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Drop The Dead Donkey,Series 1-3 - Six DVD's of comedy genius
on 6 September 2010
Back in 1990 this series was a real breath of fresh air. With a sharp script from the pens of Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamiton, it mixed great character comedy with sharp satire. The formula was a winner and comedy gold was struck.
Several things came together to make this a success from the off. A set of well formed characters were introduced in the first episode, each with their own neurosis and problems. There was just enough depth to the characters to stop them being mere caricatures, and due to the quality of the actors (most of whom are still well known faces on TV 20 years later) we really manage to believe in and become attached to the characters. The choice of setting, a TV newsroom, provided rich territory for the topical satire, and the gimmick of having topical jokes recorded and inserted just before transmission gave it a real edge.
Seeing this again so many years later, I am amazed and disturbed at how much of the topical humour is still relevant today. It has not dated at all, and there are plenty of cracks about the price of petrol the Middle East and faceless politicians. And the great characterisation never dates.
All 34 episodes from the first three series are presented here, along with the unaired pilot, interviews with cast and writers and introductions to each series from Hamilton and Jenkins. There is an introduction to each episode from Geoffrey McGivern, giving a quick topical background for each episode. There is a standard size DVD case for each series, collected into a card slipcase. It's an excellent package, and a very welcome release for this comedy great.