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Series / Kingdom

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So, you sit down to watch ITV 1 on a Sunday night and the sponsored by clip is that of the channel's lower-level crime dramas, declaring that "Talk Talk sponsors ITV Mystery Dramas".

Then you spend an hour watching lovely East Anglian countryside, Stephen Fry being a lawyer and no-one gets the slightest bit murdered. There's actually a lot of comedy.

Welcome to Kingdom, where Crime and Punishment Series meets English planning law, and "They Fight Crime!" in a genteel, laid-back fashion, with plenty of breaks for Scenery Porn.

Stephen Fry (10 pounds of awesome in a 5 pound bag) plays Peter Kingdom, lawyer for the small firm of Kingdom & Kingdom, in the fictional town of Market Shipborough, Norfolk. Every week, he has to investigate some argument between people over a will, planning issues or something like that. He also must deal with the town's most sue-happy citizen, his long-suffering secretary, and his loopy sister.

He has a lawyer trainee with him, Lyle Anderson, who is the funny man of the show, getting into the more comedic scrapes, including having to deal with about 20 cats, and getting drenched in nearly every episode of Season 1.


While at first it might seem that the other Kingdom in "Kingdom & Kingdom" is Simon, Peter's younger brother (who has disappeared and is presumed dead at the beginning of the series and shows up again in Series 2),note  Peter informs us that Simon is actually neither Kingdom. The first Kingdom is their late father (who naturally never shows up) and Peter is the second. Sadly the series was cancelled after 3 series and ended with... a bit of a Wham Episode.

Not related to Kingdom (2019), the Netflix Original show that started in 2019 with an identical name, which is a historical fantasy involving zombies.



  • Actor Allusion: Fittingly for the host of QI, Peter evidently writes the questions for the Market Shipborough pub quiz.
  • Adorkable: Lyle, he's just so... d'awww.
  • Author Appeal: The balloon ride in Series 3 Episode 2 may have been one; Stephen Fry had taken his first balloon ride in North Carolina for Stephen Fry in America in 2008—a few months before the shooting for Series 3 began—and appeared to rather like it after an initial bit of terror.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The second series shows Peter starting to lose his temper with the various misbehaviors he runs into, especially Simon
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: "Is there an ITV4?"
  • British Brevity: A particularly good example, with only three series of six episodes each. You could watch all of Kingdom in one weekend.
    • It would be a really lovely weekend though.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Beatrice at the beginning of Series 2.
  • Butt-Monkey: Lyle. Lyle Lyle Lyle.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In Series 3 episode 2, the one with the Crop Circles, Peter encounters a man standing in a field dressed as the Fourth Doctor, doing a pretty good impression of Tom Baker. In the same episode, Colin Baker AKA the Sixth Doctor plays a local resident. May also be a Casting Gag.
  • Celibate Hero: Peter shows no romantic/sexual interest in either gender.
  • Character Filibuster: Series 3 Episode 1 has Peter talk about the debt the country owes its soldiers, irrespective of whether or not the war they fight is popular. The creators, including Stephen Fry, are known to be of this opinion, arguably making this a small Author Filibuster as well.
  • Chase Scene: Involving Peter's Cool Car and a guy on a bike. Lyle puts on "Flight of the Valkyries."
  • Cool Car: Peter has a gorgeous older car (an Alvis TE21). Don't forget to Watch the Paint Job (as we learned that one time it disappears).
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Several of them.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Lyle and Peter having pints in the pub. Lyle, being flippant, calls Peter "P.K."
    Peter: Although everything you just said makes no sense whatsoever, I do find myself inclined to agree with it. Though call me "P.K." again and I'll pull your pancreas out with a pair of pliers.
  • Double Entendre/Innocent Innuendo: When Peter buys his bait for his fishing trip in Scotland:
    Peter: I've penciled myself in for five days of unadulterated peace and quiet. Just me and my rod.
  • Faking the Dead: Simon Kingdom
  • 555: 01632, the UK version.
  • Geeky Turn-On: In the last episode:
    Emily: Anything exciting?
    Lyle: (getting up, slightly husky) Strict liability negligence polluted river case. No win, no fee.
    Emily: God, I love it when you talk dirty.
  • Hidden Depths: Simon can speak...Norwegian???
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Lyle after the balloon ride in Series 3, episode 2. "That is quite a lot of brandy." "That was quite a lot of balloon."
  • Intoxication Ensues: Peter should never have eaten that mushroom omelet.
  • It's All About Me: Simon, most of the time. He only rarely notices that his actions affect the people around him, or demonstrates any remorse for his selfishness.
  • Killed Off for Real: Simon at the end of the second season
  • Mr. Fanservice: Lyle, considering that he walks around in a suit and how much he gets drenched.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Druids vs. golfers. In formation. There's even a Braveheart reference.
  • Older Than They Look: Lyle, more or less. He could pass for someone at least five years younger. Lampshaded by Beatrice: "When did you stop being twelve?"
  • Once an Episode: In season one, Peter dodging Mrs. Thingy when she goes walking past.
  • Oop North: Lyle is from Stockport.
  • The Pig-Pen: Sidney Snell has virtually no sense of personal hygiene. That said, he gets better about it in Series 2, after he starts dating Gloria.
  • Rousseau Was Right: For the most part. And you know what? They manage to not only make it work, but also believable.
  • Running Gag
    • Lyle getting drenched (in Series 1).
    • Lyle never quite getting with the girl (in Series 2).
    • Mrs... er... Thingy (in Series 1).
  • Samus Is a Girl: Lyle's motorcyclist client in Series 2, Episode 3.
  • Scenery Censor: Beatrice's pregnancy, plus much of the nudist episode.
  • Scenery Porn: The shots of the Norfolk countryside and coast are really, really nice.
  • Second Love: Sidney Snell, believe it or not, for Gloria. It doesn't last past their trip to Norway, but the breakup affects both of them.
  • Short Run in Peru: For some reason, Series 3 aired in Belgium six months before airing in the UK. Why? Why Belgium of all places? Nobody knows.
  • Talkative Loon
  • Two Lines, No Waiting
  • Widow Woman: Gloria; her husband had died a little less than a year before the first episode of the first series.


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