An unusual BritCom whose premise is that Gary Sparrow (played by ''OnlyFoolsAndHorses''' Creator/NicholasLyndhurst), a down-on-his-luck TV repairman in a failing marriage, discovers a [[PortalToThePast time portal]] which leads to [[WorldWarII 1940s London]]. Once there, he meets a young woman and they fall in love. And now suddenly there's no need to go through the trauma of a divorce in the 1990s, because he can have two separate lives...

Gary gets away with it by having his best friend Ron, a printer, print him easily-forged 1940s white banknotes to fund his past lifestyle. He justifies his knowledge of the future events of WW2 to Phoebe (his past wife) by claiming to be a secret agent, while he says he earns his money as a singer-songwriter, passing off much of the next fifty years of popular music as his own. Eventually Gary ends up running a 1940s memorabilia shop built over the time portal, whose merchandise, while genuine, is suspiciously well preserved.

Came fiftieth in ''Series/BritainsBestSitcom''.

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* AccidentalPervert: Gary ends up groping the new owner of the Royal oak, when he discovers her bent over in her underwear in the bedtroom, thinking she is Phoebe
* ActingUnnatural: When Ron sucessfully travels back to the past, his attempts to fit in end up with the locals believing him to be clinically insane.
* ActorAllusion: In one episode someone props up the bar access behind Gary and he almost leans on the empty space, but then notices and nods to himself -- this provokes gales of uproarious laughter from the audience, which will seem a strange non sequitur to anyone not familiar with the famous scene in ''OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' in which Del Boy (not Lyndhurst's character Rodney, oddly) does the same but goes crashing to the floor with a fixed expression.
** In one episode Gary claims he was taught how to speak in any dialect: his cockney is identical to Rodney.
* AdviceBackfire: Ron goes to Gary for help with his failing marriage, Gary having two women seems the obvious choice. Gary's advice of staying out all night to leave Stella guessing, backfires spectacularly.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys / EvilIsSexy: In one episode the portal is struck by lightening just as Gary enters it and he's split into multiple Garys, Yvonne (and, to a lesser extent, Phoebe) is quite taken with Evil Gary.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Phoebe's husband Donald, he only married her because his family forced him into it and had had plans to move abroad with another man who he was very upset about the death of. He happily handed Phoebe over to Gary, admitting he didn't love her but was fond of her in a brotherly way and wanted her to be happy.
* AntiHero: Gary. He's a bigamist, an adulterer, a plagiarist, treats his friends Ron and Reg poorly, and apparently has no qualms about threatening Britain's wartime economy by passing around large sums of counterfeit money.[[note]]This was actually considered a serious issue: In 1942 the Germans launched Operation Bernhard, a plan to wreck the British economy by flooding the country with forged banknotes.[[/note]]
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Surprisingly averted, although Gary does meet some major figures, his interactions with them, could have happened in the history we know today.
* BadPresent: After Gary accidentally changes the past, he travels back to discover that amongst other things, Thatcher had been in power for over 20 years.
* BigEater: Ron, who can't decide between Indian and Chinese takeaway, so he has both.
* BlackComedy: Some parts could be extremely black, not surprising considering half the show was set during the second world war.
** Perhaps the blackest part was when Gary met his old friend Reg Deadman (From the 1940s) in an assisted living facility in the 90s where he was suffering from severe dementia.
* DownerEnding: In the final episode Gary discovers the [[PortalToThePast time portal]] has [[PortalSlam closed]], meaning he will be trapped in the past for good. In spite of everything, he and Yvonne are genuinely upset that they won't see each other again. In a touching last scene, they speak to each other, unknowingly, on opposite sides of the now-closed portal.
-->'''Gary:''' I'm never gonna see Yvonne, or Ron, or Baywatch ever again!
* EverybodySmokes: In the 40s. Gary, at first, is shocked and tries to warn Phoebe of the danger to her health but by Series Three he's happily puffing away himself after an OfCourseISmoke false start.
** However, he does convince her to give up during her pregnancy.
* FakeBrit: Irish actress Dervla Kirwan as Phoebe.
* {{Flanderization}}: Compare the portrayal of Reg Dedman in the pilot with what he would become by series 2. He essentially transforms from a dopey yet competent constable into a man who is an older and thinner version of [[{{TheSimpsons}} Chief Wiggum.]]
* IdenticalGrandson: Reg has an identical grandson in the nineties and an identical grandfather in the Victorian era and Ron has an identical grandfather in the forties. There's also a Victorian woman identical to Yvonne, who is presumably an ancestor of hers.
* JackTheRipper: Appears in one episode where Gary accidentally time-travels the wrong way. Turns out his mysterious disappearance was because he, too, was a time traveller, and got run over in modern London.
* HenpeckedHusband: Gary to Yvonne. [[spoiler:It's no wonder he decided to stay with Phoebe in the end.]]
