Emily by Valerie WoodEmily was only five years old when she was sent away from her ma and pa and her brother Joe to go and live with old Granny Edwards. A loving and hard-working child, she goes into service when she is twelve at the house of Roger Francis, whose connections with Emilys own family prove to be closer than she could ever have guessed. Rogers daughter Deborah takes a great fancy to Emily, and when Emily has moved to another household in Hull she finds that her new employers son Hugo is to marry Deborah. But Hugo, too, has taken a fancy to Emily, and dishonours and then betrays her to such an extent that she is imprisoned, tried and deported to Australia. But just when her fortunes seem to be at their lowest ebb, Emily is reunited with the one man who can save her from her miserable existence and bring her wealth and happiness.
Roger and Val Have Just Got In, BBC Two
It's not a show that trumpets its brilliance, or demands that viewers take notice of it. Quite the opposite: it's the tale of an average married couple, doing average married couple things in a 30s semi. For me, it's the former. I love the show for all the reasons that other people can't get on with it: the lack of proper gags, a focus on the minutiae of relationships, the faceless spectre of Pam Bagnall. Much of this is down to the script. Writers Beth and Emma Kilcoyne they are twins manage to capture the essence of a relationship with astonishing affection, joy and empathy. There are elements that are universally recognisable — the gentle squabbles over dinner preparations, the bolstering of self worth, the instinct to protect your partner from hurt — but instead of slipping over into sitcom cliche, the conversations are so real, so unforced, that at times it feels like you're eavesdropping.
Chris Bryant On 02, Jan Roger Alfred Molina , an occasionally rash, socialist botanist and Val Dawn French , a logical, gentle food technology teacher, have just got in from work. Their silly, lovely, broken lives. Then they find it. And make no mistake: it is wonderful. Molina and French could not be more perfect, or more real.
Series Details & Credits
It's a brave sitcom writer who dares to write a bleakly comic drama, without canned laughter, in which nothing very much happens and where a long-married couple natter away about the mundane details of their lives in the half-hour after they come home from work. It debuted on BBC Two in and, given little fanfare by the corporation, still gained a solid and devoted following, instantly hooked on this delicately woven story about Roger and Val Alfred Molina and Dawn French.