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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still keeping its head above the clouds, 28 Jun. 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It sounds like damning with faint praise to say that Cabin Pressure is probably the best sitcom on radio at the moment, but, while it may be formulaic, it really does deliver the laughs well into its fourth series and remains a joy to listen to. As usual, each episode is based on a disastrous charter for its low rent tottering-on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy single-plane airline with the combination of its polar opposite characters and unfortunate circumstances played off to perfection by an ideal cast. While Roger Allam is on his usual deliciously dryly condescending form, Stephanie Cole wears her best dismissively authoritarian yet still recognisably human demeanour (with series three's Anthony Head as her new regular romantic interest) and writer John Finnemore manages to make his too stupid to live flight attendant both a goldmine of optimistic inanity and still strangely credible in this environment, it's particularly pleasing that despite the success of Sherlock and working with the likes of Spielberg, Benedict Cumberbatch's underachieving captain is still with the show (although a cliffhanger ending to the final episode leaves his return in series five open to question).

After the slightly bumpy ride in season three there's a particularly good run of episodes this season that see the return of the odious but heavy-tipping Birling of Birling Day (given an inspired topsy-turvy spin this year), the introduction of Martin's overachieving brother, an unorthodox interview technique, a farcically disastrous stopover in Ireland and, best of all, the introduction of a possible regal romantic interest for Martin on a trip to Vaduz with the infantile king of Lichtenstein and his sister (a wonderfully funny Mathilda Ziegler). It may not break any new ground, but it's so much fun - while still retaining affection for it's oh so fallible ensemble - that it doesn't matter. Great stuff
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest thing on radio, 25 May 2013
By 
S. P. Long "Simon Long" (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It took me a couple of listens to 'get' Cabin Pressure when I first heard it, but then I was hooked. It's a radio series about a small air charter firm, with one plane. One of the pilots (Martin, played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is keen but not very good; the other (Douglas, played by Roger Allam) is an old hand who knows every dodge in the book and has been reduced to flying for a two-bit charter firm after leaving a prestigious airline under a cloud. Keeping them in check is Caroline, the owner (played by Stephanie Cole), and John Finnemore, the writer, plays Arthur, her son and the steward, who is irrepressably enthusiastic about everything.

The interplay between the characters is superb; Cumberbatch acts as a straight man to Allam, who steals the show as the world-weary, cynical, all-knowing Douglas. The writing is first-rate (and the bits about flying seem to be accurate), and the comedy varies from wry in-jokes to laugh-out-loud gags with episode-long set-ups. Unlike most comedies, which tend to be running out of steam by the fourth series, the episodes on these three discs are as well-written and funny as ever, and they repay repeated listening.

If you already know and love Cabin Pressure, have no hesitation in ordering series 4; if you've never heard it, I'd recommend starting with series 1 and working your way through in order, but you'll be buying this one before long.

One of the best companions I can think of for a long car journey - recommended without hesitation. Can't wait for series 5 to find out what happens after the cliffhanger at the end of series 4...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic comedy in the making, 27 May 2013
By 
J. Dawson (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'd never heard of this series and don't listen to much radio but I like Benedict Cumberbatch so thought I would give it a bash. Comedy is such a subjective thing and often I think, particularly in an established series, it can be difficult to come late to the party. However by the end of the first episode I was laughing out loud and it has just got better and better from there. You know it's good when you are sitting in a car by yourself laughing uncontrollably. I will be looking out the rest of this series and ensuring it's in the car whenever I have to make a long trip. The characters, the dynamic, the silly jokes often reminded me of classic British comedy like Blackadder or Father Ted, from the mooth-talking schemer Douglas to Cumberbatch's dry and downtrodden Martin, the posh and curmudgeonly Caroline and of the Arthur character played by series writer John Finnemore, whom I can only describe as divinely Dougal-esque. A pleasure from start to finish, I am already looking forward to the next listen!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cabin Pressure, Series 4: I'm trying to run an airline, not an owl sanctuary!, 22 May 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Cabin Pressure seems to be thge main star in Radio 4's comedy firmament at the moment. With a genuine A list cast (Benedict Cumberbatch who seems to be in everything on both sides of the Atlantic these days, Roger Allam who is also doing fine work as the only watchable character in Endeavour, well loved veteran Stephanie Cole and writer John Finnimore) and some decent writing it is easy to see why.

