.
5 "Nursing a conscience" 31 May 1991 (1991-05-31)
When Bill is taken ill with food poisoning, he learns what it's like being with Faith twenty-four hours a day.
6 "The Late, Late Show" 7 June 1991 (1991-06-07)
With certain areas of the house in need of decoration, Bill is given a preview of what living with two teenagers will be like.
7 "A marriage of inconvenience" 14 June 1991 (1991-06-14)
Bill and Faith decide to take the plunge and marry forthwith. But they find that such split decisions often have repercussions…

Series 2: 1992[edit]

# Title Airdate
8 "Rebel without a pause" 3 January 1992 (1992-01-03)
Faith is worried that she has been neglecting Hannah and Joe by spending too much time with Bill.
9 "Overtaken by events" 10 January 1992 (1992-01-10)
Faith is not enjoying teaching Hannah to drive, and challenges Bill to attempt the task.
10 "Health and Efficiency" 17 January 1992 (1992-01-17)
Bill gives Faith a weekend at a health farm for a birthday present, leaving him in charge at the house on his own for the first time.
11 "The rhythm of strife" 24 January 1992 (1992-01-24)
Bill cuts all his ties with his bachelor lifestyle when he decides to sell his flat to Liza.
12 "Maybe, Baby" 31 January 1992 (1992-01-31)
With Hannah and Joe growing up, Faith contemplates having a baby with Bill.
13 "Love and Hisses" 7 February 1992 (1992-02-07)
Richard offers Bill the opportunity to launch Vista magazine in America, which would mean emigrating.
14 "Room with a queue" 14 February 1992 (1992-02-14)
Faith, Bill and Joe argue over what to use Hannah's room for now that she is leaving for university.
15 "Foreign Exchange" 21 February 1992 (1992-02-21)
Bill and Faith take in an Italian foreign exchange student, Gina (Nadia Sawalha) to stay in Hannah's room.
16 "Recipe for Disaster" 28 February 1992 (1992-02-28)
Faith is looking forward to having some friends from Australia over to dinner.
17 "Affair Assessment" 6 March 1992 (1992-03-06)
Bill has been working late almost every night recently to cover up for the adulterous Richard, and it is beginning to affect his home life with Faith.
18 "Come as you were" 13 March 1992 (1992-03-13)
Faith has a heart-to-heart with Richard and convinces him to end his affair for Marjorie's sake. Meanwhile, Liza finds a new man.
19 "Love, Honour and Delay" 20 March 1992 (1992-03-20)
Bill and Faith attempt to marry again.

Series 3: 1992-1993[edit]

# Title Airdate
20 "Sleeping Partner" 18 October 1992 (1992-10-18)
21 "Youth and Consequences" 25 October 1992 (1992-10-25)
22 "Vice Principle" 1 November 1992 (1992-11-01)
23 "Double Booked" 8 November 1992 (1992-11-08)
24 "Is everybody happy?" 15 November 1992 (1992-11-15)
25 "Occupational Hazard" 22 November 1992 (1992-11-22)
26 "Hello, Goodbye" 29 November 1992 (1992-11-29)
27 "Labour of Love" 6 December 1992 (1992-12-06)
28 "Short Change" 13 December 1992 (1992-12-13)
Faith and Bill decide to move to a new home for two, but Hannah and Joe have other ideas.
29 "Sobering Thoughts" 8 January 1993 (1993-01-08)
Bill starts his new job working under Liza, and Faith starts a temperance drive.
30 "Old Problem" 15 January 1993 (1993-01-15)
31 "Heartburn" 22 January 1993 (1993-01-22)
32 "Faint Possibility" 29 January 1993 (1993-01-29)
33 "Otherwise Engaged" 5 February 1993 (1993-02-05)
34 "Management Decision" 12 February 1993 (1993-02-12)

Series 4: 1993[edit]

# Title Airdate
35 "Last Words" 29 October 1993 (1993-10-29)
36 "Into the fire" 5 November 1993 (1993-11-05)
37 "One more time" 12 November 1993 (1993-11-12)
38 "Auld Acquaintance" 19 November 1993 (1993-11-19)
39 "Mr. Fixit" 3 December 1993 (1993-12-03)
40 "Whose birthday is it anyway?" 10 December 1993 (1993-12-10)
41 "Playing away" 17 December 1993 (1993-12-17)

Series 5: 1994[edit]

# Title Airdate
42 "What's new?" 26 August 1994 (1994-08-26)
43 "Work Experience" 2 September 1994 (1994-09-02)
44 "She's leaving home" 9 September 1994 (1994-09-09)
45 "Mortal Thoughts" 16 September 1994 (1994-09-16)
46 "Dress Circle" 23 September 1994 (1994-09-23)
47 "Sporting Chance" 30 September 1994 (1994-09-30)
Bill is advised to take up golf to impress the editorial board, while Liza suddenly becomes interested in Harpo's charity week when the TV crew arrives.
48 "Full House" 7 October 1994 (1994-10-07)
Faith's god daughter is getting married and Faith and Bill are invited to the wedding, but so is Faith's ex-husband who she has invited to stay at the house.
49 "Friday the Thirteenth" 14 October 1994 (1994-10-14)
Faith and Liza finally meet for the first time, and Bill realises that his life may never be the same again.

DVD releases[edit]

All five series of Second Thoughts have been released on DVD. The first series was released in June 2005, but there was a 6-year gap before the second series was released on 11 July 2011. (During the gap, Network DVD was busy sorting out and planning release schedules on other TV shows.) The third series was released just 4 months later, on 7 November 2011, followed by the fourth series on 16 January 2012, and the fifth and final series on 5 March 2012, with a complete series set ("consisting of all five series together") to follow.

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1
6 June 2005
The Complete Series 2
11 July 2011
The Complete Series 3
7 November 2011
The Complete Series 4
16 January 2012
The Complete Series 5
5 March 2012
The Complete Series 1 to 5 Box Set
TBA

External links[edit]