The ITV series starring Nyree Dawn Porter and Ian Hendry is to be issued by Network Releasing.
Nyree Dawn Porter in For Maddie with Love.
“Showcasing memorable performances from Nyree Dawn Porter and Ian Hendry and an affecting, stylishly minimalist design ethic, this daytime afternoon drama – which ran twice-weekly through much of 1980 – became compulsive viewing due to its powerful take on terminal illness, self-determined euthanasia and the aftermath of a death in the family.” – Network Releasing
For Maddie with Love ran on ITV in 1980 and 1981 and followed the final months of, mother and wife, Maddie in the lead up and diagnosis she had an inoperable terminal brain tumour.
While the storyline covered only months the production ran for 48 episodes. Produced by ATV Network for ITV daytime the serial was written by Douglas Watkinson and starred Nyree Dawn Porter in the title role of Maddie while her husband Malcolm was portrayed by Ian Hendry. Despite impressive afternoon ratings the series came to a conclusion at the end of the second series, the key storyline of the lead character passing away giving little chance for the production to become a long runner.
Despite its popularity at the time the saga has never had a repeat on British television, however the story was adapted into a novel of the same name in late 1980. Now Network Releasing are to issue the entire 48 editions on DVD next month.
For Maddie With Love – The Complete Series. Is described by Network as ‘Hard-hitting and unsentimental, For Maddie With Love is the story of a woman who knows she is dying and, in doing so, rediscovers the love she has for her husband and family.’
The release also contains a special feature of a ‘limited edition booklet by archive television historian Billy Smart.’ The DVD will be available from the 15th April 2019, priced at £27.00.
The storyline begins with Maddie traveling by train with her son Neil, when she suffers a fit. However she convinces herself it’s unimportant. When she later has another fit Neil persuades her to visit a neurologist, however she bottles out leaving him no option but to threaten to tell his father Malcolm if she doesn’t find out what’s going on with her failing body.
As the episodes, which aired twice a week, continue Maddie is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. This is the start of the family’s journey with Maddie until she eventually dies. The story centres on the relationship between Maddie and her husband Malcolm, examining the illusive and sometimes surreal nature of their union. At the same time family life continue to full much of Maddie’s time and energy. Her daughter Gilly (Sheridan Fitzgerald) is pregnant after having had a miscarriage. Her two sons have the normal but pressing mix of young men’s problems. Gordon is the cool solicitor and Neil her youngest at university.
As the series comes to its conclusion the family go from coping badly to becoming a tight unit as Maddie eventually passes away. Malcolm fails to cope with his wife’s demise and only starts to accept she’s gone once his children all gather around the dining table without the matriarch present.
The series, produced at the ATV Elstree Centre, used little in the way of sets or props. The idea by director Dennis Vance to make the production feel more akin to a theatre piece. Partial sets were used with only the furniture and background items strictly needed for each scene.