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directed by Christine Gernon
UK 1997


From comic writing team Ray Galton and Alan Simpson (whose STEPTOE & SON was remade stateside as SANFORD & SON) comes this short-lived sitcom about life in a National Health Service hospital after the war. Banished to a tuberculosis sanatorium in the country by his working mother Ivy (THE EASTENDERS' Anita Dobson) - who for whom TB to carry a social stigma in their neighborhood - twenty-year-old Roy (Matthew Cottle, Stan Laurel in Richard Attenborough's CHAPLIN biopic) is planning on a stay of a couple weeks and is soon dismayed to learn that most of his fellow bedmates have been there for months, and the ones who have left did so in coffins. Having already gone through two roommates already (including the last one that died in Roy's assigned bed), selfish mama's boy Brian (Eddie Marsan, THE ILLUSIONIST) demands to be moved to another room. He changes his mind when "merry widow" Mrs. Howell's (Samantha Beckinsale) inexplicable attraction to young Roy means a continued supply of imported goodies from Fortnum & Mason and Harrods. In between the machinations of his disapproving mother to split up him and Mrs. Howell - and her own hypocritical dalliance with Mr. Wolpole (Neil Stacy, THE QUATERMASS CONCLUSION) - Roy finds himself partnering with Brian, fey orderly Jeffry (William Osborne, COLD COMFORT FARM) and delusional Squadron Leader Fielding (Robert Bathurst, COLD FEET) against elistist, fascist roommate Tucker (a pre-DOWNTON ABBEY Hugh Bonneville), the hospital's ultra-penitent "Angel of Death" vicar (Michael Troughton), prison wardress-like Sister Shelley (Kate O'Toole, THE DEAD), Roy's own absentee father (Michael Feast, VELVET GOLDMINE), and snooping local police detective Trussler (Kenneth Cranham, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II). The series nicely balances its episodic elements with continuity and, although it lasted only six episodes, concludes in a manner that simultaneously leave things open while offering a twist to one story thread that could be interpreted as a resolution.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 2 November 1997 - 7 December 1997 (UK TV)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 2:54:00

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 2:54:00)
� 'The New Arrival' (4:3; 29:01)
� 'Snowbound' (4:3; 29:06)
� 'Tucker's Gambit' (4:3; 28:44)
� 'Sons, Mothers, Lovers and Others' (4:3; 28:47)
� 'The Whist Drive' (4:3; 29:08)
� 'Poison Ivy' (4:3; 29:17)

DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2015

Chapters 19





Simply Media's dual-layer DVD does what it can with the nineties broadcast video and audio, and there are no distracting issues with the master or the encoding. Optional English subtitles may be helpful with some of the less familiar British-isms. There no extras and each episode is given three chapter stops.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL



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