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4.8 out of 5 stars56
4.8 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 16 January 2007
This series was one of the best comedys of the early 1990's and is still just as funny some ten years on. It centres around GlobeLink news which is one of the then new digital broadcasters of 24 hr news. The writing and acting from the brilliant cast is first rate and no politician was safe. From the last days of the Thatcher government to the dreary John Major all are sent up in this great comedy. There is Dave played by Neil Pearson who is the office ladies man and will bed and bet anything that moves. There's Damian Day who's the fearless reporter , but he will do anything to get the story including setting the whole situation up !. Not forgetting Globelink Boss Guss Hedges who sucks up to the Globelink owner Sir Royston Merchant. Sir Royston is modelled after Rupert Murdoch to great effect, but is never seen on the series. All in all this is a great series and the Dvd has extras included such as interviews with the writers and stars of the show.
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on 12 January 2011
This series began in 1990 and is a winner from start to finish. They are 1/2 hour episodes of one the best comedies ever, about Globelink News. The casting is brilliant and the humour sharp as it gets. Think the satirical side of TW3 set in a news office and the news of the day gets a somewhat different outlook. When it was on our screens originally, the storyline concerned news items from only a few days or less beforehand, proving how quickly the whole episode was rehearsed and prepared for broadcast. No event, political party or politician was safe. This package has the first 3 series as well as interviews and extras. Great stuff!
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on 31 January 2011
A brilliant show with a fantastic cast playing a great bunch of characters.
I watched this show without fail back in the nineties and could relate each character to somebody I worked with even in a factory lol.
George, the hypochondriac editor with a failing marriage and unhinged daughter.
Alex/Helen, the sub editors who try in vain to bring a touch of sanity to the office but more often get sucked into the madness.
Damien, the sensationalist reporter and the lengths he will got to (usually in bad taste) to get a dramatic picture and story.
Dave the the womanizing, gambling, video editor who is always running a book on something or selling video compilations of peoples cock-ups on tv.
Gus the chief exec with his annoying dynamic talk that was fast becoming the way in the 90's, "lets pop this in your mental microwave and see if it goes ping". In one show he was referred to as Captain B*****ks,
Henry the hard drinking, toupee wearing, seasoned reporter turned news reader with a liking for women young enough to be his granddaughters
Sally the the news reader, brought in to boost the ratings but shows a severe lack of knowledge in general and in current affairs particularly. An obnoxious, small minded self obsessed woman who is hated by them all.
Joy the psychotic PA feared by them all and not afraid to say what she thinks.

The show and the characters were brilliantly written around current affairs which were at the time giving us stories in the news that you just couldn't make up. (Dave in one episode just after Clinton became US President said "This could be risky for Britain" when asked what he meant he replied "I can just see it now, John Major on the phone to Bill Clinton telling him he has just spent the afternoon watching Chelsea getting spanked")
I recently introduced a friend who was born in 1989 but studied politics at Cambridge and was in the middle of a journalism course to the show and although she was too young to remember the big news stories of the time she loved the humour and the characters.
I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone and especially to people in their late 30's early 40's for the trip down media memory lane as well as the laughs.
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on 26 February 2014
I enjoyed Drop the Dead Donkey when it was being aired in the 90s but I was very wary about buying this boxset. I thought that the programme would have aged too much and I would no longer find the humour relevant. It was only because this set was so affordable and I really wanted to show the series to some foreign friends, as an example of good British TV, that I decided to risk it.

I am so glad I did!

This show is still as good as ever. I think I probably appreciate it more now, in fact. There are little reminders at the beginning of each programme to tell the viewer what was happening in the news at the time of airing and these give you enough information to enjoy all the jokes. I still had to do some quick revision on the political figures of the day but that says more about my bad memory than the programme itself. It has also become a huge hit with my foreign friends and we are racing through the boxset at break-neck speed. It's a good thing I ordered Series 4-6 at the same time!

