After blocking much of his early work from repeats and video/D.V.D. releases, Sir David Jason seems to have had a welcome change of heart. 'Lucky Feller' came out on D.V.D. last month, while 'The Top Secret Life Of Edgar Briggs' is due out early next year. Surely 'A Sharp Intake Of Breath' - his first solo hit - cannot be far off too? I hope so.
'The Seven-Year Hitch' was the final episode of Season 1. The Barnes' have decided to celebrate their wedding anniversary by booking a room in the hotel where they spent their honeymoon. But it has changed, and not for the better. Peter has problems with a revolving door, the room they had wanted is unavailable, and they cannot get a meal as the kitchens are closed. The manager ( Richard Wilson ) is unhelpful in the extreme. Peter has to bribe a porter ( Alun Armstrong ) to get some food ( two Babychams and some sad-looking tomato omelette's ). Furthermore, their room lacks a double bed. More chaos occurs when the Barnes, both wearing nothing but towels, are accidentally shut out of their room...
Season 1 was patchy at best. The best episodes were by Ronnie Taylor, the show's creator. He would write all the shows from then on right up to his death in 1980. It was a ratings hit though, and I suspect this would also have happened had Jason's earlier sitcoms been networked. Wilson is perfectly cast as the toffee-nosed manager, he played different authority figures in all the early episodes. Alun Armstrong cropped up a lot too, mostly cast as surly workmen. Bella Emberg is seen fleetingly as a member of staff.
Funniest moment - Peter, on receiving the bill, quips to the manager: "Are you sure you haven't added in the date?".
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