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Encyclopedia > Goodnight Sweetheart
Goodnight Sweetheart
Image:Goodnightsweatheart.jpg
Nicholas Lyndhurst as Gary Sparrow and Elizabeth Carling as Phoebe Sparrow
Genre Sitcom
Creator(s) Laurence Marks
& Maurice Gran
Starring Nicholas Lyndhurst
Victor McGuire
Christopher Ettridge
Michelle Holmes
Dervla Kirwan
Emma Amos
Elizabeth Carling
Country of origin Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom
No. of episodes 58
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC1
Original run 18 November 199328 June 1999
Links
IMDb profile

Goodnight Sweetheart was a British sitcom starring Nicholas Lyndhurst as Gary Sparrow, an ordinary modern man who discovers a time portal in Stepney, in the East End of London that allows him to travel back to the Second World War. It aired for 58 episodes from 1993 to 1999. Goodnight Sweetheart was created by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who also created Birds of a Feather. In 2004, it came 50th in Britain's Best Sitcom. Image File history File links Goodnightsweatheart. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Laurence Marks (born 8 December 1948 in Islington, London) is one half of writing duo Marks & Gran. ... Maurice Bernard Gran (born 26 October 1949 in London) is one half of writing duo Marks & Gran. ... Nicholas Lyndhurst (born April 21, 1961 in Emsworth, Hampshire) is an English actor. ... Victor McGuire is an English actor. ... Christopher Ettridge is an English actor born in Isleworth, London on 21 February 1948. ... Michelle Holmes (born Corinne Michelle Cunliffe, 1 January 1967 in Rochdale, Lancashire) is an English actress who has appeared in several television serials. ... Dervla Kirwan in 55 Degrees North Dervla Kirwan (born 24 October 1971) is an Irish actress famous for roles in television shows such as Ballykissangel and Goodnight Sweetheart Kirwan was born in Churchtown, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. ... Emma Amos (born 18 August 1967 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire) is an English actresss best known for playing Yvonne Sparrow in the last three series of time travel sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst. ... Elizabeth Carling (born 20 October 1967 in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire) is an English actress best know for her roles in Goodnight Sweetheart, Casualty and Barbara. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... BBC One (styled BBC1 until 1997) is the most watched domestic channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation. ... November 18 is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... June 28 is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 186 days remaining. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... A British sitcom is a situation comedy (sitcom) produced in the United Kingdom. ... Nicholas Lyndhurst (born April 21, 1961 in Emsworth, Hampshire) is an English actor. ... Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ... Stepney is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. ... The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Laurence Marks (born 8 December 1948 in Islington, London) is one half of writing duo Marks & Gran. ... Maurice Bernard Gran (born 26 October 1949 in London) is one half of writing duo Marks & Gran. ... Birds Of A Feather is the second track on Phishs 1998 album The Story of the Ghost. ... Britains Best Sitcom was a poll conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the BBC to identify the United Kingdoms best situation comedy. ...

Contents

Cast

Nicholas Lyndhurst (born April 21, 1961 in Emsworth, Hampshire) is an English actor. ... Dervla Kirwan in 55 Degrees North Dervla Kirwan (born 24 October 1971) is an Irish actress famous for roles in television shows such as Ballykissangel and Goodnight Sweetheart Kirwan was born in Churchtown, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. ... Elizabeth Carling (born 20 October 1967 in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire) is an English actress best know for her roles in Goodnight Sweetheart, Casualty and Barbara. ... Michelle Holmes (born Corinne Michelle Cunliffe, 1 January 1967 in Rochdale, Lancashire) is an English actress who has appeared in several television serials. ... Emma Amos (born 18 August 1967 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire) is an English actresss best known for playing Yvonne Sparrow in the last three series of time travel sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst. ... Victor McGuire is an English actor. ... Ronald Ron Wheatcroft was a character in the popular BBC sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart. ... Christopher Ettridge is an English actor born in Isleworth, London on 21 February 1948. ...

Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

During the course of the series' six seasons the plot changes quite a lot. Originally, Gary's life in the late 20th century is quite a difficult one. He and wife Yvonne live in a 'starter home' in Cricklewood, North London, and are struggling for money. Yvonne sees Gary's job as a TV repairman as inadequate and wants him to take on a more prestigious office job like the one she has. Gary, however, is reviled by the corporate world and is in no hurry to become a millionaire. The couple argue because Gary sees Yvonne's Open University psychology course as "LA psycho babble", and Yvonne feels Gary isn't truly committed to her (invariably unsuccessful) goal of starting a family. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The Open University (OU) is the UKs open learning university. ... Psychology is an academic or applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes such as perception, cognition, emotion, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. ...


During a service call out to a part of the East End that Gary is not familiar with, he unknowingly walks through a portal to 1940s London. He does not realise what has happened at first and simply thinks he is lost. He wanders into a local public house (The Royal Oak) which, he convinces himself must be a war-time theme pub; however, after much discussion with the occupants and an air raid, he realises the truth. The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... ... Strategic bombing is a military strategem used in a total war style campaign that attempts to destroy the economic ability of a nation-state to wage war. ...


