Julia Davis proved that she's an expert when it comes to dark, dark comedy with the terrific Nighty Night
, a show that she writes and stars in once more, she proves again that she's not lost that knack. This time, the setting is the 1830s, with Alexandra Roach playing a shipwreck survivor who ends up married to the local pastor. Then in comes Davis herself, the far from pleasant housekeeper, and the tone is soon set for a deliciously uncomfortable comedy.
Period dramas crossed with comedies are rare beasts indeed, and crossed with Davis' extremely divisive, uncompromising style of humour, Hunderby needs you to click into what it's doing for you to fully enjoy it. But if you do, then this is a real, real treat. Outrageous, very funny, and with real bite, it might not have quite the edge of Nighty Night, but it's not too far behind.
All of the episodes of Hunderby's first series are pulled together on the DVD release, and there are cast interviews too by way of extras. It's not the most generous package, granted, but the appeal, inevitably, is in a show that didn't get particularly wide exposure on its television debut. Hopefully, the DVD will rectify that. It deserves to. --Jon Foster
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Alternative Footage, Anamorphic Widescreen, Deleted Scenes, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Hunderby 1831 - A young woman thought to be a spinster missionary is washed up on the beach. In an attempt to escape her terrible past, she assumes the name of Helene Blone and marries the local widowed pastor and master of Hunderby. Once wed, it soon becomes apparent that Pastor Edmund is not quite the man he appeared to be and his peculiar housekeeper Dorothy (Julia Davis) makes it clear she prefers the dead wife, doing all she can to undermine the new mistress. Such trials push Helene towards the sturdy arms of the dashing Doctor Foggerty. Can she resist his charms and birth her husband an heir to save Hunderby? ...Hunderby