Boon (TV series)

Boon is a British television crime drama starring Michael Elphick, David Daker, and later Neil Morrissey. It was created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair and filmed by Central Television for ITV. It revolved around the life of an ex-fireman called Ken Boon. Since 16 January 2017 it has been rerun on UKTV channel Drama.

Created by
  • Jim Hill
  • Bill Stair
Theme music composerJim Diamond
Opening theme"Hi Ho Silver" by Jim Diamond
Ending theme"Hi Ho Silver", "Texas Rangers", "He's My Friend, He's My Buddy", "We'll Be Friends", "I Can't Stop Thinking About You"
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series7
No. of episodes93
Producer(s)Central Independent Television
Running time60 minutes; 90 minute special
DistributorITV Studios
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3
Audio format
Original release14 January 1986 (1986-01-14) 
1 May 1995 (1995-05-01)


Ken Boon (Elphick) and Harry Crawford (Daker) were both old-fashioned 'smokeys' (firemen) in the West Midlands Fire Service. In episode 1 Crawford takes early retirement and moves to Spain to open a bar, leaving Ken behind. In the same opening episode, Ken attends a house fire where a child is trapped upstairs. Realising he must act quickly he goes into the house without breathing apparatus, rescues the child but is severely injured by inhaling toxic smoke. He attempts to prove he can still make it but he is declared unfit for duty after collapsing during a practice-simulation because his lungs have been permanently damaged, and he is forced to retire from working in fire service.

He started a market garden called 'The Ponderosa' in a village about ten miles outside of Birmingham but found that it wasn't working out. As he struggled to pay bills and keep afloat, he was surprised when a visitor arrived at the garden; Harry had returned from Spain to Birmingham, after his wife Alison had left him for a young hairdresser. Harry had acquired a hotel in Birmingham and offered a 'port in a storm' for Ken.

On Ken's behalf, and without his knowledge, Harry places a Post Office box-number advert in a newspaper stating: "Ex-fireman seeks interesting work. Anything legal considered." From these humble beginnings, Boon's career as a Courier, 'Minder' and Private Investigator began.

During the time that Ken and Harry worked together, portrayed in series 1–3, Harry ran two hotels (The Grand Hotel and The Coaching Inn) and a ballroom (The Plaza Suite); from series 4 he operated a country club (Woodcote Park) and later a security firm (CBS – Crawford Boon Security). Ken ran a motorbike courier firm (Texas Rangers), two private investigation firms (BDI – Boon-Daly Investigations – and Boon Investigations) and CBS. CBS was a joint venture, with Ken being responsible for private investigations and Harry for security.

The series moved away from Birmingham to Nottingham at the beginning of series 4, with production of the show being based at Central Television's studio in Nottingham. The Birmingham episodes (Series 2–3, and exteriors for Series 1) were made on film whereas the Nottingham episodes (Series 4–7) were made on videotape, as were interior scenes for Series 1. Apart from studio interiors of Series 1, all filming was done on location.[1]


The cast included Michael Elphick (Ken Boon) and David Daker (Harry Crawford). Neil Morrissey joined in the second series as Rocky, his first major television role. Other regular characters were played by Rachel Davies (Doreen Evans), Lesley-Anne Sharpe (Debbie Yates), Amanda Burton (Margaret Daly), Elizabeth Carling (Laura Marsh), Brigit Forsyth (Helen Yeldham), Saskia Wickham (Alex Wilton) and Joan Scott (Ethel Ellard)(cook). Christopher Eccleston had a small role, one of his first ones. Also includes Gordon Warnecke who plays Hanif in series 1.


The show's writers included Geoff McQueen, Kevin McNally, Bernard Strother, Anthony Minghella, Tony McHale, Kieran Prendiville and Veronica Henry. Ted Childs was the first executive producer.


DVD releases

DVDRelease date
The Complete Series 111 April 2005
The Complete Series 220 April 2009
The Complete Series 327 April 2009
The Complete Series 423 May 2011
The Complete Series 512 September 2011
The Complete Series 616 January 2012
The Complete Series 79 April 2012
The Complete Series 1 to 7 Box Set29 October 2012

History of the show

According to Jim Hill (co-creator), the name 'Boon' was derived as follows: "Originally called 'Anything Legal Considered', we fell foul of the vogue of the main character's name being all or part of the title. Boon had been derived from an American TV series from the 1950s that Bill Stair and I both watched and liked. It was called 'Have Gun – Will Travel' (1957) – a troubleshooting cowboy answered distress calls. He was called Paladin and was played by the actor Richard Boone. We dropped the E and we had BOON – a modern-day trouble shooter on a motorbike instead of a steed."[6]

References and notes

  1. Filming Locations
  2. For unknown reasons the remainder of this series was broadcast in the autumn of 1987, and is often mistakenly classified as two separate series.
  3. This episode contains clear indications – such as Ken's blossoming romance with Alex Wilton, and Harry's 'news' for Ken which we never got to hear – that it was intended to be sequenced after 'Thieves Like Us'.
  4. Although listed as 'The Final Episode', the storyline clearly indicates that this episode should have preceded 'Shot in the Dark'.
  5. When originally broadcast, the announcer referred to it as a 'one-off-special'. The reason for delayed airing has never been explained.
  6. Personal email, quoted on
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