I don’t watch much TV, but late at night, when I’ve finished my writing for the day, I often watch things on catch-up, or on the various channels which offer repeats of old series. At the moment I’m watching ‘Pie in the Sky’ which is a very gentle police procedural, starring Richard Griffiths as a detective who owns a restaurant – ‘Pie in the Sky’ of course! he wants to retire from the police on concentrate on cooking marvellous food, but he is forever being drawn back to solve cases, which he does in the eccentric way TV cops do!
It was first broadcast from 1994-97, and ran for five series of a total of forty episodes. As well as Griffiths as Henry Crabbe, there were other regulars as you might imagine, Maggie Steed as his wife, Malcolm Sinclair as the Assistant Chief Constable, Bella Enahoro as Crabbe’s sergeant, Nick Raggett as Leon Henderson a supplier and odd job man, Ashley Russell as the waiter, Samantha Janus as the waitress and Joe Duttine as the other chef. If you look down the list of other actors who appeared over the years there is just about every famous TV name of the 1990’s and 2000’s.
It is as I said, a very gentle drama, not much violence and any there is toned down compared to the gory stuff shown in similar shows now. The phrase pie in the sky, which means unrealistic desires or ambitions, came from the early part of the twentieth century, apparently made up by a song writer and radical Joe Hill’s in his song The Preacher and the Slave. However it only came into general use thirty or so years later.