Cuéntame cómo pasó

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Cuéntame cómo pasó
Also known as Cuéntame
Remember When
Genre Drama, Historical, Comedy
Created by Miguel Ángel Bernardeau (es)
Written by Alberto Macías
Eduardo Ladrón de Guevara
Starring Imanol Arias
Ana Duato
Ricardo Gómez (es)
María Galiana
Pablo Rivero (es)
Irene Visedo (es)
Paula Gallego (es)
José Sancho
Juan Echanove
Ana Arias (es)
Lluvia Rojo
Elena Rivera (es)
Narrated by Carlos Hipólito (es)
Opening theme Cuéntame (es)
Country of origin Spain
Original language(s) Spanish
No. of seasons 19 (+1 confirmed)
No. of episodes 338 (+29 confirmed)
Executive producer(s) Miguel Ángel Bernardeau
Location(s) Madrid
Arahuetes (Province of Segovia) as Sagrillas (Province of Albacete)
Running time 60–90 mins
Production company(s) Grupo Ganga Producciones for Televisión Española
Original network La 1, TVE Internacional
Original release 13 September 2001 – present
External links
Production website

Cuéntame cómo pasó (English: Tell me how it happened), usually shortened to Cuéntame and also known in English as Remember When, is a Spanish television drama series which has been broadcast on La 1 of Televisión Española since 2001. It is the longest running prime-time series in the history of television in Spain.[1]

The series recounts the experiences of a middle-class family, the Alcántaras (Spanish: Los Alcántara), during the last years of the rule of Francisco Franco and the beginning of the Spanish transition to democracy.[2]

Initially the series was to be titled Nuestro Ayer, but it finally was titled Cuéntame. This name comes from the famous song Cuéntame (es) by the Spanish 1960s pop band Fórmula V that is used as the series opening theme. In March 2002, during the first season, the title was changed to Cuéntame cómo pasó because Cuéntame was already registered.[3]

The series was created to celebrate the first 25 years since Spain's transition to democracy, and its didactic spirit is clearly evident in some of the episodes. In special episodes it includes documentary interviews with historical figures of the era speaking about how they experienced the assassination of then Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco[4] or the death of Francisco Franco.[5]

The first episode was broadcast on 13 September 2001. The series begins in April 1968 with the arrival of television to the house of the Alcántaras just in time to watch the victory of Massiel at the Eurovision Song Contest.[6] The story reflects the changes in Spain beginning that day.

In March 2018, TVE and Grupo Ganga announced that the series, after its 19th season, would be renewed for one more season, with the storyline moving firmly into the late 1980s.[7]

Through situations, characters, and attitudes of the era, the series evokes a wistful reminiscence of those times. In this respect it can be compared to the series The Wonder Years, which did the same thing for US history.

This series was adapted in Portugal by RTP as Conta-me como Foi (pt), starting the same year (1968) and going to 1974, the year of the 25 de Abril, with the participation of Portuguese actors such as Rita Blanco and Miguel Guilherme.[8] It was also adapted in Italy by RAI as Raccontami with Massimo Ghini and Lunetta Savino[9] and in Argentina by Televisión Pública Argentina as Cuéntame cómo pasó with Nicolás Cabré and Malena Solda (es).[10]

Cuéntame cómo pasó has received numerous national and international awards, including the first Premio Nacional de Televisión (es) awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 2009,[11] two Premios Ondas (the International Television Award in 2002[12] and for Best National Television Series in 2003[13]), three New York Latin ACE Awards (for Best Scenic Program in Television in 2008[14] and Special Awards for Imanol Arias in 2009[15] and Ana Duato in 2010[16]) and a Silver Bird Prize in the Seoul International Drama Awards as the runner-up for Best Drama Series in 2007.[17] It was also nominated for the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series in 2003.[18] The series, its cast and its technical staff have received more than seventy awards overall.[19]

A short clip from the series' first episode was shown at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London among clips of famous British television programmes, music videos and films as part of "Frankie and June say...thanks Tim" sequence.[20]


