On this tape, here’s a comedy serial by Andrew Marshall and David Renwick, writers of Whoops Apocalypse, Hot Metal and , individually, 2 Point 4 Children and Jonathan Creek.
Fun trivia fact: Douglas Adams based the character of Marvin the Paranoid Android on Andrew Marshall.
I have to admit, I remember the name of this series, but not much else. It’s got a great cast, though, leading with Richard Briers, Adrian Edmondson and Imelda Staunton, so let’s see how it goes.
There’s a little bit of a political message at the start, during a long pan across a queue in a Post Office.
Richard Briers plays Godfrey Spry, who is hit on the head by a wheelbarrow of bricks, and as a result cannot concentrate for longer than 30 seconds. So he therefore becomes influenced by adverts, and the programme has fun making a lot of fake adverts.
He’s not the luckiest man in the world. Shortly after leaving hospital, he’s involved in a car accident test driving a car along a cliff edge at sunset. Then, on holiday in Hamburg, his wife is stoned to death by football hooligans.
He sells his house, and tries to buy a new one from Estate Agent Martin Clunes.
Angus Deayton’s bank manager won’t lend him any money.
When he moves into a luxury apartment built out of an old prison, his neighbour is city trader Gary Olsen.
But when the money runs out and he’s evicted, he has to move in with Nephew Gordon, played by Adrian Edmondson.
Edmondson and wife Muriel (Imelda Staunton) looked at an old people’s home, but with entertainment provided by Damaris Hayman, they decided against it.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th November 1993 – 21:30
Before the next episode, there’s the end of the Nine O’Clock News, and Newsroom South East. There’s a trailer for Clive James Postcard from Cairo and one for a repeat of The Life and Loves of a She Devil.
Then, Episode Two. Things aren’t happy in the household, for Gordon and Muriel. Their mood isn’t helped when a team of workmen led by Paul Merton dig up the street outside their house.
But they hope that Godfrey’s romance with an old sweetheart will lead to him moving out. But because of his commercial obsession, she’s not interested. Godfrey tells Gordon and Muriel that he’s going to get married, but they don’t quite register when he tells them he hasn’t found anyone to marry yet, leading to yet more confusion.
Patrick Barlow appears as an insurance company loss adjuster.
Neil Mullarkey appears as a waiter.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 18th November 1993 – 21:30
Before the next episode there’s an extra – a Labour Party Political Broadcast all about how Labour would close the tax loopholes that let huge corporations pay no tax. They could almost run the same broadcast today and it would still be relevant.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 25th November 1993 – 22:30
Then, episode 3 of If You See God, Tell Him. This was postponed from it’s originally scheduled broadcast for a week, meaning the genome link is actually wrong.
It’s november, and Godfrey is just finishing up his Christmas shopping. Mark Arden appears as a shop assistant.
Bob Wellings, off of Nationwide, pops up as a newsreader.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th November 1993 – 21:35
Annoyingly, I’ve missed the start of the next episode, so it starts in a courtroom. In fact, it looks like it’s the very end, in which Godfrey is found guilty by reason of diminished responsibility of some crime or other, and sent to a hospital for the criminally insane. Where they take away his TV.
This is, without a doubt, the most depressing ‘comedy’ I’ve seen in a very long time. Far too few laughs too. Very disappointing from Marshall and Renwick.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 2nd December 1993 – 21:40
Afterwards there’s a trailer for Sports Review of 1993.
Then this recording stops, and underneath there’s Question Time.
After this, there’s trailers for States of Terror, and Clive James Postcard from Cairo.
Then there’s an episode of Spenser for Hire.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 18th November 1993 – 23:15
Then there’s a trailer for Rain Man and a look at programmes for Friday. Look – they’re showing old Doctor Who.
Then, after some weather, and a public information film about victims of crime, BBC1 closes down.