Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

The Morecambe & Wise Show - Thames Years

DVD Review from 2008

The DVD cover

Eric and Ern chat

Ernie displays his kilt!
The move to Thames was for many reasons, mainly the cash and the promise of another film. The money must have been ok but the film, Night Train To Murder was terrible.

The shows for Thames had to be changed to accommodate the adverts and shorter running time, most shows now being 25 minutes instead of 45, but still managed to pack in the laughs.

The format is pretty much the same with the show intro, Ernie introducing the show with Eric interrupting. Following that, a series of short, quick sketches and the flat sketch to end the show, usually lasting 15 or more minutes.

Taking all this into account, it is still funny with some cracking one-liners and gags. Some of the material has been re-used from the older BBC series but there is plenty of new ideas crafted by Eddie Braben for the series. For the first few shows (see specials below) Barry Cryer and Junkin wrote the scripts.

Special guests are still an important part of the show with Terry Wogan in the first show followed by Hannah Gordon, Dave Prowse, Deryck Guyler and more.

The specials..

The second disc contains 4 60 minute specials, or to be more accurate, the very first Thames show they did from October 1978, the Christmas 1978 show, the Christmas 1979 show and the Christmas 1980 show.

All of these are good to watch again bringing some classic comedy moments flooding back. The 1978 and 1980 shows have been used for previous video and DVD releases (Eric and Ernie’s Christmas Show, Lots and Lots Of Morecambe and Wise for example) with various bits removed or added. For example the second video mentioned consists of most of the 78 show with the two small segments from the 79 show.

The 1979 show was not, in itself a proper Christmas show. Eric was recovering from his second heart attack and was too ill to rehearse or record the show. Instead they produced a chat-show like special with David Frost talking to the lads.

During this show special guests like Des O'Connor and Glenda Jackson pop in for a chat and we are shown a few clips from previous shows.

Eric and Ern did however, do two new numbers for the show, one a pre-recorded Tweety Pie and Sylvester musical number, the other a song with Glenda where her chair lifted and dropped during the routine. Not a full Christmas show, but still brilliant.

So , this two disc set brings all of these classics to the fans with series 1 on the first disc and the 4 single specials on the second.

The transfer is acceptable with only a few glitches, which could have been caused by the poor use of video effects in the original shows. In fact it is interesting to note that Eric and Ern use 'special effects' and cameras tricks a lot more than in the BBC days.

Overall this is a cracking DVD set with Eric and Ern still proving they are funny regardless of which station they are on.

Classic stuff for all the family and highly recommended, well done Network.

© 2008