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4.1 out of 5 stars15
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 22 June 2011
Sometimes the BBC hits the spot with adaptations of modern novels. The feel of 1970s Birmingham is subtle but spot on. The young cast excel and the adult supporting cast such as Mark Williams and Sarah Lancashire show their relibility. Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais proved once again their ability. Taking a book of such depth and condensing it to three one hour episodes without losing its essential message is amazing. Obviously there were compromises. There is no steak house scene and the school magazine at the heart of the book is superflous to this adaptation, but instead we had a better explanation of the disappearace which would lead to the Closed Circle. Just one gripe, why have the BBC not made this more available.
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on 10 September 2011
Remaining remarkably true to Jonathan Coe's novel, the BBC's adaptation of The Rotters' Club is a great piece of television. It's funny, it's poignant and it successfully captures the look and also the flavour of the 1970s. It's a coming of age story in which politics meets prog rock and punk.

So why only four stars? Some scenes have been cut from the version originally shown on TV - presumably to fit three episodes on one DVD - which is a shame. Still well worth watching, just turn off the Dutch subtitles.
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on 13 February 2011
Take an exquisitely funny and moving bildungsroman (thanks dictionary) authored by our finest contemporary novelist, get perhaps the best sitcom writing duo ever, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (the brains behind Porridge and The Likely Lads) and fill the roles with some top acting talent, and the results are certainly going to be worth watching. If you love the novel this is a faithful adaptation which necessarily has to miss a lot of stuff out, but is still much more of a success than a failure. The only problem I have is the fact that it's been squeezed into 3x 50 minute episodes, (the novel spans six years, from 1973 to 1979). Of course this is the fault of the prevailing TV culture. Sadly, the days where the BBC routinely lavished 6 hour long episodes (at least) on almost every drama serial are long gone, so it zips along at some points, and glosses over certain things. One of the most striking ommisions from the adaptation is the incident surrounding Steve Richards' being drugged on the day of an exam, and his expulsion for assaulting Culpepper (whom he mistakenly assumes was responsible). Instead this very dramatic storyline is excised completely in favour of a rather odd speech where Richards declares to Ben that he's leaving King Williams school becase he's had enough of pretending to be the good little black boy. The character of Harding also looms much larger in the book, here he feels diminished, almost unnecessary.

These are minor quibbles. The cast are great, and this is a brilliant piece of work. Mark Williams as Sam Chase, Julian Rhind-Tutt as art teacher Mr Plumb and Rebecca Front as Sheila Trotter are especially good as the adult characters. The main trio of Benjamin, Doug and Philip are also perfectly cast. Geoff Breton makes a very appealing Benjamin Trotter, stops him from simply becoming a wet drip, striking the same balance as Coe does in the novel, making you warm to this somewhat infuriatingly soliptistic individual. (Is he too good looking though? Cicely Boyd is meant to be way out of his league. Here he seems almost out of her league.) That said, Alice Eve as Cicely is exactly as you'd imagine the character, and there's able support from the superbly named Rasmmus Hardiker as Philip (you may know him from Steve Coogan's underrated sitcom Saxondale). All in all, this is a real treat. Shame on the BBC for not releasing this properly in the UK!
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on 15 July 2012
Having watched the series when it was first shown on BBC2, it was such an excellent production I was amazed it's never been repeated.

The programme featured an ensemble cast amongst the adults which included Mark Williams, Rebecca Front and the always excellent Julian Rhind-Tutt and excellent performances from the children, some of whom have gone on to greater things such as Rafe Spall & Alice Eve.

Don't be put off by the (excellently researched & accurate) 70s nostalgia, as this is also a story of teenage friendship and growing up that could be set in any decade.

My only reason for not giving a 5 star rating is that the story seemed a little rushed in 3 hours, compared to the book.
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on 22 May 2013
Johnathon Coes story the Rotters Club is a memorable piece of writing ,the TV Show THE ROTTERS CLUB captures the period drama perfectly.
I can remember 1975 as if it was yesterday.
Hatfield and the Norths ,"The Rotters Club" was used as a idea and a backdrop for the story shame there was no video of the Hatfields performing The Rotters Club for the tv show.
did not know the Hatfields then, but i sure missed out on some great music for those times!

A NOSTALGIC TRIP BACK
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on 3 January 2014
All the packaging was in Dutch! Would've been nice to know this before purchasing! I like the drama and it's quite a good adaption.
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on 14 September 2015
I enjoyed the series, having lived through the era, although the story lines of the first episode were a little hurried and sketchy. My reaction to the series is coloured by the fact that I read the book first. the book is notable for its portrayal of the inner life of Ben, who narrates much of the story. As with all such adaptations much is lost going from the printed word to the visual portrayal. Worth watching, just the same. the main characters were well cast.
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on 6 October 2013
We saw this when it first came out on TV and while the end of Episode One should send a chill down anyone's spine, the whole series (based on the novel by Jonathan Coe) is excellent.
1970's nostalgia / history provides the backbone of this story with the main character's rites of passage explored.

It is well written, acted and produced. A real British Drama treat.
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on 5 February 2015
The DVD was excellent viewing very enjoyable. Not to every bodies taste. The package arrived in good condition and by the date stated Would recommend and use the supplier for future orders
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on 20 March 2013
An excellent adaptation of the book. As a Brummie, grown up in the seventies, this series evoked lots of memories and gave lots of laughs - TROT ON!!
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