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A Very Peculiar Practice: The Complete First Series [1986] [DVD]

Peter Davison , Graham Crowden , David Tucker    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: 11.72
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A Very Peculiar Practice: The Complete First Series [1986] [DVD] + Boys from the Blackstuff [DVD]
Price For Both: 19.33

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  • Boys from the Blackstuff [DVD] 7.61

Product details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Graham Crowden, Barbara Flynn, David Troughton, Amanda Hillwood
  • Directors: David Tucker
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Mono, Full Screen
  • 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: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan 2004
  • Run Time: 350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009KP0Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,448 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



A satirical, surreal and acutely observed comedy-drama from the mid-1980s, A Very Peculiar Practice stars Peter Davison, who, following turns as a vet in All Creatures Great and Small and the Doctor in Doctor Who, here plays naïve Dr Stephen Daker, a profoundly nervous new addition to Lowlands University's medical practice. The distinctly eclectic team he meets is headed by the compassionate, incompetent, alcoholic and suicidal "Jock" McCannon (the gloriously theatrical Graham Crowden). Barbara Flynn is marvellous as the manipulative bisexual Dr Rose Marie, and David Troughton as Dr Bob Buzzard personifies the "greed-is-good" ethos of the era.

The seven 50-minute episodes here form an overall arc following Daker from sheer terror through romance with behavioural psychologist Lyn Turtle (Amanda Hillwood), to ethical conflict with the sociopathic vice-chancellor (played with relish by John Bird). Increasingly surreal (from strange nuns to stranger dream sequences--the second, even better series was more bizarre still), the series launches an acidic assault on the Thatcherite asset-stripping mentality that was then laying waste not just British universities, but the entire nation.

Written with an acute irony by Andrew Davies, whose move into more mainstream adaptations such as Pride and Prejudice (1995) was contemporary TV drama's greatest loss, A Very Peculiar Practice is a television landmark that, alongside The Singing Detective and Edge of Darkness, marks 1986 as one of the finest years in the history of the medium. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

Andrew Davies' 7 part BBC black comedy is set in a university medical practice and stars Peter Davison. The episodes included are: 'A Very Long Way From Home', 'We Love You, That's Why We're Here', 'Wives of Great Men', 'Black Bob's Hamburger Suit', 'Contract Tracer', 'The Hit List' and 'Catastrophe Theory'.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Series kept me going 7 July 2006
I was a Junior House Officer in a busy District General Hospital when this series came out. It bowled me over.Here was a role model for the sort of Doctor I wanted to be. And yes, my life was just as bizarre and surreal as the Hero's. Anyone who has worked on the front line of the health service will recognise the weirdness. The only thing that has come close recently is Green Wing - PLEASE release Series 2 and make an older Doctor very happy!
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Since its first broadcast in 1986, this has always been one of the BBC dramas I have most affection for. So much so that, only a year after the launch of DVD machines, I was already writing letters to the Times complaining about the non-availability of 'A Very Peculiar Practice' on the new format. Now, three years later, we finally have Series One on DVD. (I have actually paid twice for this product -- my first order was with a Jersey-based firm who went bust before they sent me the thing, but that's another matter.)
Watching the whole thing again, but this time within the space of a week, there are two aspects that really strike me:
1. The brilliance of the lead actors -- i.e. the four doctors plus the vice-chancellor. I find it impossible to think of another actor who could have played those parts better. Peter Davison effectively replays his vet persona from the James Herriott series (rather than his Dr Who!), but it is such a winning character. He is a man to whom things happen, rather than a man who makes things move, although along the way he does stand up for what he believes in. Things always turn out OK in the end for Dr Dacre. (One suspects the writer Andrew Davies always wants the unpretentious characters to win through. In the final episode, the consultant who has all the insight and makes all the key recommendations is the clumsy wimp for whom everyone feels embarrassed.)
David Troughton (brother of Patrick Troughton, the second Dr Who) plays a fantastic Bob ... or 'Robert' to the few who respect him. He hates his job and can't stand touching patients. His mentor Jock seems to feel much the same way, always looking for a psychological explanation for the most physical of symptoms.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please release the second series 27 July 2006
By N. King
Have had Season One on DVD for some time now - still wonderful, but this has left me wanting more...

