Boon (TV series): Wikis


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Boon series 1 title.jpg
Opening title sequence (Series 1)
Format Drama
Created by Jim Hill
Bill Stair
Starring Michael Elphick
David Daker
Rachel Davies
Neil Morrissey
Lesley-Anne Sharpe
Amanda Burton
Elizabeth Carling
Brigit Forsyth
Saskia Wickham
Country of origin  United Kingdom
No. of episodes 92 + 1 special
Producer(s) Central Independent Television
Running time 60 minutes + 90 minute special
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 14 January 1986 – 1 December 1992;
1 May 1995

Boon is a British television drama series starring Michael Elphick, David Daker and later on Neil Morrissey. It was created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair and filmed by Central Television for ITV.


Early years

Ken Boon (Elphick) and Harry Crawford (Daker) were both old-fashioned "smokeys" (firemen) in the West Midlands Fire Service. In episode 1 we see that Crawford takes early retirement and moves to Spain to open a bar, leaving Ken behind. In the same opening episode, Ken attends a house fire where a child is trapped upstairs. Realising he must act quickly he goes into the house without breathing apparatus and rescues the child but is severely injured by inhaling toxic smoke. He attempts to prove he can still make it but he is declared unfit for duty after collapsing during a drill because his lungs have been permanently damaged, and he is retired from the fire service for good.

He started a market garden called "The Ponderosa" in a village about ten miles outside Birmingham but found that it wasn't working out. As he struggled to pay bills and keep afloat, he was surprised when a visitor arrived at the garden: Harry had returned from Spain to Birmingham, after his wife Alison had left him for a young hairdresser. Harry had acquired a hotel in Birmingham and offered a port in a storm for Ken.

In episode in "Box 13", Harry persuaded Ken to place a PO box advert saying “Ex-fireman seeks interesting work. Anything legal considered.” From these humble beginnings, his career as a courier, minder and private investigator began.

During the time that Ken and Harry worked together, Between series 1-3 Harry ran two hotels (The Grand Hotel and The Coaching Inn), a ballroom (The Plaza Suite), and from series 4 a country club (Woodcote Park) and later a security firm (CBS - Crawford Boon Security). Ken ran a motorbike courier firm (Texas Rangers), two private investigation firms (BDI - Boon-Daly Investigations - and Boon Investigations) and CBS. CBS was a joint venture, with Ken being responsible for private investigations and Harry for security.

The series moved away from Birmingham to Nottingham at the beginning of series 4, with production of the show being based at Central's studio in Nottingham. The Birmingham episodes (Series 1–3) were made on film whereas the Nottingham episodes (Series 4–7) were made on video. Apart from studio interiors of Series 1, all filming was done on location.[1]

Later Years

At the end of the final series, in episode "Shot in the Dark", Harry got engaged to an Irish woman whom he met during a case, and Ken and Alex seemed to be becoming romantically attached after she tenderly read him poetry while was in hospital recovering from gunshot wounds.[2] Neither of these plot developments were referred to during the special episode "Thieves Like Us", broadcast three years later on 1 May 1995. This episode, although thought to be part of an eighth series which was cancelled, was actually an episode from the final series which had not been aired.

In all, seven series, each of which consisted of 13 episodes (apart from the last two series which had 14) were filmed. The sixth series featured a 90-minute Christmas special which was dedicated to the memory of Bill Stair, one of the show's creators.

Neil Morrissey joined in the second series as Rocky; this was his first major television role. Other regular characters were played by Rachel Davies (Doreen Evans), Lesley-Anne Sharpe (Debbie Yates), Amanda Burton (Margaret Daly), Elizabeth Carling (Laura Marsh), Brigit Forsyth (Helen Yeldham) and Saskia Wickham (Alex Wilton).



