It's debatable whether these episodes do represent the very best of Steptoe and Son
, television's most famous rag-and-bone men. Missing are classic episodes such as "The Desperate Hours" or "Live Now, P.A.Y.E. Later". But what is included will do fine as a primer pack. The only early episode here is 1963's "The Bath", renowned for the scene where Harold catches his father in the tin bath, spilling pickles into the water and extracting them from his person. "You DIR-TY old man!." The rest of this video consists of episodes from the later series. In "Porn Yesterday", Harold is disgusted to find that his father appears in a What-The-Butler-Saw machine he's collected on the rounds. "And So To Bed" finds Harold vainly trying to seduce a "bird" while his Dad's cobbling upstairs. "She was out of here faster than a bishop in a brothel raid!" "Upstairs Downstairs..." sees a rare victory for Harold as he rumbles his old man faking a back injury, wreaking cruel revenge on "that perpendicular ponce". Though their rich sauciness places these episodes squarely in the 1970s, when the mention of "goolies" on screen was considered a hilarious breakthrough, they remain as essentially timeless as Greek tragedy. --David Stubbs
Five classic episodes of the popular rag and bone sitcom. In 'Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs', Harold has to look after Albert when the old man slips a disc. 'The Bath' sees Harold's romantic date ruined by his father eating pickles in the bath in the living room. In 'Porn Yesterday', Harold picks up an old 'What the Butler Saw' machine on his round, while 'Seance in a Wet Rag and Bone Yard' sees Albert talking to the spirits. In 'And So to Bed', Harold buys a waterbed to ensure success with his girlfriend Marcia.