|Created by||John T. Chapman
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||19 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes
|Production company(s)||Thames Television|
|Original release||5 September 1989– 8 October 1991|
|Preceded by||Fresh Fields|
French Fields is a British sitcom. It is a sequel/continuation of the series Fresh Fields and ran for 19 episodes from 5 September 1989 to 8 October 1991. It was written by John T. Chapman (who created and wrote all the episodes of Fresh Fields) and Ian Davidson and was produced by Thames Television for ITV.
The series starred Anton Rodgers and Julia McKenzie as middle-aged, middle-class husband and wife William and Hester Fields and followed the series Fresh Fields, which ran from 1984 to 1986. French Fields resumes the story three years later as William accepts a position with a French company and the series follows Hester and William as they move from London to Calais. The pair were regularly visited by their daughter Emma (Sally Baxter) and son-in-law Peter (Philip Bird), with Bird the only other actor from Fresh Fields to appear regularly (Emma having only appeared in voiceover in the original show, played by Debby Cummings).
Other regular cast members included their French real estate agent Chantal Morlac (Pamela Salem), who was also the Fields's neighbour to the left, and snobbish English couple the Trendles, Hugh (Robin Kermode) and Jill (Liz Crowther) (the neighbours to the right). Hester and William also coped with Madame Remoleux (Valerie Lush), the unintelligible, ancient and generally useless (but unsackable) French cleaner who lived on and cared for the estate — called Les Hirondelles (The Swallows) — where they all lived. Also popping in on a regular basis, were local farmer and mayor Monsieur Dax (Olivier Pierre in series 1 and 2 and Philip McGough in series 3) and his cheeky daughter Marie-Christine (Victoria Baker), to whom Hester did her best to teach English. Nicholas Courtney also appeared frequently as the Marquis, the owner of the estate.
Ann Beach, who played Sonia in Fresh Fields, made a guest appearance in the final episode, in which Hester and William decide to return to their old home in the UK.
|Series||Episodes||First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||5 September 1989||10 October 1989|
|2||6||24 September 1990||29 October 1990|
|Special||1||25 December 1990|
|3||6||3 September 1991||8 October 1991|
French Fields had several different time slots on ITV:
- Series 1 (6 Episodes) aired Tuesdays at 20:30 (5 September - 10 October 1989)
- Series 2 (6 Episodes) aired Mondays at 20:00 (24 September - 29 October 1990)
- Series 3 (6 Episodes) aired Tuesdays at 20:30 (3 September - 8 October 1991)
A special 45-minute Christmas episode aired on Tuesday, 25 December 1990 at 22:00.
Exteriors were filmed in the North France village of Hucqueliers.
All three series of French Fields have been released on DVD by Network DVD. A 7-disc boxed set containing all episodes of both Fresh Fields and French Fields was also released by the company.
|The Complete Series 1||13 June 2011|
|The Complete Series 2||25 July 2011|
|The Complete Series 3||19 September 2011|
|The Complete Fresh Fields & French Fields Box Set||24 October 2011|