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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It sounds like damning with faint praise to say that Cabin Pressure is probably the best sitcom on radio at the moment, but, while it may be formulaic, it really does deliver the laughs well into its fourth series and remains a joy to listen to. As usual, each episode is based on a disastrous charter for its low rent tottering-on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy single-plane airline with the combination of its polar opposite characters and unfortunate circumstances played off to perfection by an ideal cast. While Roger Allam is on his usual deliciously dryly condescending form, Stephanie Cole wears her best dismissively authoritarian yet still recognisably human demeanour (with series three's Anthony Head as her new regular romantic interest) and writer John Finnemore manages to make his too stupid to live flight attendant both a goldmine of optimistic inanity and still strangely credible in this environment, it's particularly pleasing that despite the success of Sherlock and working with the likes of Spielberg, Benedict Cumberbatch's underachieving captain is still with the show (although a cliffhanger ending to the final episode leaves his return in series five open to question).

After the slightly bumpy ride in season three there's a particularly good run of episodes this season that see the return of the odious but heavy-tipping Birling of Birling Day (given an inspired topsy-turvy spin this year), the introduction of Martin's overachieving brother, an unorthodox interview technique, a farcically disastrous stopover in Ireland and, best of all, the introduction of a possible regal romantic interest for Martin on a trip to Vaduz with the infantile king of Lichtenstein and his sister (a wonderfully funny Mathilda Ziegler). It may not break any new ground, but it's so much fun - while still retaining affection for it's oh so fallible ensemble - that it doesn't matter. Great stuff
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It took me a couple of listens to 'get' Cabin Pressure when I first heard it, but then I was hooked. It's a radio series about a small air charter firm, with one plane. One of the pilots (Martin, played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is keen but not very good; the other (Douglas, played by Roger Allam) is an old hand who knows every dodge in the book and has been reduced to flying for a two-bit charter firm after leaving a prestigious airline under a cloud. Keeping them in check is Caroline, the owner (played by Stephanie Cole), and John Finnemore, the writer, plays Arthur, her son and the steward, who is irrepressably enthusiastic about everything.

The interplay between the characters is superb; Cumberbatch acts as a straight man to Allam, who steals the show as the world-weary, cynical, all-knowing Douglas. The writing is first-rate (and the bits about flying seem to be accurate), and the comedy varies from wry in-jokes to laugh-out-loud gags with episode-long set-ups. Unlike most comedies, which tend to be running out of steam by the fourth series, the episodes on these three discs are as well-written and funny as ever, and they repay repeated listening.

If you already know and love Cabin Pressure, have no hesitation in ordering series 4; if you've never heard it, I'd recommend starting with series 1 and working your way through in order, but you'll be buying this one before long.

One of the best companions I can think of for a long car journey - recommended without hesitation. Can't wait for series 5 to find out what happens after the cliffhanger at the end of series 4...
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I've been a fan of this series since I first heard series one.
An indication of just how good this series is, is that we now arrive at series 4 so John Finnemore the writer must be doing something quite marvelous to get a repeat commission from the BBC.
My goodness they have got their moneys worth in Spades.
Series one, two and three were good series four is excellent.
The great thing I admire about John Finnemore the writer and performer of the (idiotic) Arthur is that, just like Victoria Woods, he does not save all the best lines for himself.
One genius of the series is that the humour is shared out among the 4 main characters and often the guests too. This makes the series and ensemble rather than a main character supported by the others ala Tony Hancock for example.
I have said in previous reviews that `I still believe it would make a brilliant television series it is that and I mean THAT good.' And quite right have come in for some right ear bashing comments for saying so.
I'm of the mind that those people are right this is a beautiful polished gem of a RADIO series. TV would only dilute the humour.

Just like in previous series Benedict Cumberbatch, Roger Allam ('The Thick of It' Parades End, Endeavor), Stephanie Cole ( 'Doc Martin'), and the write John Finnemore really sparkle. A recurring character from series 3 is that of Anthony Head as Herc. He plays Cole's love interest of all things and this really brings out her character even more.
I have just realized that each and every episode has the name of an airport but they start with the next letter of the alphabet so these six episodes begin at and end at "Timbuktu" and go onto `Yverdon-les-Bains'.

Every episode is a gem and really funny.
If you enjoyed the previous series then you will enjoy this one too.
If you are coming to the series afresh then I suggest you get the omnibus addition of the previous 3 with the Christmas episode thrown in for good value.
If you are new to the series I really envy you listening and enjoying this excellent series for the first time.
22 comments| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 May 2014
This is the most wonderfully entertaining show, although unfortunately I have yet to hear Series 4. Seller opened a long delivery window, then expressed surprise that I had not notified non receipt until the end. Responded well by offering replacement immediately, then discovered not in stock. Again responded well with immediate refund. But overall the exercise took several weeks from order to non fulfillment. However, Series 1 to 3 were, as Arthur would say, brilliant. We are listening for the second time and still laughing out loud. Get all the episodes however you can!
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Cabin Pressure seems to be thge main star in Radio 4's comedy firmament at the moment. With a genuine A list cast (Benedict Cumberbatch who seems to be in everything on both sides of the Atlantic these days, Roger Allam who is also doing fine work as the only watchable character in Endeavour, well loved veteran Stephanie Cole and writer John Finnimore) and some decent writing it is easy to see why.

