The Upper Hand (TV series)

The Upper Hand
The upper hand.png
GenreSitcom
Created byMartin Cohan
Blake Hunter
StarringJoe McGann
Diana Weston
Honor Blackman
Kellie Bright
William Puttock
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series7
No. of episodes94 (list of episodes)
Production
Production locationTelevision House[1]
Running time25 minutes
Production companiesCentral in association with Columbia Pictures Television (Seasons 1-5)
Columbia TriStar Central/Carlton Productions (Seasons 6-7)
DistributorColumbia TriStar Television Distribution
Central Television Enterprises/Carlton International
Release
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3 (576i)
Original release1 May 1990 (1990-05-01) –
14 October 1996 (1996-10-14)
Chronology
Related showsWho's the Boss?

The Upper Hand is a British television sitcom broadcast by ITV from 1 May 1990 to 14 October 1996. The programme was adapted from the American sitcom Who's the Boss?.

As in the former series, affluent single woman Caroline Wheatley, raising her son with the help of her mother Laura West, hires a housekeeper and a man called Charlie Burrows applies for the job.[2]

Premise[]

Down on his luck, former footballer Charlie Burrows (Joe McGann) moves from a deprived area of London to leafy Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire to make a better life for his daughter Joanna (Kellie Bright), by taking a job as housekeeper for well-off advertising executive Caroline Wheatley (Diana Weston). Although Caroline is unsure about employing him, her man-eating mother Laura West (Honor Blackman) talks her into it. Soon the two become friends, Caroline's son Tom (William Puttock) comes to see Charlie as a father figure, and Joanna enjoys having a female influence in her life.

Both Caroline and Charlie repeatedly attempt to find love elsewhere, denying their blossoming feelings for each other. For years they lead the viewer on a "will-they-won't-they" chase that lasts until the end of the sixth series when the pair marry. After initial plans to end the series there, ITV commissioned a seventh series featuring Charlie and Caroline as husband and wife, which went beyond the premise of the original American version.

Cast and characters[]

Main[]

Minor and recurring[]

Theme tune[]

The theme music was written by Debbie Wiseman. A piano version of the theme titled Joe & Diana was released in 2011 on her album Piano Stories.[3]

Episodes[]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1131 May 1990 (1990-05-01)27 December 1990 (1990-12-27)
21218 February 1991 (1991-02-18)20 May 1991 (1991-05-20)
3135 November 1991 (1991-11-05)11 February 1992 (1992-02-11)
41920 October 1992 (1992-10-20)22 February 1993 (1993-02-22)
5169 September 1993 (1993-09-09)23 December 1993 (1993-12-23)
6146 January 1995 (1995-01-06)8 April 1995 (1995-04-08)
772 September 1996 (1996-09-02)14 October 1996 (1996-10-14)

Home media[]

The Upper Hand was first released on VHS format in the United Kingdom, where three volumes containing various episodes were made available from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment. All seven series of The Upper Hand have been released in 2010 and 2011 in the United Kingdom via Network.

VHS

Title Episodes # Tapes Release date BBFC rating Ref
Volume 1: The Best of Series I & II
4

"Just the Job"
Caroline's First Fight
Wedding Bells (Part 1)
Wedding Bells (Part 2)

1 16 January 1995 PG [4]
Volume 2: Caroline & Charlie's Romance
4

"First Kiss"
"The Anniversary"
"Tunnel of Love"
"Happy Ever After? (Part 2)

1 6 March 1995 PG [5]
Volume 3: The Wedding
1

"The Wedding"

1 1995 PG [6]

DVD

Title Episodes # Discs Release date BBFC rating[7] Ref
The Complete First Series 13 2 18 January 2010 PG [8]
The Complete Second Series 12 2 10 May 2010 PG [9]
The Complete Third Series 13 2 26 July 2010 PG [10]
The Complete Fourth Series 19 3 27 September 2010 PG [11]
The Complete Fifth Series 16 2 25 October 2010 PG [12]
The Complete Sixth Series 14 2 24 January 2011 PG [13]
The Complete Seventh Series 7 1 20 June 2011 PG [14]
The Complete Series 94 14 8 December 2014 PG [15]

References[]

  1. ^ "Ex-ITV Regional Studios". TV Studio History. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  2. ^ "BBC - Comedy Guide - The Upper Hand". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 5 December 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Debbie Wiseman Piano Stories". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  4. ^ "The Upper Hand: The Best Of Series 1 And 2 [VHS]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  5. ^ "The Upper Hand: Volume 2 - Caroline And Charlie's Romance [VHS]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  6. ^ "The Upper Hand - Vol. 3 - The Wedding [1990]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  7. ^ BBFC rating:
  8. ^ "The Upper Hand - Series 1 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  9. ^ "The Upper Hand - Series 2 - Complete [DVD] [1990]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  10. ^ "The Upper Hand - Series 3 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  11. ^ "The Upper Hand - Series 4 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  12. ^ "The Upper Hand - The Complete Fifth Series [DVD]". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  13. ^ "The Upper Hand - The Complete Sixth Series [1995] [DVD]". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  14. ^ "The Upper Hand - The Complete Seventh Series [DVD]". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  15. ^ "The Upper Hand: The Complete Series [DVD]". Retrieved 15 July 2018.

External links[]