The nineteen seventies was a great time for series set between the wars in the North of England. When the Boat Comes In, Sam and The Stars Look Down spring to mind. Worthy as they may have been, and When the Boat Come Comes In would get my vote as the best British Tv series ever, Brass means that it will be a long time before we see the genre again.
Brass does for the flat cap drama what Mel Brookes did to Westerns and Frankenstein and did it in just as funny a way. Timothy West is supurb as Bradley Hardacre the ruthless owner of the mine, the mill, the munitions factory and the crutch factory. The story revolves two families, Bradley his crippled wife (or is she), two daughters and two sons named believe it or not Austin and Morris are one. The second are the working class Fairchilds, George who is loyal to Bradley and as thick as a plank, his firebrand wife Red Agnes, who hates Bradley but cannot help sleaping with him or as she puts it pressing his trousers and their two sons, who fall in love with Bradley's two daughters.
The humour is not subtle and is a send up of other nineteen thirties dramas. George for instance is pathetically grateful when Austin gives him a suger lump, 'Me own suger lunp and they said I'd never amount to anything'
Agnes has a job testing ballons by blowing them up one at a time. Bradley enquires about the dangers of ballon testers lung. Elseware Bradley complains that men trapped down the mine has spent their time waiting to be rescued rather that digging out his coal.
All in all a very funny series with Timothy West at his best as Bradley Hardacre one of the great TV comic figures.