Father, Dear Father
|Father, Dear Father|
|Written by||Brian Cooke,
|Directed by||William G. Stewart|
|Theme music composer||Gordon Franks|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||7|
|No. of episodes||45|
|Producer(s)||William G. Stewart|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Thames Television|
|Original release||5 November 1968– 6 February 1973|
Father, Dear Father is a British television sitcom produced by Thames Television for ITV from 1968 to 1973 starring Patrick Cargill. It was subsequently made into a spin-off film of the same title released in 1973.
An Australian sequel series, also titled Father, Dear Father, (but usually referenced as Father, Dear Father in Australia to distinguish it from the UK original), followed in 1978.
The original series focused on divorced British novelist Patrick Glover (Patrick Cargill) and his daughters, Karen (Ann Holloway) and Anna (Natasha Pyne), a couple of lively girls in their teens. The family lives in Hampstead, London. Another member of the household is the girls' Nanny (Noel Dyson). As well as having to deal with his progeny, Patrick also faces frequent hassles with his ex-wife Barbara (Ursula Howells) and her current husband Bill Mossman (played by Patrick Holt, and later Tony Britton). There is also his brother Philip (Donald Sinden), his mother (Joyce Carey), his agent Georgie Thompson (Sally Bazely Series 1 and 2 and later Dawn Addams Series 4-7), his publisher Ian Smyth (Michael Segal in series 3) and his pet St.Bernard dog 'H.G. Wells'. At the end of the sixth series Anna marries Tim Tanner (Jeremy Child), who then became a regular in the last series.
|Father Dear Father|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Running time||30 mins|
|Original network||ATN Channel 7|
|Original release||2 April 1978|
A few years after Karen and Anna have married and left home, Patrick decides to go to Australia to do some research for a book he is writing and takes Nanny along (both Cargill and Dyson reprised the roles). He intends to stay with his brother Jeffrey (Ron Frazer), but Jeffrey unexpectedly has to travel to London for 6 months in connection with his work. Jeffrey comments that he is worried about leaving his daughters, Liz (Sally Conabere) and Sue (Sigrid Thornton), to fend for themselves while he is away and asks if Patrick and Nanny can look after them, and Patrick begrudgingly agrees. Liz and Sue had been looking forward to being free of adult supervision while their father was away, so they're initially unimpressed with the idea. 'H.G.Wells' was replaced by two new St.Bernards, a dog named G.K. (after G.K. Chesterton) and a bitch named 'A.C.' (after Agatha Christie.). Wallas Eaton appears in two episodes of the second series as Patrick's Australian publisher, Sam Winterton.
Two 7-episode series were made by Lyle McCabe Productions in association with the Seven Network; like the original, they were produced and directed by William G. Stewart. Gordon Franks' original title music was also re-used. Mortimer and Cooke wrote the first episode, "Once More With Feeling"; the rest of the episodes were written by new writers such as Richard Waring and Donald Churchill.
Similar American series
The series was never directly adapted into an American series, but the series Daddy's Girls very closely paralleled the plot of the series. In that series, Dudley Moore (in his last regular television role) is a fashion designer left to care for his teenage daughters after his wife runs off with his business partner.
Although the series Empty Nest, which ran from 1988 to 1995, has numerous similarities to Father, Dear Father, the two series are not directly linked, as the lead character in that series is instead cohabiting with his two adult daughters, not teenagers, and his wife died before the series began and is not present in Empty Nest.
South African adaptation
In South Africa, a radio play version was produced for Springbok Radio.
All seven series of Father, Dear Father (including the feature film) have been released on DVD By Network, A 7-disc box-set of the complete series has also been released. Both series of the Australian Father, Dear Father series have been released in a 2 disc set by Umbrella Entertainment in Australia.
|The Complete Series 1||15 January 2007|
|The Complete Series 2||13 August 2007|
|The Complete Series 3||22 October 2007|
|The Complete Series 4||1 September 2008|
|The Complete Series 5||8 June 2009|
|The Complete Series 6||23 August 2010|
|The Complete Series 7
The Complete Series 1 to 7 + Movie Box Set
|8 November 2010|
- Albert Moran, Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, AFTRS 1993 p 174