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

Rising Damp – Series Two


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



Rising Damp was made in the mid-1970s, but holds up better than just about any BritCom then or now.  The set up of the characters and situations had more of an edge to them, something we have seen in a few sitcoms, then those characters become watered down and the show declines.  Sometimes this happens over enough seasons that you get some great years out of a show, but it is better than starting with nothing like most sitcoms.  With Series Two here, the show actually became a bit funnier and characters more developed.


To recap, here 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).  Joining him as the 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 Beckinsale’s 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 Permissive Society

2)     Food Glorious Food

3)     A Body Like Mine

4)     Moonlight & Roses

5)     A Perfect Gentleman

6)     The Last Of The Big Spenders

7)     Things That Go Bump In The Night

8)     For The Man Who Has Everything



Technical playback is similar to the first DVD.  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 again are text production notes and cast filmographies, but nothing from any archive has been unearthed yet.  Fortunately, the show has and everyone who likes TV situation comedies that are actually funny will want to catch both volumes and the next editions.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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