Love On A Branch Line. Jasper Pye (Michael Maloney). Image credit: DLT Entertainment Ltd..

Love On A Branch Line

A bored and boring Civil Servant escapes to a rural idyll, quickly falling in love with the local scenery and way of life

Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
1994  (BBC One)
Episodes:
4 (1 series)
Starring:
Michael Maloney, Leslie Phillips, Maria Aitken, Abigail Cruttenden, Cathryn Harrison, Charlotte Williams, Graham Crowden, Stephen Moore, David Haig, Amanda Root
Writers:
David Nobbs, John Hadfield
Production:
DLT Entertainment Ltd.

Civil Servant Jasper Pye has been denounced as boring by his girlfriend. He therefore decides to quit his job and to become an artist in Paris. His superiors have other ideas however; they decide that he is the perfect man to be sent to dismantle a government statistical research unit.

The unit is housed in a stately home and Jasper is soon distracted by the three daughters of owner Lord Flamborough. He finds himself cast headlong into the local lifestyle.

Our Review: Love On A Branch Line was based on author John Hadfield's novel of the same name and was adapted by celebrated comedy scriptwriter David Nobbs.

The series offers a brand of gentle post-war escapism not dissimilar to that featured in The Darling Buds Of May. Central character Jasper Pye is taken from the drudgery of his everyday city life and transported to a rural paradise. The pleasures of the series can be derived from the beautiful scenery, nostalgic music and from the three beautiful sisters who Jasper comes across.

These delights saw Love On A Branch Line receive excellent reviews and plans were put in place for a second series. Nobbs concocted an entirely original story in which Jasper returned to the hall to act as a moral guardian for the girls. Then BBC boss Alan Yentob, however, did not personally take to the series, and scrapped it.