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Father Ted - Series 1 [DVD] 
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1. Good Luck, Father Ted
2. Entertaining Father Stone
3. The Passion Of St. Tibulus
4. Competition Time
5. And God Created Woman
6. Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest
From its very beginning in 1995, Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews' affable sitcom Father Ted occupied a previously undiscovered niche in TV comedy: by turns endearing and surreal, it was always effortlessly hilarious. Ted's the almost normal one, fighting the good fight to keep his sanity amid the chaos of his own household, where he lives with "poor idiot boy" Father Dougal, psychotically devoted housekeeper Mrs Doyle and foul-mouthed Father Jack, who doesn't need an excuse to hit the bottle (or smash one over someone's head) in any episode and whose vocabulary consists of just three immortal words: "Drink, Feck, Girls!"
The first series opens with "Good Luck, Father Ted" as we learn just how dreary life on Craggy Island really is when Funland arrives (which boasts such attractions as Freak Pointing and the Spinning Cat!). Everyone's patience is tested further when "Entertaining Father Stone"--quite possibly the most boring man on Earth--in the second episode. Proving bad publicity can be good publicity, Ted and Dougal then accidentally manage to attract audiences to the blasphemous film "The Passion of St Tibulus". Their ingenuity is tested to the limit in "Competition Time" as they become "The Three Ages of Elvis". Dermot Morgan's Ted is at his most sympathetic in "And God Created Women" when he gets the wrong end of the stick about the intentions of romantic novelist Polly Clarke. Then, lastly, in " Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest", everyone rallies round at Father Jack's "funeral" to reminisce about what a fine priest and good-natured fellow he was!
These six episodes made for a wonderful series debut; catchphrases were born ("Drink!"), as were regular characters (Jim Norton's sinister Bishop Brennan); and like Mrs Doyle's ever-wandering facial mole, audiences wanted it to "go on go on go on".
On the DVD: the only extra is an exceedingly self-deprecatory commentary from co-writer Graham Linehan, who explains the origins of the characters and how he wrote in collaboration with Arthur Matthews. He frequently and hilariously compares himself with others (chiefly Mel Brooks on Young Frankensteinand The Producers). Fans will be delighted to hear many jokes that nearly made it into the show, but will undoubtedly end up somewhere else! --Paul Tonks
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You can't help but cringe along with the corrupt but likeable Ted who has been placed on his Craggy Island hell with the stupid Dougal and the abusive and alcoholic Jack following the disappearance of funds from a charity set up to send sick parishioners to Lourdes. (He claims the money was just "resting" in his account.) The escapades he and Dougal are forced into provide the basis for one of the most original and best written comedy series in the last twenty years. Still as fresh now as it was almost ten years ago - a comic masterpiece.
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