René (Gorden Kaye) is the owner of a cafe in occupied France. All he wants to do is getthrough the war, and avoid making any waves, and so is very obsequious towards the Germans.Unfortunately, the French resistance wants him to hide two British airman. And every woman insight throws herself at him. And his wife is jealous. And, and. and… One complication afteranother descends upon his head.
I’ll confess that I’ve never been a fan of Are You Being Served?, s… I am at a loss toaccount for my fondness for this series, which is very similar in approach: plenty of broad, bawdyhumour and ridiculous stereotypes. This is farce, pure and simple, and the collision of accents,conflicting schemes, and deeply stupid people is well nigh impossible to resist. It ain’t high art,but it sure is funny.
The sound is mono (except on the menu). Not too much to say about it. The audio is crispand the dialogue is free of distortion, and I’m not convinced a stereo remix would have made asignificant contribution to the listening experience.
These are the episodes going back to 1982, and so the age of the TV material might explainthe most significant problem with this transfer: the image is very soft, with background orlongshot figures losing almost all of their features. The edges are a bit blurry as well. The blacksare good, as are the colours. There is also, however, some slight ghosting now and then.
Not a whole heck of a lot. The interview with Gorden Kaye is a 1985 appearance on the talkshow Wogan. Then there’s a Children in Need benefit appearance where most of the cast(in character) sing “Under the Bridges of Paris.” There are bios for the cast and the writers. (Nowwhy do you think the bio for Vicki Michelle neglects to mention her starring role in 1972’sVirgin Witch?) The most interesting feature, perhaps, is the presentation of the pilotscript, which scrolls up the screen while the pilot plays in PIP form. There are also trailers forother BBC comedies: Father Ted, Coupling, Ab Fab and TheOffice. The menu has an animated and scored intro, and a scored main screen.
Stupidly fun farce, well nigh impossible to dislike. Who knew WWII was so funny?
Special Features List
- Pilot Script
- Interview with Gorden Kaye
- “Under the Bridges of Paris” Performed by Cast
- Cast and Crew Bios