A television comedy-drama mini-series – by Bob Denton
Based in and around Bristol, THE CHAIN is a TV drama of three one-hour episodes which follows the progress of a property purchase chain from its formation until the hoped-for and critical exchange. It exposes the personalities and objectives of five couples who become links in the chain. The question is if they win through or whether it will become one of the three-in-ten UK chains that fail?
We spend a fifth of our disposable income on our homes; it is a lifetime’s largest expenditure. The average house costs six times our average income, yet some 100,000 households move every month. Challenged, we would say we make the moving decision based upon reason and logic. However, it proves much more emotional and impetuous than that!
At one end of THE CHAIN are unmarried Nadia and Ryan, currently renting a flat in fashionable Redland, Bristol. They are contemplating daunting and conflicting goals. There are the financial strains of being first-time buyers trying to get on the property ladder, and then Nadia wants them to start a family. A spoiled daughter of successful parents, Nadia believes that by linking the two she has the solution. Ryan is not yet ready for a child. Will these two aims prove mutually exclusive?
Second in THE CHAIN are interior designer Kyle Baker, and personal trainer Ethan White. Successful 30-somethings they are ready for a new lifestyle and to expand their businesses. They live in trendy Totterdown, but will noisy neighbours or Japanese knotweed prove their undoing?
Mid-chain are the Marshalls, Liz and Tim, late 40-somethings and recent empty-nesters in Nailsea. Liz is not keen to move, content with her local job and volunteering. Tim is determined to downsize and move closer to amenities, shops, and vitally, to the city archives to fuel his interest in local history. But will his need to share his enthusiasm for local factoids put off any potential buyer.
Fourth in THE CHAIN are 60-somethings Sandra and Donald Webb, living in Westbury Park. Donald wants a smaller, manageable home. He is a difficult man who sucks the joy from negotiations. Sandra would rather live on the south coast near her grandchildren. She seeks alcohol-laced solace.
At the other end of the chain is an Anglo-French couple in a modern Bristol Harbourside apartment. Their marriage has failed. Christophe, French and early 40s, believes having a mistress is the norm. Mandy would have liked children. Divorce proceedings advance alongside the sale of their property. Their fractious relationship may affect the chain. Will Christophe escape back to France?
We encounter several estate agents. Representing the Marshalls and Webbs, thus interacting with three links of the chain, is Jack Dawes. Jack explains his name, ‘everyone says I’m very good at finding the shiny things’, a sharp operator, but Tim assumes the chain needs a chancer to succeed.
Insincere viewings, awful décor, a drone crash, legal hold-ups, forged signatures, a gifted deposit lost to scammers, house swaps, gazumphing, gazanging,.. Each problem foments further doubts.
Will they win through to exchange?