Blott on the Landscape (TV series)
|Blott on the Landscape|
Blott in Hoskins' office, with Dundridge.
Tom Sharpe (novel)
|Directed by||Roger Bamford|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Executive producer(s)||Brian Eastman|
|Running time||53 minutes per episode|
Picture Partnership Productions
|Original release||6 February– 13 March 1985|
Blott on the Landscape is a 1985 BBC TV series, adapted by Malcolm Bradbury from the Tom Sharpe novel of the same name. It was broadcast on BBC2 in six episodes of 50 minutes each between 6 February and 13 March 1985.
Sir Giles Lynchwood was played by George Cole, with Geraldine James as Lady Maud, Julia McKenzie as Mrs Forthby, David Suchet as Blott, Paul Brooke as Mr Hoskins, Clare Grogan as the receptionist at the Handyman Arms hotel, Simon Cadell as Mr Dundridge, Geoffrey Chater as the Government Minister, Jeremy Clyde as his private secretary Densher and Geoffrey Bayldon as local solicitor Mr Ganglion.
Roger Bamford directed and the producer was Evgeny Gridneff. The music was composed by David McKay. The title music, and much of the incidental music, is notable for its faithful portrayal of a brass band, when most instruments were imitated by multivocalist Viv Fisher. 
Handyman Hall was filmed at Stanage Park, near Heartsease, Powys, a few miles west of Ludlow. The town of Ludlow stood in for the fictitious town of Worford, with a number of pubs and other buildings used there, though the Town Hall used as the courthouse was demolished in 1986. Deddington in Oxfordshire was the filming location for the village of Guildstead Carbonell, where several mock buildings were demolished in the market place for the film. Hook Norton brewery served as the Handyman brewery where Blott obtains copious supplies of strong ale for the motorway workers. It was a drunk, played by Jimmy Nail, who 'demolished' Guilstead Carbonell.
The Lodge, where Blott lives, was built on land at Blaise Castle Estate near Bristol. Sir Giles is seen drawing the proposed motorway route on his Ordnance Survey road atlas - the page is that of south Shropshire/Herefordshire, but with a few minor amendments made showing names of places used in the book and TV series (for instance, "Worford"- a cross between Worcester and Hereford - instead of "Ludlow"). The maps in the town planning offices show Ludlow and the South Shropshire district, and the map shown at the planning inquiry shows the north Herefordshire/south Shropshire area.
In the TV version, a series of flashbacks provides glimpses of Blott's past. Because the series was set ten years later than the book, Blott would have been too young to have served in World War II, so the flashbacks reveal that he was an incompetent Eastern European soldier who accidentally found himself stuck on a bridge between the eastern and western sides of the Iron Curtain. He was refused re-entry to the East and was brought to England to be employed by Lady Maud's father.
The 1985 televised version was released on DVD in the UK.