Our Man at St. Marks

1960 | United Kingdom

Light hearted but superior comedy series originally starring 1960's 'super smoothie' and womanising cad, Leslie Phillips, as the somewhat eccentric Reverand Andrew Parker. The show was similar to a US series that had premiered a year before called Going My Way, which starred Gene Kelly and was itself based on a 1944 Bing Crosby movie. 

St Mark's was situated in a rural parish at the centre of the village of Felgate (in reality Denham Village, Buckinghamshire), and focused on Andrew Parker's day-to-day exploits as he wove his way in and out of the lives of his parishioners. Unusually for this period, Parker had a girlfriend, Anne Gibson (Anne Lawson), and a housekeeper; Mrs Pace (Joan Hickson) also assisted him. However, after the first series (which made its way to number three in the ratings), Parker moved on to pastures new and another vicar, Stephen Young (Donald Sinden -pictured above), moved in. 

For the third series the tone was set a bit darker when more serious social issues were addressed, although for light relief another character was added in the form of reformed crook Harry the Yo-Yo (Harry Fowler), who was so called because he was always in and out of prison. For the fourth series yet another change took place. Stephen Young moved from Felgate to Lynchester where he was promoted to Archdeacon. The series title was subtly changed to Our Man From St Mark's.

Published on January 17th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.