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I also worked for a rather large rental company, lets call it smockruster. Therefore, I have seen a fair few films (we used to get free rentals)!
Big Train (1998)
Big Train the Training Ground for British comedy (spoilers)
Warning Contains Some Spoilers!!!!!!!!
The first time I saw this show I was shocked at the sheer quality of the rather a-typical sketch show format. Despite the similarities with other shows (as many previous writers have mentioned), this show did provide us with both memorable sketches and stars.
Some of the sketches appeal to all people, and are somewhat standard in their BBC origin. For example Simon Pegg (as a general) explaining to a conference of people about a missile attack, whilst providing his own sound effects to the video. Whereas other sketches share more common ground with dark experimental sketch shows such as Jam. For example the sketch where Mark Heap repeatedly threatens Kevin Eldon for making references to him not being married (which included Kevin Eldon mentioning kids kicking a coke can?). Also it is impossible to provide a review of this pro gramme without mentioning the parallels between this show and Monty Python. Big Train clearly learnt and borrowed from Python's love for the completely irrelevant, for example in the second series Simon Pegg knocking over a turtle that apparently does not speak English, but does speak perfect French!
As for the Stars of the show, they have gone on to some very important work with regards to British comedy. For example Mark Heap, went on to do Green Wing (one of the best new British Sitcoms), and he also did Spaced (between the two series). Simon Pegg, obviously did Spaced (between two series), Shaun of the Dead, and has more recently been cast in Mission Impossible 3 (admittedly not a direct comedy). Kevin Eldon, made numerous appearances in many of the newer comedies e.g. Spaced, Green Wing and had a co-star role in Hyperdrive (which stars Nick Frost, who also made an appearance in one of the sketches in Big Train). As for the female cast members they have also had been linked with important work. For example Catherine Tate, who is now a very common figure in family entertainment! Also Julia Davis has been linked to a number of big projects for example, The Office, and Love actually.
Big train was an important comedy training ground for British talent, and whilst admittedly borrowing a few ideas from other shows (as do all comedies!) it gave us a lot of laughs.