Lovejoy (1986–1994)
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Friends, Romans and Enemies 

While reviewing articles from an estate sale of an eccentric engineer, Lovejoy uncovers clues that lead him to an ancient Roman grave.


Ken Hannam


Ian La Frenais (created for television by), Jonathan Gash (based on the Lovejoy books by) | 1 more credit »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ian McShane ... Lovejoy
Phyllis Logan ... Lady Jane
Dudley Sutton ... Tinker
Malcolm Tierney ... Gimbert
Chris Jury ... Eric Catchpole
Catherine Strauss Catherine Strauss ... Nicole
Burnell Tucker ... Edward
Cassie Stuart ... Amanda
Jo Ross ... Helen
Geoffrey Bateman ... Dandy Jack
Charlotte Edwards Charlotte Edwards ... Kate
Denys Graham Denys Graham ... Bigelow
Freda Dowie ... Mrs. Springer
Sheila Keith ... Curator
Anthony Jackson Anthony Jackson ... Brian


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While examining the inventory for the estate sale from an eccentric deceased engineer, Lovejoy finds that he was a skilled art forger who inexplicably made two of everything including beautifully forged oil paintings, Victorian caricatures, and an enigmatic diary. When two golden Roman coins donated by him to the local museum are mysteriously stolen, and pushy American relatives of the dead man actively try to acquire their dead uncle's possessions, Lovejoy correctly deduces that there are clues in them which will lead to an ancient Roman grave on the Isle of Man, a place where historians believe the Romans never reached. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


Did You Know?


In 1986 Lovejoy's daughter was called Kate. In 1991/2 she was called Victoria. See more »


Lady Jane Felsham: You'll never make the upper classes, Lovejoy; you're too much of a snob.
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User Reviews

"You'll never make the upper classes, Lovejoy; you're too much of a snob."
16 October 2019 | by bensonmum2See all my reviews

To get Gimbert off his back, Lovejoy agrees to sort through some junk left over after an estate sale. The dead man was something of an eccentric and, as Lovejoy discovers, a man who may have known the whereabouts of a treasure in Roman gold coins. Lovejoy's suspicions seem to be proven correct when a couple of long-lost American "relatives" turn up to collect their uncle's possessions. Can Lovejoy solve the dead man's riddles and find the treasure first?

As I've stated over and over, I love Lovejoy. But, Friends, Romans and Enemies is not among my favorite episodes. It's still good - all Lovejoy episodes are worth watching - but it doesn't work as well on me as most of the others. I think my main problem is that there is too much plot for the 50+ minute runtime. The story here could have easily been stretched out into a two-parter. When you squeeze it all down into one episode, a lot of the details get lost. How do all the dead man's clues fit together? How did Lovejoy know to go to the Isle of Man? How did Jane and Eric (and the baddies for that matter) know where to find Lovejoy? Every time I watch this episode, I'm left with a lot of questions. It's not that I need plot points spoonfed to me, but I miss the leisurely pace of most Lovejoy episodes where discovering the details is part of the fun.

Another issue I had with Friends, Romans and Enemies was some of the acting, particularly on the part of Catherine Strauss as Nicole - one of the American "relatives". She's not horrible, but she's not up the level of acting you find in the rest of the cast.


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Release Date:

31 January 1986 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Laxey Wheel, Laxey, Isle of Man

Company Credits

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