The shows are full of wit, drama, and character. The characters are ALL finely drawn and played to perfection. Paul Shane is superb as Alf Stokes - a magnificent performance, and he really makes the episodes sparkle. All the actors are brilliant and the scripts are mostly excellent. Not only do they contain the usual Perry/Croft comedy, but in it is gritty drama and character development.
Its also a treat to see all of David Croft's rep company involved in one show. (Paul Shane, Jeffrey Holland, Su Pollard from Hi-De-Hi!, Donald Hewlett, Michael Knowles from It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Bill Pertwee and Frank Williams from Dad's Army, as well as Mavis Pugh, Brenda Cowling, Angela Scoular, John Horsley and guest starring Barbara Windsor in two episodes).
Each show is 50 minutes long, and the sets, costumes and locations look superb. The title music, sung by Bob Monkhouse is a joy - i just cannot praise this show enough. It is truly an excellent comedy drama, and well worth buying.
By the way, i see on the DVD it credits Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft as the writers - this is WRONG. Jimmy Perry & David Croft wrote the scripts. Lloyd and Croft originally were going to write a sitcom spoofing Upstairs, Downstairs in the early '80s, but wrote 'Allo 'Allo! instead.
The cast have such a brilliant chemistry and comic timing on-screen. The butler Alf Stokes was just MEANT for Paul Shane. With Bill Pertwee as the policeman, always popping in for a free feed. The wonderful Jeffrey Holland as the pompous Mr Twelvetrees. I think the part of Ivy showed Su pollard at her very best...just excellent and very funny. Of the servants I have to say Mabel steals the show, with her "can't remember the last time I had....." catchphrase.
For a sitcom it's remarkable how accurate the period settings and actions of the characters are to the 1920s. Above all, the writing is just superb and will have you laughing at the episodes no matter how many times you watch them. From the goings on of the upperclass to the views and schemes of the servants "downstairs".
This was BBC comedy at its best!