A (Less Than) Perfect State

A sitcom produced by Verity Lambert and Geoffrey Perkins, directed by Dewi Humphreys, and starring Gwen Taylor, which aired at 8.30pm on BBC One in 1997, should have found an audience. The fact that it was also written by Michael Aitkens, fresh off the back of Waiting For God‘s success, should have added to the pedigree.

But A Perfect State didn’t survive in its prestige slot, and was moved to Sunday afternoons at 3.30pm to finish its run.

Gwen plays Deputy Mayor Laura Fitzgerald, serving in an area that technically has never been claimed as part of the United Kingdom. So she convinces everyone to declare independance from the tyranny of Westminster and Europe (twas ever thus). Mark Lewisohn says that the series ‘singularly failed to do the theme justice … [was] clumsy and disliked by critics.’

Co-star Matthew Cottle, from Game On, got a write-up in the local papers a few months before the series began.

Hayes & Harlington Gazette – Wednesday 23 October 1996

The Thin Blue Line‘s Rudolph Walker played the Mayor.

Daily Mirror – Thursday 27 February 1997

Here’s Roy Wright’s review of the first episode.

Liverpool Echo – Saturday 01 March 1997

Harry Venning didn’t like it either, but I’m not sure the best remedy for that is advocating for the violent murder of everyone involved.

The Stage – Thursday 06 March 1997
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