The Reluctant Runaway


In the TV sitcom Father, Dear Father, Patrick Cargill played a divorced author who finds himself responsible for the welfare of his two irrepressibly mischievous teenage daughters (Natasha Pyne (left) and Ann Holloway who were both in their mid 20s at the time).

A couple of years ago now I uploaded this very cute threat from the movie version which has garnered a helluva lot of hits on Youtube – more than many of my clips with actual spanking in them.

I knew there were more such moments in the TV series, but while it was a ratings topper in its day, it never seemed to get repeated or made available as a dvd until recently when the complete set was finally released. So after some consultation with Harry, I ordered series 4.

Whilst almost every episode of FDF had spanking potential, the Network DVD write up for The Reluctant Runaway would attract your attention even if you didn’t have prior knowledge:

The Reluctant Runaway: There comes a time in every young girl’s life when her father puts his foot down with a heavy hand.

Bit of a mixed metaphor there but sure enough this episode is awash with talk of “smacked bottoms” and ends with a scene that is almost identical to the clip from the film. So now, for the first time since a rather heady July evening in 1971, I can enjoy the edited highlights from The Reluctant Runaway,

and so can you…

5 thoughts on “The Reluctant Runaway”

  1. I recall seeing this plot and dialogue almost word-for-word in an American sit-com starring Bill Daily back in the 80s. An IMDB search indicates that it was probably “Starting from Scratch”. Guess the writers figured nobody over here would know that it was lifted from a British series.

  2. Hmm…that one’s certainly slipped under my radar…very interesting, thanks. There’s a long tradition of American versions of British comedies which continues today with The Office etc. but I thought the scripts were always adapted rather than copied directly.

    There was an Australian version of FDF in the late 70s that used the same title but had different plots and scripts and…more to the point…no spanking threats!

  3. I’ve had an email from Harry:

    “I have no recollection of ever seeing the US series but I just looked it up. The creator, Brian Cooke, was one of the co-writers of FDF. He also wrote some of the SfS episodes, and evidently reused some of his old material. (FDF’s Divorce English Style surely became SfS’s Divorce American Style.) My guess is that the episode in question would be the Cooke-scripted Kate Leaves Home.”

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