Best of Enemies

1968 | United Kingdom

Television's first attempt to poke fun at the world of politics from within the Houses of Parliament in a situation comedy came from the pens of Vince Powell and Harry Driver. 

The series revolved around two M.Ps,-Labour and Conservative. Tim Barrett played a young Labour newcomer, Geoffrey Broom MP for Burnstone, Yorkshire, and Robert Coates the wily old Tory, William Sylvester Gordon representing the safe seat of Ryefield in Surrey. Because of accommodation problems they are forced to share an office. "We thought a comedy series about politics would be an excellent subject," said Vince. "It never does any harm for people to laugh at something they sometimes tend to take too seriously." However, the series was beset with problems. Following the transmission of the first episode (in Thames Television's second week of broadcasting) an ITV technicians dispute kept it off the screen until almost a year later when the next four of the seven episodes written were shown. The last two episodes were never seen. 

Television returned to the subject matter far more successfully in the 1980s with Yes, Minister.

Published on November 29th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.