"Flockton Flyer" is a little-known TV series made in the late 1970's. Filmed on the West Somerset Railway, which had been re-opened by rail enthusiasts the year before filming for the series began, the show followed the adventures of the Carter family, whose garage business had foundered thanks to a new bypass and so they move into an old railway station to help work the line and its steam engine, the eponymous Flockton Flyer.
The show, often dismissed as a relic of a bygona era in recent times, is a wonderful series with engaging characters, from Bob Carter, the level-headed patriarch of the household, Commander Frost, the head of the railway society's board who cannot shake off all the terms and traditions he picked up in the Navy, and Bill Jelly, a vagrant living in a lineside hut who tells many a tale of his travels in exotic lands. Each one draws us into this beautiful little world, and keep us enthralled episode after episode.
Each episode is beautifully written, carefully blending elements of drama, comedy and adventure until the mixture is just right. Throughout the 12 episodes of the entire series, we are treated to ghost trains, saboteurs, cattle rustlers, train robbers, and a thrilling chase between the Flockton Flyer and another tank engine owned by the scheming Duke of Flockton (played wonderfully by Patrick Mower of "Carry On England", here doing his best impression of Somerset's Dick Dastardly).
Together with Patrick Whitbread's tie-in novel, also called "Flockton Flyer", this is a series for all ages. It is a series of wonderful characters, beautiful scenery, and a celebration of the country railways many of us take for granted.