The rest of the first series largely involves Gary playing around with wartime London with the aid of his best friend and printer, Ron Wheatcroft (the only modern person he tells). He tries to start a cross-time affair with Cockney barmaid Phoebe Bamford while still dealing with the money and relationship struggles of his 1990's life. Ironically though, he begins to find some solace in the war-torn past when compared to his modern life; he is enchanted by Phoebe's strength of character and yet seemingly humble, uncomplicated expectations. Concurrently, Ron Wheatcroft's own marriage begins to dissolve as he spends more and more time helping Gary explore the time portal. He provides Gary with reproductions of WWII items (e.g., ration cards, identity papers, money) and begins what will become a six year trend of helping him present 'cover-stories' to Yvonne. Phoebe's father, Eric (owner of The Royal Oak) takes a quick disliking to Gary, which hinders his progress with Phoebe. Not only is Eric highly suspicious of him, but as Phoebe is married to a serving British soldier, Gary looks like a 'slacker' by comparison. Ronald Ron Wheatcroft was a character in the popular BBC sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart. ...


Gary plays well-known songs on the pub's piano that post-date his 1940's audience, thereby allowing him to falsely claim writing credits for them (for example Beatles songs). Gary's 'talent' as a songwriter begins to impress everyone concerned, particularly Phoebe and the lovably vacuous policeman, Reg Deadman. In one episode George Formby wants to cover one of "Gary's" songs, When I'm Sixty-Four (although he wants to change "bottle of wine" to "bottle of stout"). Gary is also able to convince his 1940's friends that he is a "secret agent", due to being able to provide foolproof information about future events pertaining to the war. The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool whose members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. ... George Formby (May 26, 1904 – March 6, 1961) was an English singer and comedian who became a major star of both cinema and music hall. ... When Im Sixty-Four is a love song by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (but co-credited to John Lennon) and released in 1967 on their album Sgt. ...


At the end of the first series, Gary decides not to return to the 1940s. However, when the second series begins, Ron persuades him to go back in time to invest some money so that they will be rich in the 1990s. This scheme fails, but while there, Gary accidentally meets Phoebe and rekindles their relationship. Phoebe's father has died in an air raid, and her husband has been imprisoned in a POW camp; Gary's emotional and business support to her advances his prospects with her. For the band, see 1990s (band). ... Prisoner of War camps Contents // Categories: Substubs | Prisons and detention centres ...


Later, Gary discovers another way to use his time-traveling ability to make money: taking ordinary objects from the 1940s and then selling them as mint-condition antiques in the '90s for a huge profit. In the third series, he opens a shop (called Blitz and Pieces) to sell his World War II memorabilia, though buying this shop was mainly a cover for the fact that the row of shops had been built on the time-portal, which, was located in the back yard.


Gary's 'travels' all over England meanwhile, supposedly to buy new antiques, provide a cover-story to Yvonne for his numerous trips back in time to see Phoebe, while his "secret war work" provides a cover-story to explain his numerous absences in the past.


At the end of the third series, both the women in Gary's life reveal that they are pregnant. However, Yvonne later has a miscarriage, while Phoebe gives birth to a boy they name Michael. Ironically, Gary's son is actually older than Gary, since Michael Sparrow was born in the 1940s, more than a decade before Gary himself will be born. Phoebe's husband then dies and Gary and Phoebe get married. In his conversations with Ron, Gary rationalises that he is not a bigamist, even though he is married to two different women: since Yvonne was not born yet during World War Two (when Gary is married to Phoebe), and since Phoebe appears to have died at some point before the present (when Gary is married to Yvonne), Gary considers himself faithful to both wives. He argues that "my wives exist in different temporal aspects of a four-dimensional space-time continuum" although Ron considers this to be a "typical bigamist’s excuse".


Eventually, Gary meets his own adult son in the present – a man considerably older than Gary – and is dismayed to learn that Michael Sparrow is a pauper. Gary proceeds to alter events in the past so that Michael will have an ongoing income- at the end of the episode via a massive coincidence Gary once more meets 'present day' Michael who reveals he is a successful engineer in New Zealand.


The fifth and sixth series expanded the science fiction premise beyond basic time-travel. In one notable development, the portal splits Gary into good and evil selves an homage to the Star Trek episode The Enemy Within. Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... This article is about the Star Trek episode. ...


Later episodes in the series found both of Gary's wives gaining notable success. In the present, Yvonne became a millionaire through the beauty-aids business she founded. In the past, Gary and Phoebe moved to a "posh" part of town and Phoebe became a night-club singer, as she and Gary became acquainted with Noel Coward. However, despite the new found and extra-ordinary financial success, the theme of marital disintegration was still a feature of the Gary and Yvonne relationship, and Gary found himself having to face the question of which wife he ultimately loved the most. Noel Coward Sir Noel Peirce Coward (December 16, 1899 – March 26, 1973) was an English actor, playwright, and composer of popular music. ...