Writer Finnimore sticks pretty true to the tried and tested comedy formulas, and why not? They work so well. Following the old 150s-1960s Service comedy formula of the crooked one (Allam), the honest one who knows what's going on and can't stop it (Cumberbatch), the idiot subordinate (Finnimore) and the superior who tries but eternally fails to outsmart the crooked one Cole), and set in a ramshackle air line this is comedy gold. We get to follow the adventures oft eh cabin crew as they try to deceive passengers and each other in the hope of earning a quick buck. It's good old fashioned stuff, the kind of rock solid humour that should be good for several more series (a-la Navy Lark...). With some excellent writing from Finnimore, who sets up some good situations, understands each of his characters and is not afraid to share out the good lines among the other characters, and the top notch performances that you would expect from such a talented cast, this is a series that had me laughing till it hurt.

All six episodes of series 4 are here, two episodes a disc on three discs held in a double jewel case. The liner notes are down the Beeb's usual poor standard in this department, limited to a list of cast and crew and index points for the different episodes. There is a factual error here, with the liner listing twenty chapters per disc (10 per episode) when in fact there are only 12 per disc (6 per episode). So if you want to jump to the second episode on a disc you need to go to chapter 7, not 11 as the liner states. A minor point I guess, but it caused me some confusion and irritation.
5 stars in all for this excellent release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterclass in radio sitcom, 13 Jun. 2013
By 
Marand - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you haven't heard this BBC Radio 4 comedy, take this latest opportunity to catch up. Cabin Pressure is a sitcom set in a one-plane budget airline whose staff and owner get into various awkward situations.

The premise doesn't sound promising, but it is the writing (John Finnemore) and cast (Finnemore plus the supreme theatrical talents of Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam and Benedict Cumberbatch) that really raise this above the average. Finnemore builds his comedy scripts along the lines of a crime thriller, dropping in oddments here and there in an episode which often pass as inconsequentialities, but which ultimately knit together through a series of very funny ongoing jokes, and which all tie together in a devastatingly well-crafted laugh-out-loud finale. It is not a surprise that the starry names in the cast have returned for a fourth series - material this good must be fun to work with.

If you have never heard the series before, I suggest the episode "Vaduz" for a masterclass in the range of running gags and great pay-off that can be fitted in a 30 minute radio show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cabin Pressure series 4, 20 Jun. 2013
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whether you are a fan of Cabin Pressure from the previous series, or have never heard it before, number 4 has it all there for your listening pleasure.

For those new to the series, meet the overbearing owner of MJN Air Carolyn, the very helpful and well meaning Arthur who is also her son, the First Officer Douglas who is always on hand to help in a tight spot and Martin the Captain who is always striving to meet everyone's approval and hoping for more luck to come his way in life.

Each of the six episodes lets you into a snapshot of life with MJN Air with much amusement and laugh out loud moments along the way, as the crew try to sort out the various pickles they find themselves in.

For those who are familiar with the crew of MJN there are a number of references referring back to previous series. Need I mention yellow car...Birling Day....sheep...

My favourite series so far are 2 and 3, but I have only listened series 4 twice and it has already grown on me more since the first time when my expectations were very high.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Gem of A Series, 20 May 2013
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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I've been a fan of this series since I first heard series one.
An indication of just how good this series is, is that we now arrive at series 4 so John Finnemore the writer must be doing something quite marvelous to get a repeat commission from the BBC.
My goodness they have got their moneys worth in Spades.
Series one, two and three were good series four is excellent.
The great thing I admire about John Finnemore the writer and performer of the (idiotic) Arthur is that, just like Victoria Woods, he does not save all the best lines for himself.
One genius of the series is that the humour is shared out among the 4 main characters and often the guests too. This makes the series and ensemble rather than a main character supported by the others ala Tony Hancock for example.
I have said in previous reviews that `I still believe it would make a brilliant television series it is that and I mean THAT good.' And quite right have come in for some right ear bashing comments for saying so.
I'm of the mind that those people are right this is a beautiful polished gem of a RADIO series. TV would only dilute the humour.