Thank heaven someone had the great idea to put this all on DVD!
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on 25 October 2010
Broadcast-quality being what it was when the series was recorded, this won't do your new TV justice. It's in 3:4 width and decidedly grainy. Never mind, chances are you aren't revisiting DTDD for the cinematic experience. There are some extra bits and bobs (chats with the writers and some cast members) and a never seen before pilot that seems to make the actors cringe but that is exactly as good as the rest of the shows. At the start of each episode you are given some pointers to explain some of the jokes, but this is not something you can really enjoy if you weren't around when it was first aired. If you were and need a fix of intelligent, witty comedy and some really strong characters, it's a must buy for any comedy collector.

(I would also recommend the audio series Old Harry's Game, written by Andy Hamilton and starring Robert Duncan.)
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on 10 March 2011
Starting from 1990, when the west was preparing to go to war against Saddam for the first time, this was a clever combination of topical satire show and sitcom, set in the offices of Globelink News, newly acquired by media tycoon Sir Royston Merchant (a shadowy back-stage presence in the mould of Robert Murdoch or Rupert Maxwell, as you prefer - and yes, I know they're the wrong way round). Eight individually interesting characters are thrown together in a dog-eat-dog work situation making for a lot of laughs. Of course the topical references may well puzzle a younger audience - that's the way it goes with comedy - but there is still plenty for most people of adult age to relate to and laugh at.

At the end of Series 2 the capable and charming Haydn Gwynne as Alex, Assistant Editor is replaced by the capable and glamorous Ingrid Lacey as Helen Cooper (I know it's chauvinistic but I can't help what I see. Where are you now, Ingrid??). The chemistry between the characters is constantly abrasive and the digs at the real media ensure that the series always has an edge.

There is another box set of series 3-6 which are equally entertaining, although the satirical edge of the show does dip a bit in the later series. I watched right through to the bitter end and have no doubt it won't be too many moons before I start all over again. Having seen some of these on original airing, I was fond of the series. Having seen them all, I am totally Dagenham East about it. And if you want to know what I'm on about you'll have to buy the second box set and watch Series Six! Go for it.
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on 28 November 2012
I live a sheltered life as far as TV goes. The endless plethora of pointless new channels, (I imagine) MUST contain some worthwhile nuggets amongst the dross, but the waste of time digging around seems as futile as the search for Eldorado. By the way, I'm attempting to sound as grumpy as "Globelink" Newsreader Henry Davenport (David Swift) but I know I'll never quite pull it off!

I doubt if ANY of the present TV channels carry anything as witty and outspoken as this superb satirical series from the 1970's. I am astonished that the BBC was allowed to get away with such blatently slanderous remarks about celebrities of the period. Mind you, this does point up a small problem for anyone not old enough to have seen the original broadcasts - most of the personalities who were (often rightly) pilloried are now consigned to the limbo of history. However, just substitute the names of contemporary politicians and celebrities of your choice and it all makes sense. Slease and corruption are still rife today... About the only comparable hard-hitting satirical series I can recall from that era was "Spitting Image".

"Drop the Dead Donkey" was long-lived and the entire output is available in two splendid box sets. Globelink's team of eccentric misfits did a magnificent "Hatchet Job" and it's a pleasure to see them at work.

Harry Fancy, Nether Kellet, Lancashire.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 November 2012
Watched this with daughter who is much younger than the programmes. All the material was accessible - none of the content was so un-topical that it couldn't be related to, which was a bit of a surprise considering much of the humour revolves around political in-jokes and characters of the day.

A brief preamble before each episode sets the scene for the lambasting that invariably follows. The characters are great, the situations hilarious, the writing sharp.

There were a few occasions that had us both so side-splittingly overwhelmed that we literally couldn't breathe.
I've rarely found anything so insanely funny. This set contains the killing joke, it really does. I'm still in pain. part spoiler - it's the Viking helmets. That did it. Literally - proper use of word - could NOT breathe; either of us.
Great father-daughter bonding moment.

Will watch this set again and again, I suspect. May need oxygen and amyl, but WILL watch again.
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on 11 May 2015
Some of the most topical humour of its day, well performed by good actors. Of course one or two episodes were slightly weaker than others, that is in the nature of any series, overall still outstanding.
Of particular help to those too young to have experienced the issues of the day (also those who need reminding, like me) the two or three line intro to each episode is a nice touch and much appreciated.
Nothing worthwhile on the TV? Slot in any one of these DVDs and revel in just how good we had it in the 1990s.
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