|Index||3 reviews in total|
It's very unwise to critique a production after 3 or 4 decades particularly in the negative. THE MISFIT earned a deservedly loyal following during its original run with the two principle actors crafting likable and believable characters. With a budget mirroring the restraints of a then still cobwebbed nation and story lines designed to raise emotions & memories rather than hackles & questions it was a comedy-drama of a sort later termed 'gentle'. Okay, it was largely for those of 'a certain age' who were able to identify with the traumas of a known world somewhere lost and an unwelcome one somehow thrust upon them, but those viewers who today melt into the contemporary will no doubt tomorrow find themselves losing a battle to explain its attraction to a new generation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
That curious persona of Ronald Fraser seems to have turned-up in so
many productions like an uninvited guest at a party. His
unhealthily-bloated look, and thin, stifled voice seemed to suggest the
imminent onset of a chronic and perhaps embarrassing disorder:
sinusitis, or something. His lack of manliness always hinted at
homosexuality, though nothing was ever exploited. He might lust after
the ladies; but they would never reciprocate. His was one of those
'faces' at the back who you couldn't quite place or name. A 'regular'.
Always he was a flunkie, a failure, a coward, someone unreliable -
likely to cut and run, cheat, do the dirty if nobody was watching.
I have him featured in at least two Robert Aldrich movies. And he's just the same in both: a whinger. 'Too Late The Hero' & 'Flight Of The Phoenix'. And he's entirely believable.
In 1970, he finally starred in a series called the misfit. He couldn't have been better suited. That's the part he's always played. But here, he is not under anyone's heel. He's his own man - though still way out of his depth.
The premise was a good one. But Fraser was never going to be a one-man show, which is what 'The Misfit' tried to be. Fraser simply was never that strong as a character. He needed others at least as good to act as foils, and they were seldom there. For the first few shows the format worked pretty well, if only from the novelty of having such an un-likable persona in a central role. The script was also fairly crisp.
But as the other commentator describes; it's a format that didn't last. The script deteriorated, the situations became exhausted, and Fraser's persona was reduced to what it always was: an irritating whinger.
Basil Allenby-Johnson has been living remotely out in the Far East since
the end of World War 2. He returns to England at the tail end of the
swinging sixties to find a world he no longer recognizes or understands,
consequently this leads him into some very comical situations.
Starting out with a lively premise,the pace got slower and slower, so
by the end of the second and last series every body was falling asleep
including the viewers.(Although to be fair the second series was subject
various union disputes which may have hindered the production)
As the 'swinging sixties' were unrecognizable to Basil, then in the 21
century this series and its characters would be totally unrecognizable to
virtually anyone living today, so could well be an historical
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