Fresh Fields

ITV (ended 1986)


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Fresh Fields

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This very popular Thames Television series centred on the mid-life crisis experienced by Hester Fields after her children moved away from the family home in Barnes, a London suburb. Sympathetic but bewildered husband William, a successful accountant, looked on in amazement as Hester threw herself into a succession of self-improvement courses, part-time jobs, and charitable causes. Since series star Julia McKenzie was a flaming redhead, her often scatter-brained activities were strongly reminiscent of a certain Lucy Ricardo... especially when scrounging next-door neighbour Sonia got involved just as Ethel Mertz used to. Much of the Fields' troubles revolved around their daughter Emma, a constant telephone presence but never seen (although briefly glimpsed at her wedding). Emma was unmarried but living with Peter, and eventually carrying his child. This situation scandalized Hester's mother Nancy, who lived in a "granny flat" over the Fields' garage, and was troubled by the re-appearance of Hester's father Guy, who abandoned them forty years earlier but now hoped to reconcile with Nancy.moreless