After Henry (TV series)

After Henry (TV series)

infobox television
show_name = After Henry

caption =
format = Sitcom
runtime = 30 minutes
creator =
starring = Prunella Scales Joan Sanderson
Janine Wood
country = United Kingdom
network = ITV
first_aired = 4 January 1988
last_aired = 24 August 1992
num_episodes = 38
imdb_id = 0092314

"After Henry" is a British sitcom that aired on ITV from 1988 to 1992. Starring Prunella Scales and Joan Sanderson, it had started on BBC Radio 4 in 1985, finishing in 1989. It was written by Simon Brett. "After Henry" was made for the ITV network by Thames Television.

The BBC was reluctant to produce "After Henry" for television, so in 1988 after the third radio series Thames Television did so. The show was surprisingly popular, attracting over 14 million viewers. A second television series was shown during the same months as the fourth radio series with, in many cases, both radio and television episodes being broadcast on the same nights. The fourth television series was broadcast from July 1992, after the death of Joan Sanderson, who had died on 24 May.


*Prunella Scales - Sarah France
*Joan Sanderson - Eleanor Prescott
*Janine Wood - Clare France
*Jonathan Newth - Russell Bryant
*Peggy Ann Wood - Vera Poling
*Anne Priestley - Mary "(series 2)"
*Edward de Souza - Sam Greenland "(series 2 and 3)"


Sarah France is the 42-year-old widow of a GP, Henry. She lives in an often volatile family situation with her mother, Eleanor Prescott, and her daughter, eighteen-year-old Clare France, with both of whom she shares a house. After Henry's death, all three members of the family have to find a way to cope with each other as best they can.

Sarah often finds herself in the middle of things, usually figuratively, but always literally, given that she has her mother living upstairs and her daughter in the basement flat. Eleanor is ruthlessly cunning and takes every opportunity to get one over on Sarah. Anything told to Eleanor will spread by word of mouth throughout an extensive network of the elderly of the area, or the "geriatric mafia". Clare is trying to be independent of her mother, though often has to come running back in times of crisis.

The relationships between the three women change constantly through each episode. Sometimes mother and daughter ally against grandmother, sometimes mother and grandmother go against daughter, but usually grandmother and granddaughter gang up on the long-suffering Sarah, whose one haven is Bygone Books, the remarkably unsuccessful second-hand bookshop where she works for Russell, who dispenses in turn sympathy and wisdom. Most of the time, Russell sees the women's relationships second-hand through Sarah, although he isn't opposed to taking the occasional more active role when necessary. In turn, Sarah can see some of Russell's difficulties of living with a gay partner in 1980s London suburbia, while at the same time seeing Russell's relationship as the one perfect marriage she knows.

The adaptation for television allowed more to be seen of some of the more minor characters in the radio series, with appearances by some who had appeared only by reputation on the radio. These included Eleanor's bestfriend and rival Vera Poling, and Valerie Brown on the pension counter's sister Mary. In the television adaptation, Sarah also gained an on-off partner in Sam Greenland.

Many of the exterior locations for the TV series were shot in the village of Thames Ditton in Surrey.


DVD releases

The first series has been released on DVD in the UK (Region 2).


*Mark Lewisohn, "Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy", BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2003
* [ Guide to "After Henry"]
* [ British Comedy Guide to "After Henry"]

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