Big Train - Series 1 And 2 1998

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All 12 episodes of the surreal BBC2 comedy sketch show written by 'Father Ted' creators Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, in which realism meets utter stupidity. A pathologically shy policeman running away from enquiries, pop stars chasing jockeys, a duck in danger, hens in armed combat, a confused Transport Minister, a foul-mouthed mermaid, a potato fanatic, a campaign to ban tigers, Britain's second most famous rostrum cameraman, a man with a phobia about spoons, a fearsome sci-fi creature complaining about his face armour, a boorish man stabbed and killed by his wife during a dinner party, and a group of red-liveried show-jumpers yearning to be firemen are just a few of the show's random - and unfailingly daft - characters and themes.

Starring:
Catherine Tate, Mark Heap
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Big Train - Series 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Big Train - Series 2 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 5 hours 48 minutes
Starring Catherine Tate, Mark Heap, Amelia Bullmore, Julia Davis, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Front, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Kevin Eldon
Director Jonathan Gershfi, Chris Morris, Graham Linehan
Genres Comedy
Studio BBC WORLDWIDE PUBLISHING
Rental release 25 October 2004
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Crookedmouth on 27 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD
Big Train represents an early Graham Linehan/Arthur Matthews (Father Ted) entry into TV comedy genre and it's certainly distinctive. The overall format - Fast Show-esque skit/sketch comedy - is benign enough, but the content takes a highly surreal slant. At the time it was, if not revolutionary, at least a step in a fairly new direction and probably did not get mainstream attention. Thus we have firefighting show jumpers, Jesus and Satan in an office-feud setting and Chairman Mao doing Roxy Music's Virginia Plain. Probably the best sketches are the recurring (and genuinely wonderful) "World Stare-out Championships" animation and the Gunfight at the OK Corral (played by the Bee Gees and Chaka Khan).

This package holds both of the two series and the first was by far the best. Even when it's not jaw achingly sidesplitting (jockeys and the Artis Known as Prince), it's odd enough to be engaging and Mark Heap (Green Wing), Amelia Bullimore, Simon Pegg (Spaced), Julia Davis (Nighty Night)and Kevin Eldon take the Linehan/Matthews material and make it their own. The second series was not as good, and in the five episodes there is probably enough material to make up one episode as good as the first series (having said that the birth mother reunion sketch in S2E1 nearly killed me). So...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr AI on 9 Dec. 2004
Format: DVD
If you're a fan of modern British comedy this show is a highlight of the last decade.
You have Simon Pegg and Hark Heap, just before they went off to make the incredible Spaced. Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews just after Father Ted and before Linehan made Black Books, Kevin Eldon fresh from Brass Eye, and Catherine Tate before her (imo) underwhelming solo series.
The sheer comedy talent is eye watering and the first series is absoltely hilarious (second series drops to merely mortal standard, it has to be said). Highlights like the Evil Hypnotist, the Artist formally knows as Prince, and the no masturbation in the office sketch are sheer genius. In my opinion this is Linehan and Matthews at their best, getting to show off a massive range of ideas.
I find it hard to sympathise with reviewers who loved Spaced but hated this: to me Big Train is so perfect because it is a concentrated and distilled mix of everything (and almost everyone) that has been wonderful in British comedy for the last decade.
It still stands up as containing the cleverest, most surreal sketches we've seen. Later series like Smack the Pony softened the format a lot, while Little Britain went for less intelligent (but more accessible) writing. Big Train is the best of the bunch as far as I'm concerned, and even if you aren't blown away by the humour, it stands as a great early ensemble piece from an inimitable bunch of comedians who can (and have) now commanded their own solo series.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
Okay Okay, so i am writing this before the DVD is released, but people, there is no need to wait for then, no need to delay clicking 'add to basket' for one moment longer....
Big Train is one of the best ever comedy series. The range of Characters are fantastic, and some scenes really are comedy gold - the jockeys being chased by the artist formally known as prince.. ..Ming the Merciless at home doing the hoovering.. the show jumpers who yearned to be firemen..and last but not least the supurb World Staring Championships, commentated on by Barry Davies. When you consider that it was written by the men behind 'Father Ted' and starred top comic actors such as Simon Pegg, Mark Heap and Kevin Eldon, the only question is why have we had to wait so long for the DVD??
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "qcom" on 8 July 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best comedy series ever - a genuine hidden gem which may have passed many people by being on BBC2 on Monday's and never repeated. Series 1 is better than Series 2. Surreal comedy but with firm roots in situations you will have come across. Impossible to make the comedy sound good in writing - trust me, buy - watch it and you'll love it. If you like "Spaced" you will love this. If you love "Python" you will love this. I just have to say "Jockeys wanting to be firemen" to my wife and she is in tears remembering the series. The animated World Staring Championships with commentary by Barry Davies is so, so good.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "jamesbigalow" on 16 July 2004
Format: DVD
Big Train is one of the best sketch shows ive ever seen!
When Simon Pegg teaches his son to ride a bike had me in agony!
When Hall and Oates visit an estate to bring some of their "east coast life style" Pure Genius
I only saw a bit of the second series, but what I did see looked as good as the 1st!
I dont know why this hasnt been repeated on BBC 3 or 2!
If you like to laugh, buy this!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Hammond on 19 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
Big Train was a masterpiece in subtle sketch shows comedy, in my opinion some of the best humour to grace our screens since the days of Not the Nine O’clock news. The two share much in common, from the ability to push comedy boundaries further, to the writers and performers becoming future bastions of sitcom and comedy writing excellence.
And like all sketch based shows, even the classics like NTNOCN & The Fast show, the sketches can vary from hit the target to miss by a mile, particularly in series II but it still has me in fits of laughter and it was at least original in its obscure sense of humour.
The actual box set is well produced, the title sequences are amusing and the extra features particularly generous.
People who don’t rate this show probably enjoy Little Britain.
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