Boon (TV series)

Boon (TV series)

Infobox British television
show_name = Boon

caption = Opening title sequence
format = Drama
runtime = 60 minutes
creator = Jim Hill
Bill Stair
starring = Michael Elphick,
David Daker,
Rachel Davies,
Neil Morrissey,
Lesley-Anne Sharpe,
Amanda Burton,
Elizabeth Carling,
Brigit Forsyth,
Saskia Wickham
channel = ITV
first_aired = 14 January 1986
last_aired = 1 December 1992;
1 May 1995
num_episodes = 92 + 1 special
producer = Central Independent Television
related =

"Boon" is a British television drama series starring Michael Elphick, David Daker and later on Neil Morrissey. It was created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair and filmed by Central Television for ITV.

Early years

Ken Boon (Elphick) and Harry Crawford (Daker) were both old-fashioned "smokeys" (firemen) in the West Midlands Fire Service, Crawford took early retirement and moved to Spain to open a bar, leaving Ken behind. Ken went to a fire where a child was trapped upstairs. Rather than waiting for breathing apparatus to arrive, he went into the house and rescued the child but was severely injured by inhaling toxic smoke. He was declared unfit for duty after collapsing during a drill because his lungs had been permanently damaged so he had no choice but to leave the fire service for good.

He started a market garden called "The Ponderosa" in a village about ten miles outside Birmingham but found that it wasn't working out. As he struggled to pay bills and keep afloat, he was surprised when a visitor arrived at the garden: Harry had returned from Spain to Birmingham, after his wife Alison had left him for a young hairdresser. Harry had acquired a hotel in Birmingham and offered a port in a storm for Ken.

Ken was convinced into placing a PO box advert in "Box 13" saying “Ex-fireman seeks interesting work. Anything legal considered.” From these humble beginnings, his career as a courier, minder and private investigator began.

During the time that Ken and Harry worked together, Harry ran two hotels (The Grand Hotel and The Coaching Inn), a ballroom (The Plaza Suite), a country club (Woodcote Park) and a security firm (CBS - Crawford Boon Security). Ken ran a motorbike courier firm (Texas Rangers), two private investigation firms (BDI - Boon-Daly Investigations - and Boon Investigations) and CBS. CBS was a joint venture, with Ken being responsible for private investigations and Harry for security.

The series moved away from Birmingham to Nottingham at the beginning of series 4, with production of the show being based at Central's studio in Nottingham. The Birmingham episodes (Series 1-3) were made on film whereas the Nottingham episodes (Series 4-7) were made on video. Apart from studio interiors of Series 1, all filming was done on location [] .

Later Years

At the end of the final series, in episode "Shot in the Dark", Harry got engaged to an Irish woman whom he met during a case, and Ken and Alex seemed to be becoming romantically attached after she tenderly read him poetry [] while was in hospital recovering from gunshot wounds. Neither of these plot developments were referred to during the special episode "Thieves Like Us", broadcast three years later on 1 May 1995. This episode, although thought to be part of an eighth series which was cancelled, was actually an episode from the final series which had not been aired.

In all, seven series, each of which consisted of 13 episodes (apart from the last two series which had 14) were filmed. The sixth series featured a 90-minute Christmas special which was dedicated to the memory of Bill Stair, one of the show's creators.

Neil Morrissey joined in the second series as Rocky; this was his first major television role. Other regular characters were played by Rachel Davies (Doreen Evans), Lesley-Anne Sharpe (Debbie Yates), Amanda Burton (Margaret Daly), Elizabeth Carling (Laura Marsh), Brigit Forsyth (Helen Yeldham) and Saskia Wickham (Alex Wilton).


