Oliver (we never learn whether this is his first name or his surname) is a middle-aged lecturer in Comparative Religion, with a passion for trivia, crosswords and anagrams, and a very strange taste in jokes. Having been made redundant from the University of the Rhondda Valley, and with no family ties, he decides to set off on a quest to find "Aristotle", a setter of crosswords. He soon teams up with WPC Diane Priest, who has just been suspended from the police force because she has been asking too many questions about a local murder that seems to implicate the Chief Constable. Pursued by Baxter ("the man with no name"), Oliver and Diane visit Shrewsbury, North Yorkshire, Durham, Hadrian's Wall and Kirkleven (in the Scottish highlands) on their journey to find "Aristotle" in the Orkney Isles. Along the way they uncover a major scandal centred around a property company. The laconic humour and the laid-back style are similar in many ways to The Beiderbecke Affair (1985), The Beiderbecke ... Written by
When Alan Plater wrote the novel "Oliver's Travels" on which this TV series is based, he dedicated it to his friend and fellow resident of Hull, Tom Courtenay. When the BBC decided to dramatise the novel for TV, Plater hoped that Courtenay would play Oliver, and was not pleased either with the casting of Alan Bates or with the way that Giles Foster directed the series. See more »
I finally got the chance to purchase a copy of this wonderful series on DVD. I had a taped copy of the PBS airing which I had watched over and over again. Now with the dvds I can watch it as much as I want without getting afraid the tape would wear out.
OLIVER'S TRAVELS is the story of two smart, funny and beautiful people (Alan Bates and Sinead Cusack) who meet while in the pursuit of a murder mystery. The repartee between the two is delicious. The acting is so good that you don't want the story to end.
These are probably two of the best actors from the UK. Just watch their faces when they are interacting and you'll know what I mean. And Sinead Cusack's quirky little smile just gets to me every time.
My favorite scene: their wedding vows at the cathedral. My favorite lines: Diane - Why did you get divorced?
Oliver - She said I never listened.
Diane - Was she right?
Oliver - I wasn't listening.
If you ever get the chance run, don't walk, to get a copy of the DVDs.
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