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Encyclopedia > Mother and Son
Mother and Son is also a 1955 novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett
Maggie Beare (Ruth Cracknell) and son Arthur (Garry McDonald)

Mother and Son was an Australian television sitcom produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 1984 until 1994. The show starred Ruth Cracknell, Garry McDonald, Henri Szeps and Judy Morris. It was written by Geoffrey Atherden. See also: 1954 in literature, other events of 1955, 1956 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett D.B.E. (1884 – August 27, 1969) was an English novelist. ... Image File history File links Motherandson. ... Image File history File links Motherandson. ... Cracknell in one of her most popular roles Mother and Son. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... A sitcom or situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance originally devised for radio but today typically found on television. ... The Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC is Australias national non-profit public broadcaster. ... This article is about the year. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Cracknell in one of her most popular roles Mother and Son. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Henri Szeps (Born 2 October 1943) is an Australian actor best known for his role as Robert Beare in the ABC comedy sitcom Mother and Son. ... Judy Morris (born in 1947 in Queensland, Australia) is an Australian actress, screenwriter and director. ... Geoffrey Atherden is an Australian television writer, best known for the sitcom Mother and Son. ...



Cracknell played the ageing Maggie Beare; an independent and determined woman gradually becoming senile but who has, nevertheless, retained a difficult stubbornness and shrewd manipulative streak. This was most evident in her relationship with her sons, whom she manipulated in order to get away with more than she was entitled to. McDonald played her long-suffering care-giver son Arthur, whom she constantly, and, with breathtaking unfairness, blames for all the mishaps resulting from her own failing faculties. Maggie's tendency to forget previous things she had organised, sudden decisions to go off wandering, and invariable ability to ruin almost every attempt by Arthur to mix with friends, progress at work, or live a normal adult life (done, it is hinted, with some degree of shrewd purpose so she can keep her son completely devoted to caring for her) provided the basis for most of the episodes' plots.


  • Ruth Cracknell as Maggie Beare
  • Garry McDonald as Arthur Beare
  • Henri Szeps as Robert Beare
  • Judy Morris as Liz Beare
  • Suzanne Roylance as Deidre Beare (recurring in five episodes)
  • Kristen Vega as Damien Beare (recurring in one episode)
  • Janine O'Brien as Teonie Beare (recurring in one episode)
  • Melissa Jaffer as Aunty Lorna (recurring in three episodes)
  • Roslyn Gentle as Wendy (recurring in two episodes)

Cracknell in one of her most popular roles Mother and Son. ... Maggie Beare is a fictional character portrayed by Ruth Cracknell in the ABC comedy sitcom Mother and Son. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Arthur Beare is the name of a fictional character in the ABC Comedy sitcom Mother And Son. ... Henri Szeps (Born 2 October 1943) is an Australian actor best known for his role as Robert Beare in the ABC comedy sitcom Mother and Son. ... Judy Morris (born in 1947 in Queensland, Australia) is an Australian actress, screenwriter and director. ... Melissa Jaffer is an Australian actress who has made many appearances in television series, including Kings, Mother and Son, G.P., Brides of Christ, Grass Roots and All Saints. ... Roslyn Gentle is an Australian actress, best known for her role in the television series Prisoner as schizophrenic librarian/prostitute Laura Gardiner/Brandy Carter. ...


The storylines addressed the problem of ageing and caring for somebody with Alzheimer's disease with an often sharp-edged humour which carried with it a tinge of sadness. Despite its unlikely subject-matter for a comedy, the show was a popular favourite with audiences. Maggie and Arthur's relationship was presented with a fascinating complexity - Maggie's cruel attacks on and emotional manipulation of Arthur disguised her deep dependence on and need of him, and Arthur's dutiful love of Maggie was constantly in conflict with his guilty frustration at the huge limitations for his own life which looking after his mother entailed. The performance of Cracknell, a famous stage actress, as Maggie was particularly widely lauded as one of the finest characterisations Australian television has ever seen.

The Beare Family

Maggie Beare: Widow of WWII veteran Leo, mother of Robert and Arthur, sister to Lorna and grandmother to Damien and Teonie. Maggie is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and her youngest son Arthur lives with and takes care of her. However, despite being increasingly forgetful, Maggie is lucid enough to manipulate Arthur when she wants to, usually for something devilish that will seriously inconvenience him. 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...

Arthur Beare: Youngest son of Maggie and Leo, brother of Robert, uncle to Damien and Teonie and recent ex-husband of Deidre. Arthur is an editor and journalist for a newspaper, who, when he isn't working, is usually at home attending to the demands of his impish and increasingly confused mother. He drives a 1950s Morris Minor (convertible) that is constantly breaking down, has trouble bringing dates back to the house, and is almost always thwarted by Maggie whenever he attempts to socialize with his work-friends. Copy editing is the process of an editor making formatting changes and other improvements to text. ... For other uses, see Journalist (disambiguation). ... The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... Later Morris Minor Van with aftermarket rear side windows Morris Minor Traveller (estate) Morris Minor Rally The revolutionary Morris Minor (the prototype was called Mosquito) was launched at the Earls Court Motor Show on 20 September, 1948. ...