Antonio Alcántara (Imanol Arias) and Mercedes Fernández (Ana Duato) are a married couple that have emigrated in the 1960s from Sagrillas, a (fictional) small village in the province of Albacete, to San Genaro, a (also fictional) working-class suburb in Madrid, along with her mother Herminia (María Galiana) and their three children, Inés (Irene Visedo (es)), Toni (Pablo Rivero (es)) and Carlos (Ricardo Gómez (es)) seeking a better life away from the hardships of an impoverished countryside. Antonio works as an office boy at the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in the mornings and at Don Pablo's (José Sancho) printing house in the afternoons. Mercedes and Herminia make trousers for a department store at home while doing the housekeeping. Inés works at Nieves' (Rosario Pardo (es)) hair salon across the street along with Pili (Lluvia Rojo), Toni is starting a Master's Degree in Law making him the first Alcántara going to university and Carlos spends his school days with his best friends Josete (Santiago Crespo (es)) and Luis (Manuel Dios). With great effort and hard work they are able to purchase in installments their first television set, their first washing machine, their first car (a SEAT 800) and even spend their first vacations at Benidorm where they see the sea for the first time.

As time goes by, Antonio leaves his jobs at the Ministry and the printing house to work for Don Pablo in other business. One of them, the building company Construcciones Nueva York ends up being a big fraud planned by Don Pablo and his partners in order to run off with the money and blame Antonio. Antonio is taken to court, the truth is revealed in the trial and finally Don Pablo is accused and imprisoned. After this, he starts working in other printing house, Gráficas Usillos, business that he eventually purchases and renames to Alcántara Rotopress. He runs for the first free democratic general election after Franco in the list of UCD for the Congress of Deputies for the Albacete constituency. He does not get the seat but he is directly appointed, by Adolfo Suárez, General Director of Agrarian Production of the Ministry of Agriculture under the Second Suárez Cabinet, a position located at the same office of which he was a subordinate years ago. With his new position and with the printing house running well, the family is able to move their residence from the humble San Genaro to the upper class Salamanca neighbourhood. He sells the printing house, he is removed form the position in the Ministry and he starts a flags and banners factory named Estandartes y Banderas along his best friend Desi (Roberto Cairo). When the Banco de Granada, the bank where Antonio and Mercedes have all their savings and the mortgage of the Salamanca neighbourhood apartment, declares bankruptcy, their economy gets in trouble and they have to move back to San Genaro, selling at a loss their luxurious apartment in order to cover their debts. After this, he starts along with his brother Miguel (Juan Echanove) an olive oil distributor, business spoiled when they are falsely accused of causing the toxic oil syndrome. Antonio has also problems with gambling, his health gets worse when he has an angina and he has a love affaire that puts his marriage in serious danger. With the money recovered from the Banco de Granada years after its bankruptcy, and the lands the family has in Sagrillas, all them start the vineyard and winery Bodega Alcántara Fernández e Hijos.

Mercedes tired of sewing trousers, starts to design her own outfits, to make them and to sell them. The sales go well, so she joins together with Nieves to start a boutique named Meyni in the hair salon premises, hiring Pili as shop assistant and using the back room as atelier. As the business prospers, Don Pablo decides to invest his money in it, and the clothing production is moved to a fully equipped dressmaking factory at Don Pablo's premises, hiring a team of dressmakers and even hiring Antonio and Desi as salesmen. Meyni reaches its peak of success when they run a fashion show in front of Carmen Polo, but the company does not outlast the economic crisis and they have finally to close the factory. After Nieves' departure, Mercedes joins together with Pili and they reconvert the boutique into a unisex hair salon. She gives birth to María, Alcántaras' fourth child, she decides to finish her secondary school studies and she even finishes a Master's Degree in Economics. She also works for some time as a real estate agent. Her health passes for troubling times when she is detected a breast cancer, she has a mastectomy, she suffers the strong treatment and the subsequent recovery. With her experience in design and in the fashion industry she starts a firm to make swimwear for women with a mastectomy and once completely recovered she is one of the first woman in Spain passing a breast reconstruction. She is also involved in the family winery taking care of the bookkeeping.

