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STEPTOE AND SON

Steptoe And Son remains one of the greatest of British sitcoms, and only really had two principal characters, both grumpy rag and bone men - one old, one young, and one a father and one a son.

Wilfrid Brambell played the selfish, manipulative father, Albert Steptoe, evincing violins of sympathy whenever pretentious son Harold, played by Harry H. Corbett, a man nearing middle age, threatened to leave home. Rarely short of attractive girlfriends, the Steptoe abode was never a great lovenest for Harold and his girls, with some hygiene problems and a vindictive Albert to contend with.

Harold was ashamed of his father, and whenever Harold was trying to get ahead, and impress his newly found highbrow acting chums, Albert would put a spoke in the works, and, on one occasion, steal the limelight, much to the chagrin of an apoplectic Harold.

There's some memorably spiteful, but witty, exchanges in the series. Harold once said to his father, "Dracula was a better father than what you are". His father had to come back with something, of course, and when Harold said he wanted to be a doctor, Albert retorted, on the fact that he wasn't a doctor, with "That saved a few lives".

Another treasure from writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, to go alongside the likes of their work on Hancock. Classic episodes included 'The Desperate Hours', with two criminals, played by Leonard Rossiter and J.G. Devlin, on the run, and the younger crim (Rossiter) finding he has things in common with Harold's plight - both feeling weighed down by old men, and the old men feeling the young men are selfish and heartless, but everything is resolved amicably. 'Come Dancing' is a hilarious episode of meticulous planning coming spectacularly unstuck. 'Divided We Stand' shows the two men at their most petty, as they erect a partition in the living room, but realise that neither can see more than half of the TV screen - as the telly has been partitioned, too!

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


Steptoe And Son Episode List (all BBC)
(dates are of first TV screenings)

The Offer - 5 January 1962
(Comedy Playhouse)

Season One June/July 1962
The Bird - 14 June 1962
The Piano - 21 June 1962
The Economist - 28 June 1962
The Diploma - 5 July 1962
The Holiday - 12 July 1962

Season Two January/February 1963
Wallah Wallah Cat's Meat - 3 January 1963
The Bath - 10 January 1963
The Stepmother - 17 January 1963
Sixty Five Today - 24 January 1963
A Musical Evening - 31 January 1963
Full House - 7 February 1963
Is That Your Horse Outside? - 14 February 1963

Season Three January/February 1964
Home Fit For Heroes - 7 January 1964
The Wooden Overcoats - 14 January 1964
The Lead Man Cometh - 21 January 1964
Steptoe A La Cart - 28 January 1964
Sunday For Seven Days - 4 February 1964
The Bond That Binds Us - 11 February 1964
The Lodger - 18 February 1964

Season Four October/November 1965
And Afterwards At . . - 4 October 1965
Crossed Swords - 11 October 1965
Those Magnificent Men And Their Heating Machines - 18 October 1965
The Siege Of Steptoe Street - 25 October 1965
A Box In Town - 1 November 1965
My Old Man's A Tory - 8 November 1965
Pilgrims Progress- 15 November 1965

Season Five (Screened in Colour for the first time) March/April 1970
A Death In The Family - 6 March 1970
A Winter's Tale - 13 March 1970
Any Old Iron - 20 March 1970
Steptoe And Son - And Son - 27 March 1970
The Colour Problem - 3 April 1970
TB Or Not TB - 10 April 1970
Men Of Property - 17 April 1970

Season Six November/December 1970
Robbery With Violence - 2 November 1970
Come Dancing - 9 November 1970
Two's Company - 16 November 1970
Tea For Two - 23 November 1970
Without Prejudice - 30 November 1970
Pot Black - 7 December 1970
The Three Feathers - 14 December 1970
Cuckoo In The Nest - 21 December 1970

Season Seven February/April 1972
Men Of Letters - 21 February 1972
A Star Is Born - 28 February 1972
Oh What A Beautiful Mourning - 6 March 1972
Live Now P.A.Y.E. Later - 13 March 1972
Loathe Story - 20 March 1972
Divided We Stand - 27 March 1972
The Desperate Hours - 3 April 1972

Christmas Special
The Party - 24 December 1973

Season Eight September/October 1974
Back In Fashion - 4 September 1974
And So To Bed - 11 September 1974
Porn Yesterday - 18 September 1974
The Seven Steptoerai - 25 September 1974
Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs - 3 October 1974
Seance In A Wet Rag And Bone Yard - 10 October 1974

Christmas Special
The Holiday - 26 December 1974


Feature Films
Steptoe and Son - 1972
Steptoe and Son Ride Again - 1973

Steptoe And Son DVDs available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.co.uk

'The Complete Steptoe & Son DVD' The Complete Steptoe & Son ~ Harry H. Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell
'Steptoe & Son - The Christmas Specials DVD' Steptoe & Son - The Christmas Specials ~ Harry H. Corbett, Wilfred Brambell

Steptoe And Son CDs available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.co.uk

0563504382 "Steptoe and Son", the Very Best Episodes: v. 1 (Steptoe & Son) ~ Ray Galton
0563381876 "Steptoe and Son": The Seven Steptoerai No.6 (BBC Radio Collection) ~ Ray Galton

 

 

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