* KilledOffScreen: Phoebe's father (a main character in Series One) was killed in a bomb blast in between Series' One and Two.
* KnifeThrowingAct: Part of the entertainment troupe in "How I Won the War".
* ALittleSomethingWeCallRockAndRoll: Gary, a pianist, would play songs from the future and claim he had written them himself. By the end of the series, he has laid claim to most of TheBeatles' back catalogue. One of the show's cleverer aspects was that they were sometimes arranged in a more contemporary style, such as a jazz version of ''California Dreamin'''.
* TheLoad: Arguably, Yvonne. Gary clearly wasn't happy in the 90's to begin with and most of his problems stem from trying to juggle his life with her and his life with Phoebe. One could argue that the fact Gary keeps going back to the past is a clear indication that its the only place he actually is happy in and all his problems stem from his time-period.
** Its also worth noting that apart from Ron, we never see Gary engage with ''any'' other friends in his present. Compare that with the numerous relationships he forges in the 40's, definitely signifies a lot about where Gary would ''rather'' be.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Averted, many famous characters appear in the 1940s segments...but of course none of them are around to complain about their portrayal. In later series, NoelCoward was a recurring character and ClementAttlee appears in the final episode.
** Also Robert Maxwell, and George Formby.
* OhCrap: Gary, when Phoebe and Yvonne come face to face in "When Two Worlds Collide".
* TheOtherDarrin: ''Both'' of the actresses playing Gary's two wives were replaced for Series Four onwards. Michelle Holmes left and was replaced with Emma Amos when she decided Yvonne was underused and had no scope for character development, whilst Dervla Kirwan left to concentrate on {{Ballykissangel}}, her friend Elizabeth Carling was her own recommendation as a replacement Phoebe.
* PassThePopcorn: In one of Gary's nightmares, he's confronted by both Yvonne and Phoebe whilst Ron also calls him out on his behavior towards him. The women then demand Gary choose between them while Ron sits watching and tucks into a bag of popcorn.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Subverted in the episode ''The Yanks are Coming.'' Two black American soldiers find themselves the victim of racism via a Southern American Sergeant. Also notable in the kind but surprised reactions of Phoebe and Reg who had never seen black men in the East End before.
* PortalSlam: Gary finds himself trapped in 1945 in the final episode.
* RealSongThemeTune: "Goodnight Sweetheart" was a popular 1940s song by Guy Lombardo.
* RuleOfCool: The writers make no attempt to explain why only certain people can use the time portals or why they can be affected by outside influences such as lightning, bombs and rescuing future British Prime Ministers. [[TropesAreNotBad Probably for the best.]]
* SanDimasTime / MeanwhileInTheFuture: Rarely used but occasionally crop up, for example in the last episode where Gary's message to Ron and Yvonne in the future appears ''as he writes it in the past''.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Ron sometimes talks like this. As Gary puts it, "He never uses one word when ten will do."
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: In the present, Gary is upset to discover that his grown-up son Michael has fallen on hard times and is selling some of Phoebe's belongings. Gary therefore returns to the past and arranges for Michael to receive the royalties from a song he "wrote" in the 1940s. When Gary meets Michael again, he finds that the money helped him and he is now more prosperous and married with children.
* ShoutOut:
** In one episode Gary ends up meeting the Resistance in Occupied France, who are represented by a woman who dresses like Michelle from ''Series/AlloAllo'' and uses her CatchPhrase "Listen very carefully, I vill say zis only wurnce".
** An episode with a bank manger called Mainwaring and a chief clerk named Wilson who act identically to the characters of the same name in ''[[Series/DadsArmy Dad's Army]]''. Gary even sings the show's theme song to Mr. Mainwaring, getting a bemused reaction. Subverted when the bank's tea boy shows up; Gary asks if he's called Pike, but his actual name turns out to be Major.[[note]](which WordOfGod has confirmed was a shout-out to the then-Prime Minister, UsefulNotes/JohnMajor, and gives a little extra meaning to Gary's later accusation that Major was an "uncoordinated, shambling idiot" who couldn't even handle a tea tray)[[/note]]
* TheSlowPath: Hinted at in a couple of episodes. Used by Gary a few times to [[WriteBackToTheFuture send messages to himself in the future]].
* TimeTravelersAreSpies: Gary gets mistaken for a spy in an early episode. He manages to convince his captors that he's a ''British'' spy.
* TitleDrop: Gary to Phoebe as they fall asleep on their wedding night.
* TooDumbToLive and {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Reg Dedman..
* TookALevelInBadass: The time portal has this effect on Gary. In the present, he's just a lowly TV repairman in a drab marriage. In the 1940s, aided by his knowledge of the future and some forged banknotes, he's wealthy, a spy, a singer-songwriter and playwright, and has access to luxury items which were scarce in wartime Britain.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Where Phoebe hides a stolen watch after Gary gives her a wonderbra from the nineties.
* WorldWarTwo
* WriteBackToTheFuture
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