It has to be admitted that ‘On The Buses’ is now dated, with the sexual innuendos and slightly racist jokes considered to be non-PC these days. At the time though such things were just normal, and to be honest not that much has changed in real life. This is the first series, and is in black and white, and although quite old now the picture and sound quality are still okay. First shown in 1969 the episodes herein are : -
The Early Shifts : - With shifts at the garage starting even earlier tempers flare when the staff find that the canteen isn’t open for their breaks. With strike action being taken, can things be set right?
The New Conductor : - Stan has got himself a new clippie, and it looks like he could be having some extra-curricular fun with her, but what will happen when he sneaks her home?
Olive Takes A Trip : - Olive has got herself a job as a clippie, and in his kindness Blakey has put her with Stan. But how will Olive fare?
Bus Drivers’ Stomach : - Stan claims to be suffering with bus drivers’ stomach, whereas his family thinking that perhaps it may have something to do with all the chips he eats. With medical examinations coming up for the bus crews, some action has to be taken.
The New Inspector : - With a vacancy for an assistant inspector coming up Stan decides to take the job for the extra money. But what will his colleagues think of it?
The Canteen : - The staff have taken over the running of the staff canteen, and Stan has been put in charge of running it. Who will be given the job to cook the food? Mrs Sharma can cook, but only hot curries, so will Olive and mum make a better job of it?
The Darts Match : - As Jack and Stan point out, women can’t play darts, and thus they find themselves taking a bet with two female clippies. Who will win the match, and what actions will be taken to nobble the event?
Although these are still funny, the series here was still finding its feet, and thus arguably it can’t compete with some of the later series’ and episodes. This wasn’t popular with the critics at the time, but as is quite often the case the public lapped it up, meaning more series' to come. Although Cicely Courtneidge is good as the mother here she isn’t quite as much fun as Doris Hare was in the role.
Well what does one stay about On The Buses, but,- Its a must for all great british comedy fans, you can't go wrong, there are laugh's all the way through and you know it, great artist's at their best, hilarious comedy , nice to see all these loveable shows coming to DVD. About time, go on have a laugh and collect the lot, there a must!
This was the first of a massive seven season's of the smash hit comedy TV series 'On The Buses'!
Many people may not know (or remember) that Stan's 'original ' mum was played by the much talented actress from the 1930s; Dame Cicely Courtneidge. She was married to 30s film star Jack Hulbert. Though she is good in this, I think the change to Doris Hare was a good one. Dame Cicely's acting was a little dated - even in this for the time, and she was probably past her best.
This first season was not particularly outstanding, and consisted of seven not terribly funny episodes when compared to much later ones, in fact, the first is surprisingly 'unfunny' I thought in comparison to the second which was in total contrast, hilarious and reminiscent of what was to come much later. There were no continuities in terms of story-lines from episode to episode in these type of comedies usually, but in this first season, we see a little, in the form of a character's return for a later appearance in episode seven, having first appeared in episode two - this was the sexy 'Iris', wonderfully played by Gwendolyn Watts, who is sadly no longer with us...
Network are usually quite good at leaving in Ad. Bumpers in their releases, but in this first set, only a couple have them intact, all the others have either been lost or edited out for some reason, which is a shame.
This was a comedy that definitely had to find its feet in my opinion, and some of the characters are a little 'wooden' and were to change somewhat over the years; Arthur was actually employed in this first set, whilst Jack plays a considerably smaller role. The title theme music - though the same, is played at a considerably slower tempo here too which does not help...
In summing up; this was a great comedy that got better as it went on.
Compared to what followed the first series of On The Buses is quite poor. Its a wonder it made it to a second series. Inspector Blake is a completely different character here and Mum is a completely different actress (Cicely Courtneidge looking a bit ill at ease). Still has its moments and interesting to watch a show in its very early stages. Just dont expect huge bellylaughs! For that get the third series.
Although the early series were filmed in black and white and the quality is dated, the content is still great. The comedy is as brilliant now as when it was first filmed and every episode makes you laugh.