At the end of the final series, Gary prevents an assassination attempt on future Prime Minister Clement Attlee, which leads to the time portal closing, giving him no choice but to remain in the 1940s. He paints a final message to Ron and Yvonne on the same Mayfair flat wall that Ron will one day strip old wallpaper from, and discover. A prime minister is the very most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, FRS, PC (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1945 to 1951. ... Mayfair is an area in the City of Westminster London, named after the fortnight-long May Fair that took place there from 1686 until it was banned in that location in 1764. ...


Episodes

Series One (1993)

  1. "Rites of Passage" (18 Nov 1993)
  2. "Fools Rush In" (25 Nov 1993)
  3. "Is Your Journey Really Necessary" (2 Dec 1993)
  4. "The More I See You" (9 Dec 1993)
  5. "I Get Along Without You Very Well" (16 Dec 1993)
  6. "In The Mood" (23 Dec 1993)

Series Two (1995)

  1. "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (20 Feb 1995)
  2. "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" (27 Feb 1995)
  3. "Just One More Chance" (6 Mar 1995)
  4. "Who's Taking You Home Tonight?" (13 Mar 1995)
  5. "Wish Me Luck" (20 Mar 1995)
  6. "As You Wave Me Goodbye" (27 Mar 1995)
  7. "Would You Like To Swing On A Star" (3 Apr 1995)
  8. "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (10 Apr 1995)
  9. "Let Yourself Go" (24 Apr 1995)
  10. "Don't Fence Me In" (1 May 1995)

Christmas Special (1995)

  1. "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" (26 Dec 1995)

Series Three (1996)

  1. "It Ain't Necessarily So" (1 Jan 1996)
  2. "One O'Clock Jump" (8 Jan 1996)
  3. "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" (15 Jan 1996)
  4. "Change Partners" (22 Jan 1996)
  5. "Goodnight Children Everywhere" (29 Jan 1996)
  6. "Turned Out Nice Again" (5 Feb 1996)
  7. "There's Something About A Soldier" (12 Feb 1996)
  8. "Someone To Watch Over Me" (19 Feb 1996)
  9. "The Yanks Are Coming" (26 Feb 1996)
  10. "Let's Get Away From It All" (4 Mar 1996)

Series Four (1997)

  1. "You're Driving Me Crazy" (3 Mar 1997)
  2. "In The Mood" (10 Mar 1997)
  3. "Out Of Town" (17 Mar 1997)
  4. "And Mother Came Too" (8 Apr 1997)
  5. "The Leaving of Liverpool" (15 Apr 1997)
  6. "How Long Has This Been Going On" (15 Apr 1997)
  7. "Easy Living" (22 Apr 1997)
  8. "Come Fly With Me" (29 Apr 1997)
  9. "Heartaches" (6 May 1997)
  10. "Careless Talk" (13 May 1997)
  11. "The Bells Are Ringing" (20 May 1997)

Series Five (1998)

  1. "A Room with a View" (23 Feb 1998)
  2. "London Pride" (2 Mar 1998)
  3. "When Two Worlds Collide" (9 Mar 1998)
  4. "Mairzy Doats" (16 Mar 1998)
  5. "Pennies From Heaven" (23 Mar 1998)
  6. "We Don't Want To Lose You" (30 Mar 1998)
  7. "But We Think You Have To Go" (6 Apr 1998)
  8. "Have You Ever Seen A Dream Walking" (13 Apr 1998)
  9. "Love The One You're With" (20 Apr 1998)
  10. "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" (27 Apr 1998)

Series Six (1999)

  1. "Mine's A Double" (18 Apr 1999)
  2. "All About Yvonne" (25 Apr 1999)
  3. "California Dreamin'" (2 May 1999)
  4. "Grief Encounter" (16 May 1999)
  5. "The 'Ouses In Between" (23 May 1999)
  6. "Just In Time" (30 May 1999)
  7. "How I Won The War" (6 Jun 1999)
  8. "Something Fishie" (13 Jun 1999)
  9. "Flash Bang Wallop" (21 Jun 1999)
  10. "Accentuate The Positive" (28 Jun 1999)

Trivia

  • In series 4 episode "Come Fly With Me", a bar flap is lifted up and an inebriated Gary almost leans on it before realising and tapping his nose knowingly. The generous laugh at this point was the audience spotting the reference to David Jason's lauded pratfall in Only Fools... episode "Yuppy Love".
  • Gary's son as an adult was played by Ian Lavender, most famous as Pike in another World War II-set sitcom, Dad's Army.

Yuppy Love is an episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses. ... Ian Lavender (born 16 February 1946) is a film and television actor best known for his role as Private Frank Pike in the BBC comedy series Dads Army. ... Dads Army was a British sitcom about the Home Guard in the Second World War, written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. ...

DVD releases

All six series and the 1995 Christmas Special have been released on DVD in the UK (Region 2).


External link


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