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Goodnight Sweetheart
- series two
cast: Nicholas Lindhurst, Dervla Kirwan, Michelle Holmes, Victor McGuire, and Christopher Ettridge

creators: Laurence Marks, Maurice Gran
230 minutes (PG) 1995
Revelation DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Emily Webb
In Goodnight Sweetheart Nicholas Lyndhurst, Britain's premier 'ordinary guy' actor, plays ordinary bloke Gary Sparrow who has the ability to time travel from 1990s' Cricklewood to 1940s war torn London. Torn between his present-day life and wife Yvonne (Michelle Holmes) and 1940s' Phoebe (Dervla Kirwen), the feisty landlady of East End pub The Royal Oak, Gary also has the added pressure of fulfilling a time-travelling investment scheme by best friend Ron that could make all their money troubles disappear.

Goodnight Sweetheart lasted six series on the BBC and has a loyal fan following (it could pull in nine million viewers), which was not dented by the departure of leading ladies Holmes and Kirwan after series three (they were replaced by Emma Amos and Elizabeth Carling). The storyline provides plenty of mileage for Gary to weave a web of lies about why he has futuristic products like a Walkman or why he appears to have such an accurate knowledge of what will happen in the future. To explain why he flits in and out of the lives of the wartime East End folk, he claims to spend time in the US, which helps him to explain why he is able to bring back products like bacon, stockings and peanut butter for Phoebe. (There is a clever exchange about expiry dates in one of the episodes in this series.) He is also an adept entertainer, passing off Beatles songs as his own and claiming to be a songwriter.

Series two sees the sitcom still establishing the overall storyline and it is in the subsequent series that Gary is forced to make a decision (Yvonne or Phoebe?) and commit himself to the present or the past. (The first two series have hooked me in enough to want to find out what happens.) The creators of this series also penned Birds Of A Feather so the writing is taut and entertaining and Goodnight Sweetheart was ranked 50 in the BBC's Britain's best sitcom vote.

Extras: episode commentaries from series creators and writers, and an exclusive interview with Christopher Ettridge who plays PC Reg Deadman.

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