Supposedly as a temporary measure Lennie Godber is moved into Fletch's cell. As a first-timer the prison world is new to him and he misses his girl-friend. Fletch shows a kindly, philosophical side ...
Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »
Long running BBC comedy show consisting of sketches and humourous musical routines involving the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. Most sketches involved both men, but ... See full summary »
The Fred Tomlinson Singers
This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the ... See full summary »
Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to ... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
This comedy series is all about two mates, Gary and Tony who share a two bedroom home. They are grown men who act like a couple of drunk two year olds, who spend their time either drinking ... See full summary »
Norman Stanley Fletcher is sentenced to 5 years at her Majesty's pleasure at HM prison Slade in darkest Cumbria. His naive cell mate Lenny Godber needs to learn the ropes, skives and scams and evil prison officer Mr.Mackay tries to run the prison his own way. And then there's Mr.Barroclough who is just too weak willed to have his good nature exploited.
David Jason had always wanted to work with Ronnie Barker before this series and Open All Hours (1976). He believed it profoundly affected the course of his life. He always considered him a mentor. He never understood why Barker left ITV for the BBC because he wasn't in the know. The two became close friends. He claimed Barker was very wise, and if he thought something was OK, that was good enough. See more »
I've got this letter, like.
From a woman, it looks like, and, judging by the handwriting and stationery, a woman of low standards.
That's right! It's from the wife!
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The opening titles consist of outside shots of Slade prison and of several doors and gates being closed and locked. See more »
I'm not going to go on about why this is the greatest sitcom ever and what are the funniest lines ever; its up to whoever is reading this to go discover that for themselves and encourage you to do so.
I do want to comment on how this is a sitcom with exceptional timing of both visual gags and one liners, some so blatant that they are funny because you can't belive they stuck them in!
Possibly the best aspect of this programme though was the humanity.
Fletcher might sometimes seem heartless towards godber, but it is all about surviving a harsh environment intact. For evidence about this watch the episode "a night in" which revolves around godbers first night in prison. The episode takes place in their cell and never really features anyone but the two principle characters. But this is still one of the funniest episodes of any sitcom anytime, containing a few throw-away one liners, but mainly the episode is about the subtle humour of how to survive in stir and not forget the outside.
Ronnie Barker is possibly the greatest comic actor of all time, who provides perfect comic timing on every joke, but you will always believe that fletcher is real and you can see the emotion pouring out of every episode of porridge.
Richard Beckinsale as godber was the perfect foil for fletcher and again his timing was immaculate for the restraint on the delivery of his lines. He always held his own with ronnie and will always be fondly remebered by so many for this role after he died so young.
The two principles were also supported so well by other characters in the prison who came from all spectrums of life (well male life, sorry ladies)
One of the most interesting features was that they represented the two opposites of attitude from the prison guards. Mackay was load, coarse and brutal, but you could always see that underneath he was a man trying to do his job to the best of his ability. Mr Baraclough is more interesting as a "screw" who just wants to help the prisioners and be their friends whilst trying to not to hurt either side. Some people found him unbelievable; but i actually know a guy who had to leave his job as prison guard as he identified more with the inmates than the guards he was supposed to work with!
To be honest i don't care if anyone else has this as their favourite programme; it is mine and if i have persuaded just one person to go watch and love this as much as i do then i will be satisfied.
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