Series 1

  1. "Box 13" (14 January 1986)
  2. "Fools Rush In" (21 January 1986)
  3. "Answers to the Name of Watson" (28 January 1986)
  4. "Grass Widows" (4 February 1986)
  5. "Unto Us Four a Son" (11 February 1986)
  6. "Glasshouse People" (18 February 1986)
  7. "Northwest Passage to Acock's Green" (25 February 1986)
  8. "Something Old, Something New" (4 March 1986)
  9. "For Whom the Chimes Toll" (11 March 1986)
  10. "Jack of All Tradesmen" (18 March 1986)
  11. "Billy the Kid" (25 March 1986)
  12. "Grand Expectations" (1 April 1986)
  13. "Full Circle" (8 April 1986)

Series 2

  1. "Texas Rangers" (17 February 1987)
  2. "Special Delivery" (24 February 1987)
  3. "Day of the Yokel" (3 March 1987)
  4. "Smokey and the Band" (10 March 1987)
  5. "Taken for a Ride" (17 March 1987)
  6. "Wheels of Fortune" (24 March 1987)
  7. "A Ride on the Wild Side" (31 March 1987)[3]
  8. "Credit Where It's Due" (27 October 1987)
  9. "Trudy's Grit" (3 November 1987)
  10. "A Fistful of Pesetas" (10 November 1987)
  11. "Paper Mafia" (17 November 1987)
  12. "Fiddler Under the Roof" (24 November 1987)
  13. "Once a Fluid Man" (1 December 1987)

Series 3

  1. "Charity Begins at Home" Part 1 (1 November 1988)
  2. "Charity Begins at Home" Part 2 (8 November 1988)
  3. "Topspin" (15 November 1988)
  4. "Have a Nice Day" (22 November 1988)
  5. "Beef Encounter" (29 November 1988)
  6. "Never Say Trevor Again" (6 December 1988)
  7. "Honourable Service" (13 December 1988)
  8. "Peacemaker" (20 December 1988)
  9. "The Devil You Know" (27 December 1988)
  10. "Banbury Blue" (3 January 1989)
  11. "One Reborn Every Minute" (10 January 1989)
  12. "The Fall and Rise of the Bowman Empire" (17 January 1989)
  13. "The Not So Lone Ranger" (24 January 1989)

Series 4

  1. "Walking Off Air" (2 October 1989)
  2. "The Relief of Matty King" (9 October 1989)
  3. "Vallance's Liberty" (16 October 1989)
  4. "Of Meissen Men" (23 October 1989)
  5. "Arms and the Dog" (30 October 1989)
  6. "Sickness and Health" (6 November 1989)
  7. "In It for the Monet" (13 November 1989)
  8. "Do Not Forsake Me" (20 November 1989)
  9. "Love Letters from a Dead Man" (27 November 1989)
  10. "Big Game Hunt" (4 December 1989)
  11. "Don't Buy From Me, Argentina" (11 December 1989)
  12. "All in a Day's Pork" (18 December 1989)
  13. "The Eyes of Texas" (20 December 1989)

Series 5

  1. "Trouble in the Fields" (25 September 1990)
  2. "Tales from the River Bank" (2 October 1990)
  3. "Rival Eyes" (9 October 1990)
  4. "A Night at the Ballet" (16 October 1990)
  5. "Work, Rest & Play" (23 October 1990)
  6. "Bully Boys" (30 October 1990)
  7. "The Belles of St Godwald's" (6 November 1990)
  8. "Burning Ambition" (13 November 1990)
  9. "Undercover" (20 November 1990)
  10. "Daddy's Girl" (27 November 1990)
  11. "Best Left Buried" (4 December 1990)
  12. "Thicker Than Water" (11 December 1990)
  13. "The Tender Trap" (Christmas Special) (19 December 1990)

