The Two of Us (1986 TV series)

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The Two of Us
Genre Sitcom
Created by Alex Shearer
Starring Nicholas Lyndhurst
Janet Dibley
Patrick Troughton
Tenniel Evans
Theme music composer Rod Argent
Peter Van Hooke
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 32
Executive producer(s) Marcus Plantin
Producer(s) Marcus Plantin
Robin Carr
Running time 30mins
Original network ITV/London Weekend Television
Original release 31 October 1986 (1986-10-31) – 18 March 1990 (1990-03-18)

The Two of Us is an ITV comedy series starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Janet Dibley as Ashley and Elaine, an unmarried couple living together, at a time when this was becoming increasingly common in Britain, but still considered slightly controversial in some circles. It was produced by London Weekend Television.

While Ashley was keen for the pair to get married and would regularly propose, Elaine saw no reason to get married and was happy to keep her independence. Ashley's roguish grandfather Perce (played by Patrick Troughton, but later by Tenniel Evans after Troughton's death) was supportive of the couple, but Ashley's domineering mother (Jennifer Piercey) disapproved and constantly urged the pair to marry. Ashley's suppressed father (Paul McDowell) seemed less upset, but generally backed up his wife in the hope of a quiet life and the odd sherry.

After initially deciding to get married in the 1988 Christmas special, only to skip the wedding when their flight time for the honeymoon was brought forward, Ashley and Elaine finally married off-screen between the 1989 and 1990 series', with the final series instead focusing on their plans to start a family. In the final scene Elaine takes a pregnancy test, but the result is never revealed.

Two regional remakes were made of the series. In Germany, 41 episodes of Unter einer Decke (± Under one Roof) were produced in 1993/94, using most of the scripts from the original series, combined with new scripts from Germany and the Netherlands. The Dutch version Vrienden voor het leven (Friends for Life) had 65 episodes produced in 1990-95 of which 64 have been released on DVD in the Netherlands.


Episode list[edit]

Series 1[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original air date
1 "Proposals" John Gorman Alex Shearer 31 October 1986 (1986-10-31)
Ashley invites his work colleague and his wife to dinner to show Elaine how good marriage can be. However, he didn't expect them to be in the middle of an argument.
2 "Family Pressures" Marcus Plantin Alex Shearer 7 November 1986 (1986-11-07)
Ashley's parents, who have old fashioned views about marriage, finally relent and allow Ashley and Elaine to share a room when they visit. However, the sleeping arrangements are different to what they expected.
3 "The Limit" Marcus Plantin Alex Shearer 14 November 1986 (1986-11-14)
Elaine and Ashley both pretend that they are going on a date with other people to make each other jealous.
4 "Cracks in the Pavement" John Gorman Alex Shearer 21 November 1986 (1986-11-21)

Ashley wants to prove to Elaine that he's not the polite, nice guy that his parents make him out to be. So he transforms himself into a punk.

Featuring: Eamonn Walker as Floyd
5 "Feeling Broody" Marcus Plantin Alex Shearer 28 November 1986 (1986-11-28)
6 "The Contract" Marcus Plantin Alex Shearer 5 December 1986 (1986-12-05)
7 "The End of the Beginning" John Gorman Alex Shearer 12 December 1986 (1986-12-12)

Series 2[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original air date
8 "The Vital Spark" Robin Carr Alex Shearer 11 September 1987 (1987-09-11)
9 "Lifestyles" 18 September 1987 (1987-09-18)
10 "Comparisons" 25 September 1987 (1987-09-25)
11 "Getting Better" 2 October 1987 (1987-10-02)
12 "Career Development" 9 October 1987 (1987-10-09)
13 "Retirement Plans" Robin Carr Alex Shearer 16 October 1987 (1987-10-16)

Christmas Special[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original air date
14 "Wedded Miss" Robin Carr Alex Shearer 23 December 1988 (1988-12-23)

Series 3[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original air date
15 "Should Auld Acquaintance..." Robin Carr Alex Shearer 6 January 1989 (1989-01-06)
16 "The Poser" 13 January 1989 (1989-01-13)
17 "The Party" 20 January 1989 (1989-01-20)
18 "The Prediction" 27 January 1989 (1989-01-27)
19 "Trust" 3 February 1989 (1989-02-03)
20 "The Bargain" 10 February 1989 (1989-02-10)
21 "Say It With..." 17 February 1989 (1989-02-17)
22 "The Bequest" Robin Carr Alex Shearer 24 February 1989 (1989-02-24)

Series 4[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original air date
23 "The Telephone Only Rings Twice" Terry Kinane Alex Shearer 14 January 1990 (1990-01-14)
24 "Strictly Business" Terry Kinane Alex Shearer 21 January 1990 (1990-01-21)
25 "The Treasure" Terry Kinane 28 January 1990 (1990-01-28)
26 "No Deposit No Return" Terry Kinane 4 February 1990 (1990-02-04)
27 "At Last" Robin Carr Alex Shearer 11 February 1990 (1990-02-11)
28 "Fine Adjustments" Terry Kinane Alex Shearer 18 February 1990 (1990-02-18)
29 "Old Scores" Robin Carr 25 February 1990 (1990-02-25)
30 "Dangers in the Night" Terry Kinane 4 March 1990 (1990-03-04)
31 "The Quest" Terry Kinane 11 March 1990 (1990-03-11)
32 "Best Laid Schemes" Robin Carr 18 March 1990 (1990-03-18)

DVD releases[edit]

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1 8 February 2010
The Complete Series 2 TBA
The Complete Series 3 TBA
The Complete Series 4 TBA
The Complete Series 1 to 4 Box Set TBA

Please do not add release dates that cannot be verified by Network's website, or another store.


  1. ^ a b "BBC - Comedy - Guide - The Two Of Us". Archived from the original on 5 December 2004. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 

External links[edit]