Preston Front was a BBC show which ran for three series between 1994 and 1997. It told
the story of a group of young people who are members of the Territorial Army, or TA,
in a fictional town in the north of England called Roker Bridge. The
TA is part of Britain's reserve arm forces, and is made up of people who balance their
normal jobs with training as soldiers.
Although the show really is about a group of people, the main character is Hodge,
a young man coming to terms to the return to his life of the daughter resulting from
a youthful affair with an older woman. Eric is his best friend since childhood, a likeable
loser initially unsure of his place in the world. They are joined by intellectual
Spock, juvenile Lloydy and practical Diesel, amongst others.
The show falls into the uneasy genre, comedy drama. However, it managed to successfully
balance both aspects. The humour arises from the characters, acknowledging that people
can actually say funny things without telling jokes. This even applies to minor characters,
who although only appearing in one scene are given something interesting to say and do.
The success of the show owes much to the writing. Preston Front was created by
Tim Firth, who also wrote every episode. However, Firth's clever and humourous
writing was successfully brought to life by an ensemble cast consisting largely
of young actors who were not particularly well know before the series.
This site is a completely unofficial tribute to Preston Front. It has no
connections with Tim Firth or the BBC.
It has been created by a fan simply as a tribute to one of the best British shows for
years. The site contains a detailed episode guide, as well as information
on Tim Firth and the cast, as well as the characters they created.
Most of the information on the site is taken from the programme itself. In addition,
I have used material arising from features various publications, mainly the Radio Times.
However, any additional information or insights would be gratefully received.
Many thanks to Guy Hawley for lots of information and suggestions, particularly the photographs and
most of the information on locations. Thanks also to Chris Armstrong, John Hilson, Mike Murphy, Phil Ryding,
Paul Smout and Greg Taylor.