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Kinvig - The Complete Series [DVD]

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tony Haygarth, Prunella Gee, Patsy Rowlands, Colin Jeavons, Patrick Newell
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jun. 2006
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FAOB14
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,777 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The complete series of the sci-fi comedy drama from acclaimed 'Quatermass' writer Nigel Kneale. Des Kinvig (Tony Haygarth) is an ordinary electrical repair man and UFO spotter, whose life is radically changed when he meets the beautiful Miss Griffin (Prunella Gee). She turns out to be an emissary from the planet Mercury, and recruits Des to help in an ongoing galactic war against the dreaded ant-like Xux creatures, who have Earth in their sights. But are Kinvig's intergalactic adventures real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Episodes are: 'Contact'; 'Creature of Xux'; 'Double, Double'; 'The Big Benders'; 'Where Are You Mis Griffin?'; 'The Humanoid Factory'; and 'The Mystery of Netta'.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
Nigel Kneale's never repeated 1981 sci-fi sitcom Kinvig is one of those ideas that never quite works, though it's easy to see how it must have read much funnier than it plays. Apathetic scruff Desmond Kinvig is stuck in a grotty electrical repair shop where he goes out of his way never to repair anything, constantly disappointing little old ladies who bring in antiquated crystal radio sets or electric blankets and antagonising an eternally angry Prunella Gee, preferring to swap theories on why aliens built the Great Pyramid with unemployed and eternally disappointed UFO spotter and conspiracy theorist Colin Jeavons who pops in before signing on the dole. That changes when he takes the dog for a walk one night and stumbles across a spaceship from Mercury and discovers that Gee is really an alien with a penchant for outrageous scanty outfits who wants him to repair her spaceship and fend off an evil alien invasion from the spoon-bending humanoid Xuxx at the local council... unless, of course, it's all just his bored imagination. (Kneale was in no doubt it was the latter but the show at times opts for ambiguity.)

Among the reasons given for the show's ratings failure was that scifi fans took offence at the creator of Quatermass using them for the butt of his jokes while the subject matter had no appeal to anybody who wasn't a scifi fan, but a lot of it seems to be the curse of ITV comedies never getting the tone right and just not being much good.
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Format: DVD
Having killed off his main character - that of Quatermass in the series aired immediately after the end of the ITV strike in the autumn of 1979 - I guess for a time Nigel Kneale was a left a little like a canoeist without a paddle... i.e. up the creek! And thus in Kinvig he tried his hand at a blend of comedy mixed with sci-fi. Sadly, in my opinion it didn't quite work.

Sure, the series has its funny moments, but the overall humour was weak and wasn't to my taste; and to add insult to injury as it were, canned laughter is used as well - yuck! The storyline was in my opinion pretty weak as well with a totally bizarre ending that left me thinking "well is that it then?" There are some barbs at some of the more way-out UFO/conspiracy theory followers that are funny at times, but these are pretty weak and not that obvious.

However, it's not all bad: Kinvig does have a few redeeming features. The special effects used were for the time very advanced: check out the lasers used when the alien ship external door opens to allow Kinvig to enter - cool even by today's standards! Oh, and of course for the testosterone-charged amongst us, Prunella Gee's costumes (or rather lack of them!) have a certain appeal too!

Network have come in for some stick in the past regarding their minimalist features on their DVDs, but this one comes with a very informative and well-researched booklet which is almost worth the purchase alone.

Overall then, not one of Nigel Kneale's best writings by a long way, but it has some appealing qualities and an excellent booklet bundled with the DVD.
Comment 14 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
WHAT AN UNUSUAL PIECE OF BRITISH SCI FI,NOT THE FIZZ BANG WEE OF LOTS OF SPACESHIPS AND RAY GUNS,
BUT AN OUT OF THE ORDINARY TALE ACTED OUT BY A CAST OF LESSER KNOWN BUT NONETHELESS,MORE THAN
CAPABLE STARS WHO DO A GOOD JOB WITHIN THE RESTICTIONS OF LOW BUDGET AND LIMITED SETS,YET THIS IS
MOST CERTAINLY WORTH BUYING FOR ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED REASONS AND SHOULD BE A PART OF ALL SCI
FI LOVERS DVD COLLECTIONS AS IT IS MINE.
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Strange, curious - not funny, unlikable characters - buy and watch if you like weird original tv.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Tony Haygarth is Des Kinvig, a repair man with little in the way of a work ethic who is chosen by aliens from Mercury to help them against the Xux.
One cannot help feel that Nigel Kneale was writing this with his tongue in his cheek and having a dig at UFO watchers, the first episode has many examples of Des' friend Jim's wide eyed amazement over UFO's in Buckingham Palace,"everyone saw them" and the UFO's he missed because he was in the town the day before. Kneale also has the aliens originally coming from Atlantis but fleeing to Mercury when Atlantis was destroyed. A great way of getting as many conspiracy theories as he can together. It is also an unveiled dig at those who believed Venus was inhabited by aliens, "too bloody hot" then explaining the reason for moving to Mercury, which is hotter, is that it is hollow with an inland sea. Jim is the archetypal believe anything UFOnaut and this confirms several of his beliefs.
Prunella Gee is good as Miss Griffin who appears in her Earth disguise as a constantly complaining customer, and council temp and, most important, in a series of skimpy "futuristic" outfits. She brings her 3 weird ship mates and a heavily disguised Simon Williams with her through the 7 episodes.
As a comedy it is not side splitting and the canned laughter is annoying but it does bring back many memories. Linking Des' struggle against the local council to an alien conspiracy to manufacture humanoid replicas and to bend metals like cutlery to starve people, and bend keys to lock people out of their houses and cars is clever. The speed at which anything slightly odd, no matter how inocuous becomes an obvious sign of an Alien conspiracy is well handled.
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