Inés, after breaking up with her lifelong boyfriend, travels to London with Nieves. There she falls in love with Mike (William Miller) and she decides not to come back. When they break up, she returns and she starts an acting career with the help of Eugenio (Pere Ponce (es)), the new San Genaro parish young priest. When Mike appears in Madrid looking for her, she decides to follow him to Ibiza to live in a hippie commune. Antonio and Mercedes try by all means to take her back but she doesn't return until she gets disappointed of her life there. Back in Madrid she helps Eugenio with the social events in the parish. They spend so many time together that they finally fall in love with each other. Eugenio passes a secularization and they get married. Inés continues with her acting career and she accidentally gets connected with a member of the terrorist group ETA for which she gets arrested and imprisoned. When released, waiting to be taken to court and being pregnant, she and Eugenio decide to go into exile to France, where their son Antonio Oriol is born and where they break up. Later she moves to Argentina with Oriol. She is able to return to Spain after the amnesty is promulgated. Once in Madrid she gets into La Movida Madrileña nightlife and she gets into drugs, meanwhile Oriol lives with Eugenio in Cuenca. When the family becomes aware of her addiction, they take her to Sagrillas and help her to get clean. After this, her acting career starts to take off, having the leading role in several movies and stage plays. When Eugenio dies in a car accident, Inés takes Oriol to live with her. She is also involved in the family winery helping Antonio with the foreign orders and she starts a relationship with Marcos (Carlos Cuevas).

Toni finishes his Master's Degree while getting into trouble, along with his young love Marta (Anna Allen (es)), actively protesting against the Régime. After university, he does his compulsory military service and starts working as a journalist in the newspaper Pueblo (es). There he meets Juana (Cristina Alcázar (es)), his fellow photographer, whom he falls in love with and finally gets married in Gibraltar. In the meantime, he quits his job at the newspaper when he is hired by Antonio to manage a magazine he is launching and to run his printing house. Later, he leaves those jobs to join a firm of labor lawyers. His marriage does not last too long and finally Juana leaves Toni. With the separation and after losing his job, he moves to Rome from where he returns immediately after he knows about Mercedes' illness. Back in Madrid he starts working in a radio station. Two years after their breakup, he runs into Juana that is walking with a little boy named Santiago (Víctor Garrido). Juana later reveals that she left him already pregnant and that Santiago is his son. While radio broadcasting live from the Congress of Deputies the vote to elect Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo as the country's new Prime Minister, he lives the 23-F attempt coup d'état from inside. He moves to London, where Juana is living, to be near his son for some time. Back in Madrid he starts working as a investigative journalist and he puts his life in risk investigating several shady complots. Fearing for his life and avoiding putting his family in danger, he flights to London. When accepting a position in Televisión Española's news service, he dares to return to Madrid with his new fiancée Deborah (Paloma Bloyd), and he becomes a Telediario news anchor.

Carlos spends his childhood going to school and playing in a vacant lot with Josete and Luis. He drives Antonio, Mercedes and Herminia crazy because he is a restless child. When he is in high school, Karina (Elena Rivera (es)) and her mother move into the apartment next door (she eventually becomes his biggest love). He gets into reading and writing and he wins a prize with a short story he writes. He starts dating Karina but the relationship goes with ups and downs. When finishing high school, instead of starting a degree, he decides to do his compulsory military service. There he meets Marcelo (Nao Albet (es)). After service, he starts a Master's Degree in Business Management in a private school, but he does not finish the first year. He opens a nightclub and he is accused of drugs smuggling. As he does not want to betray his business partner, that is the one who is smuggling, he is arrested and imprisoned. In prison he is attacked and he is about to die. He is released when the truth is revealed. After prison, he continues to write and he even publishes his first novel. He is also in a long sporadic relationship with Julia (Claudia Traisac), his summer love from Sagrillas. When finding Luis in very bad conditions, he takes him to Sagrillas and he helps him to recover, while taking care of the winery. When recovered, Luis takes over the winery everyday management. Josete and Marcelo join them in Sagrillas and all them help Carlos to start a rural tourism small lodging named La Casa de Doña Pura as it is set at the former cottage of his deceased grandmother Pura (Terele Pávez). Karina, running away from Carlos, gets married and, after a one-night stand with Carlos, gets pregnant. She gives birth to Olivia, a baby that it is not clear if it is Carlos' daughter or not. When her husband knows about the infidelity, they break up, Carlos takes care of her and the baby and, at last, he proposes and they start living together.

