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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Britcom > British TV > Open All Hours – The Complete Series (BBC DVD)

Open All Hours – The Complete Series (BBC DVD)


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



From the last golden age of Britcoms (the cycle of British Situation Comedies from the 1970s that were often groundbreaking and hilarious) comes one that started, ended, later restarted and is a sort of lost gem is Open All Hours.  The show about a small grocery shopkeeper/owner (the great Ronnie Barker) and his somewhat eccentric assistant (the impressive David Jason) was launched in 1976 as a pilot and the BBC made it into a TV series.  After several years, they brought it back for three more seasons, making it a unique hit.


Despite the gap of years the show stayed funny, though I liked the darker look and approach of the pilot, this still works well and holds up very well.  Though the wit of the scripts and the talent including the fine supporting cast (Lynda Baron is a nurse who is the owner’s love interest) the show has some great chemistry, but what puts it over the top is not just the boldness of some of the jokes, but the slapstick comedy that is a laugh riot.  This may be creator Roy Clarke’s best work, despite Keeping Up Appearances being such a good show.  I doubt you can sit through this without laughing and dare you to try.


The 1.33 X 1 image too often has aliasing errors and can look a little harsh, likely because these are digital copies from the original PAL masters.  However, color is often good and that helps.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is consistent more often and clearer.  The only extras are the original 1976 pilot which is as funny as any of the regular shows and text on Clarke.  *Though the pilot is an extra, we consider it part of the series shows,



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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