Lovejoy (1986–1994)
2 user 1 critic

The March of Time 

After acquiring an old clock in in a trade with another dealer, Lovejoy finds some priceless love letters from the Napoleonic era.


Ken Hannam


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


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Episode complete credited cast:
Ian McShane ... Lovejoy
Phyllis Logan ... Lady Jane
Dudley Sutton ... Tinker
Malcolm Tierney ... Gimbert
Chris Jury ... Eric Catchpole
Lysette Anthony ... Sophy
James Aubrey ... Michael
John Scholes John Scholes ... D / Sgt Drabble
Geoffrey Drew ... Berwick
Laurence Harrington Laurence Harrington ... Ricky
Andrew Cuthbert Andrew Cuthbert ... M / cycle Policeman
Iain Rattray Iain Rattray ... Sergeant Major
Charles Rogers Charles Rogers ... Adjutant
Will Kenton ... Auctioneer
Steve Rogers Steve Rogers ... Nick


Lovejoy along with Eric are the sole professionals bidding in a country estate sale. He sells the lot to fellow dealer and barters for two antique clocks, one of which has no clockwork inside. While examining it, Lovejoy comes across a cache of beautiful love letters written by a young woman to a British officer just prior to the Battle of Waterloo, where he was killed. Eager to find the letters from the young soldier in order to sell them to a publisher, Lovejoy locates them at a riding school run by Sophie Fairfax, a cash-strapped, but very beautiful, descendant of the woman. After he learns from Charlie that Sophy's letters are copies and that the originals are on display in the regimental museum, Lovejoy must use all his skills as a con man to reunite him with his complementary letters. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

28 February 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lovejoy refers to cocaine as "Rich man's sherbet" and "Columbian marching powder." See more »


Sophy Fairfax: Are you sure you're not a lawyer or a detective or something?
Sophy Fairfax: Or something.
See more »


References The Jewel in the Crown (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

"We should be back home trying to make a dishonest living."
5 November 2019 | by bensonmum2See all my reviews

While working to repair a relatively worthless clock, Lovejoy discovers a set of love letters from the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Lovejoy realizes he may have something of value. When someone steals the clock, Lovejoy's convinced he's onto something and decides to investigate.

The March of Time may not be the best episode, but it's still an enjoyable, worthwhile experience. The plot is nothing to write home about - there's not much danger, there's no murder to solve, and the story of the letters isn't as exciting as something like treasure buried under an abbey. But watching Lovejoy and the sheer pleasure we see on his face as he reads the letters gives as much insight to Lovejoy, the character, as anything we've seen so far. When Lovejoy initially finds the letters, you can see the dollar signs in his eyes. When he meets their rightful owner, the devastatingly (as Lovejoy describes her) beautiful Sophy, we can see something else in his eyes. But in the end, Lovejoy's love for antiques and doing what's right wins out and Lovejoy sacrifices money and his shot with Sophy to see the letters made whole.


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