Goodnight Sweetheart (1993-1999 (2016))
In some respects, Goodnight Sweetheart is perhaps the closest to Outlander in terms of a romantic aspect being pivotal to the concept, even if they’re a world away in tone. Airing on the BBC across the 1990’s, Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran’s original premise starred Nicholas Lyndhurst as Gary Sparrow, a dry witted TV repairman in 1993 who stumbles into a time portal which deposits him into the 1940’s, where he embarks upon a romance with Phoebe (Dervla Kirwan, then Elizabeth Carling), a barmaid unaware of his time travelling ability, or indeed Yvonne (Michelle Holmes, then Emma Amos), his wife back in the future. Cue TV’s unlikeliest situation comedy all about bigamy with a sci-fi slant.
Honestly, Goodnight Sweetheart was, and remains, a real oddity. Lyndhurst, forever known as dippy Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, is surprisingly good as the somewhat amoral Gary, who enjoys the wartime glamour of being considered a mysterious spy, but its hard to watch it and fully embrace the fact we’re rooting for a cheater. It played with the time travel concept in interesting ways across its run and returned for a one-off, 2016 special set in both the present and the 1960’s which went down well. Who knows? We may well get more.