Blott on the Landscape 2-DVD Set
OPTIONAL SUBTITLES. Drama. Colour. Year: 1985. Running time approx. 320 min.
Director: Roger Bamford.
The Complete Series adapted by Malcolm Bradbury from the novel by Tom Sharpe.
Stars: George Cole, Geraldine James,David Suchet, Julia McKenzie, Simon Caddell, Geoffrey Bayldon & more.
This is rural England at its most beautiful. Unfortunately, Sir Giles Lynchwood, an MP of few principles and curious tastes, plans to build a motorway right through it.
For generous recompense, he is prepared to demolish the grounds of his country pile that stands in the way of the proposed highway. Sir Giles hasn’t bargained for the devious resistance of his wife, Lady Maud, and Blott, her fiercely patriotic and loyal gardener. With her dynamism and his skills in guerilla warfare, they fight to save her ancestral home, countering bureaucracy and pomposity with their own ingenious and unprincipled strategies. The series was filmed mainly in the Ludlow area of south Shropshire and north Herefordshire, including Stanage Park, near Powys; Ludlow as well as Deddington in Oxfordshire.
Blott on the Landscape was adapted by Sir Malcolm Bradbury CBE, (The History Man), from the 1975 Tom Sharpe novel of the same name. It was broadcast on BBC2 in six 50 minute episodes in 1985. The series has a brilliant cast: George Cole plays Sir Giles Lynchwood, Lady Maud is played by Geraldine James, David Suchet is Blott, Julia McKenzie plays Mrs Forthby, Paul Brooke is Mr Hoskins, Clare Grogan plays the receptionist at the Handyman Arms hotel, Simon Cadell, Geoffrey Chater, Jeremy Clyde and Geoffrey Bayldon all play pen pushers and government officials. The series was set ten years later than the book, so Blott would have been too young to have served in World War II. Through flashbacks it is revealed that he was an Eastern European soldier who accidentally found himself stuck on a bridge between the eastern and western sides of the Iron Curtain. Refused re-entry to the East, he was brought to England to be employed by Lady Maud’s father. In a plot which remains relevant today, the series follows the comedic efforts of a member of the landed gentry, Sir Giles Lynchwood, to build a motorway through the grounds of the country pile he acquired when he married Lady Maud. Lady Maud, frustrated by a marriage rarely consummated, employs the military skills of gardener Blott in a campaign to prevent her husband’s cash-grabbing plans. She is unaware that Sir Giles is involved in a fetishist affair with a local lady, useful information in a divorce case, as he would not receive the house and lands were this discovered. Can Blott aid Lady Maud with his army training and a secret cache of war equipment discovered on the estate? Will the new motorway be prevented or will the idyllic rural area and local villages indeed be ruined by a blot on the landscape?