Facing another Christmas with a frugal dinner Alf cons the vicar into giving him a Christmas hamper but Mrs Hollingbery refuses to accept it because it has been dishonestly obtained. So Alf takes it ...
A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.
BBC Television comedy detailing the fortunes of Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. Disillusioned after a long career at Sunshine Desserts, Perrin goes through a mid-life crisis and fakes his own ... See full summary »
Terry is divorced from his German wife and has a Finnish girlfriend Christina. At Thelma's suggestion they join her and Bob on a caravan holiday but due to a mishap the men get separated ... See full summary »
Wolfie Smith is an unemployed dreamer from Tooting London, a self proclaimed Urban Guerilla who aspires to be like his hero Che Guevara. Leading a small group called the Tooting Popular ... See full summary »
Terry and Bob from The Likely Lads (1964) continue their life after Terry arrives home from serving in the Army to discover that Bob is about to marry his girlfriend Thelma. Can Thelma lead... See full summary »
The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly ... See full summary »
The adventures of two "likely lads" ostensibly set in the North East of England (but filmed in Willesden Junction, London). Terry and Bob have been friends since childhood. Bob is the ... See full summary »
Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. But Harold, who likes the ... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
Five years after the disappointing A.T.V. series 'Till Death', Alf and Else Garnett returned to the B.B.C. for 'In Sickness & In Health'. It was Johnny Speight's best work in years, pitting Alf against the uncaring Thatcherite '80's. The Garnetts are now living in a cheap ground floor flat in London ( no mention is made of their time in Eastbourne ); Else is ill with rheumatoid arthritis and has to be pushed everywhere in a wheelchair, a situation Alf is understandably unhappy with. Dandy Nichols was ill during the making of the first series, and it shows. She died not long afterwards.
The second season saw Alf, now a widower, learning to get by with a smaller pension, although this does not stop him from enjoying his beer and tobacco. A new character, Mrs.Hollingbery ( Carmel McSharry ) , was introduced to provide someone for him to argue with, along with Winston ( Eamonn Walker ), Alf's home-help, who happens to be both black and gay. Arthur English was also brought in as Alf's drinking partner Arthur.
As was the case with 'Till Death', Una Stubbs managed a few guest appearances as Rita, now divorced from 'that scouse git' Mike. Patricia Hayes cropped up once or twice, as Alf's batty ex-neighbour Min, in tow with her senile, incontinent sister Gwenneth ( the sublime Irene Handl ). My favourite new character was 'Mr.Johnson', excellently played by Ken Campbell, who is as bigoted as Alf in his own way.
The combination of Speight's scripts and the new characters made 'In Sickness' one of the best B.B.C. sitcoms of the mid '80's/early '90's. The final series had Alf discovering a cache of used banknotes ( loot from a '50's bank robbery ) in an old wardrobe, and becoming a millionaire. It wasn't as funny as the earlier shows, but it was nice to see Alf living the high life for a change - and finding fault with that too.
Revivals of old sitcoms only work when the new show is as good or better than the original. 'In Sickness' was for the most part in the former category, sometimes in the latter.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?