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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars London '68 and lots of laughs, 10 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor In The House - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
I caught a few of these in repeats when I was 14 and never forgot the huge laughs I was served. Would the show hold up years later? No worries; I had a great time with this set.

Where it's dated it's interesting for being dated, especially since London Weekend Television used colour video outdoors years before the BBC stopped doing film on location. Film feels far off as soon as it's developed; video feels live, even forty years on.

That live feeling always suits comedy. These shows were written by Cleese, Chapman, Garden and Oddie before their Monty Python and Goodies days - as such they're certainly rough around the edges. For a sixties show about rowdy medical students it's more kind hearted than I expected, particularly in an era when women weren't allowed to wear clothes. At least the lads' failings are also laid bare; this yields some hilarious discomfort that doesn't surface in the shows that these writers went on to.

The worst of the episodes can could have been titled 'Upton and Waring get drunk.' I sat silently while the studio audience died laughing at Barry Evans and Robin Nedwell's characters full of stronger cider than they'd expected. Ten years after this series, shows like M*A*S*H were still trotting out drunkenness as comedy but it's a dead art now.

Memorable successes include a casino episode with Pythonesque gangsters and another called 'If in Doubt, Cut it Out!' The gravitas of the medical establishment is fertile comedy soil and plays just as well in 1968 as it must have when the original 'Doctor' books were written.
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Location: San Francisco, CA USA

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