Chance in a Million (TV Series 1984–1986) Poster

(1984–1986)

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Very clever, very funny, very watchable.
david-wiggins14 October 2004
I was first introduced to this superb little TV sitcom in 1985 when a friend recommended it (cheers Mike). Chance in a Million is not your run of the mill TV sitcom, it is very cleverly written, well acted and a little surreal. I am only surprised that Channel Four in the U.K. haven't seen fit to repeat it. It is far superior to a lot of so called TV comedy produced today. The show's actors, Simon Callow and Brenda Blethyn have moved on to make other TV shows and movies but for me they will both always be remembered for their roles as Tom and Alison. The early episodes were the best and these are the ones I have watched the most. A new series would be very welcome indeed.
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A gem
frank-dm0018 June 2006
"Chance in a Million" was a gem and it is sad that it has never been repeated.Tom Chance (Simon Callow) accepted the twists fate threw at him with unflinching cheerfulness and it was a pleasure trying to anticipate what could go wrong next.

His long suffering fiancé Alison (Brenda Blethyn) always meekly hoped for the best, enduring the most ludicrous of mishaps.

I often wondered if it wasn't rerun because its principal actors went on to greater things and having joined the ranks of "luvvies" they didn't want reminders of where they started from.

If true, this would be a shame because it was an excellent series.
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10/10
Chance would be a fine thing
dho-21 July 2007
One of the finest British TV comedies. Superb performances from both Callow and the very versatile Brenda Blethyn. Each episode managed to combine the most far-fetched coincidences with beautifully crafted dialogue, resulting in mini masterpieces. Blethyn's portrayal of librarian Alison Little should have dispelled all ideas of them as stuffy old maids! The Library Association really should have signed her up as a recruiter. It just baffles me why this hasn't been released on DVD yet. There are enough examples of the typical weak sort of stuff that passes for sitcoms being produced on DVD - time for some real quality. If there are no recordings in the archives the culprit should be hunted down and forced to watch endless episodes of Sorry.
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10/10
Just received all the DVDs
andrew_morton22 January 2008
Just received all 18 episodes on DVD which I ordered, I've watched three of them so far.

You know how for years you tell younger people how great an old series was and then it comes on and you don't even crack a smile when watching it? Well I'm glad to say that this isn't one of those. It had me in stitches and was even better than I remembered! The combination of the superb acting skills of the two (now very famous) main actors as well as the ridiculous coincidences and the wistful love story is irresistible.

Buy it. Now.
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10/10
why no DVD release?
paul bolger24 April 2009
When considering the junk that does make it to DVD, why, oh why, has this been overlooked for so long? It is superb and certainly not another twee safe little 'middle-england' sitcom where it is compulsory for EVERY actor's line to be funny then followed by canned laughter. I'm sorry but true comedy isn't like that - genuine workable comedy is best with stooges to bounce things off. Come on - there are 18 true gems lying in a vault being ignored. No wonder people pirate things from home-made video copies - I cherish the 6 episodes I taped direct from the TV but would love a DVD boxed set of all 18 in higher definition. Put my name top of your list for a copy and please, please, hurry - 'before one of us dies' to quote a well known comedian - more than 20 years has elapsed now! Brenda Blethyn and Simon Callow went on to star in much bigger productions but the magic blend of their comedic skills married to a surreal script with it's manic obsession for co-incidence is simply genius - I would urge people to seek out surviving tapes - you won't be disappointed.
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9/10
Dated but hilarious gem.
eddieknocker16 August 2011
It's a testament to the talent of Callow & Blethyn that this is not unwatchable but in fact still bloody funny and charming.

All the clichés of early 80's sitcoms in abundance - awful lighting, wooden sets, even more wooden acting from the other characters and extras, past-it's-sell-by-date canned laughter.

I only have memories of this as a child when it was originally aired. I can see why C4 haven't showed it again as it's just too dated.

But if you do have a spare few quid get the DVD set and marvel at Blethyn's hilarious, sweet and barely repressed sexual librarian and Callow's bumptious but likable bad luck lightning-rod.

Mention must go to the writers - incredibly convoluted and humorous plots. Maintains the great Brtitish tradition of the farce.
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10/10
Great 1980s Telly!
Andy B22 March 2014
One of the quirkiest and funniest sitcoms of the 1980s, this series captivates me. The very English middle class awkwardness of the relationship between the two central characters, the array of coincidences which dog poor Tom's life, Tom's bizarre way of speaking,the acting, the music - it's absolute perfection. How I wish they made TV like this nowadays! Captivating telly programmes - including the Beiderbecke Trilogy, Edge Of Darkness, Spitting Image and, of course, Chance In A Million - seemed far more prevalent back in the decade of shoulder pads and brick phones. So glad this is now on DVD, I waited for years!
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8/10
''Taking a chance on love!''
RaspberryLucozade20 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This amusing Thames Television sitcom starred Simon Callow and Brenda Blethyn as Tom Chance and Alison Little, a young courting couple who are brought together by a series of strange coincidences. Tom is frequently a member of unlikely circumstances. In the first episode, he is arrested by the police who suspect him of trying to break into a car when all he was doing was trying to force open the door for a young woman who had lost her car keys. Alison is a librarian who underneath her shy exterior is a sultry sex pot.

The two meet by chance in the same hotel where Tom has arranged to meet a blind date and Alison has arranged to meet a relative she hasn't seen since childhood. Typical sitcom plot line, wouldn't you say?

Tom and Alison soon forge a great friendship which soon gives rise to a serious relationship. Eventually, in the final episode, Tom and Alison get married.

Written by Richard Fegen & Andrew Norris ( later to script the superior 'The Brittas Empire' for the BBC ), 'Chance In A Million' is today probably best remembered for bringing then unknowns Simon Callow and Brenda Blethyn to a mass audience. Simon Callow was born to play the eccentric Tom and Brenda Blethyn's performance of the squeaky voiced but sexy Alison was equally as fine. There's a very funny scene in one episode where Alison, dressed for her hen night, goes to make a phone call at a telephone box where outside are a group of prostitutes hanging about, at which point the police arrive and arrest them all, including Alison, under the impression that she is a prostitute as well!

So, while not exactly a classic, 'Chance In A Million' was worth watching for the talents of Callow and Blethyn. In 2010, all three series were given a welcome DVD release by Revelation Films, which as a special feature includes the unbroadcast pilot episode.

Look out. by the way, for a guest appearance in the final episode from a fresh faced Stephen Fry as Reverend Hoblyn
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