Season 1 Episode 1

Episode 1 Series 1

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 22, 2007 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Episode 1 Series 1
Peter Kingdom, a solicitor in Norfolk market town, returns to work, following the disappearance of his brother, Simon. Simon's clothes were found on the beach, but no body was discovered. Peter helps settle the affairs of a deceased woman whose money has disappeared and helps Mr Snell stop the council building a road.moreless

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  • A great start to the series!

    I honestly cannot believe I haven't watched this series until now. Everything about it screams "brilliance": the eccentric characters (got to love Tony Slattery's Snell!); the location; the struggling country law-firm!

    This first episode sets the series of with a bang: an eccentric wealthy woman, who is nearing the age of 60 has a heart attack (in the presence of a male escort) and it's up to Peter Kingdom (portrayed brillianty by Stephen Fry) to sort out her will.

    The main plot quite happily rolls on cosily for the hour, gradually getting more absurd and revealing more and more about the show's main protaganist and this episode's guest stars. There are no actual plot twists, but there are a lot of developments that flow nicely. But then again, the show has such a warm, fuzzy feel to it, it wouldn't be able to cope with a huge twist! The main plot brings us some brilliant characters, including the male escort who has a very "open" home life and the "tosser" of a son who only wants his mother's money. The story concludes with a typically heart-warming finish, that really seems to tell the viewer what this show is going to be about!

    In addition to the main plot, comes the wonderful Snell, played brilliantly by the tramp-looking Tony Slattery. I've got a feeling that this character is going to become the very essence of the show: the Kramer for this series, if you will. Here, he is protesting against the development of a supermarket (which any country person can acknowledge!), and comes up with an ingenious method of halting it: he purchases a tiny amount of land... for a tenner! Fry and Slattery have great chemistry and together, and this small subplot adds a great comedy element to the episode.

    Finally, since this is the opening episode, it's only fair we learn a bit about Peter Kingdom and his life. As the episode begins we see him gazing out over the sea, which we later discover is where his brother is "missing presumed dead". Kingdom lives on his own, that is until his feckless, drunk sister turns up and invites herself to live with him! The small law firm he runs will undoubtadly bring in a whole host of characters for us to enjoy, and Fry's great comic timing and blank expression will no doubt make them great scenes!

    Before starting this episode I had a horrible feeling the show would be full of cliches. But it has managed to successfully avoid them, which is surprising considering it is set in such a twee location!

    This is warm, fuzzy, cosy, Sunday night British TV at its best, and I'm sure the rest of the series is going to live up to this brilliant first episode!moreless

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