Ken Boon

Created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair

"Ex- fireman seeks interesting work--

Boon was an easy-going, light-hearted U.K. television drama about a firefighter, KEN BOON, who suddenly finds himself out of work after his lungs are damaged in a rescue attempt. Middle-aged, and with no other options available, he decides to set himself up as a sort of freelance troubleshooter, and later, an official private eye, in the British Midlands. Harry Crawford, Ken's friend and former colleague, an ambitious, scheming and slightly pompous hotelier, lends his old buddy office space in his hotel in Birmingham.

Ken put on a good show at being a leather-clad tough guy, working the aging rocker schtick for all its worth, looking positively gallant astride his red and silver BSA 650 motorbike, White Lightning, but it belied a self-confessed romantic streak that "read Raymond Chandler detective stories and day-dreamed about being a modern-day Lone Ranger."

By the beginning of the second season, Harry had acquired a larger hotel, and Ken had set up a motorcycle dispatch company, employing two assistants, Rocky Cassidy and Debbie Yates. In the fourth season, the action had switched to Nottingham, where Harry had landed a gig managing the classy Woodcote Park, a hotel and country club, and Ken had founded Boon Investigations, with Harry as a more or less silent partner. By the next year, Ken and Harry were full-fledged partners, running Crawford-Boon Security (CBS), with Harry handling the burglar alarm and security guard side of the business.

The series proved to be immensely popular with fans, running for several years, largely due to Michael Elphick's rough-hewn charisma, the warm blend of humour and drama, and the ongoing lives of the ever-expanding cast of characters, as they fell in and out of love. The show's title song, "Hi Ho Silver", recorded by Jim Diamond, even reached number 5 in the Charts in 1986.


  • BOON
    (1986-95, ITV)
    93 episodes (7 13-episode seasons, plus two specials)
    All episodes 60 minutes, unless otherwise noted
    Creators: Jim Hill and Bill Stair
    Writers: Jim Hill, Bill Stair, Geoff McQueen, Anthony Minghella, Kieran Prendiville
    Producers: Kenny McBain (series 1); Esta Charkham (series 2,3,4); Simon Lewis (series 6,7)
    Executive Producers: Ted Childs (series 1,2,3,5,6,7); William Smethurst (series 4)
    A Central Independent Television Production
    Title song: "Hi Ho Silver" performed by Jim Diamond
    Starring Michael Elphick as KEN BOON
    With David Daker as Harry Crawford
    Neil Morrisey as Rocky Cassidy
    Lesley-Anne Sharpe as Debbie Yates
    and Elizabeth Carling as Laura Marsh
    Guest stars: Bruce Alexander, Jenny Agutter, Stephen Rea, Nicholas Ball, Warren Clarke, Dave Hill, Jane Horrocks, Geoffrey Hughes, David McCallum, Stephen Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Ray Winstone, Jimmy Yuill

  • Series One (1985-86)
  • "Box 13"
  • "Fools Rush In"
  • "Answers To The Name Of Watson"
  • "Grass Widows"
  • "Unto Us Four A Son"
  • "Glasshouse People"
  • "Northwest Passage To Acock's Green"
  • "Something Old, Something New"
  • "For Whom The Chimes Toll"
  • "Jack Of All Tradesmen"
  • "Billy The Kid"
  • "Grand Expectations"
  • "Full Circle"

  • Series Two (1987)
  • "Texas Rangers"
  • "Special Delivery"
  • "Day Of The Yokel"
  • "Smokey And The Band"
  • "Taken For A Ride"
  • "Wheels Of Fortune"
  • "A Ride On The Wild Side"
  • "Credit Where It's Due"
  • "Trudy's Grit"
  • "A Fistful Of Pesetas"
  • "Paper Mafia"
  • "Fiddler Under The Roof"
  • "A Once Fluid Man"

  • Series Three (1988)
  • "Charity Begins At Home (Part 1)"
  • "Charity Begins At Home (Part 2)"
  • "Topspin"
  • "Have A Nice Day"
  • "Beef Encounter"
  • "Never Say Trevor Again"
  • "Honourable Service"
  • "Peacemaker"
  • "The Devil You Know"
  • "Banbury Blue"
  • "One Reborn Every Minute"
  • "The Fall and Rise Of The Bowman Empire"
  • "The Not So Lone Ranger".

  • Series Four (1989)
  • "Walking Off Air"
  • "The Relief Of Matty King"
  • "Vallance's Liberty"
  • "Of Meissen Men"
  • "Arms And The Dog"
  • "Sickness And Health"
  • "In It For The Monet"
  • "Do Not Forsake Me"
  • "Love Letters From A Dead Man "
  • "Big Game Hunt"
  • "Don't Buy From Me, Argentina"
  • "All In A Day's Pork"
  • "The Eyes Of Texas".

  • Series Five (1990)
  • "Trouble In The Fields"
  • "Tales From The River Bank"
  • "Rival Eyes"
  • "A Night At The Ballet"
  • "Work, Rest & Play"
  • "Bully Boys"
  • "The Belles Of St. Godwalds"
  • "Burning Ambition"
  • "Undercover"
  • "Daddy's Girl"
  • "Best Left Buried"
  • "Thicker Than Water"
  • "The Tender Trap"

  • Series Six (1991)
  • "Help Me Make It Through The Night"
  • "Coverup"
  • "Two Men In A Vault"
  • "Lost On The Range"
  • "Lie Of The Land"
  • "Cab Rank Cowboys"
  • "The Barefaced Contessa"
  • "Trial And Error"
  • "Pillow Talk"
  • "Houseguests"
  • "Bad Pennies"
  • "When Harry Met Janice"
  • "Stamp Duty"

  • "The Night Before Christmas" (special 90-minute Christmas episode, dedicated to Bill Stair, May 1939 - March 1991, co-creator)

  • Series Seven (1992)
  • "MacGuffin's Transputer"
  • "Queen's Gambit"
  • "Walkout"
  • "The Sharp End"
  • "Deadline"
  • "Message In A Bottle"
  • "Is There Anybody There?"
  • "Away From It All"
  • "Minder"
  • "Love Or Money"
  • "Blackballed"
  • "Whispering Grass"
  • "Shot In The Dark"
  • "Thieves Like Us" (extra episode, not shown in 1992, finally aired in 1995)


  • Boon (1986; by Anthony Masters)

Novelization based on several Series One episodes.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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