Victoria Wood's first TV series, which was very much a trial run , for her more finely tuned and successful TV show, As Seen on TV (1985-87).
She has admitted, that following the death of her greatly admired producer, Peter Eckersley, who launched the pilot show, that the following 7 episodes were a mixed bag, without his creative input.
Still for Victoria Wood/Julie Walter fans there are some delightful goodies to enjoy in this hit and miss series.
Below a quick listing;(with the best sketches highlighted)
Two Creatures and a Small , 1 January, 1981, Running time 26.52 minutes
Best items, are the sketch involving the brilliant Julie Walters, as Dorothy Chubb, Agony Aunt, dispensing her dubious advice to viewers , and in this sketch doing an unforgettable dance number. In the following episodes, she is simply headlined as, Dotty's Spot.
This pilot, also contains the funny hairdresser sketch, with Victoria the hapless victim to a determined Julie as the hair stylist.
Episode ONE, Jan 1982, running time 26.24 minutes
Best sketches, Julie as the cleaning woman,dispensing 'advice' to Victoria as the piano student. Dotty's spot also features.
Episode TWO, Jan 1982, running time 24.51 minutes
Jill Summers (Corrie fame) guests in a brilliant sketch as a baggage handler. Dotty's Spot also a highlight.
Episode THREE Jan 1982, running time 24.25 minutes
Best sketches, Dotty's Spot, a very young Rik Mayall(Young Ones) monologue on feminism, and the Posh music critics.
Episode FOUR Jan 1982, running time 25.02
Dotty's Spot followed by a Beauty Contestant's sketch
Episode FIVE Feb 1982, running time 24.30
The only funny sketch in this episode is once again Dotty's spot.
Episode SIX Feb 1982, running time 25.06
Contains the witty sketch of two women gossiping in a cafe, Dotty's Spot, and a woman (Julie) seeking a divorce for all the wrong reasons !
Episode SEVEN Feb 1982 running time 24.30
Sub titled 'ONE MORE TIME'
This final episode, contains repeat,' best' episodes, from the pilot and previous 6 episodes.
Though it does contain one new sketch, with Julie in fine form as the snobby beautician putting down a client
Overall, still a good buy for those wanting to see some of their earlier work, and to enjoy some of the highlighted items above. Just bare in mind that you will probably have to fast forward through some of the other less successful sketches in some of these episodes !! But that is a given with any TV comedy sketch show.