First instalment of the fifth series of the BBC comedy farce set in German occupied France during WWII. Lusty Lothario Café owner Renee and his tuneless wife Edith aid and abet the resistance as the ineffectual German army, here portrayed as effeminate or lazy, are run ragged. In the world of 'Allo 'Allo, the chance of a double-entendre is seldom far away and never, ever missed. Renee runs around with every woman in town, French accents are exaggerated beyond belief, the Gestapo is thwarted, catchphrases like 'Leessen carefoolee, I shall says 'zis onlee once,' are bandied about. Episodes included; 'Desperate Doings in the Dungeon', 'The Camera in the Potato', 'Dinner with the General', 'The Dreaded Circular Saw', 'Otherwise Engaged', 'A Marriage of Inconvenience', 'No Hiding Place', 'The Arrival of the Homing Duck', 'Watch the Birdi', 'René - Under an Assumed Nose', 'The Confusion of the Generals', 'Who's for the Vatican' and 'Ribbing the Bonk'.
was a wildly popular British sitcom making unlikely humour of the German occupation of France, succeeding because of its sheer lunacy, and the amiable performance of veteran character actor Gordon Kaye, as café owner René Artois. René finds himself surrounded by buffoonish German officers, who are easily duped yet still keep René on his toes, and sometimes in hot water. He also must juggle the imperious French Resistance leader, Michelle DuBois (recurring gag: Michelle says, "Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once"--but never manages to get out the urgent message), his jealous wife (Carmen Silvera), and all his staff waitresses, who find the doughy René sexually irresistible. It is all très French, n'est-ce pas? Yet also very British in its broad slapstick tone; and TV buffs will see more than a hint of Hogan's Heroes, M*A*S*H,
and even the old spy series Get Smart.
This chunk of season 5, with 13 episodes on two discs, features as many crazy sight gags as ever, including a special "spy camera" disguised inside a potato. Why a potato? wonders René. "Because," drones Michelle in a fake French accent you could drive a Citroën through, "you cannot get carrots that beeg." But of course. Extras include cast biographies and trailers. --A.T. Hurley