The Booze Cruise is a series of three feature-length comedy dramas produced by Yorkshire Television and written for British television by Paul Minett and Brian Leveson. The first episode in the series premiered on ITV in 2003.
The three episodes have received mixed reviews, with the Radio Times describing it as “like comedy in 1973” and also “you can see each joke a mile off”, but generally liking the show.
A group of men from Kent – Clive (Martin Clunes), Rob (Neil Pearson), Dave (Mark Benton), Maurice (Brian Murphy) and Daniel (Ben Whishaw) – go on a “booze cruise” to France, with mixed success and many mishaps along the way. Events involving their wives and families back home also form a large part of the plot.
Two follow-up episodes were also created by Minett and Leveson, featuring the same characters with the exception of Clive, who did not appear in either sequel owing to Martin Clunes’ Doc Martin commitments. Daniel was played by Tom Bennett, and only appears in The Booze Cruise II, while Amanda Abbington took on the role of Leonie.
In this episode the same characters go on a treasure hunt, and end up with their car being washed out to sea on a beach. Marcus (a businessman who deals with Dave’s company) first appears in this episode.
The characters go to Yorkshire for a variety of reasons including scattering the ashes of Maurice’s mother-in-law on the Moors. In this episode both Rob’s estranged wife (Leone) and his new girlfriend travel in the same car, causing much friction. The Booze Cruise III won the Royal Television Society Award North for Best Network Drama.