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Season 1 Episode 1

The Firefly Cage

Aired Unknown Jan 10, 1986 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Firefly Cage
We meet Lovejoy, and he hires young Eric Catchpole, the son of a local butcher, as an apprentice. Together they set out on Eric's motorbike to unravel the mystery of a Japanese firefly cage.

Lovejoy and Eric are passing a roadside event, while in hot pursuit of a lovely lady; They hit a puddle of water in the road and thus drench Jane, Lady Felsham, who is dressed in a smart suit as she unveils a new memorial. Later, Lovejoy rings the door-bell at Felsham Hall and meets Jane again. They hit it off, and soon she is showing Lovejoy around her attics.moreless

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  • The perfect start to one of the most delightful shows ever made

    This episode was primarily the pilot to what would lead to six successful series. At the beginning of the episode when the settles down upon Lovejoy's yellow Volvo as it is driven up to the quaint cottage, you can't help but fall in love with sun-kissed rural countryside in which the show is based. When Lovejoy's starts off on his first rant towards the camera is nothing short of sublime. Of all of Lovejoy's speeches this is one of his finest, taking you into the dark conniving world of the antique trade, which is not often shown through the Antique Roadshow.

    During the action scenes in this episode, it was comedy aspect that the episode more cherishing to the heart. Mostly with all comedy occurring through or around Eric, with the introducing of Lady Jane and the ford sequences being an example, which by the way is one of best character introduction that has been made.

    The one good thing the first series has over the other five is the sense of a community. I mean that throughout the first season there were recurring characters often reappearing, with example of Dandy Jack & Mr. Bigelow, which added more depth to the show.

    The finest moment in the episode was Lovejoy's monologue and the auction shortly afterwards.moreless
  • I did not see this episode when it first aired. I saw it sometime later, and it was not the first one I ever saw. But when I saw how incredibly well done they were I bought some books the next day.moreless

    After seeing a second or third episode and reading a few of the books I was blown away as how well Ian McShane plays Lovejoy. One book starts out with a description of him and I see McShane. The books are great, but the series stands on it's own. The first episode was based on a book and of course not by the numbers. I did enjoy the way the characters were developed in the story, you have to get to know all of them at once since Lovejoy was a new person to all of us. They did an overhaul on Tinker, they cleaned him up for TV, and Lady Jane is in a few of the books and so is Eric, but not in every book.

    But to see the down on the luck ladies man who loves antiques, you see it in Lovejoy. But do not mess with his friends or you will have to deal with Lovejoy and while not impressive, he lives up to the motto about getting even.

    A great first episode, and well done.moreless
Kim Thomson

Kim Thomson

Nicola Page

Guest Star

Ronald Fraser

Ronald Fraser


Guest Star

Cassie Stuart

Cassie Stuart

Amanda Gimbert

Guest Star

Pavel Douglas

Pavel Douglas

Alexander Felsham

Recurring Role

Denys Graham

Denys Graham


Recurring Role

Geoffrey Bateman

Geoffrey Bateman

Dandy Jack

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Nicola: Mr Lovejoy?

      Lovejoy: No mister, just Lovejoy.

    • Drabble: Excuse me, sir, bail has been offered.

      Alexander: Really, by whom?

      Drabble: By your wife, sir.

    • Eric: Well, when I turn up this morning, they say you got nicked, then we tear around the country like Miami-Vice and then we drench some aristocrat.

      Lovejoy: So?

      Eric: Well, this job might not be so boring after all.

    • Catchpole: It has to be said, Eric. You're a bitter disappointment to me.

      Eric: Only since I turned vegetarian.

    • Lovejoy: (To camera) Don't forget, antiques could be very valuable, and once money is involved, a great deal of money, people can get very greedy, cunning, desperate even. Then people can get hurt, or worse.

    • Lovejoy: (to camera) If home is where the heart is, then this is home to me. An auction room, on auction day, when the old ticker beats faster with the slender possibility that somewhere, just somewhere, amongst the birdcages, silver spoons, commemorative medals, roll-top desks and cast-offs from granny's attic, somewhere, amongst them lot, a genuine, authentic antique will appear shining with all the love that made it.

  • NOTES (2)