Series 1 (14 Jan 86 - 8 Apr 86)

1. 1.Box 13 (14 Jan 86) 2. 2.Fools Rush In (21 Jan 86) 3. 3.Answers To The Name Of Watson (28 Jan 86) 4. 4.Grass Widows (4 Feb 86) 5. 5.Unto Us Four A Son (11 Feb 86) 6. 6.Glasshouse People (18 Feb 86) 7. 7.Northwest Passage To Acock's Green (25 Feb 86) 8. 8.Something Old, Something New (4 Mar 86) 9. 9.For Whom The Chimes Toll (11 Mar 86) 10. 10.Jack Of All Tradesmen (18 Mar 86) 11. 11.Billy The Kid (25 Mar 86) 12. 12.Grand Expectations (1 Apr 86) 13. 13.Full Circle (8 Apr 86)

Series 2 (17 Feb 87 - 1 Dec 87)(For reasons unknown this season was split in to two parts. It is often mistakenly classified as two separate seasons, but this is not the case.)

1. 14.Texas Rangers (17 Feb 87) 2. 15.Special Delivery (24 Feb 87) 3. 16.Day Of The Yokel (3 Mar 87) 4. 17.Smokey And The Band (10 Mar 87) 5. 18.Taken For A Ride (17 Mar 87) 6. 19.Wheels Of Fortune (24 Mar 87) 7. 20.A Ride On The Wild Side (31 Mar 87) 8. 21.Credit Where It's Due (27 Oct 87) 9. 22.Trudy's Grit (3 Nov 87) 10. 23.A Fistful Of Pesetas (10 Nov 87) 11. 24.Paper Mafia (17 Nov 87) 12. 25.Fiddler Under The Roof (24 Nov 87) 13. 26.Once A Fluid Man (1 Dec 87)

Series 3 (1 Nov 88 - 24 Jan 89)

1. 27.Charity Begins At Home (Part 1) (1 Nov 88) 2. 28.Charity Begins At Home (Part 2) (8 Nov 88) 3. 29.Topspin (15 Nov 88) 4. 30.Have A Nice Day (22 Nov 88) 5. 31.Beef Encounter (29 Nov 88) 6. 32.Never Say Trevor Again (6 Dec 88) 7. 33.Honourable Service (13 Dec 88) 8. 34.Peacemaker (20 Dec 88) 9. 35.The Devil You Know (27 Dec 88) 10. 36.Banbury Blue (3 Jan 89) 11. 37.One Reborn Every Minute (10 Jan 89) 12. 38.The Fall and Rise Of The Bowman Empire (17 Jan 89) 13. 39.The Not So Lone Ranger (24 Jan 89)

Series 4 (2 Oct 89 - 20 Dec 89)

1. 40.Walking Off Air (2 Oct 89) 2. 41.The Relief Of Matty King (9 Oct 89) 3. 42.Vallance's Liberty (16 Oct 89) 4. 43.Of Meissen Men (23 Oct 89) 5. 44.Arms And The Dog (30 Oct 89) 6. 45.Sickness And Health (6 Nov 89) 7. 46.In It For The Monet (13 Nov 89) 8. 47.Do Not Forsake Me (20 Nov 89) 9. 48.Love Letters From A Dead Man (27 Nov 89) 10. 49.Big Game Hunt (4 Dec 89) 11. 50.Don't Buy From Me, Argentina (11 Dec 89) 12. 51.All In A Day's Pork (18 Dec 89) 13. 52.The Eyes Of Texas (20 Dec 89)

Series 5 (25 Sep 90 - 19 Dec 90)

1. 53.Trouble In The Fields (25 Sep 90) 2. 54.Tales From The River Bank (2 Oct 90) 3. 55.Rival Eyes (9 Oct 90) 4. 56.A Night At The Ballet (16 Oct 90) 5. 57.Work, Rest & Play (23 Oct 90) 6. 58.Bully Boys (30 Oct 90) 7. 59.The Belles Of St Godwald's (6 Nov 90) 8. 60.Burning Ambition (13 Nov 90) 9. 61.Undercover (20 Nov 90) 10. 62.Daddy's Girl (27 Nov 90) 11. 63.Best Left Buried (4 Dec 90) 12. 64.Thicker Than Water (11 Dec 90) 13. 65.The Tender Trap (Christmas Special) (19 Dec 90)

Series 6 (24 Sep 91 - 17 Dec 91)

