29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Enchantment In Four Parts,
This review is from: Love on a Branch Line [DVD]  (DVD)
1957.Disillusioned minor civil servant Jasper Pye(Michael Maloney)is sent to deepest East Anglia and Arcady Hall to assess the continued viability of a statistical department charged with monitoring foreign publications ran by Profesor Pollox(Graham Crowden)and his two assistants Quirk(Stephen Moore) and Miss Mounsey(Amanda Root).However finding out exactly what the department does proves to be somewhat elusive and he is not helped by the eccentric Lord and Lady Flamborough(Leslie Phillips,Maria Aitken)who actually lease the stately home to the ministry and their three enticing daughters Belinda(Abigail Cruttendon),Matilda(Charlotte Williams)and the lovely Chloe(the gorgeous Cathryn Harrison)who provide plenty of distractions.Throw in Chloe's happy drunk of a husband(David Haig)and gentle chaos ensues.
Adapted by David Nobbs from John Hadfield's novel,Love on a Branch Line channels that love of rural england espoused by H E Bates in The Darling Buds Of May and indeed anyone who enjoyed Darling Buds on t.v will find much to enjoy here.The background is a little more rarified but the essential goodness of country folk seeps through.
Maloney is a lttle too wet at times,his character's narration can be somewhat deadening and part two is a bit of a drag but overall the performances are lovely especially from Crowden and Harrison and the scene in part one on the train and the extended cricket match sequence(Haig and Maloney find themselves locked in Haig's wine cellar prior to the game and overindulge in all manor of alcoholic concoctions -Carrot whiskey anyone!!) in part three are nothing short of joyous.
Warm hearted,amusing and nicely risque at times,Love on a Branch Line is on the whole delightful entertainment and a nice reminder of what television can really do with the right commissioning editors in place.This was made in 1993 and in real life as in tv land it feels a lifetime ago.