After the phenomenal success of the first series of Q & Q, child stars Erik van't Wout and Martin Perels became instant teen idols. About two years later, looking slightly older and bearing the burden of fame, Runkum's best crime solvers return, still aided by Opa Quarles van Ispen (Bob de Lange) and joined by Akkie Swaan (daughter of a police inspector and privy to the latests information concerning the big case). As Akkie, 15 year old Tamar Baruch nearly acts the two leads off the small screen. There are as many differences as there are similarities between this season and the first: each a stand alone mini series, revolving around a crime that the two Q's accidentally stumble upon: in this case, Wilbur (Perels) inadvertently overhears the crooks arguing over the phone during the aftermath of a jewelry heist and cop-shooting.
With the exception of Lex Goudsmit, the entire cast returns, although not all of them have quite as much to do this time. One notable exception is Enny de Leeuwe, who only had one scene-stealing appearance in the first series as a blabbermouth landlady. This time she plays essentially the same part (although she's meant to be a different character), Mrs Fok, who's constant rambling and nosiness gets in the way of the investigation. Opa gets a (much younger) love interest this time around, timid librarian Ada Blom (Marlies van Alcmaer), leading him to force the Q's to address him as 'great-uncle' instead of 'grandpa'. Between the two of them, Bob de Lange and Enny de Leeuwe get to utter some typically witty Harrie Geelen dialog, while Marlies van Alcmaer is overheard performing poetry straight out of Geelen's other masterpiece, "Kunt u mij de weg naar Hamelen vertellen, meneer?".
Inept Police officers Mudde (Stem van Oom Dagobert) and Drak (Pipo de Clown) get more involved this time, but never come close to the main suspect, played by Belgian stunt coordinator Hammie de Beukelaer, who is being stalked by four menacing 'Kung Fu Chinamen' (or the Dalton brothers as the boys dub them). It is here where the series seems most dated (since seventies fashion and hairstyles are all the rage again). The way the main characters react to seeing the four orientals is quite un-PC. None of them gets an on screen credit, either, even though they appear in nearly every episode.
With a hard to crack mystery, several sub plots surrounding the preparations for the centennial celebration of their (fictional) hometown and a couple of red herrings involving more new characters, this series proved to be quite difficult to keep track of and almost begged for a repeat viewing. But at the time most people had never of video recorders and owing to some sort of audio problem, these episodes have never been televised again. However, the negative was blown up and the 337 minute running time cut down to a mere 87(!) in order to release "Q & Q, Kunst en Vliegwerk" theatrically in 1978. Naturally, this abridged version was even more difficult to understand.
One copy of the movie was restored in 2004 and given a special screening for hard core Q & Q fans, with almost every surviving cast and crew member attending. From this and several other surviving copies, Bridge Entertainment, having already released the first season on DVD to great success, managed to produce a presentable version of series two (with only the end titles on most episodes missing) in 2005. Sadly, Martin Perels, who had been suffering from a brain tumor, passed away just before this missing piece of the puzzle became public at last.
9 out of 10
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