1. 66.Help Me Make It Through The Night (24 Sep 91) 2. 67.Two Men In A Vault (1 Oct 91) 3. 68.Trial And Error (8 Oct 91) 4. 69.Coverup (15 Oct 91) 5. 70.The Barefaced Contessa (22 Oct 91) 6. 71.Lie Of The Land (29 Oct 91) 7. 72.Lost On The Range (5 Nov 91) 8. 73.Pillow Talk (12 Nov 91) 9. 74.Cab Rank Cowboys (19 Nov 91) 10. 75.Houseguests (26 Nov 91) 11. 76.Bad Pennies (3 Dec 91) 12. 77.When Harry Met Janice (10 Dec 91) 13. 78.Stamp Duty (17 Dec 91)

14. 79.The Night Before Christmas (90 minute Christmas Special.) (24 Dec 91)

Series 7 (8 Sep 92 - 1 Dec 92)

1. 80.MacGuffin's Transputer (8 Sep 92) 2. 81.Queen's Gambit (15 Sep 92) 3. 82.Walkout (22 Sep 92) 4. 83.Deadline (29 Sep 92) 5. 84.Away From It All (6 Oct 92) 6. 85.Message In A Bottle (13 Oct 92) 7. 86.The Sharp End (20 Oct 92) 8. 87.Is Anybody There? (27 Oct 92) 9. 88.Minder (3 Nov 92) 10. 89.Love Or Money (10 Nov 92) 11. 90.Blackballed (17 Nov 92) 12. 91.Whispering Grass (24 Nov 92) 13. 92.Shot In The Dark (The Final Episode) (1 Dec 92) 14. 93. Thieves Like Us (1 May 95)

Trivia: The episode 'Thieves Like Us' was listed as 'The Last Episode', but the storyline tells us that it was meant to be broadcast during the original syndication of series 7, and obviously prior to the episode 'Shot in the Dark'. Within the episode 'Shot in the Dark', there were subjects that were touched on, such as Ken's blossoming romance with Alex Wilton, and Harry's "news" for Ken, which we never got to hear, nor was it mentioned in 'Thieves Like Us'. When 'Thieves Like Us' was broadcast, the announcer referred to it as a 'One-Off-Special'. The reason for delayed airing has never been explained.


The show's writers included Geoff McQueen, Anthony Minghella and Kieran Prendiville. Ted Childs was the first executive producer.

Theme Song and Incidental Music

Music was a huge part of the series. A large reason for its popularity was the catchy theme song 'Hi Ho Silver' which was written and recorded by Jim Diamond, who was by that time famous for his Number 1 hits 'I Won't Let You Down' and 'I Should Have Known Better'. It was so popular with fans that it was released as a single in 1986 and reached number 5 in the UK charts. Most of the episodes however, didn't end with the theme song, many of them ended with country and western songs such as 'Handsome Stranger' and 'Texas Rangers', written for the series by Dean Friedman. Friedman wrote the incidental music and songs from series 2 through to the end of the show. The incidental music for the first series was provided by Barrington Pheloung.


Ken's trademark style included his red and silver BSA A65 White Lightning 650cc motorbike which he had in every series.

Ken also had certain jackets which he wore in each series. Series 1 was a long duffle coat. Series 2 was his tassled leather jacker which had his 'Texas Rangers' logo on the back. He also wore this for a lot of series 3. For Series 4 and 5 he wore a black jacket. Series 6 was a brown suede jacket. Series 7 was a regular leather jacket.

Rocky Cassidy's trademark for most of the series was his studded leather jacket, which also featured his name "Rocky" studded on the back. He also wore leather trousers.

Harry was usually seen in a grey or black suit of some sort.


According to Jim Hill (co-creator), the name "Boon" was derived as follows: "Originally called "Anything Legal Considered", we fell foul of the vogue of the main character's name being all or part of the title. Boon had been derived from an American TV series from the 1950s that Bill Stair and I both watched and liked. It was called "Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957) - a troubleshooting cowboy answered distress calls. He was called Paladin and was played by the actor Richard Boone. We dropped the E and we had BOON - a modern-day trouble shooter on a motorbike instead of a steed."

External links

* [ Fan site] with images, sound clips, episode details, cast biographies, etc.
*imdb title|id=0090400|title=Boon

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