Paradise Postponed (1986) is a British 11-episode TV serial based on a novel by writer John Mortimer. He had adapted Brideshead Revisited as a film and wrote Rumpole of the Bailey. The series covered a span of 30 years of postwar British history, set in a small village.
The series explores the mystery of why Reverend Simeon Simcox, a "wealthy Socialist rector," bequeathed the millions of the Simcox brewery estate to Leslie Titmuss, a city developer and Conservative cabinet minister. Simeon's sons Fred, a jazz-drumming country doctor, and Henry, once Britain's brightest and angriest writer who now works for Hollywood, both conduct inquiries into their father's life as they try to understand the will.
The work's setting of an English village shows it absorbing and reflecting the upheavals of British society from the 1940s to the 1970s: the many changes of the post-World War II society. The TV series was directed by Alvin Rakoff and was mainly shot in Henley and Marlow, Buckinghamshire in the second half of 1985.
A three-part sequel, entitled Titmuss Regained, aired in 1991.
- Michael Hordern - Rev. Simeon Simcox
- Annette Crosbie - Dorothy Simcox
- Peter Egan - Henry Simcox
- Paul Shelley - Fred Simcox
- Colin Blakely - Dr. Salter
- Eleanor David - Agnes Simcox, née Salter
- Jill Bennett - Lady Grace Fanner
- Richard Vernon - Sir Nicholas Fanner
- Zoë Wanamaker - Charlotte 'Charlie' Titmuss, née Fanner
- David Threlfall - Leslie Titmuss
- Colin Jeavons - George Titmuss
- Albert Welling - Rev. Kevin Bulstrode
- Harold Innocent - Jackson Catelow
- Thomas Heathcote - Tom Nowt
- Claire Oberman - Lonnie Simcox, née Hope
The New York Times described the series as a "decided disappointment," with Mortimer having perhaps taken on too much. The technique of time shifts from the present to near past is said to be confusing more than illuminating of its characters. While containing a "distinct whiff of snobbery," the character of the lower-class Leslie Titmuss who rises on his wiles is developed as the most fascinating figure in the cast.
- JOHN J. O'CONNOR, "TV WEEKEND; 'PARADISE POSTPONED,' A NEW SERIES ON 'MASTERPIECE THEATER' ", New York Times, 17 October 1986, accessed 29 February 2016