All the Alcántaras' story is narrated from an indefinite present by an adult Carlos (voiced by Carlos Hipólito (es)). Their story is directly and indirectly affected by the events and the social, economical and political changes occurring in Spain in the late 1960s, the 1970s and 1980s. The Alcántaras are also direct and indirect witness of the historic acts occurring those days, including, among many others, when Antonio, Mercedes, Carlos and Miguel witness the car bombing that assassinates Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco, when Toni chronicles the Portuguese Carnation Revolution from Lisbon, when all the family queue for hours for Franco's funeral chapel, when Carlos, Karina and Josete get trapped in the Alcalá 20 nightclub fire, when Antonio and Mercedes take part in the famous game show Un, dos, tres... responda otra vez, when all the family leave El Descanso restaurant just when it suffers a terrorist attack, when Antonio proudly attends, at the Royal Palace, to the solemn signature of the agreement for which Spain and Portugal joined the European Economic Community and when Inés, Marcos and Oriol come out of the Hipercor bombing unscathed.


Alcántara Family[edit]

Character Actor Episodes[21] Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Antonio Alcántara Barbadillo Imanol Arias 338 Main
Mercedes Fernández López Ana Duato 338 Main
Herminia López Vidal María Galiana 327 Main
Carlos Alcántara Fernández Ricardo Gómez (es) 337 Main
Carlos Hipólito (es) (narrator) 337 Main
Antonio Alcántara Fernández (Toni) Pablo Rivero (es) 299 Main
Inés Alcántara Fernández Irene Visedo (es) 158 Main Main
Marieta Orozco (es) 1 Guest
Pilar Punzano (es) 86 Main
María Alcántara Fernández Esmeralda García 76 Recurring Main
Celine Peña 55 Recurring
Paula Gallego (es) 77 Recurring Main
Purificación Barbadillo Sánchez Terele Pávez 25 Recurring Guest
Miguel Alcántara Barbadillo Juan Echanove 188 Guest Recurring Main
Françoise Alcántara Patricia Figón 1 Guest
Aida Folch 48 Recurring Main Guest
Francisca Ramos Fernández (Paquita) Ana Arias (es) 212 Recurring Main
Eugenio Domingo Subirats Pere Ponce (es) 136 Recurring Main Rec. Guest Guest
Antonio Oriol Domingo Alcántara Hugo Várgues 12 Rec.
Javier Lorenzo 47 Recurring
Juana Andrade Cristina Alcázar (es) 74 Recurring Main Guest Rec. Rec.
Santiago Alcántara Andrade Víctor Garrido 16 Recurring
María Caridad Saavedra (Karina) Elena Rivera (es) 171 Recurring Main Recurring Main
Marcos García de Blas Carlos Cuevas 23 Rec. Main
Deborah Stern Paloma Bloyd 16 Rec. Main

Friends and acquaintances[edit]

Friends and acquaintances appearing in more than 100 episodes.

Character Actor Episodes Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
José Quijo Jiménez (Josete) Santiago Crespo (es) 275 Recurring Main Recurring
María del Pilar Villuendas García (Pili) Lluvia Rojo 266 Recurring Main Recurring
Ramón Pascual Manolo Cal (es) 249 Recurring Main Recurring
Desiderio Quijo (Desi) Roberto Cairo 239 Recurring Main Recurring
Valentina Rojas Alicia Hermida (es) 189 Main Guest Guest
Clara Jiménez Silvia Espigado (es) 189 Rec. Guest Recurring Main Recurring
Luis Gómez Bermúdez Manuel Dios 165 Recurring Guest Guest Recurring
Froilán Cardeñosa Mora Antonio Canal (es) 152 Guest Recurring Main Recurring
Pablo Ramírez Sañudo José Sancho 151 Main
Celestino Álvarez (Tinín) Enrique San Francisco (es) 148 Main
Eladio Contreras Prieto (Cervan) Tony Leblanc 145 Main
Nieves Carranza Rosario Pardo (es) 143 Main Guest Recurring
Josefa García Peláez (Josefina) Pepa Sarsa 143 Recurring


