4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful in its idiosyncratic way - but OH, the cost!,
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This review is from: Turtle's Progress - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
First, the cost ...
At the time of writing this review, you're being asked to pay around £30 which is way out of line ... but that will be because the re-release of this old series was limited in terms of both timescale and numbers of DVD's issued. Presumably it has yet to have a major re-release.
Now for the series ...
On the surface it would seem to be a no-hoper: The acting when actors have to affect accents such as American or Corsican are truly awful. Some of the incidental characters are also acted pretty poorly - and as for extras in 'The Robin' (Turtle and Eddie's pub) they're a collection of every thug-like bit-part actor you ever saw in films and TV series made in the 60's or early 70's.
BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS - in fact, they enhance the humour, even though that was probably never the intention.
The repartee and one-liners shared between the major characters, especially Turtle, Eddie, Inspector Rafferty and George are truly funny - and become funnier as the series and characters bedded themselves in and were continually developed by Edmund Ward, the writer of every episode. Of especial merit is the non-acting of Ruby Head whose impassive expression is a perfect foil for the strings of one-liners, put-downs. anecdotes and niggles that she forever spouts.
Perhaps the style that best describes the delivery of all the humour is the way that none of the actors make much of it. They almost throw away their lines and never dwell on anything as if trying to raise laughs.
Being such an old series, events are not continually swamped with background music or canned laughter - everything is played dead straight and the whole series is an absolute gem.
As for my original niggle - the cost ... I DID pay an arm and a leg for my set but even though it felt like a rip-off at first, I've since watched the entire series three times which comes out so far at £10 per viewing. Which isn't bad. Also, each time I watch it, I see and hear something I'd missed before. if ever I need cheering up, this is one of the DVD sets that I reach for.
All-in-all, for me, this is one of the best light-hearted drama series I've ever seen.
And as for how Michael Attwell as Razor Eddie avoided putting on weight after troughing all the pies and breakfasts that he gets through --- it's a mystery. But his acting, alongside that of the brilliant John Landry, has to be commended as a masterclass in the art.