The Tales of Para Handy
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|The Tales of Para Handy|
Title screen capture
|Music by||Phil Cunningham|
|Country of origin||Scotland|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Original release||31 July 1994 – 21 August 1995|
The Tales of Para Handy is a Scottish television series set in the western isles of Scotland in the 1930s, based on the Para Handy books by Neil Munro. It starred Gregor Fisher as Captain Peter "Para Handy" MacFarlane, Sean Scanlan as first mate Dougie Cameron, Rikki Fulton as engineer Dan Macphail and Andrew Fairlie as Sunny Jim. These four made up the crew of the puffer Vital Spark which was employed by the Campbell Shipping Company, headquartered in Glasgow and run by Andrew Campbell (Paul Young), Para Handy's brother-in-law and owner of the Vital Spark.
The series followed the Vital Spark's adventures around the coastal waters of west Scotland and the various schemes that Para Handy would get himself and his crew involved in. These involved transporting a bull aboard the Vital Spark, trying to marry Sunny Jim off, avoiding the sale of the Vital Spark by Campbell and being held hostage at gunpoint by a religious nutter.
Most of the guest stars in the series were well known faces in Scottish comedy and had starred in the sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt, which also stars Gregor Fisher in the title role. An episode of the second series, 'Para Handy's Piper', guest starred future Tenth Doctor David Tennant in one of his early acting roles.
The music for the series, including the theme, was written and composed by Scottish folk musician Phil Cunningham. The theme tune is a composition entitled "Manus Lunny's Terracotta Plower Pop".
It ran from 1994 to 1995 on BBC One for a total of nine episodes.
The ship featured in the series is being restored at Crinan Boatyard on the Argyll coast and has reverted to her original name, 'Auld Reekie'.
- Gregor Fisher - Captain Peter "Para Handy" MacFarlane
- Rikki Fulton - Dan Macphail
- Carolyn Pickles - Lady Catherine Ramsay
- Sean Scanlan - Dougie Cameron
- Andrew Fairlie - Davy "Sunny Jim" Green
- Paul Young - Andrew Campbell
- Sally Howitt - Miss Kelly
- Gilbert Martin - Captain Angus
- Joanne Bett - Susan
- Tony Curran - Donald
- Alyxis Daly - Margaret
- David Tennant - John McBride (1 episode)
|1||"Para Handy, Master Mariner"||31 July 1994|
|2||"Para Handy, Poacher"||7 August 1994|
|3||"Salvage!"||14 August 1994|
|4||"A Night Alarm"||21 August 1994|
|5||"The End of the World"||28 August 1994|
|6||"A Treasure Trove"||4 September 1994|
|1||"The Fortune Teller"||31 July 1995|
|2||"Para Handy's Piper"||7 August 1995|
|3||"The Malingerer"||21 August 1995|
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