The series is the very definition of a mixed bag. Each show was a separate story in its own right, and each one couldnt be more different from the last--from the sixties pastiche The Bullshitters to the arty Les Dogs (starring Kate Bush, no less).
With 39 episodes to choose from, the overall quality of the episodes does vary somewhat. For every excellent South Atlantic Raiders and The Supergrass, theres a woeful Spaghetti Hoops. But The Comic Strip Presents deserves its place in comic history by virtue of being different, by trying to create new and interesting work, and in doing so being truly groundbreaking.
When you take risks, you end up with gems such as the double header of Bad News Tour and More Bad News, which follow a chronically bad rock group on the road. These two episodes alone are worth your attention, the interplay of the four leading players (Edmondson, Planer, Mayall and Richardson) a marvel to watch and with scenes that will make you keel over--Vim Fuegos take on Imagine/Imogen is pure gold.
Other highlights include Five Go Mad In Dorset, a wonderful take on Enid Blytons skewed and irreverant view of teenagers in Britain; Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, which sees Mayall and Edmondson, in a precursor to their days on Bottom, getting themselves in a sticky situation with Mr Jolly, played brilliantly by the late Peter Cook; and Strike!, a Hollywood-esque take on the miners strike of 1984.
The Comic Strip Presents pushed comedic boundaries and was never afraid to do things a little differently and this collection is a fine record of its prolific, always interesting, and often hilarious output.--Mark Oakley
SOUTH ATLANTIC RAIDERS 1 - about 2 minutes cut: a lot of the dialogue in Max' house is cut,
including the classic "My cousin's just been let out of a Lancashire cotton mill and the
Southern air and the Chateau Mignon 54 has rather gone to his Northern head";
the airport & prison escape scenes are shorter; some very funny dialogue between Billy
and Stan dressed as his mother is cut)
SOUTH ATLANTIC RAIDERS 2 - about 5 minutes (!!!) cut, too many cuts to mention, the worst are:
the whole intro sequence before the titles; most part of the flashback scenes when Stan tells the story;
some great gags in the airplane; a very funny scene, when Cathy wants to be alone with Stan and Billy
doesn't really get it; the whole dialogue between Stan & Frances, when he tells her he was wrong & loves her;
Cathy & the dead General (she originally says "Sieg heil, my darling!"); the whole scene when Billy
seems to be shot; the monologue from the Newsreporter is shortened; ...
To make matters even worse, the remaining pieces of the episode are messed around with.
The scene where Cathy goes to Frances with an axe is placed after Stan has arrived at the cottage,
which makes it look like a very stupid continuity error. Has the editor been totally drunk??!!
WILD TURKEY - 1 min. cut: the whole intro, where Ruby Wax writes Xmas cards;
the dancing scene ("have you kissed a turkey before?"); when the turkey leaves,
they hug & kiss ("I wish you were a turkey, Sue!") - you can clearly see the sloppy cut!
FOUR MEN IN A CAR - 1 min. cut: dialogue between Jennifer & Peter; the scene where Rik
tries to steal the motorbike is shorter.
GREGORY: DIARY OF A NUTCASE - I don't have an original to compare, but you can see a very sloppy cut!
Shame on the publisher for this unneccessary butchering !!!
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