Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

The Morecambe & Wise Show: Series 5

DVD Review from 2009

DVD Cover

Glenda Jackson

Arthur meets Janet
Series five, and Morecambe & Wise were now well and truly into their productive stride, producing classic after classic.

Eddie Braben’s scripts just keep improving, if indeed they could, and the show format was well and truly established. What we get here is the complete article, full throttle comedy without coarse language or vulgarity, the very best in entertainment.

As Eric and Ernie’s reputation grew, so did the names on the guest list. This series includes Flora Robson, Arthur Lowe and the cast of Dad’s Army, Frank Ifield, Glenda Jackson and a host of others.

Of course the lovely Ann Hamilton plays the female roles to perfection, just managing not to break out in giggles, which is difficult when faced with Eric.

The plays are back too, and this series has some of the more well known ones. Take the often repeated and much talked about Antony & Cleopatra with Glenda Jackson in the lead role. Even though it gets a lot of air time in compilations or documentaries it still raises a laugh.

Monty On The Bonty sees two great comedians playing off against each other with Eric enjoying the company of Arthur Lowe. Long John silver impressions a-plenty here until they are joined at the end by the cast of Dad’s Army.

The first episode seems a bit flat, with no introduction cross-talk or flat sketch, but luckily things improve greatly with the play, Queen Elizabeth, which takes up nearly 30 minutes alone and is packed with one-liners and gags.

The second episode soon makes up for things with Arthur Lowe enjoying his time with Eric and Ern, and especially Janet Webb. The plays continue with great material and Arthur Lowe proving what an astute comic actor he was.

Another cracking sketch crops up in the third sketch; the jewellery shop, brilliantly written and wonderfully played by Eric, Ern and Ann.

Episode four has an interesting routine with Arthur Tolcher. Arthur was a fantastic harmonica player and toured with Eric and Ern in the early days with his act. He played all kinds and sizes of harmonica, culminating in playing one just an inch long. In this short sketch he gets some air time with a gag at the end. Not much, but interesting none the less.

The other episodes continue the trend producing a fine collection of classic comedy, song, dance, and plays.

Janet Webb also gets her first lines; the first time she says those immortal words.

The seven 45 minute shows seem to fly by leaving you wanting more, so let’s hope the BBC are already planning the next series. As usual the transfer is great with the picture sharp and sound crisp.

The only gripe we have, as with the other DVDs, is the lack of extras. Apart from that, another must buy.

Episode Guide

© 2009

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The Morecambe & Wise Show : Series 4
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