The Brothers (1972 TV series)
|Written by||N.J. Crisp|
|Directed by||Philip Dudley|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||94|
|Location(s)||Greenwich, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Original run||10 March 1972 – 19 December 1976|
The series was based around conflict within the Hammond family over the direction of the family firm, a road haulage business called Hammond Transport Services, after the death of patriarch Robert Hammond. The eldest son, Edward (played by Glyn Owen during the first series and by Patrick O'Connell for the remainder of the show's run), prepares to take over the running of the business, only to find that his father has left equal shares to his two other sons, Brian (Richard Easton), a dull accountant and David (Robin Chadwick), a young graduate - and to his mistress and secretary Jennifer Kingsley (Jennifer Wilson). Storylines throughout the series dealt with plans to expand the business into an international concern, coupled with more family-oriented plots as Edward and Jennifer fall in love and marry.
Other prominent characters included Hammond's hard-faced widow and the mother of the three brothers, Mary (Jean Anderson), who is determined to continue exercising her own influence over her family, Brian's shrewish wife Ann (Hilary Tindall) and David's girlfriend then wife Jill (Gabrielle Drake). Later characters to be introduced included the villainous financial whizzkid and proto-yuppie Paul Merroney (Colin Baker); April Winter, his secretary then wife (Liza Goddard), and Jane Maxwell (Kate O'Mara), the tough female boss of an air freight business. (Baker and Goddard later married in real life but subsequently divorced.)
Bill, the foreman (Derek Benfield), demonstrated how the workplace of the 1970s was changing. His elevation from the shop floor to a key member of the board was met with resistance from both ends, and the subsequent decades allow this to be seen in context, one way that management and workers may work closer together to maintain the company's competitive outlook. The character of Paul Merroney can in hindsight be viewed as a prototype for the new Thatcher-inspired generation of corporate go-getters.
After the end of the seventh series in 1976 the show finished. There was no formal cancellation of the show but a further series was never commissioned.
Created by Gerard Glaister and N. J. Crisp, Glaister was also the producer of the series, and fulfilled the same role on Colditz and later Secret Army for the BBC. The Brothers became a highly popular Sunday night favourite with BBC viewers throughout its run.
Series 1 is available on DVD in the UK.
The popularity of the series in The Netherlands (where it was titled The Hammonds) resulted in a Christmas album recorded by the main characters. Christmas with The Hammonds, produced by Dutch TV host Willem Duys, reached number 22 in the Dutch LP Top 50 in December 1976.
- Source: "Albumdossier" by Johan van Slooten, Gottmer Publishing, 2002
Full details on The Brothers plus episode guide can be found at the Colin Baker website http://www.colinbakeronline.com