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The Two Ronnies - Series 9 [DVD]
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The complete ninth series of the long-running BBC comedy sketch show hosted by Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. A popular culture institution in its own lifetime, the programme begins and ends with the pair seated behind a desk reading quick-fire 'news' reports. In between, 'in a packed programme tonight...', there are sketches, drama serials, musical routines and a rambling monologue from Ronnie Corbett, before the pair sign off with their famous catchphrase: 'It's goodnight from me.' 'And it's goodnight from him.' 'Goodnight'.
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The 8 episode serial running throughout the season sees the return of Charley Farley and Piggy Malone in "Band of Slave". The bumbling duo are hired by Mrs Bumstead to find the missing members of her on-board-ship ladies orchestra and protect the ladies who are left - but what does all this have to do with the mysterious blind beggar.
- government announcement - equality
- crossed lines - telephone call
- society of "pismronunciation"
- the vet
- the guru
- appeal on behalf of the invisible
- Mr Simkins
- Open Univesrity
- Post Office
- Russian tourist board
- railway drivers
Regular sketches are the "yokels" and the "cleaners".
The wonderful and iconic musical numbers are:
~ Rectory Down University
~ Grand Ole Opry - Slim Pittman and Polly Parton
~ Teeny Todd - The Demon Barber of Queer Street
~ Pearly Kings and Queens
~ The Mounties
~ Hendon Symphony Orchestra
~ Effingham Hall
~ Crop of the Flops
The singing interludes are
- Kiki Dee
- Randy Crawford
- Marti Webb
- Sheena Easton
- Madeline Bell
- Elkie Brooks
- Clodagh Rodgers
- Elaine Paige
Some of the outfits of the guest singers make you wonder whether they chose the costume and if they looked in the mirror before they walked out on stage.
Mr Corbett has his usual monologue in each episode just before the musical number, parties and bars, and there are the start and finish news bulletins.
There are audio menus, and English subtitles and soundtrack, but no other extras.
Strangely, I always thought that there were more than 8 episodes at a time. but time is playing tricks on me and, sadly, there were only 8 episodes per season. I wish that the BBC had invested a little more in this great comedy due and persuaded them to make 12 episodes ... especially as they were one of the biggest rating pullers.
The Two Ronnies seemed to get better and better as the years went on. We will miss the genius of Mr Barker. An outstanding series - I look forward to the next release.
There are also still plenty of classic sketches in this series including the sketch where everyone is named after the place they were conceived (all on the way to Montecarlo), 'The Boring Accountant' where attempts to make his employee Barker smile and gets a big hand at the end, Barker and Corbett as 'The Yokel Idiots' and the classic 'Crossed Lines' sketch with Barker and Corbett seemingly calling each other.
Another thing I can say is that the video quality gets a bit better with each series, especially around series 7 or 8, and series 9 looks REALLY good. I think video tape technology must have improved over the course of those years...after all, the show did first appear in 1971. Series 9 takes us back to 1981, with Regan and Thatcher being the butt of many a joke. As well as British Rail, the NHS, trade/labour unions, and their other usual targets!
I'd love to go back to 1981 and watch these again in real time, for two reasons: 1) I'd be younger, and more importantly 2) Ronnie Barker would still be alive. But I have the next best thing in these DVDs.
So I suppose in a way, The Two Ronnies will never die :)
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