Just like in previous series Benedict Cumberbatch, Roger Allam ('The Thick of It' Parades End, Endeavor), Stephanie Cole ( 'Doc Martin'), and the write John Finnemore really sparkle. A recurring character from series 3 is that of Anthony Head as Herc. He plays Cole's love interest of all things and this really brings out her character even more.
I have just realized that each and every episode has the name of an airport but they start with the next letter of the alphabet so these six episodes begin at and end at "Timbuktu" and go onto `Yverdon-les-Bains'.

Every episode is a gem and really funny.
If you enjoyed the previous series then you will enjoy this one too.
If you are coming to the series afresh then I suggest you get the omnibus addition of the previous 3 with the Christmas episode thrown in for good value.
If you are new to the series I really envy you listening and enjoying this excellent series for the first time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer joy, 22 May 2013
By 
M. A. Dunnington (Stourbridge, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When they say that "they don't write radio comedies like they used to" - then please listen to this series. Very few shows let you laugh every minute, but this one does. The casting is superb and the writing by John Finnamore is just sheer brilliance. Benedict Cumberbatch shows yet another side of his incredible talent - but by no means is he the star of the show - each of the four characters are equal in their brilliance. This set is the six shows broadcast earlier this year and form the "last" series. Each episode has a destination in alphabetical order - and the last show is Yverdon - please BBC persuaded the writer and cast to continue - a really great show that thank goodness has a very loyal listening audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming British sit-com, 25 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Cabin Pressure is a typical British Radio 4 sitcom and it's utterly adorable. It's a typical sitcom in that it is about a bunch of misfits who are forced into spending a lot of time together (in this case they are all employees of a rather shambolic airline). The cast is wonderful. Benedict Cumberbatch is great in this and I will never get bored of listening to Roger Allam's dulcet tones. The comedy isn't particularly original, but it doesn't need to be as the humour comes from the characters. If you are new to Cabin Pressure I would certainly recommend buying the earlier series before starting with this one as there are a lot of in-jokes.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant- John Finnemore is a Genius., 18 May 2013
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been a fan of this series since I first heard series one.
An indication of just how good this series is, is that we now arrive at series 4 so John Finnemore the writer must be doing something quite marvelous to get a repeat commission from the BBC.
My goodness they have got their moneys worth in Spades.

Series one, two and three were good series four is excellent.
The great thing I admire about John Finnemore the writer and performer of the (idiotic) Arthur is that, just like Victoria Woods, he does not save all the best lines for himself.
One genius of the series is that the humour is shared out among the 4 main characters and often the guests too. This makes the series and ensemble rather than a main character supported by the others ala Tony Hancock for example.

I always think of Arthur - As the great Groucho Marx once said
He may look like and idiot- he may talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you--he is an idiot. Comes to mind think of Pike in Dad's army.

I have said in previous reviews that `I still believe it would make a brilliant television series it is that and I mean THAT good.' And quite right have come in for some right ear bashing comments for saying so.
I'm of the mind that those people are right this is a beautiful polished gem of a RADIO series. TV would only dilute the humour.

Just like in previous series Benedict Cumberbatch, Roger Allam ('The Thick of It' Parades End, Endeavor), Stephanie Cole ( 'Doc Martin'), and the write John Finnemore really sparkle. A recurring character from series 3 is that of Anthony Head as Herc. He plays Cole's love interest of all things and this really brings out her character even more.
I have just realized that each and every episode has the name of an airport but they start with the next letter of the alphabet so these six episodes begin at and end at "Timbuktu" and go onto `Yverdon-les-Bains'.

Every episode is a gem and really funny.
If you enjoyed the previous series then you will enjoy this one too.
If you are coming to the series afresh then I suggest you get the omnibus addition of the previous 3 with the Christmas episode thrown in for good value.

Cabin Pressure: The Collected Series
If you are new to the series I really envy you listening and enjoying this excellent series for the first time.
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Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4
Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 4 by John Finnemore (Audio CD - 2 May 2013)
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