Queenie's Castle

Queenie's Castle is a British sitcom set in early 1970s Leeds, West Yorkshire. The series was made for the ITV by Yorkshire Television and aired from 1970 to 1972. The series starred British actress Diana Dors.[1]

Queenie's Castle
Queenie's Castle.jpg
Main cast
GenreSitcom
Written byKeith Waterhouse
Willis Hall
StarringDiana Dors
Freddie Fletcher
Brian Marshall
Barrie Rutter
Tony Caunter
Lynne Perrie
Bryan Mosley
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes18
Production
ProducerYorkshire Television
Release
Original networkITV
Original release5 November 1970 (1970-11-05) –
5 September 1972 (1972-09-05)

PlotEdit

Starring Diana Dors as the eponymous Queenie Shepherd, the series revolved around the lives and, often illegal, activities of the residents of a Social Housing Development in early 1970s Leeds, West Yorkshire. Queenie's husband Lionel never appears, leaving the neighbours and viewers alike to assume he is in prison.[2] Various excuses are made, such as "He's working on the motorway in Carlisle", but this changed throughout the series.

Queenie shared her flat with four men - her shady brother-in-law Jack, and her sons: labourer Raymond, van driver Bunny, and the unemployed Douglas.

The family's archenemy, Mrs Petty, lives on a ground floor flat and runs a cake shop in a row of shops at the bottom of the flats. Mrs Petty's main friend is Mrs Blakely who also dislikes the Shepherds. Although Mrs Petty is seen to live in a ground floor flat—and this is made perfectly obvious throughout the series—on more than one occasion she claims to live next door to the Shepherds, who quite clearly live several floors up.

ProductionEdit

 
The Quarry Hill flats were the setting for Queenie's Castle

Produced by Yorkshire Television, the scripts were written by Keith Waterhouse (author of Billy Liar) and Willis Hall.[3] The remaining four episodes of series one were recorded in black and white due to the ITV colour strike.

Although the location was unspecified on screen, parts of the series were filmed in Quarry Hill, Leeds. The council flats, where it was filmed have since been demolished.[2] They were notable as the first council flats of their kind, built in art deco style in the 1930s.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

Series 1

  • We Humbly Beseech (5 November 1970)
  • The Great Debate (12 November 1970)
  • They Also Served (19 November 1970)
  • Just Good Friends (26 November 1970)
  • Trial By Fury (3 December 1970)
  • Unaccustomed As I Am (10 December 1970)

Series 2

  • Sweetness And Light (3 June 1971)
  • The Ladykillers (10 June 1971)
  • The Breadwinner (17 June 1971)
  • Industrial Relations (24 June 1971)
  • On The Wagon (1 July 1971)
  • Castles In The Air (8 July 1971)

Series 3

  • The Prowler (1 August 1972)
  • New Broom (8 August 1972)
  • The One That Got Away (15 August 1972)
  • England Expects (22 August 1972)
  • Mr Faintheart (29 August 1972)
  • The Patter Of Tiny Feet (5 September 1972)

ReceptionEdit

According to the BFI, "Dors proved so popular as the brassy Queenie that after the third and final series, she and Caunter essentially reprised their characters under different names for the rugby league sitcom All Our Saturdays (ITV, 1973)."[2]

DVD releasesEdit

All three series of Queenie's Castle were released (separately) by Simply Media in May 2009. Network has released a three-disc box set of the complete series in August 2009.

DVD Year(s) Release date
The Complete Series 1 1970 18 May 2009
The Complete Series 2 1971 18 May 2009
The Complete Series 3 1972 18 May 2009
The Complete Series 1 to 3 Box Set 1970-
1972
10 Aug 2009

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
  2. ^ a b c Michael Brooke. "BFI screenonline: Queenie's Castle (1970-72)". Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  3. ^ Wroe, Nicholas (14 April 2001). "The Guardian profile: Keith Waterhouse". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2009.

External linksEdit