Season Episodes Originally aired Ratings Setting
First aired Last aired Viewers Share
1 33 13 September 2001 4 July 2002 5,519,000 33.7% 2 April 1968 – 3 August 1969 [22]
2 14 26 September 2002 26 December 2002 6,419,000 37.6% 15 August 1969 – 1 January 1970 [23]
3 13 3 April 2003 10 July 2003 6,746,000 42.0% 31 March 1970 – 21 July 1970 [24]
4 14 25 September 2003 1 January 2004 6,727,000 39.0% 8 September 1970 – 1 January 1971 [25]
5 13 15 April 2004 22 July 2004 5,788,000 35.3% 10 May 1971 – 12 July 1971 [26]
6 14 18 November 2004 24 February 2005 5,830,000 32.5% 27 October 1972 – 18 March 1973 [27]
7 17 22 September 2005 12 January 2006 4,969,000 28.2% 23 September 1973 – 6 January 1974 [28]
8 21 14 September 2006 8 February 2007 4,746,000 26.7% 25 April 1974 – 12 March 1975 [29]
9 22 13 September 2007 14 February 2008 3,746,000 21.0% 30 April 1975 – 7 February 1976 [30]
10 19 28 August 2008 25 December 2008 4,281,000 24.1% 16 April 1976 – 1 January 1977 [31]
11 16 3 September 2009 17 December 2009 4,074,000 22.2% 12 March 1977 – 26 December 1977 [32]
12 18 11 November 2010 17 March 2011 4,724,000 23.8% 7 June 1978 – 31 May 1979 [33]
13 18 15 September 2011 2 February 2012 4,547,000 22.7% 30 August 1979 – 11 February 1981 [34]
14 20 3 January 2013 23 May 2013 4,101,000 20.5% 23 February 1981 – February 1982 [35]
15 19 16 January 2014 5 June 2014 3,758,000 18.5% 2 July 1982 – 8 March 1983 [36]
16 19 8 January 2015 21 May 2015 3,125,000 16.1% 5 April 1983 – 21 December 1983 [37]
17 19 7 January 2016 19 May 2016 3,209,000 17.2% 5 January 1984 – 16 March 1985 [38]
18 19 12 January 2017 25 May 2017 2,928,000 17.1% 11 April 1985 – 20 October 1986 [39]
19 9 25 January 2018 22 March 2018 2,968,000 18.0% 18 January 1987 – 19 June 1987 [40]
Total 338 13 September 2001 2 April 1968 – ...


  1. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó has became the longest running prime-time weekly television series in Spain (In Spanish)
  2. ^ Remember When official synopsis
  3. ^ Cuéntame changes its name due copyright problems (In Spanish)
  4. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Episode 113: Carrero Blanco Special. The beginning of the end (In Spanish)
  5. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Episode 152: Special. And after Franco, what? (In Spanish)
  6. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Episode 1: The return of the fugitive (In Spanish)
  7. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó renews for one more season (In Spanish)
  8. ^ Conta-me como Foi official synopsis (In Portuguese)
  9. ^ Raccontami, the Italian Cuéntame (In Spanish)
  10. ^ Argentinian Cuéntame cómo pasó official synopsis (In Spanish)
  11. ^ Order CUL/3583/2009, 23 December, of the Ministry of Culture for which is awarded the 2009 National Television Award (In Spanish)
  12. ^ 2002 Premios Ondas winners list (In Spanish)
  13. ^ 2003 Premios Ondas winners list (In Spanish)
  14. ^ 2008 New York Latin ACE Awards winners list
  15. ^ 2009 New York Latin ACE Awards winners list
  16. ^ 2010 New York Latin ACE Awards winners list
  17. ^ 2007 Seoul International Drama Awards winners list
  18. ^ 2003 International Emmy Award winners list
  19. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó full list of awards
  20. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó appears in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony (In Spanish)
  21. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó full cast list
  22. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 1 (In Spanish)
  23. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 2 (In Spanish)
  24. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 3 (In Spanish)
  25. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 4 (In Spanish)
  26. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 5 (In Spanish)
  27. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 6 (In Spanish)
  28. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 7 (In Spanish)
  29. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 8 (In Spanish)
  30. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 9 (In Spanish)
  31. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 10 (In Spanish)
  32. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 11 (In Spanish)
  33. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 12 (In Spanish)
  34. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 13 (In Spanish)
  35. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 14 (In Spanish)
  36. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 15 (In Spanish)
  37. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 16 (In Spanish)
  38. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 17 (In Spanish)
  39. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 18 (In Spanish)
  40. ^ Cuéntame cómo pasó - Season 19 (In Spanish)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]