Special Sub-Topic: "Mother and Son"
|In "Mother and Son", who played the title role of the mother, Maggie Beare?|
Ruth Cracknell. Ruth Cracknell played the mother, Maggie Beare. When Geoffrey Atherden wrote the script, he had Ruth Cracknell in mind for the role, even though she was not a well known actress at the time. It was to become her most famous role. In April 2001, Ruth Cracknell was inducted in the Logies' Hall of Fame, the first woman to be so honoured. (The Logies are Australia's most prestigious television awards, similar to the Emmy Awards in America).
|In "Mother and Son", who played the title role of the son, Arthur Beare?|
Gary Macdonald. Gary Macdonald played the son, Arthur Beare, who lives with his mother and looks after her. Henri Szeps plays Arthur's brother, Robert. John O'Grady was the executive producer and Geoffrey Atherden was the creator/writer of the series.
|There is another son, not the one referred to in the title. What is the name of this son?|
Robert. Robert Beare is played by Henri Szeps. Robert, or Robbie as his doting mother calls him, is a dentist and an extremely greedy, self-centred person. Robbie makes a big show of caring for his mother but in reality he does nothing to help her or Arthur. Despite his obvious character flaws, he is clearly his mother's favourite son.
|From which illness does Maggie suffer?|
It is never stated that she suffers from any illness. Most viewers assume that Maggie suffers from Alzheimer's disease, although this is never stated or referred to in the series. While her behaviour certainly suggests that she has Alzheimer's, the viewer is never sure if Maggie is truly on the road to senility or whether she is simply a manipulative, devious old lady. Therein lies a lot of the comedy.
|Why did Arthur live at home with his mother?|
He and his wife were separated. At the beginning of the series, Arthur and his wife, Deirdre (played by Suzanne Roylance) are separated. They eventually get divorced.
|What are the names of Maggie's grandchildren?|
Damian and Teonie. Damian and Teonie are Robert's children. Damian is played by Kristen Vergia. Teonie is played by Janine O'Brien. They are minor characters and are more often referred to rather than actually seen. As is to be expected with parents like Liz and Robert, the children are spoiled brats.
|In the episode entitled "The Aunt", Arthur invites his aunt to visit. What is the name of Maggie's sister (the aunt)?|
Lorna. Arthur invites his aunt Lorna, from Tasmania, to visit for two weeks. Arthur has an ulterior motive. He is hoping that Lorna's visit will give him some free time to spend with a lady he is interested in. However, he has his hands full when sibling rivalry between Maggie and Lorna erupts into a bitter fight.
|In the episode entitled "The Funeral", what does Maggie drop into her brother's coffin?|
oranges. On the way to the funeral, Maggie stops the funeral procession to buy some oranges, which she accidentally manages to drop into the open grave. After the funeral, the family gathers at the Beare's house. Maggie makes her other brother a cup of tea and very soon he is found dead on the couch. Has Maggie had a senile moment and accidentally put poison in his tea instead of sugar?
|In the episode entitled "The Dog", what name does Maggie decide to call her new puppy?|
Fluffy. A grateful patient gives Robbie a dog. His wife Liz suggests calling it "Migraine" and insists he gets rid of it. (Liz's migraines are legendary - she either has one, or develops one, in almost every episode in which she is featured). Robbie gives the dog to Maggie who calls it "Fluffy". "Killer" was Arthur's sarcastic suggestion. When the children react badly to the disappearance of the dog, giving Liz an even worse migraine, Robbie attempts to get the dog back.
|A British version of "Mother and Son" was created and aired in 1997. What is its title?|
Keeping Mum. The creator/writer of "Mother and Son", Geoffrey Atherden, was invited to adapt the Australian show for British audiences. The original Australian series was produced by ABC TV. It ran from 1983 to 1993. There were 42 episodes (6 series of 7 episodes each). "Keeping Mum" was aired by BBC1 in 1997 but was not well received. It ran from 1997 to 1998. There were only 16 episodes (2 series of 8 episodes each). According to the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/), "The series boasted some notable firsts: it was the first BBC adaptation of an Australian comedy; the UK's (and perhaps the world's) first all-digital, widescreen studio comedy; and the first series in the UK to utilise the same sort of sophisticated sound equipment used on US shows like 'Cheers'."
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