I watched the first series of Absolute Power today. It's a 2003 Stephen Fry sitcom about a PR firm. Stephen is partner with John Bird in an agency. All their clients seem to have some issue or another, the sort of thing that needs a spin doctor, or a magician to get them out of their predicament. Stephen's solutions get more and more extreme as the 6 episodes play. By the end of the first series he's lied so well a guy died.
Along the way there were many laughs. Sometimes I was laughing out loud. The scripts are really quite brilliant and the move the story long masterfully. It might help to know some of the celeb names in the show but it's not necessary, the situations are what's going to get the laughs.
Stephen and John are joined in their office by James Lance, Zoe Telford, Sally Bretton and Nick Burns. Some might remember Sally from Not Going Out.Absolute Power was created by Mark Tavenor who created the radio series that preceded the TV show. The series was written by Guy Andrews, Scott Cherry, Mark Lawson, Andrew Rattenbury and Georgia Pritchett. John Morton is the director.
I picked this up from Amazon UK and it's a region 2 DVD. Often you can tell from the red number on the front of the DVD. It's the rating system. There is swearing. I like swearing.
Breezed through the second disc in the Space Precinct series. It's got 5 episodes and no extras. That's one of the main characters after she'd been killed in her hospital bed. It was a weird thing, killing off a main character, but it happens. Then they killed off two more of the main characters. What's up Space Precinct? Oh, you can fix it with time travel. Good on ya! The rest of the episodes are all about the same as the ones in the first disc. Enjoyable but rather light weight.
Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death is the pilot to the first series of Agatha Raisin. I had watched the series a while back and enjoyed them. They turned up on YouTube the other day and anyone who might want to watch them should take a chance and have a laugh. If you have Firefox you can also download them. The Pilot looks poor but the rest of the series is much better looking. Agatha is a business type who quits working and goes to live in a country village. Fish out of water type stuff mixed with a cozy type murder mystery. I got a few laughs, you might too. Act now! Limited Time!
The 11th Series of Red Dwarf aired almost 4 years after the 10th Series. They tried getting it done sooner but it never seemed to gel when they were thinking it would start. Series XI has 6 episodes and they were written and directed by Doug Naylor. They had some more cash this time, they hired a separate production company to come in and take care of putting the show on screen. That freed up Doug to put more into the writing and directing. Even though the XI and XII seasons aired a year or so apart they were filmed at Pinewood Studios at the same time.
The Boys From The Dwarf are back, Danny John-Jules, Chris Barrie, Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn, and they're up to their usual sort of thing. They have a much better budget than the last series and they have Starbug back. The production came up with some good sets and space ships. The guys even have a bit of redesigned bunk room and corridors but that;s partly because of the time between series. No one keeps those sets from the last show. All created new and new people always want to change things. The production team talks about their reasons for the changes on the making of featurette on the second disc.
The episodes and the guy's antics made me laugh, once or twice out loud. I don't think I found them as funny as some of the earlier series episodes but I still enjoyed the visit from these goofy guys.
The second DVD is packed with extras, a making of, some deleted scenes, outtakes and various stills.
I watched the X series of Red Dwarf today. There are only 6 episodes but there are over 3 hours of extras on a second disc. They aired in October and November 2012. That's 3 years from the Back To Earth series and the last regular series aired in 1999. Like those earlier series, this one was recorded in front of a live audience. Series co-creator Doug Naylor wrote and directed the episodes. There's no episode commentaries but Doug Naylor does a commentary on the 29 minutes of deleted scenes. The making of runs over 2 hours and there's plenty of interest. From the making of there seems to be a lot of issues with making the series but they got over them and produced a nice bunch of episodes.
Saturday Live was a short lived British comedy show that was based on the US show Saturday Night Live. It ran from 1985 to 1987 and it gave alternative comedy a place to show off on the BBC and started the careers of some of my favorite comedians and actors. The two disc set from Network has a series of clips from the first Series. There's just over 4 hours of material. Ben Elton, creator of The Young Ones, is the host of the show, he does some political monologues.
Here's some of the people on the disc:
Ric Mayall and Ade Edmondson appear several times as The Dangerous Brothers. They'd continue the characters for years and years.
Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry do some sketches together and with others.
Chris Barrie and Craig Charles you might know from Red Dwarf. Chris does some politically charged monologues as different characters. Craig does a couple of poems, one of them on racism, the other on interracial sex.
Emo Phillips, Steven Wright, Sam Kinison, Judy Tenuda, Emma Thomson, Lenny Henry and Louie Anderson do some stand up.
Harry Enfield, Tracey Ullman, Peter Cook and Lenny Henry do some sketches.
This set is Region 2 so it won't play on regular US DVD players.
Between the 8th and 10th series of Red Dwarf there were three episodes called Back To Earth. They were commissioned by Dave in 2009, 10 years after the 8th series appeared. The guys are on the Red Dwarf and Holly is off line because Lister left the tap running 9 years ago. They discover a giant squid in their water supply. Weird things happen at the start of the 2nd episode and the guys are transported to the Earth in 2009. They discover they're characters out of a TV show. They visit their creator to find out how many episodes they have and Lister kills him. In the 3rd episode they get back to the ship and things continue on. There's a lot of Blade Runner stuff mixed in with the visit to Earth. It's supposed to be the film that inspired Doug Naylor and Rob Grant to create the Red Dwarf series. I don't really see anything in the regular Red Dwarf series that reminds me of Blade Runner. There's some jokes and silly stuff and I got a laugh or two out of it. I like the regular series episodes better when all is said and done. About three years later the guys will return with Series 10.
I keep picking up these Rank comedies when I see the DVDs fairly cheap. The Captain's Table is a 1959 film that was made at Pinewood Studios. It's based on a Richard Gordon novel, he also wrote the Doctor novels that all the movies and TV shows were based on. John Whiting, Bryan Forbes and Nicolas Phipps wrote the screenplay and Jack Lee is the director.
John Gregson plays the ship captain who's transferred from freighter duty to the company's top of the line cruise ship. It's filled with goofy passengers and less than honest crew. The crew pilfers on a large level and the old Captain was in on the scams. John doesn't know anything is going on.
There's a bunch of romantic business going on and there's some jokes. Not many, it could have used more and better ones. Still, it's pleasantly amusing for the most part. I'm glad I only paid a couple of bucks for it. I'd watch it again but it's might never happen.