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11 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as I remembered
Having seen this series when it first appeared I have been making do with reading the book ever since. I finally took the plunge and purchased the DVD set and was delighted to say that it was as good as I remembered. For me one of the overiding joys is the fact that the humour is very gentle and not unkind (as with so much of the modern stuff). I would thoroughly...
Published on 6 Dec 2011 by B. Kunz

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Road Picture with a Dusting of Light Mystery, Whimsy and Charm
"Oliver's Travels" is a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television series, sort of a light British mystery/road picture/drama/ adventure/romantic comedy/thriller. It was, interestingly enough, actually made by BBC Wales: an unusual provenance that, which possibly explains the plentiful, lovely Welsh scenery and the plentiful supporting actors, with yeasty little...
Published on 24 April 2012 by Stephanie De Pue


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as I remembered, 6 Dec 2011
By 
B. Kunz "bkflamer" (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
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Having seen this series when it first appeared I have been making do with reading the book ever since. I finally took the plunge and purchased the DVD set and was delighted to say that it was as good as I remembered. For me one of the overiding joys is the fact that the humour is very gentle and not unkind (as with so much of the modern stuff). I would thoroughly recommend this to anybody.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oliver's Travels, 19 Dec 2011
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A. Robertson "Book Worm" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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A welcome blast from the past. I had forgotten how good this series was. A joy to watch with a fantastic cast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !, 28 May 2012
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SO much clearer and more colourful than my old personal video copy !
The wording on the box and cases is in Dutch but that doesn't worry me; I just have to remember to turn off the subtitles before starting to play the dvds and I'm off on my Travels with Oliver :O)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Plater Gem, 8 Jan 2014
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I have always been a fan of Alan Plater and his quirky sense of humour. If you enjoy word play and a different take on life and its meaning this will amuse and delight you. Anagrams, crosswords and redundant comparative religion lecturers and jazz freaks abound.Great fun and adventures on the way to the Orkneys and the legendary crossword compiler Aristotle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Nov 2013
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D. M. Littlejohn (UK) - See all my reviews
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A very good story with fine acting from all concerned particularly Bates and Cusack. I'd forgotten how good it was
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5.0 out of 5 stars An old love rekindled, 1 Aug 2010
By 
Gyri Nørbech (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
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Anyone who has fond memories of watching this when it first appeared, it's as good as you remember, get it! For the rest of you: This is tv as it still could be. And driving through a lot of beautiful landscapes, meeting oddballs at every turn. Actors enjoying themselves, and a homage to corny chat-up lines... Enjoy!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Road Picture with a Dusting of Light Mystery, Whimsy and Charm, 24 April 2012
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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"Oliver's Travels" is a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television series, sort of a light British mystery/road picture/drama/ adventure/romantic comedy/thriller. It was, interestingly enough, actually made by BBC Wales: an unusual provenance that, which possibly explains the plentiful, lovely Welsh scenery and the plentiful supporting actors, with yeasty little parts, and strong flavorful Welsh accents,that we see in the first episodes, though they are not necessarily given performance credits. It might also explain, for all we know, the bounteous green highways and byways of Midlands-Northern English scenery, and Scottish scenery, that we see later on -- we even see Hadrian's Wall that separates England and Scotland, for goodness sake. And all of the scenery populated by more outstanding supporting actors, enjoying their fully-written parts, and using their local accents to the fullest.

At any rate, the series, in five episodes, was initially broadcast on the BBC in 1995; it was broadcast on American Public Broadcasting System's Masterpiece Theatre in 1996, and reprised once. Since then, apparently, viewers have been begging for it to be released on DVD. It's now in a 2-volume boxed set, containing the five episodes, with a running time of approximately 245 minutes. And in my purchase at least, secret subtitles, not advertised on the box, but they are there, nevertheless to allow us on this side of the pond to enjoy all those Welsh, Geordie, and Scottish accents to the fullest. (If you ask your TV for the subtitles, and the TV has the capacity to produce them, and they have been layered into the DVD, there they will be.)

Alan Bates (Women In Love) stars as Oliver (we never learn whether it's his first name or last), an eccentric professor of comparative religions at a Welsh redbrick university, who, after being involuntarily retired, decides to track down "Aristotle," maker of his favorite Times crossword puzzles. His efforts to do so bring him into contact with Sinead Cusack (Stealing Beauty) as policewoman Diane Priest, who has been suspended for some incautious sleuthing on a murder mystery that comes too near top brass, so she's given all the loonies at her precinct. So Oliver and Diane decide to throw in their lots together and travel cross-country to Scotland's Orkney Islands, in pursuit of "Aristotle;" and the miscreants in her mystery: the two quests seem to be growing tied together. The witty script is by the award-winning Alan Plater (The Beiderbecke Trilogy: The Complete Series ). Some of the outstanding supporting performers who turn up are Bill Paterson, Miles Anderson, Ian Cuthbertson and John Woodvine. Other most welcome supporting players who show up include Mollie Sugden ( Mrs. Slocombe,Are You Being Served? - The Complete Series 1-10 & Christmas Specials ); and the wonderful Charlotte Coleman, who died far too young ("Scarlett" in Four Weddings & A Funeral .)

It's seldom enough we see a middle-aged romance, between actors who show wrinkles, though they are certainly attractive people; and it's welcome when we do. And they keep their clothes on, what a relief! (Though sorry, I must say, in one way this series does seem to belong to an earlier school of British filmmaking that reflected earlier British dentistry standards: Bates' teeth are absolutely brown, and you'd never call Cusack's white.) Furthermore, this is a distinctly light, "romantic" mystery, and a road picture with lots and lots of whimsy, and witty banter: you'd best have a taste for that kind of thing to fully enjoy it. The action is slow enough, and there's non-stop chat in the car; some of it can seem precious and pointless. Some American viewers may find the script overwritten, and feel that Bates tends to overact in it: a certain "twee" quality results. Nevertheless, even an entertainment that tries too hard to be charming can be charming. And this is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery comedy, 3 Aug 2009
By 
Ed Dorchester (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
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A great story, well acted and a pleasure to watch (over and over) British TV at its very best
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scuppered at Scapa, 3 Aug 2009
This review is from: Oliver's Travels [1995] [Dutch Import] (DVD)
Another lovely gentle comedy-drama giving hope to all of us who hope to escape the rat race. Superb acting, a great story and beautiful scenery all the way up to the Orkneys make this a wonderful captivating feel-good story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave it one star because I can't give a lower rating, 7 Sep 2014
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I'd read the book several times and decided I'd like to see the TV adaptation. Bought the DVD and, in high anticipation, began watching.
I haven't finished watching it, nor will I.
The performance is ruined beyond rescue by Bates' OTT hamming - hamming so awful it'd be out of place in a kiddies' Christmas pantomime. His ego obviously leads him to believe he is the only focus of every scene, and his over-acting is worthy of a Victorian melodrama.
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