Come on BBC, release the second series (and A Very Polish Practice) now!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A High Quality Production 21 Mar 2006
By A Customer
A Very Peculiar Practice is a piece of vintage television that radiates quality throughout every aspect of its production. Although very much of its time, it is not just for its time, containing as it does biting satire with a compassionate insight into human foilbles.
Written by Andrew Davies and starring Peter Davison it follows the arrival of a doctor to the medical practice of a 1960s University which is adjusting (or not) to the Thatcherite world. The series charts his own personal development and that of the institution which he has joined. Davison is excellent in this role. His character is written as the only grounded individual surrounded by compelling grotesques. Another actor's performance may have been overwhelmed by the challenge of such a script but in fact Davison's reactions are beautifully timed and act as a perfect foil to the mayhem he is plunged into. Dr. Daker's acute nervousness is reconciled in Davison's classily understated and generous performance with his bravery and personal integrity.
The quality of this show is apparent in the vigarous ensemble cast, charismatic guest stars, errudite writing, spot on set design and considered direction of David Tuckker. I was a small child when this was first on television and have only discovered it recently and my enjoyment of it I hope is testament to its timeless quality - although it does provide some satisfying 1980s nostalgia trips.
Amongst the extras the commentry by Davison, Davies and Tuckker on two episodes are lively and interesting. Admittedly this DVD does seem at first glance a little pricy but for 350 minuets of consistantly high quality entertainment, it is worth every penny. I can only add my pleas to those of the other reviewers to release the second series and the one-off special on DVD. This tantilising opportunity to see the first series has only left me hungry to see the rest.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant series of the 1980's 17 Jan 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed the first series of A very peculiar practice. I had not seen it since 1986 when it first came out, and really enjoyed it again. The characters were so bizarre, and funny, it made it a very good show.
I very much hope the 2nd series is released soon.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait 7 Feb 2004
I have waited so long for the BBC to release this series - then the seemingly endless putting back of the release date was almost too much, but it was worth it! The writing is so clever, so biting, so droll and the performances spot on. Peter Davison as the eternal innocent; Barbara Flynn fairly smoulders as Rose-Marie, a character you are never quite sure where you are with; Graham Crowden is cadaverishly humourous as Jock McCannon and David Troughton is wonderfully gung ho as the hapless Bob Buzzard. Now we want the 2nd series and the Polish finale! Buy it buy it! Brilliant!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like this anymore 19 Aug 2003
Beiderbecke, Very Peculiar Practice, Edge of Darkness are but three series from the 80's which combine a dry, sometimes ironic, humour with social comment.
You won't laugh out loud like you would with Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper etc. but this humour is equally valid. I guess I would call it satire.
The central character of Dr Daker, an innocent in a world of almost Smiley like intrigue, is played with perfection by Peter Davidson. But then a lot of the other characters are played so well, I think this is why these sort of series work so well.
The second series was even more weird, a bit like the later parts of Twin Peaks, but I still look forward to its release.
I wouldn't expect this to work for all people but it certainly works for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a real gem
I was so pleased to find this. I'd almost given up hope, but suddenly there it was on Amazon. This satire on university life in a university medical welfare department is simply... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Derek Denton
5.0 out of 5 stars Medics only
As a young GP trainee when this came out I used to eagerly await the next episode and we all thought it very 'off the wall' but remarkably authentic. Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2010 by J. Heatley
4.0 out of 5 stars Where is season 2
A Very Peculiar Practice is one of the best television series ever made, and season 2 was even better that the first. How could they not release this brilliant season on DVD? Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2009 by smoothsoul
5.0 out of 5 stars A GP review
I remembered this series from the 80s and had fond memories of it. I was surprised to see how up to date it still feels, apart from big hair and lapels. Read more
Published on 10 Nov 2009 by Dr. Jonathan K. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
This is one of the best things the BBC has ever produced. The cast and script are what elevates it. Very underrated, very overlooked. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2009 by K. Oconnor
4.0 out of 5 stars Great social commentary
We loved this series when it was on TV in Australia. Great characters and humourous commentary on the sorry state of the modern university. Read more
Published on 20 Sep 2009 by Joanna
5.0 out of 5 stars a very peculiar practice
i bought the first series of a very peculiar practice from amazon some time ago and it is top quality entertainment. Read more
Published on 18 April 2009 by Mr. Alexander F. smith
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd series starts Sunday 3 August on Sky Arts channel
The second series of A Very Peculiar Practice will be whown on Sundays and Wednesday on Sky Arts channel, starting 9 pm Sunday 3rd August 2008. Read more
Published on 2 Aug 2008 by V. Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Series 2
I thoroughly enjoyed series one and watched the whole of series two avidly when it was screened but MISSED THE LAST EPISODE !!!! Read more
Published on 4 May 2008 by C. E. Grove
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Series
I agree with the last review I have been waiting for the second series for years now. When are we to expect it?
Published on 20 April 2008 by MJ
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