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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > British TV > Rising Damp - Series One

Rising Damp Ė Series One


Picture: C†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Episodes: B-



Taken from a stage work, Rising Damp was another British situation comedy that dealt with racism directly, and though it has not aged perfectly, it is still a well-written and acted show.The bigot in question here is a landlord named Rigsby and played by the great British actor Leonard Rossiter (Barry Lyndon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Billy Liar, Britannia Hospital, The Pink Panther Strikes Again).He is joined by the following actors as his tenants: Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire) as Ruth, Don Warrington (Manchild) as Philip and the late Richard Beckinsale (the respected actor who happens to be Kate Beckinsaleís father) as Alan.Rigsby is interested in Ruth, thinks Alan is a radical and has issues with the fact that Philip is black.Episodes include:


1)     The Lodgers (Rooksby)

2)     Black Magic

3)     A Night Out

4)     Charisma

5)     All Our Yesterdays

6)     The Prowler (with guest star George Sewell; U.F.O., Barry Lyndon)

7)     Stand Up & Be Counted (with guest star Anthony Sharp from A Clockwork Orange and Michael Ward from Revenge Of The Pink Panther)



I recognized other guest stars from the British TV action cycle that included The Avengers, The Saint and others.The show is funny enough and when the jokes donít always work, the approach is fine.The set of the apartment building often lives up to the series title.The result is atmosphere in the look, feel and teleplays throughout that makes the show worth revisiting.


The 1.33 X 1 image originated on analog PAL videotape and has not aged as well as expected, likely more a source issue than transfer issue.The Dolby Digital 2.0 is a little bit better, with good monophonic sound for its age.The only extras include text production notes and cast filmographies, and with the two male leads no longer with us, itís hard to say what archival footage might exist.Acorn Media is poised to issue the entire series, which we look forward to.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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