The Two Ronnies: Season 5, Episode 1

Episode #5.1 (4 Sep. 1976)

TV Episode  -  Comedy
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Sketches include a visit to the eccentric Dr E. J. Death for a medical appointment, a short word by the Rev. McFarlane Lang about rhyming slang, the weekly serial is "The Phantom Raspberry ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Himself / Various Characters
...
Himself / Various Characters
Barbara Dickson ...
Herself
Stephen Calcutt ...
Various Characters
Jo Kendall ...
Nurse
...
Newspaper Hawker
Claire Nielson ...
Wife
...
Various Characters
The Fred Tomlinson Singers ...
Themselves
Johnnie Wade ...
Various Characters (as Johnny Wade)
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Storyline

Sketches include a visit to the eccentric Dr E. J. Death for a medical appointment, a short word by the Rev. McFarlane Lang about rhyming slang, the weekly serial is "The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town", there is the impudent butler, Ronnie talks about going to America and the musical is by the Colarado Falls Red Indian Dance Troupe. The performance in this episode is by Barbara Dickson. Written by jem

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Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

4 September 1976 (UK)  »

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Soundtracks

We Can Work It Out
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Barbara Dickson
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User Reviews

 
The Phantom strikes!
29 November 2009 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Season 5 of 'The Two Ronnies' is generally reckoned to the best in the long-running comedy series, and I'm not going to dispute that. Screened in the autumn of 1976 ( when the country was a lot cooler after the hottest summer on record ), it contains such gems as 'Four Candles', 'The St.Botolph's Country Dancers', 'Its A Washout', 'Tomorrow's Kitchen', and 'Pismonuncers Unanimus'. Oh, and Barbara Dickson made her debut here, the first of many appearances, joked about years later by Peter Kay when Ronnie Barker was given a well-deserved B.A.F.T.A.

The first edition hits the ground running. After the usual spoof news items, we get a sketch set in the office of Dr.E.J. Death ( Barker ), a G.P. around who nothing or no-one stays alive for very long. His patient ( Corbett ) is terrified and tries to leave, only to wind up hurtling down a laundry chute. Next up is the Cockney Vicar, whose tale is read from the pulpit with all the appropriate solemnity, and yet includes references to 'dicky dirt', 'bottle and glass' and 'small brown Richard The Third'.

'The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town' is this year's ongoing serial. Originally a single instalment of 'Six Dates With Barker' in 1971, it was expanded by Barker himself from the Spike Milligan original, and was even funnier, especially with Corbett playing the police inspector. Jo Kendall of 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' plays the nurse, with future 'Allo, Allo' star Vicki Michelle as a paper seller ( a role taken by Moira Foot in the original ).

The lovely Barbara Dickson sings 'We Can Work It Out'. Then its a Spike Mullins-scripted chair routine. I'm not generally a big fan of these. I know it is a part of Ronnie's style, but his rambling delivery of these jokes has me yelling at the screen: "Get on with it!". But this one is quite good.

The finale has the two Rons dressed as native Americans singing 'The Redskins' Annual Do' which no-one would dare do now. Not their best finale by a long chalk, but the earlier stuff is so good it hardly matters.

Funniest moment - the Impertinent Butler sketch, with Barker as a manservant who somehow manages to be both obedient and yet insulting e.g. "You're nuts, Milord!" and "You're crackers, Milord!". 'Milady' is Claire Nielsen, a frequent 'Two Ronnies' actress who also appeared in B.B.C Scotland's very funny sketch show 'Scotch & Wry'.

Season 5 was part of a strong Saturday evening B.B.C.-1 line-up which included 'Dr.Who' ( starring Tom Baker ), 'Bruce Forsyth & The Generation Game', 'The Duchess Of Duke Street' ( a period drama from the team responsible for 'Upstairs, Downstairs, starring Gemma Jones ), 'Parkinson', 'Match Of The Day', and the U.S. cop show 'Starsky & Hutch'. Poor old I.T.V. got thumped in the ratings each week, although there was some consolation for them with their Monday night double-bill of 'George & Mildred' and 'The Sweeney' which the B.B.C. was unable to match.


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