Funny sitcom that takes place in the close of St.Ogg’s cathedral. It stars Robertson Hare as Archdeacon,the Venerable Henry Blunt who likes his sherry, William Mervyn as The Bishop, The Right Reverend Cuthbert Hever, Derek Nimmo as The Chaplain,Reverend Mervyn Noote and John Baron as The Dean,The Very-Reverend Lionel Pugh-Critchley.
Pilot episode::The Bishop Rides Again” – May 17,1966 – The close brickwork is falling apart. Lucky for them a late parishioner has left them sixty thousand pounds. Before going over the terms of the bequest a few quick Beatles jokes are made.
The will states that they have to follow a tradition from the 12th century. The Bishop has to ride a white horse while wearing a Friar’s habit and deliver a pair of white stocking each to forty maidens. The dean tells them if it’s not done exactly true to tradition..no money.
An embarrassed Noote is sent into a shop to buy the stockings while the Archdeacon and the Bishop search for a white horse. Noote makes his purchases and hurriedly leaves the shop and runs into a constable. The constable takes him back to the close to back up his story. There are a few good lines before he leaves.
Time to hit the road and find forty virgins. The Archdeacon follows in the car while the Bishop ride the horse and Noote guides him. They stop at a home and give away the first pair. Then they find out the girl is living with her boyfriend and baby. They take the stockings back.
No success for an hour and a half. At one house a seven year old girl with a cold answers. The Bishop wants to give her the stockings but Noote says she’s too young. The girl says she has an older unmarried sister who’s not engaged. The Bishop hands her a pair. She says her sister is eleven. Noote doesn’t hear exactly what she said and the Bishop moves him along.
Trouble at the next stop. A girl thinks she’s answered a question correctly and is due thirty quid. She’s not going to be bought off with a pair of stockings. Her mother gets the cops. The same constable shows up.
On the road the Deacon rides up on his bicycle. They think they have until midnight to give away the remaining thirty-nine pair. The Deacon tells them they only have until sunset. Finally they give up and head back to the close. Thanks to Noote all is not lost.
Derek Nimmo also played a bumbling clergyman in “Oh Brother! (1968-70).