18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2003
Round the Horne is the classic 60s radio show that's still fresh today. This contains the complete Series 2 from March to June 1966 plus a transcription episode from July 1966 (an old episode revised for overseas markets) and the Christmas 1966 episode.
This would be fondly remembered if it only contained camp couple Julian and Sandy (Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams) but it also has so much more. It's hard to believe that there's anyone out there in Britain who haven't heard this show, but if you have unfortunately missed it, buy it and you won't be sorry.
Some of the episodes have been completed with slightly sub-standard recordings. Mostly these restore topical gags of the period. Though you can tell the difference in audio quality, it's surprising how comprehensible those topical gags are - and funny.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2004
The second of four...
These discs capture the evolving and increasingly surreal humour of the second series. By now the characters have settled down and the writers are just enjoying exploring where they can be taken. It's a long way.
In this box you get every episode, in order, with a transcription show thrown in. The sound quality varies as some of the shows were obviously no longer available on the original tapes. It matters not. This is British humour at its best. Nearly 40 years on little can touch RtH when all the buttons are being pressed.
The only weak spot in the fifteen shows captured here is, for me anyway, the Dr Finlay's Casebook pastiche - all of episode seven. An experiment not repeated.
Of special interest is the very last disc which features the 1966 Christmas Special, where Horne was too ill to appear. You get the chance to check for yourself Kenneth Williams's statement in his diary that the show was just as good without Horne.
Wrong. Horne is badly missed. Hubris, Ken.
Anyway on a positive note, Rambling Syd, Julian & Sandy, Seamus Android and the incredible film excerpts (Binky Huckerback and Dame Celia Molestrangler) just grow and develop in front of your ears. The Fraser Hayes Four sometimes come as welcome relief to let you get your breath back.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2006
As you have got this far I am assuming that you are already familiar with Round the Horne and therefore won't need me to explain all the usual background stuff etc.
If you are thinking of starting to collect the RTH shows season by season then I would go as far as saying that you should start with season two. This series - in my view - is the best balanced off the lot.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This great box set contains all 13 episodes form the triumphant second series of Round The Horne, the magnificent radio comedy against which all comedy must be measured.
Series one was pretty darned good, but by the second series the regular characters and the format have settled down, and the talented cast and scriptwriters were running on full throttle. Kenneth Williams is at his rampant best, either as J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock, the world's dirtiest dirty old man, or as half of the famously camp Julian and Sandy. The other cast members also shine, especially Kenneth Horne as the bemused straight man. But if you're reading this then you probably don't need me to tell you how good the episodes are!
The presentation from the BBC is excellent. There are eight disks, each containing two episodes. Each disk comes in a cardboard slipcase, and are all collected together in a sturdy box, along with a short and informative booklet which discusses the genesis of the show. Also included is a transcript episode (an episode from series one re-recorded for the overseas market with some slight alterations to the script) and the 1966 Christmas special.
A lot of work has gone into the restoration and remastering of the episodes. Much previously lost material has been restored. Most of the restored material comes from off air recordings, and the sound quality takes a dip as a result, but this doesn't affect the listening experience, and it is great to hear these episodes in their full glory (it is also interesting to speculate why the excerpts were cut from the surviving tapes at the Beeb). The sound quality is really good, even for a show of its vintage. Well done Beeb.
All 13 episodes from the second series are presented, these are:-
Big Ben is missing
Big Ben is still missing
The escaped war criminal
The world cup is stolen
The nuclear banana
The joke thief
Dr McKinlays scrapbook
The giant mouse
The curse of the blackstumps
The portrait of Forian Thrust
Dr Fu Man Chou En Ginsberg
Along with the 1966 Christmas Special, 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', and the transcription episode 'Man with the golden thunderball'.
A five star release of a six star comedy.
Recommended to fans of Monty Python, Goon Show etc.