Citizen Smith (1977-80)

Robert Lindsay as Wolfie Smith

Robert Lindsay as Wolfie Smith

Robert Lindsay is Wolfie Smith. He doesn’t have a job and thinks of himself as an urban guerrilla like his hero Che Guevara. He heads up a group called the Tooting Popular Front named after a section of London. Their goal is to create a Communist Britain. Of course it doesn’t have a chance and is about as disorganized as you can get. That’s not going to stop them from trying.

Pilot episode: April 12,1977 – “Roof Over My Head” – Wolfie wanders around London is a beret, a Che Guevara T-Shirt and a guitar he can’t play. An opening bit shows him painting a sign on a wall while his friend Ken tries to meditate. It establishes that Wolfie is a bit dim.

He goes to the record store where his girlfriend of two years Shirley Johnson (Cheryl Hall) works. She’s just back from a two week vacation with her parents. She’s mad at him for forgetting her birthday. She’s not happy that he took her to Highgate Cemetery to sit under the statue of Karl Marx to drink some ale. They make up and he asks her for some money to take her out later.

At the pub there’s a mildly funny bit with Wolfie and Ken. After that he takes Shirley to Texas Sam. She asks when they’re getting engaged. He says after the revolution. He doesn’t have any idea when that will be. Turns out his group has only six members and one has just been picked up for shop lifting peanuts from Woolworth’s.

He says he has a present for her. She closes her eyes and holds out her hand expecting a ring. Instead he gives her a plastic crocodile tooth necklace. She takes that as an unusual engagement gift instead of a ring. He leaves and sticks her with the check.

Back home Shirley tells her parents she’s engaged. They’ve never met Wolfie but have heard about him. Her mother seems happy. Her dad needs a drink. He tries to talk her out of it. She says if he keeps on she’ll move in with Wolfie.

Back at the pub Ken says Shirley told him about the engagement. At the bar is Shirley’s dad. Wolfie goes up to get a drink. It’s the usual sitcom situation where they share complaints without knowing who they really are. It works because it doesn’t go on and on. As the episode ends the light may be dawning for them.

In real life Lindsay and Hall are actually married. Both have appeared in many British series.

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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