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The Upper Hand
Format Sitcom
Starring Joe McGann
Diana Weston
Honor Blackman
Kellie Bright
William Puttock
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 7
No. of episodes 95
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel ITV
Original run May 1, 1990 – October 14, 1996
Related shows Who's the Boss?

The Upper Hand is a sitcom, produced by Central Independent Television and broadcast by ITV from 1990 to 1996. The programme was adapted from the American sitcom Who's the Boss?.

As in the former series, an affluent single woman, raising a son with the help of her mother, hires a housekeeper only to have a man apply for the job.



Charlie (Joe McGann) moved from London into Caroline (Diana Weston)'s home with his daughter, Joanna, played by Kellie Bright. Caroline's son, Tom (William Puttock), also lived in the house, while and her man-eating mother, Laura (Honor Blackman), lived next door.

Both Caroline and Charlie repeatedly attempt to find love elsewhere. For years denying their blossoming feelings for one another, they lead the viewer on a will-they-won't-they chase lasting until the end of the sixth series. The seventh series saw them as husband and wife which went beyond the premise of the American version.

The theme music was written by Debbie Wiseman.


Series 1 (1 May 90 - 14 Aug 90)
  • Just The Job
  • Briefless Encounter
  • Dinner For Two
  • The Old Girl Network
  • Caroline's First Fight
  • Who's Who
  • Growing Pains
  • Paint Your Wagon
  • Welcome Home (Part 1)
  • Welcome Home (Part 2)
  • Just Like Charlie
  • First Kiss
  • Requiem (Christmas Special)
Series 2 (18 Feb 91 - 20 May 91)
  • Common Entrance
  • When Worlds Collide
  • Wedding Bells (Part 1)
  • Wedding Bells (Part 2)
  • Cupid's Arrows
  • The Babysitter (Part 1)
  • The Babysitter (Part 2)
  • Playing To Win
  • The Heiress
  • A Friend In Need
  • And The Winner Is ...: Charlie gets himself involved in a boxing match
  • She's My Girl
  • The Anniversary
Series 3 (5 Nov 91 - 11 Feb 92)
  • Bedtime Story
  • First Date
  • Once Bitten, Twice Shy
  • Older Than Springtime
  • Neighbours
  • Old Flames
  • Wheels: Charlie is torn about replacing the van
  • The Honeymooners: Charlie takes Caroline to a footballers' reunion with Kevin Keegan
  • The Whiz Kid
  • FamilyTies: Charlie's father-in-law turns up, but their relationship isn't the best
  • The Proposal: Geoffrey creates a special evening for Caroline and confides in Laura that he's going to offer her a share in his timeshare, but Caroline is expecting an entirely different proposal
  • Business And Pleasure: Charlie isn't pleased when Caroline is spending all her time with her new colleague
  • Pillow talk: Caroline is distraught when she realizes she's been talking loudly in her sleep
Series 4 (20 Oct 92 - 22 Feb 93)
  • Come Dancing: Caroline and Charlie go dancing and make some new friends who are about to make a big commitment
  • Blind Date: Charlie convinces Caroline to go on a pity date with his recently divorced friend Trevor
  • Sex, Lies And Exercise Tape: Caroline joins a health club and feels insecure about fitting in with the "in-crowd"
  • Summoned To The Head: Tom's school wants him to move a year ahead and Caroline is thrilled, but has decide whether to cope with the influence of the older children
  • The Girl Next Door: Charlie takes the family to help Auntie Pat at the summer fayre and meets up with some people he used to know, including the only girl from his neighborhood who refused to date him
  • Charlie's Auntie's Uncle: Auntie Pat's uncle Al needs someone to help him mend his criminal ways and Charlie volunteers
  • Match Of The Day: When Charlie agrees to coach Caroline's volleyball team, she is the one that gets left out
  • Surprise, Surprise: Laura's innocent dinner party throws up some surprises
  • The Fugitive: Joanna is devastated to discover that, according to Charlie, her grandfather is not in Spain, but in prison
  • You Shall Go To The Ball: Laura takes on Caroline's identity so that she can gatecrash a society ball, but bites off more than she can chew
  • To Let Or Not To Let: Charlie and Caroline can't agree over Charlie's choice of tenant for Caroline's cottage
  • Big Bad Burrows
  • Working Girls: Charlie agrees to let Joanna spend a week with him on work experience. However, she soon wishes she was back at school
  • A Model Grandmother: When Laura strikes a sexy pose for a magazine, it hampers Tom's chances of becoming form rep
  • The Manageress: Charlie tries to stop Joanna from managing Al's band, but when he changes his mind and tries to help her it causes a bigger row
  • Wish You Were Here: On a family trip to the Caribbean, Charlie feels left out, but a walk with Caroline in the moonlight soon turns out to be very revealing
  • A Walk On The Mild Side
  • Take Your Pick
  • Tunnel Of Love
Series 5 (9 Sep 93 - 23 Dec 93)
  • Not In Front Of The Children
  • Misery
  • Cheers
  • Duck Soup
  • Minder
  • Wheel Of Fortune
  • The Price Is Right
  • Housewife's Choice
  • Who's The Boss?
  • The Far Pavilion
  • The Porridge Diet
  • Mixed Devils
  • Full House
  • Keep It In The Family
  • Happy Ever After? (Part 1)
  • Happy Ever After? (Part 2)
Series 6 (6 Jan 95 - 8 Apr 95)
  • Moonlighting
  • Fatal Attraction
  • Granny Get Your Gun
  • Surgical Spirit
  • Father Of The Bride (Part 1)
  • Father Of The Bride (Part 2)
  • Married ... With Parents
  • No Place Like Home
  • Hard Times
  • Hit The Road
  • Home Improvement
  • Quantum Leap
  • Second Thoughts
  • The Wedding
Series 7 (2 Sep 96 - 14 Oct 96)
  • A Lion Called Laura
  • Friends
  • In Marriage We Trust
  • The Chunnel Of Love
  • Nobody's Child
  • A Couple Of Charlies
  • Oh my Baby, Oh my Baby

DVD release

The first series of "The Upper Hand" is due on the 18 January 2010.

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1 18 January 2010
The Complete Series 2 TBA
The Complete Series 3 TBA
The Complete Series 4 TBA
The Complete Series 5 TBA
The Complete Series 6 TBA
The Complete Series 7 TBA
The Complete Series 1 to 7 Box Set TBA

External links

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