ANOTHER BOUQUET (OF BARBED WIRE). (1977) BASED ON THE WRITINGS OF ANDREA NEWMAN. MADE BY LONDON WEEKEND TELEVISION. DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY TONY WHARMBY AND JOHN FRANKAU.
STARRING FRANK FINLAY, SHEILA ALLEN, SUSAN PENHALIGON, JAMES AUBREY, DEBORAH GRANT, ERIC CARTE, CAROL DRINKWATER AND PHILIP MADOC.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Hmmm. Well. I loved this second instalment of the BOUQUET OF BARBED WIRE television series nearly as much as the first, but I’m not at all happy with the way it’s turned out. Some absolutely mad stuff happens to some of the characters that I can’t believe they’d be happy to go along with, but then, it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world we live in and, who knows, maybe they are happy, the bunch of crazy loons.
Poor Peter Eliot Manson is in a bad way. Still separated from the saintly Cassie and living in the flat he bought for his former mistress Sarah Francis, he’s obsessed with his dreams and thoughts of his daughter Prue and seems to be gradually losing touch with reality. He tries to concentrate on Prue’s little girl, his grand-daughter, but she’s not a patch on Prue, unfortunately, and she won’t compensate Peter for his daughter’s absence.
He’s revolted to the pit of his stomach to find that his wife, Cassie, has been sleeping with the son-in-law he loathes, Gavin, and furthermore, that the affair started when the pregnant Prue was in hospital after being beaten up by Gavin. He sees Gavin as having murdered his beloved daughter and ruined his marriage. No wonder he wants to biff him in the schnozz…
Annoying goody-two-shoes Cassie is hurt beyond belief that bad boy Gavin, Prue’s widower and the baby’s father, has ditched his older girlfriend (Cassie) for a new woman. It was bound to happen. She should never have hooked up with him in the first place, and her a respectable married woman in her forties (at least!).
She loses no time in hooking up with Gavin’s new girlfriend Vicky’s father, a Dr. Lewis, a really annoying, commitment-phobic man who is not ashamed to admit that he has two other women on the go as well. Cassie thinks she can be modern enough and mature enough to put up with this bullshit, but I’m telling you now that she won’t. No woman worth her salt would.
Gavin has a really sick relationship with his new girlfriend Vicky, who seems to be as masochistic as Prue was. ‘Do anything you want to me, Gavin, only please love me!’ The relationship is not a healthy one, and the worst part about it is that Gavin doesn’t give a shit about poor unloved hippy chick Vicky. (Her father, Dr. ‘Freelove’ Lewis, is horribly neglectful towards her too.)
All she is to the carelessly cruel Gavin is a free babysitter and sex on tap when he feels like it. Elizabeth ‘There is only ice in the ice house’ Romilly is excellent in the role of deeply troubled Vicky. In choosing Gavin to love, she’s only replicating the loveless relationship she has with her selfish bastard of a father.
The most frustrating thing of all about this sequel was the fate of my favourite character, Sarah Francis, Peter’s former secretary and mistress. Even now, she keeps muddying the waters by continuing to sleep with Peter behind the back of her rich handsome blond husband, Geoff, who is extremely loving towards her and lenient about her independent ways and all the time she spends away from him ‘getting a bit of space.’ Space, my eye!
Anyway, Sarah discovers she’s pregnant and, instead of plumping for living a privileged, charmed life as Rich Geoff’s adored wife (did I mention he was rich?), she goes off and deliberately chooses a really stupid and probably temporary alternative which will possibly put Geoff off her forever. Well, it serves her right, if she’s actually going to be that irresponsible about her future…!
She’s self-sabotaging big-time because somewhere deep down inside her, she doesn’t think she deserves to be happy or loved. This course she’s chosen now won’t yield any love or fulfilment, just more of the punishment she probably feels she has coming to her. And, who knows, maybe she’s in love with the drama and excitement of it all as well, the excitement of living such an undisciplined and unstructured life. I wash my hands of the whole thing.
Did anyone notice the way the baby is treated in the series, by the way? Apart from, obviously, as the poor parcel in ‘pass the bleedin’ parcel…!’ They keep putting her down on her tummy to sleep, which, yes, you’re right, that’s what they thought was best back then, but it’s since been proven to be a bit of a big fat no-no.
Also, Cassie keeps putting the baby out in the garden on a blanket (on her tummy, of course!) while she herself goes back into the house to do the washing-up or read the paper, and the front gate is wide open so anyone who wants to can come into the garden and steal the baby, which actually happens in the series. It causes a big furore, but you can’t say that it doesn’t serve Cassie and Gavin right…!
Also, when Gavin tells Cassie that Vicky’s lost her temper with the baby and shaken her a little bit, Cassie brushes it off and says it’s nothing. Oh, she says, I used to shake Prue and the boys all the time when they were babies, it didn’t do them any harm…! I’m just glad that times have changed since then, that’s all I’m saying.
Peter’s ending is incredibly sad. I cried buckets at it. How I would have loved another sequel, but some things are finite and that’s that. I know there was a re-make of the series in 2010, but I can’t imagine myself wanting to watch it, having seen the excellent and incomparable original series. Why re-make everything, anyway, instead of creating something new? Some things are perfectly fine just as they are.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
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