I remember watching this series when it got its first (and only) run on BBC 2 in 1987. I nearly died of laughter. Ritchie the hopeless hasbeen TV celeb, excelently acted by Rik Mayall is so desperate to get on tv that he plots to kill his father, who it turns out he dosent know. The strongest character is Eddie Catflap, (Ade Edmondson) who is Ritchie`s minder although he was reminded once by Ralph Filthy (Nigel Playner) " You are Ritchie`s Minder, but you are never there when he needs you , and when he gets beaten up you join in !".I still have some of the original recordings which were severly edited when relesed on video, probably due to the poitical , topical content of the time, Mrs Thatcher (a wonderwoman workaholic who leads a 36hr day, well you would need 36 hours a day to screw things up the way she does !!) Shame on you BBC for not giving this a chance rather than the rather inferior Bottom which was a spin-off and relies on visuaul rather than good old fashioned wit for most of its laughs. I would pay good money to see this series in its uncut entirety again.
5 stars for the show, as I believe it to be Ben Elton's best work and way ahead of its time, especially as it seems that life is now imitating art! Eddie Catflap is also my favourite Ade Edmondson character - far superior to Eddie Hitler. I also love Nigel as Filthy Ralph and his Polari phrases.
However this version is only slightly more complete than the initial Playback release and therefore I'm still keeping my original taped TV transmissions. Despite previous reviews I can assure you that both Playback & Acorn; -
i). omit all of the Oliver sequences; ii). both have the 'Morning Has Broken' song from the first episode (this wasn't cut); iii). Playback doesn't include 'Roxanne', whereas Acorn's does. iv). Though both do not have the Joe Dolce song gag, during the same sequence. v). Playback is rated '12' but for some strange reason it's been reclassified as '15' for this new Acorn release? vi). on the reverse sleeve of Playback it warns of edits due to contractual reasons (music rights etc) - no such warning on Acorn. vii). 25th Anniversary Edition is totally misleading - as there are no extras; bar static filmographies; subtitles & a picture gallery with about 3 pictures (hardly special features) or any remastering.
Overall a poor lazy release packaged up as an Anniversary 'special type' Edition. I hope one day it finally gets a release that's worthy and contains proper special features such as talking heads or commentaries from the writer or surviving cast.
I love this show and was really looking forward to watching it on DVD but was wary due to edits of songs and whole comedy routines. Such as the hilarious pick pocketing scene I have the early 90s Vhs version which wasn't edited and was expecting the same complete version but with superior visuals. No its a nice clean print but with edits.....very unhappy dumping this dvd on ebay and going to get my vhs version transferred onto dvd. Very annoyed as others recommend it as uncut.....
I had this as a Christmas present to replace the old playback DVD as I believed this version would be uncut. However I was annoyed when during the pickpocket scene it clearly jumped and it was obviously cut. I cannot understand why Jimmy Saville references would be left in but what was clearly a funny scene would be removed?