Back in 1982 a genuinely clever, different and refreshing comedy series hit our screens thanks to Granada. It was so clever in fact, and so disparate in its comedic references that a lot of viewers entirely failed to get it. At one level a parody of gritty, northern dramas of class conflict, it introduces us to the mine, munition and mill owning family, the Hardacres and the working class Fairchilds in their employ. Timothy West, at the height of his powers, plays the villainous Bradley Hardacre - the sort of man who bemoans damage to the company overalls worn by men injured in industrial accidents. A man willing to pay a fair day's pay for a fair week's work. The comic, romantic entanglements between the Fairchild boys and Hardacre girls (every character a droll cliche) are the stuff of pure soap opera parody. The satire also embraces (amongst others) Brideshead Revisited, Cambridge spy scandals, D. H. Lawrence, Arnold Toynbee, Jane Austen, much 20th Century history, Black Beauty, soap powder commercials, Dr Finlay and the general style and overly dramatised style of Dallas and its ilk. This is sheer genius. A complete joy to replace my 20 years old and incomplete set of TV recorded VHS.