Solo. Gemma Palmer (Felicity Kendal). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.


Sitcom about Gemma Palmer, a newly single girl intent on making her own, independent way in the world, with varying degrees of failure

1981 - 1982  (BBC One)
13 (2 series)
Felicity Kendal, Stephen Moore, Elspet Gray, Debbie Wheeler, Stella Goodier, Michael Howe
Carla Lane
British Broadcasting Corporation

When Gemma Palmer discovers that her boyfriend, Danny, has slept with one of her friends she - quite understandably - throws him out of the flat they share. She also resigns herself to a perpetually single, independent life, relying on no one and not wanting for anything.

The trouble is, she is still desperately in love with Danny, and although she is pained to admit it, equally desperately lost without him. As she tries to change her life for the better, and attempts to find true enjoyment in the single life, the same romantic questions keep arising.

Our Review: A curious offering from the prolific Carla Lane. Although typically female-centric, Solo is somewhat unusually a mix of propaganda both for and against men, relationships, marriage, babies, and anything else of such ilk that one could care to mention.

It would be unfair to imply that the series is wholly unfunny, but despite the relatively rare female-centric theme it isn't anything particularly notable, and certainly isn't amongst Lane's best work. Watching it, one is often torn between whether Solo should be classed as a quaint, light-humoured affair, or just a not-particularly-good sitcom - we'll go for the former, as despite its various oddities, it is fairly entertaining.

It's also interesting to note that Gemma's neighbours - who make bizarre scattered appearances unlinked to Gemma, Danny, or the main of the plots during Series 1 - have more than a little ring of Beryl and Sandra (The Liver Birds) to them; one can at times picture Polly James and Nerys Hughes chattering in the small bedsit, rather than Josie and Bernadette.