This Post Is In Tribute To Author: Richard Gordon, Who Died 11th August 2017

Doctor On The Box – 1969 – 1977

Doctor On The Box is the generic title given by Network DVD (who released a box set of the same name to a series of series of sitcoms revolving around the misadventures of a group of young Doctors.

The series followed on from a series of Cinema releases of the same name, all based around the books by Richard Gordon.  Beginning in 1969 with Doctor In The House, each series carried it’s own title and ran for nine years, over five different titles.  We’ve covered some of these before, but due to lack of footage we’ve brought all five series together.

Doctor In The House – 1969

Doctor In The House introduced us to a young Barry Evans who would later star in another hit ITV comedy Mind Your Language, that can be found in our archive.  The show ran for 26 episodes over 2 series between 1969 and 1970.

Summary

The plot revolved around the trials and misadventures of  a group of medical students at St Swithin’s hospital in London.

Cast

Barry Evans – Michael Upton
Robin Nedwell – Duncan Waring
Geoffrey Davies – Dick Stuart-Clark
George Layton – Paul Collier
Simon Cuff – Dave Briddock
Yutte Stensgaard – Helga, Dave’s girlfriend
Martin Shaw – Hugh Evans(series 1)
Jonathan Lynn – Daniel Hooley (series 2)
Ernest Clark – Professor Geoffrey Loftus
Ralph Michael – The Dean
Joan Benam – Mrs Loftus
Peter Bathurst – Dr Upton, Michael’s Father.

Details

Channel: ITV
Written By:
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Barry Cryer
Graeme Garden
Bill Oddie
Bernard McKenna
Produced By: Humphrey Barclay
Directed By: Maurice Murphy
Original Transmission Dates: 12th July 1969 – 3rd July 1970
Follow On Series: Doctor At Large

Doctor At Large – 1971

Picking up directly where Doctor In The House left off, this series whilst the second title of the series, was the third to be broadcast as we saw previously, Doctor In The House was broadcast over two series.

This particular series comprised twenty nine episodes, that were broadcast back to back in 1971.  It was a sign of the times that the first six episodes were recorded in Black and White due to an ITV colour strike.

Summary

Newly qualified Doctor Michael Upton begins life in his chosen profession of medicine. Obtaining a series of posts, that include working in Otolaryngology and as a general practitioner, before returning to St Swithin’s Hospital (where he received his training) as a Junior Registrar.

Details

Channel: ITV
Produced By: London Weekend Television for ITV
Written By:
Bill Oddie
Graeme Garden
John Cleese
Graham Chapman
Bernard McKenna
Geoff Rowley
Andy Baker
Jonathan Lynn
David Yallop
George Layton (under the pseudonym of “Oliver Fry”).
Original Transmission Dates: 28th February 1971 – 12th September 1971 (dates are based on London ITV region)

Doctor In Charge – 1972

The regulars are back for a third installment of the Doctor….series.  Screened over two series between 1972 and 1973, clocking up an impressive forty three episodes.

Look for a young Richard O’Sullivan in this series as Doctor Lawrence Bingham.

Summary

Doctor At Large see the students moving further up the promotion ladder, but there’s no change to their slacking off, chatting up girls, nor their ability to drive Professor Loftus round the bend.

However there’s more trouble for the boys from brown-noser Lawrence Bingham who trots about after Loftus in the hope of crawling into the good books.

Cast

Robin Nedwell – Dr. Duncan Waring
George Layton – Dr. Paul Collier
Geoffrey Davies – Dr. Dick Stuart-Clark
Ernest Clark – Professor Geoffrey Loftus
Richard O’Sullivan – Dr. Lawrence Bingham

Details

Channel: ITV
Written By:
David Askey
Graham Chapman
Graeme Garden
George Layton
Jonathan Lynn
Bernard McKenna
Bill Oddie
Phil Redmond
Gail Renard.
Produced By: London Weekend Television for ITV
Original Transmission Dates: 9th April 1972 – 29th December 1973

Doctor At Sea – 1974

By now this popular TV series was in it’s fifth year.  Still being produced by London Weekend Television, this was the fourth title in the series and ran for a series of thirteen episodes in 1974

Summary

When Dick (Geoffrey Davies) finally gets himself the sack from St Swithin’s Hospital, Duncan (Robin Nedwell) resigns in support. They sign up for what they hope will be a cushy job as medical officers on the cruise ship MS Begonia. Unfortunately they didn’t realise Professor Loftus’ twin brother would be the captain!

Details

Channel: ITV
Written By:
Richard Laing
George Layton
Jonathan Lynn
Bernard Mc Kenna
Gail Renard
Phil Redmond

Produced By: London Weekend Television for ITV
Original Transmission Dates: 21st April – 14th July 1974

Doctor On The Go – 1975

The final outing for the young doctors in the continuing series, there would be an Australian series – Doctor Down Under (not screened in this country) and then a comeback outing in the 1990’s with Doctor At The Top.  There were effectively two series of Doctor On The Go screened over twenty six episodes in 1975 and 1977.

Summary

Returning from their misadventures on the high seas aboard the MS Begonia (‘”Doctor at Sea” (1974)’ ), the young Doctors manage to find themselves new jobs back at St Swithin’s Hospital. However, Professor Sir Geoffrey Loftus (‘Ernest Clark’ ) is still on their case…

Cast

Robin Nedwell
Geoffrey Davies
George Layton
Ernest Clark

Details

Channel: ITV
Produced By: London Weekend Television for ITV
Written By:
Douglas Adam
Rob Buckman
Richard Laing
George Layton
Jonathan Lynn
Bernard McKenna
Steve Thorn
Paul Wolfson.

Doctor On The Box Clips

 

 

 

 

 

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