DVD and TV Reviews

Contents on this Page – Chris’s DVD Reviews:

May 2017 Update – Please note – the BBC Store articles which did appear on this page have now been deleted as the products are no longer available to purchase.  Chris

Love Thy Neighbour – Complete

Morecambe and Wise – Two of a Kind Complete

QI – A to D and E to G now on DVD

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge and Other Less Successful Characters Live

The Galton and Simpson Comedy

The Goodies – BBC Store

Love Thy Neighbour – Complete

Ok, a controversial sitcom – but Network DVD has finally released the series uncut for the very first time.  

This complete-series set comprises the unscreened pilot episode, all eight series – in their intended running order for the first time – the Christmas 1972 short sketch for All Star Comedy Carnival, the 1973 New Year Special and a brand-new transfer of the 1973 feature film from its original film elements in its as-exhibited aspect ratio. All episodes are presented complete and uncut and have been remastered from the best available materials, all put together into a 9 DVD box set.

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Love Thy Neighbour ran on ITV between 1972 and 1976 – starring Jack Smethurst and Rudolph Walker.  Often crticised for it’s racial tones, this will not be everyone’s cup of tea.

But, let Network DVD describe the new releases for themselves.  This is a great video explaining the enhanced picture quality, episodes in correct order, etc.  Chris

It’s certainly not been repeated on TV since its original broadcast so if you do want to check it out, then DVD will be the only way.  Thames made some extremely popular comedy series in the 70’s – rolling them out with ‘Man About the House’, ‘Bless This House’ and many others – and for me, this is of the same calibre.

Please note: The material in this programme may well be offensive – please check the preview clips above, and other clips on You Tube before purchasing.  If however, you have heard of the programme and remember it well, then it’s a great release that has been put together by Network.

Morecambe and Wise – Two of a Kind Complete

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By Alan Travers and Chris Benson

Chris:

October 2011 – Network DVD release the earliest surviving series of ‘Two of a Kind’, Morecambe and Wise’s show for ITV, before joining the BBC for their glory years in 1968.  I bought this release, and it was great to see 13 episodes from Eric and Ernie’s early stages of their career.  But, then – no further series were released.

Go forward five years and thankfully this has now been rectified – with the Complete ‘Two of a Kind’ series now available from Network DVD.  Alan has worked his way through the entire boxset (8 discs, 48 episodes, including a disc of special features – with a sketch from ‘The Royal Variety Performance 1961’, and some sketches from ‘Val Parnell’s Saturday Spectacular’ from 1957-1960!).

Alan’s Review:

Two Of a Kind is the series that started their TV career, filled with classic comedy and sketches, some ended up being used in their BBC series.  For the first time ever it has come to DVD.  Two of a Kind first aired on TV screens in 1962 until 1968.

Unfortunately, the first series has been lost over time, but all of the remaining episodes are here in this box set.  Morecambe and Wise are legendary comedy genius from the word go.  The series made in the 1960’s also show their modern comedy style, it may seem a little dated now, but not back then and is still an excellent series.  So, if you love Morecambe and Wise or like classic comedy from the 1960’s, I would recommend this DVD box set for your collection.

Chris:

Great review Alan – and great to see more 60’s TV available on DVD.  In a world of Netflix and Amazon Prime, shows like this are proving harder to find!  Most of Eric and Ernie’s TV work is now available commercially – only the very end of their career, their final series for Thames Television, has not been released on DVD yet.  I got this ‘Two of a Kind’ DVD boxset for my birthday, just before Christmas, and there’s plenty of episodes I can’t wait to see… particularly the episode where The Beatles guest star…. to see the Fab Four and two of my favourite comedians on stage together will be great.    All episodes here are in monochrome, but don’t let that put you off – some of the greatest TV we’ve made in this country was in black and white, open your eyes and take a look.

You can buy ‘Two of a Kind’ on DVD here at http://networkonair.com/shop/2573-morecambe-and-wise-two-of-a-kind-pre-buy–5027626458249.html

QI – A to D and E to G now on DVD

I feel old.  Can you believe QI started back in 2003?  A 26 year project, and now, in 2017, we’re past the halfway stage.  But before now, only Series A-C had been released on DVD.  Finally, that’s about to change with this release from Network DVD.

Series A-D has guests including Bill Bailey, Rich Hall, Jeremy Hardy, John Sessions, Clive Anderson, Jo Brand, Rob Brydon, Danny Baker, Jimmy Carr, Linda Smith, Phill Jupitus and Dara Ó Briain.  And, in the first boxset there’s 40 minutes of unseen material – a must for any QI fan – the footage never before seen on the BBC or repeats on Dave.

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Other DVD extras on Series A-D include ‘The Making of QI’ documentary, ‘How to Do QI Research’ by the Head Elf, and ‘All the Buzzers’ featuring in one compilation – which is really amusing.

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The Series E-G release has another 40 minutes of unseen material, as well as an exclusive interview with former QI presenter Stephen Fry.  There’s a Christmas Compilation and Behind the Scenes material too,

These two releases are epic – with all the episodes up to 2010 being released here… and the good news is that the remainder of Stephen Fry’s QI reign will be released on DVD in the autumn.  So, if you’ve seen the episodes first time around, or repeated on Dave… there will still be material here that you won’t have seen before.  Chris

The Galton and Simpson Comedy

And now time to review a classic LWT series from 1969 which has finally been released on DVD – from Network DVD.

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Six standalone episodes – each 25 minutes in duration, and in monochrome.  And there’s a great cast appearing throughout the series – take a look in the synopsis below!

My two episodes to pick out have to be ‘The Suit’ (which sees Leslie Phillips in a farcical role similar to ‘Casanova ’73’ which he played four years later).

‘Friends in High Places’ would be my next choice – and stars the legendary Bob Monkhouse.  I’ve been reading Bob’s autobiography lately, ‘Crying with Laughter’ – and it’s a great read.  Bob was a brilliant comedic actor, as this piece shows – more than the thirty or so game shows he ended up hosting.  This episode has a great cast – including Christopher Timothy from ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, Richard O’ Sullivan from ‘Man About the House’, Frank Williams from ‘Dad’s Army’ and Arthur English too!

Synopsis of Episodes:

The Suit: starring Leslie Phillips and Jennie Linden
A married man falls victim to a rather embarrassing burglary.

Friends in High Places: starring Bob Monkhouse and Patricia Hayes
A 55-year-old wishes to be young again – and his wish is granted!

Never Talk to Strangers: starring Harry H. Corbett and Rosemary Leach
Two lonely people have a chance to find happiness together.

Don’t Dilly Dally on the Way: starring Jimmy Edwards and David Jason
After 23 years in the same bungalow, a couple prepares to move house.

Pity Poor Edie… Married to Him: starring Milo O’Shea and Gwendolyn Watts
What happens to a marriage when the breadwinner finds she is expecting?

An Extra Bunch of Daffodils: starring Stratford Johns and Patsy Rowlands
A man who has buried five heavily insured wives begins a search for his sixth…

Of course, earlier this year, writer Alan Simpson sadly passed away at the age of 87.   Galton and Simpson wrote so much more than Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son… see for yourselves.  Great quality in the scripts and the casts here – I really enjoyed being able to see this series for the first time.  Chris

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