Rising Damp is a British situation comedy set in a dilapidated boarding house, produced from 1974 to 1978 and originally broadcast by Yorkshire Television. The series is based upon a play, Banana Box, which also starred most of the Rising Damp cast.
The comedy centres around the prejudices and suspicions of tight-fisted landlord Rupert Rigsby as he snoops around the run-down house, interfering in the daily lives of his tenants. The cast is as follows:
Rigsby is lonely, cynical, socially inept and deeply suspicious of anyone who isn't the same as him, (i.e. British, white and working class with one eye on the next rung of the social ladder). As the son of an African chief, Phillip is an obvious target for Rigsby's ignorance despite the fact that he is obviously a sophisticated, wordly-wise product of the English public school system. Alan, the long-haired medical student, is characterised by Rigsby as a layabout hippy whose care-free attitudes towards sex and life in general typify 'what's wrong with this country nowadays'. Rigsby's prejudices are constantly held up to ridicule as he is inevitably proved wrong.
Constantly suspicious of some sort of conspiracy against him, Rigsby spends a lot of his time prowling around the house with his cat, Vienna, inventing all sorts of excuses for his devious behaviour. Afraid that he is missing out, he often bursts in unannounced on his long-suffering tenants, frequently seizing the opportunity to dispense more unwanted advice and opinions .
In an interesting sub-plot, Rigsby lusts after Ruth, a 'bookish' spinster who constantly rejects his advances because she is secretly infatuated with Phillip. Meanwhile, Alan never seems short of female companionship and doesn't seem to need Rigsby's impromptu advice on these matters, much to the bewilderment of Rigsby himself.