Nick Lee (Steve Coogan) and Andy Van Allen (Rob Brydon) were the lead characters in the successful sci-fi television series 'The Children of Castor'. That was nearly 20 years ago and things have changed; Lee has become a successful actor in America, whereas Andy's career has faltered. That is until Andy is asked to be the main attraction ont a 'Children of Castor' fan club cruise...
Wow, what a great find this comedy drama is. How it seems to have sunk without a trace is quite beyond me - fans of Steve Coogan may know that he says on the 'A Cock and Bull Story' commentary that this one-off has never been repeated and he can't understand why. Perhaps the greatest enjoyment of this show is how easy it is to relate to. For anyone who has ever been a fan of anything and obsessively followed their heros and collected every scrap of information about them, this is the show for you! The cast are uniformly excellent with James Corden providing the emotional heart of the drama and David Walliams perfectly personifying the slightly creepy sci-fi obsessive. Be warned if you are buying this on the basis of Steve Coogan, his screentime is limited. However, when Coogan is on screen he is magnificent, providing some of the funniest moments with his Children of Castor appearances. However great everyone else is, this show belongs to Rob Brydon who owns it from the moment he appears on screen. Brydon gives a remarkably complex performance, being both extremely unlikeable and also sympathetic at the same time. For Coogan and Brydon fans there is great fun to be had seeing them both play against type and against the image of them portrayed in the media. Coogan is warm, kind, enthusiastic and generous. In contrast, Brydon is frustrated, unpleasant and arrogant. It is also great to see Brydon get the chance to play a womaniser, who even resorts to wearing his old Children of Castor costumes to get a fan into bed! Overall a fantastic programme, well worth watching.
Thoroughly enjoyable. Take it in the vein that is meant. Superb performances by Brydon (sorry, Coogan's not as a good an actor, he's brilliant at his own stuff of course) and James Corden ( I have to disagree with other criticisms here). Brydon is a cynical down-on-his-luck actor that's asked to relive his corny sci-fi 1980 serial role on a cruise for fans of the aforementioned. If you like Hollywood blood and guns fests then steer clear, if you like English irony, gentle self-denigration and nostalgia then indulge.
If you're expecting a Steve Coogan centric film then you'll be disapointed I would estimate he appears in about one-third of the film Even if you've never dipped a foot into the water that is genre TV then you'll recognize many of the images. Fans dressed up as characters, fan-written episodes, seminars upon the hidden meaning of episodes. Rob Brydon plays the former star of an 80's Scifi show -the effects and costumes bear an uncanny similarity to Blakes 7- who is now a hotel porter. In a bid to escape his life he grudgingly takes up an invitation to join a fan cruise for fans of the series, he's joined by the writer and someone who only ever appeared in the opening credits. However despite (or maybe because of) his lowly real life it doesn't stop him taking on the airs of a prima-donna once he joins the cruise. However his bubble is somewhat burst when Steve Coogan his co-star (and now a major star in Hollywood) joins. Of course it wouldn't be British if there wasn't a large amount of tragedy to say to who and in what way would be to spoil the film. Well worth it if only to see Coogan playing a cop in his US series (conveniently filming its "special" episode over in Europe) One extra I heartily recommend is "Steve Coogans Runner" a short film about the behind the scenes happenings including a ship wreck and the sight of two male stars sharing not only the same room but the same bed!!! Heartily recommend this film to all
Usual, reliable fare from Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan. Both engaging personalities who generally star in quirky, funny stories. This is no exception.
Rob plays a rather selfish, defensive, over-the-hill former star of a children's science fiction TV series, The Children of Castor from the 90's. Being out of work (except for an appearance on Casualty while doing his present job as a hotel porter), he accepts a fan-cruise along with other stars of the series. He is subjected to the usual fawning of his fans, photo sessions, signing of posters, etc.
He encounters singer Jack Jones, who is entertaining on the same boat. Also Steve Coogan, a rather more successful former star of the series, now in America -- with lovely young American starlet in tow, who plays the character with his usual cynicism and dry wit. There is a funny sequence when Rob joins the cast of Sherlock Holmes in Miami, in which Steve now stars.
But there are serious moments as well, as when one of the older members of the cast reveals he is ill, and when Rob encounters the result of his philandering when he was a star. Rob learns a few lessons along the way and it seems the future may be a bit brighter. Bittersweet.
An imminently watchable feature with two likeable and good-looking stars, and supported by a wonderfully sympathetic cast of characters.
This film, while not the best or the most funny that I've seen, is entertaining enough to garner a recommendation. Great for 90 minutes, especially if you don't expect too much. The Children of Castor sequences are hilarious, and David Walliams was great as the weirdo fanboy.