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 ...
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Fletcher's doing five years for breaking and entering. He's quick witted and never short of a trick or two to make his life that little bit easier. Lennie Godber's his cellmate who Fletch often teases but also protects in a father-like way. The other two main characters are prison officers; MacKay's a militarily strict type, keen to adhere to the rules, while Mr Barrowclough is almost a complete opposite and easily manipulated by Fletcher. Written by
Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and actor Ronnie Barker all came up with "Porridge" (British slang for serving a prison sentence, porridge once being the traditional breakfast in UK prisons) as the title, independently of each other. See more »
You're writing a book?
Yeah - a sort of inside guide to prison life. But don't worry, I've not overlooked your boys in blue - I will be dealing just as much with your issues as those of our fellow felons.
Oh, good. And what are you going to call this book?
Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down.
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The closing credits listed the actors' names but not the corresponding names of the characters that they played. See more »
I've seen some great sitcoms in my time - and some not so great. But this is definitely one of the great ones. The very idea of a comedy set in prison doesn't sound like it can work. But it does - and how!
Ronnie Barker is perfect as Fletch. He's nobody's fool, and doesn't suffer other people who are fools, but underneath is a heart of pure gold - he just doesn't show it very often. This is to his credit when it is displayed, for Godber (Richard Beckinsale) or Blanco (David Jason). As with everything, Barker's timing is superb, and the simplest little line can have the viewer in stitches. This man will always be the guv'nor!
Richard Beckinsale as the first-offender Lennie Godber is just as wonderful. He takes it at a slower pace, highlighting the contrast between the two characters. A gentler man for the role it is hard to envisage. And who would want to!
Not forgetting Fulton Mackay (Mr Mackay) and Brian Wilde (Mr Barrowclough) - similarly fast and slow-paced. There is never any doubt that Mackay is an authority figure over them, and can make their lives hell if he chooses to, whereas the long-suffering Barrowclough is the perfect foil, like Sgt Wilson to Cpt Mainwaring.
This is of course due first to the wonderful writing of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, whose names grace the credits of many wonderful shows. They have created a masterpiece. A wonderful with believable characters. Everything fits together perfectly. Not one line needs changing.
Great cast, great writers. 12/10! The best sitcom ever!
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