Robert Beare: Eldest son of Maggie and Leo, brother of Arthur, husband to Liz and father of Damien and Teonie. Robert is a successful dentist who likes to take lots of holidays and have extra-marital affairs. He is a 'man of leisure' who is adept at providing excuses as to why it is Arthur and not him that must take the primary care of their elderly mother. Robert loves to play tennis and golf and throughout the show, owns 3 cars; a Jaguar, Volvo and a BMW. When Arthur asks him for a loan to buy a new car however, all Robert will offer him is a seriously impaired Volvo at a discount. For other uses, see BMW (disambiguation). ...

Liz Beare: Wife of Robert, mother to Damien and Teonie. The long-suffering Liz is well-aware of her husband's affairs but finds it difficult to prove any of them, due to Robert's well-honed skill at covering them up. So in the meantime, Liz compensates by spending Robert's money and socializing with her equally rich, bored and unhappy friends.

Damien Beare: Grandson of Maggie, son of Robert and Liz, nephew to Arthur and brother of Teonie. Appears in only one episode

Teonie Beare: Granddaughter of Maggie, daughter of Robert and Liz, niece to Arthur and sister of Damien. Appears in only one episode

Deidre Beare: Ex-Wife of Arthur. Appears in 5 episodes

Aunty Lorna: Sister of Maggie. Appears in only 3 episodes. She is married to Stan and has 3 children - Colin, Dawn and Murray. She is the "younger and prettier" sister, much to Maggie's chagrin. (Note: Stan, Colin, Dawn and Murray do not appear in the show)

List Of Episodes

Season 1

{{Japanese episode list

EP# Title Director
1 "Maggie Takes a Holiday"
16th January, 1984
In this season premiere, Arthur begins to finally consider putting Maggie in a rest home after his wife leaves him 
2 "Maggie Gets The Milk"
23rd January, 1984
After sending Maggie out to get some milk three hours ago, Arthur discovers Maggie has been faking a broken arm to get Meals on Wheels for free. This prompts the meals on wheels volunteer to send a social worker to the house to discuss the situation. 
3 "Maggie Alone"
30th January, 1984
Arthur discovers that Maggie has been arriving home on the back of a garbage truck and making a nuisance of herself at the local hospital. 
4 "Arthur's Holiday"
6th February, 1984
Arthur has planned for a holiday in New Zealand with his new girlfriend while Maggie is staying at Robert and Liz's place. 
5 "Arthur's Night Out"
13th February, 1984
Arthur makes a date with Deirdre, prompting Maggie to discover she hates to be left alone at night. 
6 "Maggie in Love"
20th February, 1984
It's Maggie's birthday and the entire family gets together to celebrate. 
EpisodeNumber = 7 EnglishTitle = Maggie Makes a Will OriginalAirDate = 27th February, 1984 ShortSummary = After discovering Robert wants to sell the family home, Maggie anxiously wishes to change her will...but finding the will is the problem for her and Arthur, who is looking for his own place to live in.

Season 2

{{Japanese episode list Meals on Wheels is the name of a nutrition program available in several countries which delivers a meal to the home of an individual, usually a senior age 60 or older, who is unable to purchase or prepare meals themself. ... A social worker is a person employed in the administration of charity, social service, welfare, and poverty agencies, advocacy, or religious outreach programs. ...

EP# Title Director
8 "The Money"
4th March, 1985
After receiving a letter from the government, Maggie thinks they think she's dead, but in fact, they are investigating why she hasn't cashed in her pension cheques. 
9 "The Divorce"
11th March, 1985
The day of Arthur's divorce is approaching, and Maggie can't understand why he has to divorce. 
10 "The Funeral"
18th March, 1985
Arthur's uncle dies, and not even a funeral can keep peace within the family. 
11 "The Promotion"
25th March, 1985
Arthur is offered a new job, but must make a move to Canberra. Arthur tells Robert that he has to look after Maggie when he goes to Canberra. 
12 "The Aunt"
1st April, 1985
Maggie's sister Lorna visits, and the meeting is far from pleasant. Arthur is hoping Lorna's company will give him a chance to go out with his new girlfriend. 
13 "The Card Game"
8th April, 1985
Arthur is having some friends over for a card game, and Maggie is shocked that she won't be joining them for the game. 
EpisodeNumber = 14 EnglishTitle = The Morning After OriginalAirDate = 15th April, 1985 ShortSummary = Arthur's girlfriend spends the night, which shocks Maggie. Enough for her to walk out and threaten to move in with Robert and Liz.

  Results from FactBites:
Healthy Boundaries for Mother-Son Relationships (1799 words)
In many cases, mother and son have had a very close relationship when the son was growing up, while the father was either physically or emotionally absent.
A mother came to me one day, distraught because she had read an article her son had written for a gay newspaper; in it he had made his childhood sound much worse than it really was.
Though she didn't want to, she and her husband had talked with their son and were able to express their feelings of hurt and anger; initially he was resentful and embarrassed but after a while he started to understand their concerns, and they now have a better and more honest relationship with him.
  More results at FactBites »



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