7.8/10
35
1 user

Life Beyond the Box: Norman Stanley Fletcher (2003)

Spoof documentary on the life of the main protagonist of the television prison comedy "Porridge", Mr. Norman Stanley Fletcher.

Director:

Kim Flitcroft
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Going Straight (TV Series 1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following his release from Slade prison, Fletcher tries to stick to the straight and narrow, but it isn't easy.

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Patricia Brake, Richard Beckinsale
Porridge (1974–1977)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The prison life of Fletcher, a criminal serving a five-year sentence, as he strives to bide his time, keep his record clean, and refuses to be ground down by the prison system.

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay
Doing Time (1979)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the ... See full summary »

Director: Dick Clement
Stars: Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay
Open All Hours (1976–1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, David Jason, Lynda Baron
The Two Ronnies (1971–1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Long running BBC comedy show consisting of sketches and humourous musical routines involving the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. Most sketches involved both men, but ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, The Fred Tomlinson Singers
7 of 1 (TV Series 1973)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An anthology of one-off episodes starring actor-comedian Ronnie Barker.

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Graham Armitage, Roy Castle
Porridge (2017)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Nigel Fletcher is a sharp-witted chancer with no respect for authority. Just like his grandad Norman. Now, nearly 40 years after Norman served time, Nigel is following in his grandad's footsteps. By heading straight into a prison cell.

Stars: Kevin Bishop, Dave Hill, Mark Bonnar
Porridge (TV Movie 2016)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Sequel to the classic sitcom set 40 years on from the original series. Nigel Norman Fletcher, grandson of Norman Stanley Fletcher, is sentenced to 5 years in prison for cyber-crimes and gets into more trouble once inside.

Director: Dominic Brigstocke
Stars: Kevin Bishop, Dave Hill, Mark Bonnar
By the Sea (TV Movie 1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A crusty old General leads his dotty family on a relaxing weekend at the seaside, and comic chaos ensues.

Director: Bill Wilson
Stars: Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Barbara New
Still Open All Hours (TV Series 2013)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Having inherited the shop from his uncle, it's business as usual for Granville at Arkwright's corner shop.

Stars: James Baxter, Stephanie Cole, David Jason
Clarence (TV Series 1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Clarence is a myopic delivery man who retires to the countryside, and goes from one mishap to another due to his short-sightedness

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Josephine Tewson, George Ballantine
The Gathering Storm (TV Movie 2002)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Sir Winston Churchill's (Albert Finney's) years prior to World War II, when only he could see the threat that Adolf Hitler and a rearmed Germany posed to Europe.

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronnie Barker ... Norman Stanley Fletcher
Patricia Brake ... Ingrid Fletcher
Bill Nighy ... Narrator
Peter Vaughan ... Harry Grout
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christopher Biggins ... Lukewarm
Melvyn Bragg ... Himself
Arnold Brooks Arnold Brooks ... Trevor
Suzie Chard Suzie Chard ... Isobel Fletcher
Scott Chisholm Scott Chisholm ... Child Norman
Roy Evans Roy Evans ... Ted Prendergast
Gareth Farr Gareth Farr ... Young Fletcher
Alexander Francis Alexander Francis ... Child Dai
John H. Francis ... Martin Gillespie (as John Francis)
Rex Garner Rex Garner ... George Fletcher
Nathan Harmer Nathan Harmer ... Norman Junior
Edit

Storyline

Spoof documentary on the life of the main protagonist of the television prison comedy "Porridge", Mr. Norman Stanley Fletcher.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 2003 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Norman Godber is the first of two named grandsons of Norman Stanley Fletcher to bear his grandfather's name; the second is Nigel Norman Fletcher, who first appeared in the spin-off series Porridge. See more »

Quotes

McLaren: I was my own worst enemy - and there was plenty of competition!
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Porridge (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An interesting back-story to a great character
29 May 2004 | by LiamABCSee all my reviews

When I saw this mock-documentary about the nation's favourite convict, I was impressed. Not as much as I was impressed by the original Porridge series, but this was a very interesting insight into the whole life of Fletch - before, during and after his memorable stay at Slade Prison - and to the one person on this site who has given Porridge a negative writeup and called it obvious - get real! Porridge is anything but obvious. Comedy in a prison? Who would expect it at all? Let alone done so well! And I was only 10 when I first saw Porridge, and it was an instant hit with me - so it does appeal to younger people as well as older people. Still, you said you just don't get it. Fair enough, but give it another go, from the very start. Anyway, yes, this mock-documentary - I like it.

It manages to reunite the large majority of the cast, with the exception of Brian Wilde (Barrowclough), and those no longer with us - Richard Beckinsale (Godber), Fulton Mackay (Mackay) and Michael Barrington (Venables). David Jason (Blanco) is also absent, but that was probably a wise choice - much as I love David Jason, the chances are that the character of Blanco would be dead by now anyway.

As for the actors no longer with us, they navigated around the lack of Richard Beckinsale even better than I'd expected. There were a number of options they could have used:

1. Get another actor to play Lennie - which nobody would have wanted 2. Say Lennie had died - possible, but not the best option. After all, Lennie would be 53-54 now, and clearly looked after his health. This would have complicated things. 3. Say Lennie and Ingrid (Fletch's daughter, the two got married at the end of the spin-off series Going Straight) had got divorced. This was what I expected them to do, but they didn't.

What they actually did was have Lennie as unable to make it for an interview - Ingrid got a call from him, he was stuck in Colchester (still working as a lorry driver). Nicely done.

As for the other missing actors, they covered most of the main staff at Slade. It's a shame Brian Wilde couldn't make an appearance (anybody know why?). As such, the only "official" who did was Mr Gillespie, the oft-mentioned but never seen welfare officer.

It was very interesting to see how the other characters had got on after Porridge as well, and we caught up with most of the main ones. Curiously, Lukewarm is given the name Timothy Underwood here, however, in one episode of Porridge, he is addressed as Lewis, and also unofficially has a first name beginning with P. Another inconsistency in this show is that Fletch seemed to go into crime while still a child, while in the pilot of Porridge, his first criminal activity didn't happen until after he left school.

Inconsistencies aside, this is very entertaining - catching up with Lukewarm, Warren, McLaren (here given a first name James), Ives (also given a first name here, Bernard), and of course, Grouty. And, to be honest, it's Grout who steals the show - or should that read embezzles? You can't help but nod and chuckle as the activities of Grout, on the outside, are brought up. Harry Grout is a wonderful character, and is used here to great effect.

Equally impressive is the amount of story the writers have concocted out of so many little details from the show - most notably Fletch's affair with Gloria - "Gloria? I don't know no Gloria . . . oh yeah, there was one once! Well, lots of times actually."

Overall, I was impressed - however, it's not quite in the same league as Porridge itself. Equally, it's probably unwise to watch this if you haven't seen Porridge to begin with (I could be wrong). As such, it's a tough call on which groups to recommend it to. Overall: 7/10


21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed