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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Pilot!!!!

Author: jamesbarnshaw from United Kingdom
24 January 2010

This prog was hyped up, big time, in the uk & going into it i thought i was going to be disappointed by having hopes set too high on the utter brilliance of "only fools." For the first ten minutes i could not get out of the mindset of only fools and wanted to see some of the gags and jokes we've come to know the trotters for over the years. However, after settling into the story i found myself intrigued by the trotters begginings & pleasantly surprised. "Rock & chips" has a far more serious mood too it than only fools did,with no laughter track and subtle jokes and some well-placed gags.The mix of humour and drama is excellent! I think this is where it will excel and grow substantially,as it lets us see what life was really like for the trotters in 60's London. I say give it a watch even if u haven't seen only fools, as it can work both ways with prequels and sequels. Top-notch bbc again!!!

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An enjoyable effort but with some errors!

Author: fexil from United Kingdom
28 January 2010

As others say this was an enjoyable prequel to Only Fools with a good amount of early stuff mentioned in OFAH explained. It was well cast throughout and the period detail was a good attempt! The "errors" included the tone of 1960 being very rose-tinted. Denzil for a start had a 70s afro & his manner in 1960 would have been much less loud due to how life was & the limited views of the day. The other black guy however, looking very like Muddy Waters the blues legend, was spot on.

The incessant music & record references were a bit OTT, ooh we got the original record! You could see they had no-centre ex-jukebox records & reproduction London sleeves! The music chosen was certainly the pick of the era all USA artists even though many happily listened to UK pop like Max Bygraves & other MOR artists.

The purple pill popping was wrongly called "drugs" which is not even how we spoke of such in the 80s. Slater dancing stoned saying he was like a "rock star" was foolish, such a term not used until well into the 70s.

The "intense" cinema manager was a bit out of place perhaps, it appeared to be an attempt to appeal to today's TV crowd, although it ended up hilarious & the final joke subtle enough to only be understood by those old enough, which is a nice bit of writing. The Coffee joke was nice too in typical OFAH style.

Kellie Bright & James Buckley were perfect castings. Nicholas Lyndhurst was the obvious choice for Freddy, but he wasn't consistent & ended up more like Gary from 'Goodnight Sweetheart' simply as NL is known as a nice guy.

The title itself 'Rock & Chips' was a bit feeble after the working title & only a mention of it eating such on the bus.

Overall certainly the best show of the year so far & not to continue with it would be a shame, although having covered all the story we knew about having watched OFAH anything further would need some strong writing to keep the quality. One of those shows guaranteed to please those familiar with OFAH & being over 30 but it may just confuse those younger without the show knowledge.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A worthy attempt to do something that was always in the pipeline

Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
31 August 2010

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

John Sullivan managed to keep the Only Fools and Horses legend running for nearly twenty five years, and delivered something that is undoubtedly a true British institution that grew so it couldn't be constrained by the mere format of a TV show. Although it had undoubtedly been stretched as far as it could go by the time the last feature length special was shown in 2003, there was something in the sub-conscious of each fan, that could easily take on knowing, something even just a little bit more about the characters, so durable in the memory were they. The easiest, but probably the most effective thing to do, would be to re-trace the story of Del's early life, before becoming the character we stuck with for so many years.

And so we are taken to Peckham in the 1960s, where the mystical Joan Trotter (Kellie Bright) lives in a run-down street with her thoughtless, abusive pig of a husband Reg (Shaun Dingwell) and the young Del boy (James Buckley.) She ekes by a living as a cinema usherette, having to put up with her pervy boss and the thought of never escaping this run down life...until a chance encounter with recently released con Freddie Robdal (Nicolas Lyndhurst) comes by, setting the course of her life and the lives of those closest to her on a rickety collision course that will change everything forever.

The shiny, camcorder like lens that it's filmed in gives it a cheap look that detracts from it a bit, but this is something you just learn to overlook. The Inbetweeners's Buckley is an inspired choice as the young Del Boy, as well as Daniels as a younger version of Leonard Pearce's Grandad. Lyndhurst is quite a subversive choice to play Robdal, but given who we later learned who he was in relation to Rodney, who better? What's disappointing is the under developed younger side characters in the shape of Del's mates, including Boycie, Denzel, Trigger, Slater et al...which could have been quite interesting.

