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Series / Citizen Smith

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Citizen Smith starred Robert Lindsay as "Wolfie" Smith, a young Marxist urban revolutionary living in Tooting, South London, who is attempting to emulate his hero Che Guevara. Wolfie is the self-proclaimed leader of the Tooting Popular Front (in reality a small bunch of his friends), whose goals are "Power to the People" and "Freedom for Tooting". In reality, he is an unemployed dreamer and petty criminal whose plans fall through due to laziness and disorganisation.

Citizen Smith is a British television sitcom. The show was written by John Sullivan, who later wrote Only Fools and Horses. The pilot was transmitted on 12 April 1977 in the Comedy Special series of one-off plays, and the series proper ran from 3 November 1977 to 31 December 1980.

A novelisation was published in 1978.

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  • Air Voyance: Very first scene of season three was Wolfie shouting "GOODBYE SHIRL!" as his girlfriend flew out of the country.
  • British Brevity: While Citizen Smith got four seasons, season one comprised only nine episodes; season two, five episodes, and the last two, seven each.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Speed.
  • Couch Gag: During the first season; the opening credits featured Wolfie Smith delivering his "Power to the People' salute in various places with disastrous results.
  • The Ditz: Shirley's mum Florence is as clueless as they come.
  • I Have Many Names: Practically every character in the series called Smith by a different name - For example, Shirley called him "Wolfie", her mother "Foxy", her father "Yeti", Tucker called him "Smiffy", Speed "Smudger" and the pub landlord called him "Trotsky". Season four's landlord called him "Wally".
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  • Inkblot Test: At one point, Tucker is having marital problems, and for some reason the others deduce that he is becoming mentally unstable. They borrow a psychoanalysis book from the library which has some inkblot tests in it. Tucker reports that all the cards remind him of sex.
    Tucker: Well, what d'you expect when you keep showing me dirty pictures?
    Wolfie: They're not dirty pictures, they're inkblots! [Looks at the card] Sex? Looks more like a spider with antlers!
    Ken: [Reading from book] A profound tendency towards megalomania.
    Wolfie: You see, Tucker? Megalomania! You are warped, son, warped!
    Ken: No, that's for if you see a spider with antlers.
  • Revolutionaries Who Don't Do Anything: Wolfie was a classic small-time example of the trope.
  • Studio Audience: Standard in sitcoms of the period.
  • Tank Goodness: Smith gets a hold a Scorpion AFV in one episode and attempts to storm Westminster. He succeeds, but his moment of triumph comes to an abrupt hault, when it turns out Parliament is on Summer Recess.


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