A Family at War
|A Family at war|
|Created by||John Finch|
|Developed by||Granada Television|
|Theme music composer||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Original release||14 April 1970 – 16 February 1972|
A Family At War is a British drama series that aired on ITV from 1970 to 1972. It was created by John Finch and made by Granada Television for ITV. The original producer was Richard Doubleday and there were 13 directors over the series.
The series examined the lives of the lower middle class Ashton family of the city of Liverpool and their experiences from 1938 and through the Second World War. Despite being set in Liverpool, only one of the regular characters (David Ashton) spoke with a Liverpudlian accent.
Fifty-two episodes were produced, all but eight of them in colour. Episodes numbers 25 to 32 were recorded in black and white because of the ITV Colour Strike.
The memorable theme tune is from the end of the First Movement (Allegro) of Vaughan Williams's Sixth Symphony. The programme opening titles show a scene of a beach with a child's sand castle, with Union Flag flying, slowly being approached by the encroaching tide, symbolic of a beleaguered Britain standing alone in 1940-41.
- Colin Douglas as Edwin Ashton
- Shelagh Fraser as Jean Ashton
- Colin Campbell as David Ashton
- Barbara Flynn as Freda Ashton
- Keith Drinkel as Philip Ashton
- David Dixon as Robert Ashton
- Lesley Nunnerley as Margaret Porter
- Coral Atkins as Sheila Ashton
- John McKelvey as Sefton Briggs
- T.R. Bowen as Tony Briggs
- Ian Thompson as John Porter
- Diana Davies as Doris Jackson
- John Nettles as Ian Mackenzie
- Mark Jones as Michael Armstrong
- Margery Mason as Celia Porter
- Patrick Troughton as Harry Porter
- Brett Usher as Ken Beaumont
All episodes of A Family at War are available on DVD in the UK, distributed by Acorn Media UK, but with several of the released episodes edited down from their original running times. For example, in episode three Margery Mason and Patrick Troughton are credited but do not appear.
The series was released in the Netherlands in 2015 by Just Entertainment. There are several brief scenes cut from the Acorn set that do appear in the Netherlands set, such as the scene referenced above.
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