Boon (TV series)

Last updated

Created by
  • Jim Hill
  • Bill Stair
Theme music composer Jim Diamond
Opening theme"Hi Ho Silver" by Jim Diamond
Ending theme"Hi Ho Silver", "Texas Rangers", "He's My Friend, He's My Buddy", "We'll Be Friends", "I Can't Stop Thinking About You"
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series7
No. of episodes93
Producer Central Independent Television
Running time60 minutes; 90 minute special
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Audio format
Original release14 January 1986 (1986-01-14) 
1 May 1995 (1995-05-01)

Boon is a British television drama starring Michael Elphick, David Daker, and later Neil Morrissey. It was created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair and filmed by Central Television for ITV, and was originally broadcast between 1986 and 1995. It revolved around the life of an ex-fireman called Ken Boon. Since 16 January 2017 it has been rerun on UKTV channel Drama.



Ken Boon (Elphick) and Harry Crawford (Daker) are both old-fashioned 'smokeys' (firemen) in the West Midlands Fire Service. In episode 1 Crawford takes early retirement and moves to Spain to open a bar, leaving Ken behind. Ken attends a house fire in which a child is trapped upstairs. Realising that he must act quickly, he goes into the house without breathing apparatus and rescues the child, but he is severely injured by inhaling toxic smoke. He attempts to prove that he can still make it, but he is declared unfit for duty after collapsing during a practice simulation because his lungs have been permanently damaged, and he is forced to leave the fire service.

He starts a market garden, the Ponderosa, in a village about ten miles outside Birmingham, but finds that it isn't working out. Harry returns from Spain after his wife leaves him for a young hairdresser. Harry has acquired a hotel in Birmingham and offers Ken a job and a home there. On Ken's behalf, and without his knowledge, Harry places a box-number advertisement in a newspaper stating: "Ex-fireman seeks interesting work. Anything legal considered."

Over the course of the seven series of the show Boon does a variety of jobs, then runs a motorcycle courier firm, Texas Rangers; two private investigation firms, BDI (Boon-Daly Investigations) and Boon Investigations; and a security firm, CBS (Crawford Boon Security), a partnership with Harry in which Boon is responsible for private investigations and Harry for security. In series 1–3 Harry runs two hotels, the Grand Hotel and the Coaching Inn, and a ballroom, the Plaza Suite. In series 4 he operates a country club, Woodcote Park, before going into business with Boon in series 5.

The series moved away from Birmingham to Nottingham at the beginning of series 4, when production moved to Central Television's studios in Nottingham. The Birmingham episodes (series 2–3, and exteriors for series 1) were shot on film, but the Nottingham episodes (series 4–7) were shot on videotape, as were interior scenes for series 1. Apart from the studio interiors of Series 1 all filming was done on location. [1]


The cast included Michael Elphick (Ken Boon) and David Daker (Harry Crawford). Neil Morrissey joined in the second series as Rocky, his first major television role. Other regular characters were played by Rachel Davies (Doreen Evans), Lesley-Anne Sharpe (Debbie Yates), Amanda Burton (Margaret Daly), Elizabeth Carling (Laura Marsh), Brigit Forsyth (Helen Yeldham), Saskia Wickham (Alex Wilton), Joan Scott (Ethel Ellard) and Gordon Warnecke (Hanif Kurtha). Christopher Eccleston had a small role, one of his first.


The show's writers included Geoff McQueen, Kevin McNally, Bernard Strother, Anthony Minghella, Tony McHale, Kieran Prendiville and Veronica Henry. Ted Childs was the first executive producer.


DVD releases

DVDRelease date
The Complete Series 111 April 2005
The Complete Series 220 April 2009
The Complete Series 327 April 2009
The Complete Series 423 May 2011
The Complete Series 512 September 2011
The Complete Series 616 January 2012
The Complete Series 79 April 2012
The Complete Series 1 to 7 Box Setth

History of the show

According to Jim Hill (co-creator), the name 'Boon' was derived as follows: "Originally called 'Anything Legal Considered', we fell foul of the vogue of the main character's name being all or part of the title. Boon had been derived from an American TV series from the 1950s that Bill Stair and I both watched and liked. It was called 'Have Gun – Will Travel' (1957) – a troubleshooting cowboy answered distress calls. He was called Paladin and was played by the actor Richard Boone. We dropped the E and we had BOON – a modern-day trouble shooter on a motorbike instead of a steed." [6]

Elphick and Morrissey would reunite for the Central-TV sourced horror comedy continuing the motorbike theme, I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle .

References and notes

  1. Filming Locations
  2. For unknown reasons the remainder of this series was broadcast in the autumn of 1987, and is often mistakenly classified as two separate series.
  3. This episode contains clear indications – such as Ken's blossoming romance with Alex Wilton, and Harry's 'news' for Ken which we never got to hear – that it was intended to be sequenced after 'Thieves Like Us'.
  4. Although listed as 'The Final Episode', the storyline clearly indicates that this episode should have preceded 'Shot in the Dark'.
  5. When originally broadcast, the announcer referred to it as a 'one-off-special'. The reason for delayed airing has never been explained.
  6. Personal email, quoted on

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