Marital ups and downs of newly-wed couple George and Kate Starling, Marriage Lines - subtitled A Quizzical Look At The Early Days Of Married Life (this was wisely dropped after series one) was written as a starring vehicle for Richard Briers by Richard Waring and produced by Graeme Muir, after the trio had successfully collaborated the previous year on 13 half hours of a sitcom called Brothers In Law. Playing the part of Kate Starling was a young Prunella Scales destined for TV immortality as Cybil Fawlty in the comedy classic Fawlty Towers.
George Starling was a lowly paid clerk who had married his secretary who then gave up work to run the marital home. Whilst she became increasingly frustrated at her confinement to their Earl's Court flat, he yearned to while away his non-working hours in the pub with the chaps from the office. This led to a number of arguments -although none so bad as to endanger the marriage. Their neighbours, Peter and Nora (Ronald Hines and Christine Finn) moved upmarket after series one only adding to the newly-weds frustration (due to financial restrictions) at being stuck on the first rung of the property ladder. The patter of tiny feet arrived in series three when Kate gave birth to daughter Helen and the series was to have concluded at the end of the fourth season when the couple jetted off to Lagos where George was starting a new job. But the popularity of the series necessitated a fifth outing and as Prunella Scales was 'with child' in real life it was decided to write her pregnancy into the story, and this was the reason why the couple moved back to the UK. Although George and Kate's television escapades ended with the arrival of a second child in the last episode of season five, they continued on radio (The BBC Light Programme -where they had begun in 1965) until June 1967.
Published on January 3rd, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.