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Coming Alive

Radio 4
1999 (six episodes)

Jim Eldridge followed up the enduring King Street Junior with this comic drama, again featuring Karl Howman in the lead role.  The developing storyline revolved around the flickering relationship between Terry King (Howman), a likeable con-artist with a plausible manner and unusual powers of sincerity, and Sandra Gaines (Phyllis Logan), an embattled social worker beset with problems in her private and professional lives.  The story began with Terry’s early release from prison, as part of a new pilot scheme, to assist in the renovation and re-establishment of a delapidated community centre under Sandra’s supervision.  Typical comic moments ensued, as Terry deployed his natural gifts to fend off trouble from various hostile individuals, but more of the series’ attention was devoted to serious dramatic themes, exploring the effects of urban decay.  The conclusion was downbeat — Terry assaults Sandra’s abusive ex-husband and faces a return to jail — but seemed to hint at the possibility of further developments in the saga.  Ben Crowe, Geoffrey Whitehead and Giles Fagan were among the supporting cast.

© JB Sumner 1999.  File created 7/3/99