Played more for drama than for laughs, this has a reputation that precedes it and so makes it even more affectionate for long time fans. Doesn't quite deliver in every way, but not a bad effort for something that was always going to come along eventually. ***

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

If it ain't broke...

Author: studioAT from United Kingdom
13 August 2010

This seems to be the BBC motto as they frantically try and drag another success out of the Only Fools and Horses hat. They've tried a spin off so why not try a prequel.Luckily for them they have struck gold.

John Sullivan has created a warm and funny comedy drama that captures the love story of Del Boy's mum and Freddie the frog that was touched upon in Only Fools. It has iconic music in it throughout and some wonderful moments that prove that Sullivan is still at the top of his game.

Kelly Bright is good as Joan and Nicholas Lyndhurst makes a passable villain as Freddy the Frog. Much was said about James Buckley taking on the iconic role of Del Boy but to be honest he doesn't really have a lot to do and it's the Joan and Freddie love story that carries the piece.

Sure it may not have been what everyone expected but at the end of the day everyone loves the trotters and this drama only makes us love them more.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Rock and Chips

Author: Jamesfilmfan905 from United Kingdom
11 April 2017

This is a terrible prequel to a much loved classic Comedy about a young Del Boy in his teenage years the scripts lack the usual John Sullivan wit there are no laughs to be had the performances save this mess from being completely Unwatchable Nicholas Lyndhurst shines as Freddy the Frog whilst James Buckley who even though he had a hard act to follow from David Jason the original Del boy is utterly mediocre and charmless i kept seeing his character from the inbetweeners instead .

Anyway i don't want to go into much more more detail about this since it was a truly execrable experience watching this mess avoid it at all costs even if you're a die hard Only fools and horses fan its not worth it at all .

Skip it you'll thank me after .

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing prequel

Author: Andrew from Essex
28 April 2017

This comedy-drama miniseries, set in the early 1960s, is a prequel to Only Fools and Horses.

This is a good idea, but it doesn't work well. It's more of a drama series than a sitcom. The acting is good, but it's not funny or interesting enough.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Trotting on

Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
27 November 2015

As a fan of the television series Only Fools and Horses I was well aware that write John Sullivan had at times retcon the Trotter family history here and there when the comedy series was running.

When the prequel Rock & Chips was made I felt the reconning went to overtime and by this period I felt Mr Sullivan who was soon to pass away had lost his comedy mojo.

The pilot episode started brightly enough and with high viewing figures with a mixture of music, nostalgia and comedy-drama.

We are transported to the Peckham of the 1960s when Del boy was younger, cocky but a little bit green.

It is more about Joan Trotter much mentioned in the original series living a downtrodden life with a no good husband, Reg. A character who only once appeared in OFAH as their long lost dad. A younger version of Granddad is also there showing traits we saw in the original comedy show.

Joan is a cinema usher with a pervy boss and meets the charming ex- con Freddie Robdal played by Nicholas Lyndhurst who charms her takes her away from her humdrum life.

Lyndhurst is having a ball plying the charming but also ruthless Freddie the Frog. You simply forget Rodney the Plonker. However he was a minor character in the OFAH canon who is playing a bigger role in events and the surrounding characters. I always assumed he was someone Joan had a fling with, around for a short time and disappeared. He may or may not had been Rodney's dad. A mute point now given that Lyndhurst plays Friddie.

The show was not too funny because it was more of a drama which left young Del Boy out in the cold and his friends such as Boycie were too minor as characters. For OFAH geeks like me Joan was painted very much as an angel here as in the original show, although she was spoken in the past tense as she died when Rodney was an infant, she was supposedly a bit of a floozy.

By the time the third episode came around the viewers lost interest in the show. The main reason was because the show was disjointed and lacked focus. We expected a comedy about the misadventures of young Del boy and we did not get it.

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0 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

An Average Rock & Chips

Author: hawkeye123 from United Kingdom
25 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

the Prequel to Only Fools and Horses or the story of how Rodney came about Sadly Don,t see much of del boy or the gang a two minute scene here and there the story reso1ves around Del Boys mum Joan and Freddy the frog how they met and how he Became Rodney's Father Nicholas Liddhurst was o.k as Freddy he did his Best act has a hard man but just never convinced there were not to many Comedy Moments shame David Jason never Cameo in this would have made it better i think they should have had a stronger plot i don.t think they needed grandad in this he only had about 6 lines to say plus a young man dressed as an old man does to really work that said my mark 5/10 Could Have been Better

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