"Cousin Oliver syndrome"

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paul.austin
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"Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by paul.austin »

Does this happen much in British shows vs. American?

My favourite example is Australia's Hey Dad...! when they used an Other Darrin to create a Cousin Oliver - Jenny Kelly goes from 15 to 12 when she gets a new face, body, and voice. It's not often you make a character substantially *younger*.

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stearn
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by stearn »

Australia seem less bothered about cast changes. The first I remember was a character, I think, called Lucy in Neighbours suddenly changing. There was a cast change in Home and Away where the Mother changed, initially for a few editions where there was an announcement '..will be played by... in this episode, rather like and understudy at the theatre. I think she took over permanently a while later.

For UK TV, Goodnight Sweetheart is the only show I can immediately think of a character changing actor (in this can actress). The common theme is I didn't watch any of these, only catching bits when visiting others!

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Ian Wegg
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Ian Wegg »

The earliest UK example I can recall was Sue Nicholls being replaced as Marilyn Gates in Crossroads (by Nadine Hanwell in 1968, Wikipedia tells me). There was an announcement at the start of the episode and Nadine, I seem to remember, didn't look much like Sue Nicholls although was about the same age.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Brian F »

I think Jenny Agutter being replaced By Maggie Don as Kirsty Kerr in the Newcomers in April 1969 may have been earlier. IMDB shows Sue being in it until at least August. The first was go off to boarding school and come back as someone else, the second marry the vicar and be completely different when getting back from honeymoon. :-)

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Simon Coward
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Simon Coward »

Ian Wegg wrote:The earliest UK example I can recall was Sue Nicholls being replaced as Marilyn Gates in Crossroads (by Nadine Hanwell in 1968, Wikipedia tells me). There was an announcement at the start of the episode and Nadine, I seem to remember, didn't look much like Sue Nicholls although was about the same age.
In Crossroads, Stephanie 'Stevie' Harris was played by Wendy Padbury in just over 100 episodes between her arrival in the series (in episode 208 on 18/08/1965) and her departure (in episode 355, 11/03/1966), after which the part was played for a short while by Karen Shinwell (from episode 357 on 15/03/1966 to episode 385 on 22/04/1966) before disappearing altogether. I have no idea whether this was accompanied by an on-screen announcement.
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Mark »

In "Father Dear Father", Sally Beazely as Georgie was replaced by Dawn Addams, and Patrick Holt as Bill was replaced by Tony Britton.

Sharon in "Please Sir!" was played by Penny Spencer, and replaced by Carol Hawkins for the film and subsequent spin-off "The Fenn Street Gang", and for the first series of "FSG", Craven was played by Leon Vitali, before Malcolm MacFee returned in the role for the final two series ( having played the part in "PS!" series and film).

Karl Howman replaced Robert Lindsay as Jakey for the final series of "Get Some In".
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David Boothroyd
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by David Boothroyd »

In 'The Brothers' Glyn Owen was replaced by Patrick O'Connell playing Edward Hammond from the second series, when Glyn Owen rashly gambled that he could use the popularity of the first series to force the BBC to pay him more. Which meant Edward Hammond suddenly changed from a fairly gruff, short northerner into a much more smooth, tall, lightly midlands-accented character.

I still like how they dealt with this situation in 'Game On'.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by ian b »

Pat Grove in THE GROVE FAMILY - Sheila Sweet left after a couple of years and was replaced by Carole Molam.

On radio, the role of Christine Archer in THE ARCHERS passed in 1953 from Pamela Mant to Lesley Saward - who has played the part ever since.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Brian F »

Also several actors played Joe Grundy, starting with Ted Higgins, I believe.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by brigham »

The lead actress in Mrs. Dale's Diary changed overnight in 1963, although I never noticed at the time. (It was all just 'grown-ups' talking).
The one I remember best was William Hartnell being replaced by a little Irish fellow in Doctor Who.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Brock »

All very interesting... but none of this is "Cousin Oliver syndrome" as far as I can see. According to TV Tropes, Cousin Oliver is "that inexplicable kid added to the show's roster, usually in an attempt to liven up an aging cast with a character the younger demographics can (supposedly) relate to". The eponymous character comes from The Brady Bunch, but I can't think of an equivalent British example offhand.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by ian b »

The original post didn't provide an explanation of "Cousin Oliver Syndrome", and the replies seemed to focus on recasting.

So now I'm more up to speed I can at least throw in a radio example...


In the radio run of LIFE WITH THE LYONS, at the start of 1955 as Richard Lyon was now older and unsuited for certain storylines Richard Bellears was brought in as a younger boy (Bebe's nephew) to fulfil those functions. But when his voice broke a couple of years later the role was reduced and toward the end of the seventh series the character was sent off to boarding school and barely mentioned for the rest of the run.

Bellears did make it into the BBC tv series too.

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paul.austin
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by paul.austin »

"Chuck Cunningham" syndrome/Orwellian Retcon is an interesting trope as well.

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Simon Coward
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Simon Coward »

ian b wrote:The original post didn't provide an explanation of "Cousin Oliver Syndrome", and the replies seemed to focus on recasting.
Not only the replies, the original post referred to an existing character being recast - albeit with a younger actor - rather than a new young character appearing.
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Duncan »

brigham wrote:The lead actress in Mrs. Dale's Diary changed overnight in 1963, although I never noticed at the time. (It was all just 'grown-ups' talking).
The one I remember best was William Hartnell being replaced by a little Irish fellow in Doctor Who.
I didn't know Edmund Warwick was Irish?...

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Duncan »

Brock wrote:All very interesting... but none of this is "Cousin Oliver syndrome" as far as I can see. According to TV Tropes, Cousin Oliver is "that inexplicable kid added to the show's roster, usually in an attempt to liven up an aging cast with a character the younger demographics can (supposedly) relate to". The eponymous character comes from The Brady Bunch, but I can't think of an equivalent British example offhand.
Dawn in Buffy comes to mind.

Or how about Scrappy Doo?

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by ian b »

brigham wrote:The lead actress in Mrs. Dale's Diary changed overnight in 1963, although I never noticed at the time. (It was all just 'grown-ups' talking).
Actually, Ellis Powell and James Dale made their final appearances (unknown to them) in mid-February 1963 when Dr. And Mrs. Dale wer sent overseas to America. They were then told their contarcats wouldn't be renewed, Jessie Matthews and Charles Simon were then cast and the "new" voices made their first appearance mid-March.

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stearn
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by stearn »

Sorry for sending this off on a wrong tangent. I had no idea what Cousin Oliver syndrome was, but assumed from the first post with, new face, body and voice, it was a change of actor.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by Mark »

I miss-read it as well

Must be quite a few Soap ones though!
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paul.austin
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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by paul.austin »

My OP states that the creators of Hey Dad used a recasting to create a Cousin Oliver. The character of Jenny was a mid-teen but they turn her back into a pre-teen as they already have another teenage girl character in the cast.

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Re: "Cousin Oliver syndrome"

Post by brigham »

paul.austin wrote:My OP states that the creators of Hey Dad used a recasting to create a Cousin Oliver. The character of Jenny was a mid-teen but they turn her back into a pre-teen as they already have another teenage girl character in the cast.
Just when I thought I'd grasped the concept...

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