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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great crime panel game series - still getting there...,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)Much of what I wrote in my review for series one still applies - that this is the series still finding its feet before it gets to the point where everything clicks, but this is nonetheless a great improvement on series one.
The main change in this 1974 series is the obvious one: Jon Pertwee replaces Edward Woodward as host. This makes a huge difference straight away as Pertwee is just more at ease in the role, his larger-than-life personality really suiting this show. He clearly relishes his interaction both with the panel and the suspects (for example, there's a lovely bit of unscripted banter between Pertwee and Jimmy Jewel in episode 3, which is worth looking out for), but there is just greater fun in these episodes which makes for a more relaxed watch. Alfred Marks (returning for a second go), and other comedy performers on the panel really raise an episode with their banter.
The show itself is now starting to feel smoother. The format is nearly at its best. Instead of the hasty explanations from the host as to whodunnit in series one, you now get to actually see whodunnit and how, with a voiceover of the action by Pertwee, pointing out relevant details. This makes a huge difference to the conclusion of each show.
There's also one episode (Goodbye, Sarge) in which the show takes place within an approximation of the set that the story was filmed on. This makes the whole thing seem much more real and immediate, and was something they would do more often in future series.
Apart from the show itself, you also have the nostalgia angle to look at: be it Pertwee hastily but smoothly stubbing out a cigarette into an ashtray off-camera as we return to him after an ad break and he seemlessly introduces the next part of the show, or the exuberant early seventies hair and fashion styles of the panelists that seemed fine at the time... compared with the drabness of the audience's clothes and general demeanour - everyone seems to resemble someone's dowdy aunt or uncle with cardigans, unkempt hair, and horn-rimmed glasses everywhere, in a way that would probably horrify today's more self-absorbed, image-conscious viewer, or the relative politeness of the conversations between Pertwee and the panel members (including Pertwee's "ladies first" to the female panel member which now seems odd, but was simply considered respectful to a woman at the time).
The guest cast is starting to improve, too, with established character actors now seeking out roles, and some of the best of the debut year returning. The likes of Glyn Owen, Morris Perry, Harry Towb, Conrad Phillips, Aubrey Morris, John Challis, and Aubrey Woods, for example. Not household names, perhaps, but if you watch 60s or 70s TV shows - comedies, or series like Doctor Who, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), or The Persuaders - when you see these actors you'll probably recognise them.
Of the episodes, there are six in this tentative second series (presumably they were waiting to see how the public took to a change of host with Pertwee in charge - this is the shortest of all the series, incidentally [if you include the pilot episode in with series one], as the popularity started to kick in and the episode count varied between 7 and 12 episodes from series three onwards. Oddly, even though there was room to have included the Christmas Special from 1974, "A Piece of Cake", on this DVD set on DVD2 this is inexplicably absent, so we can only hope it's going to be added to the series three DVD set. The missing episode includes Nicola Pagett - from Upstairs Downstairs - and William Russell - from Doctor Who - in the cast). *** Quick update: the third series is out on the 4th of June 2012, and it does contain the above "missing" Christmas episode! :-)
The episodes in series two are:
1. The Last Act - Murder on a film set
2. It's Quicker by Train - Murder on a train (you probably guessed!)
3. The Final Chapter - Murder of an author whose memoires would expose a double agent
4. Goodbye, Sarge - Murder on the front line in World War Two (the best episode of this series, in my view)
5. The Art of Theft - A mediocre episode about a theft - no murder! (as Pertwee puts it, a "Whonickedit"!)
6. Teddy Bear's Picnic - Murder at a fancy dress party
They're all pretty good stories (except the theft one, unfortunately), all with their little moments that make them great to watch, although I would say there's too heavy a reliance on visual "spot the differences" as providing the solution to the crime on most occasions (Something goes into somewhere on the left, but then is seen exiting on the right, etc). Apart from that minor quibble, the quality and pace is picking up. We're not quite at the best episodes yet, but things are slowly improving. I'd still give it four stars, though. Roll on series three!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Pertwee, seventies style and a guest list from heaven - plus Patrick Mower,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)It involves Jon Pertwee, that's a positive for starters. And he doesn't stand for any nonsense - the merest hint of a double entendre from the celebrity panel and he is in there, deploying his best Venusian Aikido on them. Well alright, he never actually leaves his chair. But he doesn't need to. Who but the great Mr Pertwee could pull off a white suit, medallion and a big nose and STILL manage to look sublime? Who else could quote Latin (entirely in context) and manoeuvre the word 'ventriloquial' into a prime time ITV series?
The celebrities are eloquent. The potentially murderous cast will have you shouting 'Oh, I know them. They were in... oh, what the hell was it?!' for the entire duration of the show until the titles. You will need IMDB on speed dial, I can guarantee.
A previous reviewer mentioned the host's interactions with Jimmy Jewel and they are classic. Watch out also though for Jon tripping over his words during the episode involving Harry H Corbett - Commander Weatherby from 'The Navy Lark' makes a brief but hilarious appearance. As does Worzel, almost a decade early. The seventies were cool, this will prove it. It will also prove that Pertwee was one charming gentleman. Even with a medallion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pertwee dunnit better than Woodwood,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)Series two of Whodunnit is easily better than series one. The new host Jon Pertwee is much more relaxed and the whole show runs smoother. The plays are good and the sets are better too. The panel once again is interesting and the show acts well as both retro TV and modern entertainment. Great fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Seventies,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)I remember watching this series back in the seventies as a kid and I still love it now.John Pertwee is seriously cool and is great in this.
The show is pure seventies and you will love trying to work out whodunit.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Whodunnit!,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)Love it!
Jon Pertwee is excellent in the roll of adjudicator and seems very much at ease almost from the start.
This is '70's TV at its best.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)Takes me right back to tea time at Mum and Dad's in the seventies. Bad hair, bad fashion, contestants smoking like chimneys and the worst improvisations ever seen on TV with embarrassing silences and wobbly sets. All topped off with John Pertwee sounding like a debonair Porky Pig. Marvelous!
5.0 out of 5 stars RE: Whodunnit? Series 2.,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)I recommend Whodunnit? Series 2. It was very entertaining. I believe I saw part of series 4 in 1979 on ABC-TV (now ABC1) in Australia.
The service delivery from Amazon (UK) was exceptional. The product is great. Jon Pertwee is a great compere. He is also the original Dr. Who (when it was screened in black and white years ago).
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic murder mystery,
This review is from: Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)this is the second seires and again it is filled with red herings and you get to suspect but again its always who you least suspect. good series and was delivered early as well.
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Whodunnit? - The Complete Series 2 [DVD] by Robert Reed (DVD - 2012)