The Newcomers was a late 1960s BBC soap opera which dealt with the subject of a London family, the Coopers, who moved to a housing estate in the fictional country town of Angleton. It was broadcast in bi-weekly half hour episodes from 5 October 1965 until 28 November 1969. It was initially produced by Verity Lambert.
In the series, a fictional light industrial manufacturing company called Eden Brothers decides to relocate to the rural location. There are conflicts with the older members of the existing community, as well as some lighter moments as urbanites encounter "country characters". Many of the relocated workers have trouble living outside the city. As the series progresses, problems on the factory floor spill over into the community. Throughout this the Coopers strive to raise their daughter and two sons, who are having their own issues.
The show was recorded principally in the BBC's West London studios, mainly Riverside 1, with external scenes filmed in Haverhill, a town in South-west Suffolk, which itself expanded rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s through residents moving from London. The cast included several actors who later achieved wider fame, including Alan Browning (later seen in Coronation Street), Maggie Fitzgibbon, Judy Geeson, Jenny Agutter and Wendy Richard. The theme music was composed by John Barry.
Wendy Richard went on to have a successful TV career, playing the role of Miss Shirley Brahms on Are You Being Served? and its sequel, Grace and Favour and then playing matriarch Pauline Fowler on the long-running EastEnders.
The Cooper and Harker families were the initial focus of the series. The on-screen sudden death of the character of Ellis Cooper led to a gradual shift away from the Coopers, who by the end of the serial barely featured.
A change of the managing director of Eden Bros heralded the arrival of his daughter Kirsty, played by Jennifer Agutter, but only during her school holidays.
Only three editions are known to have survived in the BBC's Archives:
- Episode 59 – Original transmission 26 April 1966.
- Episode 172 – Original transmission 26 May 1967.
- Episode 222 – Original transmission 7 December 1967.
- The Coopers
- The Harkers
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.