The River (UK TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The River
Genre Sitcom
Written by Michael Aitkens
Directed by Susan Belbin
Starring David Essex
Katy Murphy
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Producer(s) Susan Belbin
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original network BBC One
Picture format PAL 576i
Original release 20 October (1988-10-20) – 24 November 1988 (1988-11-24)
External links
Website www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00v3r9y

The River is a British TV series from 1988 starring David Essex, Katy Murphy, and David Ryall.

Plot[edit]

The River follows the tranquil life of lovable, Cockney, ex-convict Davey Jackson (Essex) who is lock keeper on the canal near the village of Chumley-on-the-Water. His peaceful life is turned upside down by the arrival of the neurotic, sharp-tongued Sarah MacDonald (Murphy). Over the six episodes of the series the love-hate relationship between Davey and Sarah blossoms into a shaky romance, their potential happiness often spoiled by the machinations of Davey's cunning Aunty Betty (Vilma Hollingbery) and the hapless intervention of Davey's deputy Tom Pike (Shaun Scott).

The River also shows brief glimpses of the village of Chumley and its extremely weird inhabitants, including the eccentric squire, Colonel Danvers (David Ryall), the constantly silent and drunken Silent Jim, landlord of the village pub "The Ferret", Aunty Betty's futile attempts to lead a socialist revolution from the village and Tom's conversations with his pets Deidre the goat and Cyril the pig. The only two (nearly) sane people in Chumley are Davey and Sarah, the former taking the chaotic and confusing village life in his stride, the latter realising that she isn't the greatest crackpot in the country.

The River ends abruptly with Sarah's decision to leave, partly due to her nervousness about her relationship with Davey and the ploys of Aunty Betty to get rid of her. At the very end of Episode Six, Sarah's narrowboat explodes after Tom forgets to replace a faulty gas pipe on it. Sarah, much to Davey's relief, survives (and is found floating on a piece of wreckage in the river). The episode ends with Davey and Sarah floating down the river on the remains of the narrowboat.

Production[edit]

The River was first shown on BBC1 during in late 1988 and repeated in July/August 1989.

Chumley-on-the-Water is a fictional location for the filming. In reality, it was filmed at Wootton Rivers on the Kennet and Avon Canal near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

Producer's aims[edit]

The producer/director of The River, Susan Belbin, claimed that the series wasn't meant to be a sitcom but a romantic comedy, the relationship between Davey and Sarah being the main focus of the programme. The outcome was different from the Belbin's aim, however, as The River became more of a sitcom and the Davey-Sarah relationship became a strand of the programme.

External links[edit]