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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Excellent typically British Comedy Series !

Author: Nicholas Rhodes from Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France
12 August 2004

I had vague memories of this series as a child in the 1970's and was pleased to see that some of the episodes had just been issued on DVD ( Region 2 ) in the uk and promptly bought it. I then discovered with dismay that the episodes on the dvd were the ONLY REMAINING ones out of a total of 32 or 33 episodes, one third to be precise. How can the other episodes have disappeared. The people at the BBC responsible for this loss should be hung, drawn and quartered, and there, I'm being kind to them !!

The episodes on the DVD are even funnier that my memories had led me to believe, especially Derek Nimmo ( wonderful !! ) and made me even more furious to think that so many episodes had been "lost". Although I don't live in the UK any more, I do have family there whom I visit regularly. When watching the comedy on the BRitish TV today, it is absolutely hopelessly boring compared to shows like All Gas and Gaiters, Steptoe and Son etc etc which really were the heyday of the BBC comedies. The series has innuendo but not crudeness and of course the presence of Joan "Mrs Richards" Sanderson as the Deacon's wife adds some more feminine humour to an otherwise preponderantly male atmosphere. I'm not sure whether the series would please across the world as humour in a "religious" context can be a sensitive issue in some countries and cultures. But I would definitely recommend the series to would-be english speakers as the diction is wonderful and far better than any of the rubbish we see today.

So at least we have the DVD with 11 episodes. Thank heaven for small mercies..................

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

British Farce at its very best!

Author: Martin-Smith-3 from United Kingdom
5 February 2006

I, too, lament the fact that the current DVD release of this excellent series only has eleven episodes. But apparently, in the late sixties/early 1970s, the BBC had a policy of wiping archive material and reusing the tapes – to save money. Indeed, the late Peter Cook often told of how he offered to buy every single episode of 'Not Only, But Also' a comedy series he co-wrote and starred in with Dudley Moore, as well as giving the BBC a brand new tape for each episode bought.

However, the Corporation muttered some feeble excuse about 'copyright' issues and declined Pete's proposal. Thus, for a goodly while, a few blinkered Philistines at TV Centre were able, by dint of their elevated and self-righteous positions, to consign some of the most significant comedy of all time to the trashcan.

How I DO hope that this sort of cannibalism will never be brooked again.

As for 'All Gas & Gaiters'…the lost, and what we have of it… Absolutely brilliant in every respect.

All the characters are clearly defined, the detail most accurate and everything so typical of the ethos prevalent in that wondrous age. Consequently, my sincere thanks to: the writers, Pauline Devaney and Edwin Apps, the dearly departed Frank Muir, who had the insight to promote a one-off 'Comedy Playhouse' and bring us this marvellous series in the first place, and no less the fine British players – William Mervyn, Robertson Hare, Derek Nimmo, John Barron and Joan Sanderson - who were so quintessential in making 'AGAG' what it truly was.

I can strongly recommend this set and, while I'm on the subject, openly confess that I now make a habit of snapping up all the 'old stuff' as soon as it's released, before some short-sighted accountant decides I am not to have it – ever.

Given the above, a commendable strategy meseems.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"More sherry, Bishop?"

Author: AdamJezard from England
19 February 2004

This is a wonderful TV series. In reality, there are 33 episodes (including the pilot in the BBC's Comedy Playhouse series), although only 11 have survived the massive destruction of material that took place at the BEEB in the early 70s.

The wonderful cast play members of a cathedral ecclesiastical community, who constantly in-fight amongst themselves. There is the Bishop (Mervyn), the Archdeacon (Hare) and the chaplain, Noote (Nimmo), who are lazy, ineffectual and enjoy life's pleasures. This triumvirate is engaged in a constant battle of wits against the reforming and high-church Dean (Baron, sadly the two seasons with Clark in the role have not survived).

It's not always about big belly laughs. The humour is more akin to that of the Will Hay films or Capt. Mainwearing in `Dad's Army', where the joy is in watching incompetent people tackle tasks beyond their scope.

I loved this series as a child and the BBC, under licence, has recently released the surviving episodes, which are fortunately available on Amazon.co.uk.

For real buffs, there was also a BBC radio series with Baron, Mervyn and Hare in their original roles, although Nimmo only appeared in 13 of the 33 episodes, being replaced by his friend Jonathan Cecil. Many of these are available on OTR sites in the US (that's Old Time Radio) in MP3 format. The BEEB would have a little treasure trove on its hands if it would release these on CD, I'm sure.

Sadly, another BBC series, "Oh, Brother!", in a similar vein, made at the same time and also starring Nimmo, also seems to have suffered as reportedly only 9 of the original 19 episodes have survived.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"Another sherry, Bishop?"

Author: AdamJezard from England
22 February 2004



This is a wonderful TV series. In reality, there are 33 episodes (including the pilot in the BBC's Comedy Playhouse series), although only 11 have survived the massive destruction of video and film material that took place at the BEEB in the early 70s.

The wonderful cast play members of a cathedral ecclesiastical community, who constantly in-fight amongst themselves. There is the Bishop (Mervyn), the Archdeacon (Hare) and the chaplain, Noote (Nimmo), who are lazy, ineffectual and enjoy life's pleasures. This triumvirate is engaged in a constant battle of wits against the reforming and high-church Dean (Baron, sadly the two seasons with Clark in the role have not survived).

It's not always about big belly laughs, but it's more gentle and enjoyable than the sickly sweet `Vicar of Dibley'. In fact, it owes much to Anthony Trollope's Barchester Cathedral series of novels. The humour is more akin to that of the Will Hay films or Capt. Mainwearing in `Dad's Army', where the joy is in watching incompetent people tackle tasks beyond their scope.

I loved this series as a child.

For real buffs, there was also a BBC radio series with Baron, Mervyn and Hare in their original roles, although Nimmo only appeared in 13 of the 33 episodes, being replaced by his friend Jonathan Cecil (who also wrote his obit in "The Times") for the remainder.

Sadly, another BBC series, "Oh, Brother!", in a similar vein, made at the same time and also starring Nimmo, also seems to have similarly suffered as reportedly only 9 of the original 19 episodes have survived.

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