Writer Finnimore sticks pretty true to the tried and tested comedy formulas, and why not? They work so well. Following the old 150s-1960s Service comedy formula of the crooked one (Allam), the honest one who knows what's going on and can't stop it (Cumberbatch), the idiot subordinate (Finnimore) and the superior who tries but eternally fails to outsmart the crooked one Cole), and set in a ramshackle air line this is comedy gold. We get to follow the adventures oft eh cabin crew as they try to deceive passengers and each other in the hope of earning a quick buck. It's good old fashioned stuff, the kind of rock solid humour that should be good for several more series (a-la Navy Lark...). With some excellent writing from Finnimore, who sets up some good situations, understands each of his characters and is not afraid to share out the good lines among the other characters, and the top notch performances that you would expect from such a talented cast, this is a series that had me laughing till it hurt.

All six episodes of series 4 are here, two episodes a disc on three discs held in a double jewel case. The liner notes are down the Beeb's usual poor standard in this department, limited to a list of cast and crew and index points for the different episodes. There is a factual error here, with the liner listing twenty chapters per disc (10 per episode) when in fact there are only 12 per disc (6 per episode). So if you want to jump to the second episode on a disc you need to go to chapter 7, not 11 as the liner states. A minor point I guess, but it caused me some confusion and irritation.
5 stars in all for this excellent release.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been a fan of this series since I first heard series one.
An indication of just how good this series is, is that we now arrive at series 4 so John Finnemore the writer must be doing something quite marvelous to get a repeat commission from the BBC.
My goodness they have got their moneys worth in Spades.

Series one, two and three were good series four is excellent.
The great thing I admire about John Finnemore the writer and performer of the (idiotic) Arthur is that, just like Victoria Woods, he does not save all the best lines for himself.
One genius of the series is that the humour is shared out among the 4 main characters and often the guests too. This makes the series and ensemble rather than a main character supported by the others ala Tony Hancock for example.

I always think of Arthur - As the great Groucho Marx once said
He may look like and idiot- he may talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you--he is an idiot. Comes to mind think of Pike in Dad's army.

I have said in previous reviews that `I still believe it would make a brilliant television series it is that and I mean THAT good.' And quite right have come in for some right ear bashing comments for saying so.
I'm of the mind that those people are right this is a beautiful polished gem of a RADIO series. TV would only dilute the humour.

Just like in previous series Benedict Cumberbatch, Roger Allam ('The Thick of It' Parades End, Endeavor), Stephanie Cole ( 'Doc Martin'), and the write John Finnemore really sparkle. A recurring character from series 3 is that of Anthony Head as Herc. He plays Cole's love interest of all things and this really brings out her character even more.
I have just realized that each and every episode has the name of an airport but they start with the next letter of the alphabet so these six episodes begin at and end at "Timbuktu" and go onto `Yverdon-les-Bains'.

Every episode is a gem and really funny.
If you enjoyed the previous series then you will enjoy this one too.
If you are coming to the series afresh then I suggest you get the omnibus addition of the previous 3 with the Christmas episode thrown in for good value.

Cabin Pressure: The Collected Series
If you are new to the series I really envy you listening and enjoying this excellent series for the first time.
33 comments| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 July 2013
Cabin Pressure was , to copy Arthur, BRILLIANT. It was one of those series that you don't want to end. We listened to it in the car on holiday to while away the motorway kilometres and it really did shorten the journey. It is impossible to pick out one particular person as better than the rest as they were all excellent. Please John Finnemore may we have more.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 June 2013
I love this series, and am thrilled and gutted in equal measure about the way series 4 ended. Youhave to listen to find out, but safe to say that Martin ends up, if not on top, then at least nearing the summit, at long last.
Love the writing, love the humour, adore the cast, think Joihn Finnemore is a genius.
Repeated listening only improves the show.
Love love love.

Brilliant!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 26 June 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Cabin Pressure is an irresistible comedy series and I confess myself a total addict. Unfortunately, I can never get around to Pod Casts and the like, so the chance to buy an entire series is not to be missed.

Series 4 does not disappoint with many of the stories living up to all that is best in comedy radio. For the uninitiated, Cabin Pressure concerns a one plane charter airline (MJN Air) run by the formidable Carolyn Knapp-Shappey with Captain Martin Crieff and First Officer Douglas Richardson in the cockpit and Arthur, Carolyn's son, serving the passengers - when they have any. The story lines follow their fortunes as they attempt to accomplish their various missions, to great hilarity.

This three disc set contains six episodes: there is a "pretend" visit to Timbuktu, a chance to transport a real princess and her schoolboy brother to England, and fun when the plane ends up stranded overnight in the snow. We even see Martin going for an interview for a new job... Each script is cleverly written with wit and originality and the cast deliver it to perfection. In fact, they are an able bunch with Stephanie Cole as the company owner, Benedict Cumberbatch as the captain, Douglas Allam, the first officer and, bringing up the rear, is John Finnemore, the series scriptwriter, as Arthur, who is ever eager to help but often creates mayhem.

For me, the outstanding feature of the series is that it is proper family entertainment. It is clever and utterly inoffensive. There is also the lovely combination of slapstick and subtle humour with something for everyone: the scriptwriter is just so clever.

I think that I can safely classify this as a "must buy" and it will certainly entertain the family on a long car journey but, equally, it would make a lovely present for anyone as a delightfully cheerful diversion.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 February 2014
I cannot recommend this and the other 3 series highly enough. The writing is outstanding; each character develops over the 4 series, sometimes in ways you don't expect. Each episode carries on coherently, adding on from the last (so listen in order for the best experience). The plot twists and jokes are clever, never crude and the hapless Martin and hopeless Arthur don't always come off worst - there are no cheap jokes here. The end result is a pain free car journey - even in heavy traffic - and a stock of new family in-jokes about everything from the Travelling Lemon, to the sound of a genuine Patek Phillipe. Gotta buy and listen; you won't regret it.
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