Series 6

  1. "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (24 September 1991)
  2. "Two Men in a Vault" (1 October 1991)
  3. "Trial and Error" (8 October 1991)
  4. "Coverup" (15 October 1991)
  5. "The Barefaced Contessa" (22 October 1991)
  6. "Lie of the Land" (29 October 1991)
  7. "Lost on the Range" (5 November 1991)
  8. "Pillow Talk" (12 November 1991)
  9. "Cab Rank Cowboys" (19 November 1991)
  10. "Houseguests" (26 November 1991)
  11. "Bad Pennies" (3 December 1991)
  12. "When Harry Met Janice" (10 December 1991)
  13. "Stamp Duty" (17 December 1991)
  14. "The Night Before Christmas" 90-minute Christmas Special (24 December 1991)

Series 7

  1. "MacGuffin's Transputer" (8 September 1992)
  2. "Queen's Gambit" (15 September 1992)
  3. "Walkout" (22 September 1992)
  4. "Deadline" (29 September 1992)
  5. "Away From It All" (6 October 1992)
  6. "Message in a Bottle" (13 October 1992)
  7. "The Sharp End" (20 October 1992)
  8. "Is There Anybody There?" (27 October 1992)
  9. "Minder" (3 November 1992)
  10. "Love or Money" (10 November 1992)
  11. "Blackballed" (17 November 1992)
  12. "Whispering Grass" (24 November 1992)
  13. "Shot in the Dark" (1 December 1992)[4]
  14. "Thieves Like Us" (1 May 1995)[5][6]


The show's writers included Geoff McQueen, Anthony Minghella, Kieran Prendiville and Veronica Henry. Ted Childs was the first executive producer.

Theme Song and Incidental Music

Music was a huge part of the series. A large reason for its popularity was the catchy theme song "Hi Ho Silver" which was written and recorded by Jim Diamond, who was by that time famous for his Number 1 hits "I Won't Let You Down" and "I Should Have Known Better". It was so popular with fans that it was released as a single in 1986 and reached number 5 in the UK charts. Most of the episodes however, didn't end with the theme song, many of them ended with country and western songs such as "Handsome Stranger" and "Texas Rangers", written for the series by Dean Friedman. Friedman wrote the incidental music and songs from series 2 through to the end of the show. The incidental music for the first series was provided by Barrington Pheloung.


Ken's trademark style included his red and silver BSA A65 White Lightning 650cc motorbike which he had in every series - though towards the end of the series, Ken's bike was seen less frequently.

Ken also had certain jackets which he wore in each series. Series 1 was a long duffle coat. Series 2 was his tassled leather jacket which had his 'Texas Rangers' logo on the back. He also wore this for a lot of series 3. For Series 4 and 5 he wore a black jacket. Series 6 was a brown suede jacket. Series 7 was a regular leather jacket. Ken also had his trademark grey helmet for the first 5 series. However, for series 6 and 7, his helmet was a black one.

Rocky Cassidy's trademark for most of the series was his leather jacket, which featured his name "Rocky" written in studs on the back. He also wore leather trousers.

Harry was usually seen in a grey or black suit of some sort.


According to Jim Hill (co-creator), the name "Boon" was derived as follows: "Originally called "Anything Legal Considered", we fell foul of the vogue of the main character's name being all or part of the title. Boon had been derived from an American TV series from the 1950s that Bill Stair and I both watched and liked. It was called "Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957) - a troubleshooting cowboy answered distress calls. He was called Paladin and was played by the actor Richard Boone. We dropped the E and we had BOON - a modern-day trouble shooter on a motorbike instead of a steed." [7]

References and notes

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ For unknown reasons the remainder of this series was broadcast in the autumn of 1987, and is often mistakenly classified as two separate series.
  4. ^ This episode contains clear indications — such as Ken's blossoming romance with Alex Wilton, and Harry's 'news' for Ken which we never got to hear — that this episode was intended to be sequenced after "Thieves Like Us".
  5. ^ Although listed as 'The Final Episode', the storyline clearly indicates that this episode should have preceded "Shot in the Dark".
  6. ^ When originally broadcast, the announcer referred to it as a 'one-off-special'. The reason for delayed airing has never been explained.
  7. ^ Personal email, quoted on

External links


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