No That's Me Over Here - DVD

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:00 Written by 

No That's Me Over Here - Out no on DVDIf you are a fan of Ronnie Corbett, of his rambling monologues on The Two Ronnies in particular, then this discovery in the archives will no doubt be for you. Imagine that facet of Ronnie’s character placed in an office and home situation comedy environment, with a rival sparring neighbour who he also shares an office with, and a wife whose patience is tested at every turn. And here you have 13 half-hours made by London Weekend Television in 1970, courtesy of Network Distributing.

Created by Barry Cryer, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle, No That's Me Over Here features Ronnie as an office worker at City Life and Fire Insurance Company Ltd. Like so many office situations, we see him creeping up to the boss, being distracted by secretaries, and jostling for position with his rival who’s on the same position on the ladder as him. It’s the standard fare of facing life as a 40-something, with a little Monty Python surrealism thrown in there for good measure.

Also starring in the production are Rosemary Leach as Rosemary (Ronnie's wife), and Ivor Dean as his boss Mr Robinson – best known for playing Inspector Teal in The Saint.  Henry McGee is his semi-detached arch-enemy and workplace rival Cyril Dawson – McGee made his name through his regular appearances on The Benny Hill Show.

McGee’s character has ideas above his station, is pompous, but gets pleasure from bringing Ronnie down, who himself has dreams of being the top man. One does wonder when watching the episodes why Ronnie wouldn’t just admit defeat and move houses and change jobs. As it is, they share the same street, the same commuter train, and the same office. They both seem to be fools who suffer each other gladly.

The husband and wife relationship between Ronnie and Rosemary is littered with frustrations, both trying to understand the new era of flower power and openness. The racy neighbours to try and comprehend, a pair of insufferable mothers, Ronnie forever putting off DIY projects he’s promised to do, and their lounge bar in constant use by either them or visiting characters.

The first episode is cringeworthy with jaw-dropping sexism, but stick with it as the show does get better during this season’s run. Jill Mai Meredith, playing office secretary Miss Meredith, is seen in the first episode as a dizzy bed-hopper, but does get a more rounded character, and amazing changes of costume, as the weeks go by. Jill had small roles in “Carry On Cruising” and “Carry On Spying”, as well as some episodes of another series by Cryer and Chapman called Now Look Here (1971-1973) which also featured Corbett and Leach (as an insurance salesman and his wife), and spawned its own sequel of sorts in The Prince of Denmark (1974), where the Corbett and Leach characters became pub landlords.

Ronnie was nominated for a BAFTA in the category of Best Light Entertainment Performance for this season of the format.

This is actually the third of three seasons of No That’s Me Over Here. The first two monochrome series, in 1967 and 1968, were produced by Associated Rediffusion. The writing team was brought together by David Frost, as well as many of the cast having been part of the earlier The Frost Report. As Frost was involved with LWT, it was his decision in 1970 to revive it for another run, this time in colour.

The first Rediffusion season of six episodes ran from 14 November 1967 to 19 December 1967, which was the only era to involve Eric Idle – as a writer, and as a guest star in the third episode.

One black and white Associated Rediffusion episode still exists – the second season episode broadcast on 5 June 1968, but is not included in this set.

The special features included here are an image gallery, and if you insert the first DVD into your computer, you will find the following production paperwork and scripts from the original 1960s second season of episodes on PDF files:

  • “No: 1” (Recorded 22 March 1968, Broadcast 15 May 1968) - synopsis
  • “No: 2” (Recorded 2 April 1968, Broadcast 22 May 1968) – synopsis & camera script
  • “No: 3” (Recorded 11 April 1968, Broadcast 29 May 1968) - synopsis
  • “No: 4” (Recorded 17 April 1968, Broadcast 5 June 1968) – camera script
  • “No: 5” (Recorded 26 April 1969, Broadcast 12 June 1968) – synopsis
  • “No: 6” (Recording date unknown, Broadcast 17 June 1968) – no information

Overall, this is a series which is an interesting time capsule of how life was perceived by the media in 1970. The character performances are strong (watch out for future Doctor Who Colin Baker in a cameo role), and even the most politically correct of viewers will find some of the set-pieces and stage-style farce worthy of a chortle.

No That’s Me Over Here is out now as a twin DVD set from Network Distributing. It has a ‘12’ certificate, a running time of 328 minutes approx, and a RRP of £19.99, or get it for less at www.culttvstore.com

 

NO THAT’S ME OVER HERE – DVD EPISODE LISTING

3.1. “Old Age” (TX: 12 September 1970)

3.2. “Registration” (TX: 19 September 1970)

3.3. “Mother” (TX: 26 September 1970)

3.4. “Social” (TX: 3 October 1970)

3.5. “Drink” (TX: 10 October 1970)

3.6. “Neighbours” (TX: 17 October 1970)

3.7. “The Girl” (TX: 24 October 1970)

3.8. “Fancy Dress” (TX: 31 October 1970)

3.9. “Brothers in Law” (TX: 7 November 1970)

3.10. “Money” (TX: 14 November 1970)

3.11. “Religion” (TX: 21 November 1970)

3.12. “Politics” (TX: 28 November 1970)

3.13. “Wedding” (TX: 5 December 1970)

 

Last modified on Monday, 20 July 2015 09:02

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