Roadshow / 4 disc set / 434 minutes / Reg 4 / no extras
Warren Mitchell, Dandy Nichols, Una Stubbs, Anthony Booth
Given the fact that Till Death Us Do Part carries with it a truly legendary reputation for changing the face of television it has actually been very rarely seen since its original broadcast, whilst the likes of Dad’s Army and Only Fools and Horses are always seen in re-runs Till Death has probably been a victim of it own boundary pushing. Created by Johnny Speight, Alf is rawness personified, not afraid to tell it like it, not overly multi-culturally aware shall we say, another reason why the show has had few repeat viewings in todays global village.
Another big problem with seeing the series is the fact that the first three seasons are mostly missing believed wiped, part of the wholesale junking of material that the BBC in their wisdom got up to in the late sixties and early seventies. Warren Mitchell broke the mould with Alf Garnett when he first appeared on screen in 1965. With his right wing bigotry and hatred of pretty much everything, apart from his beloved Queen Elizabeth of course, Alf Garnett didn’t take any nonsense and ran his poor old wife Else and daughter Rita a merry dance, although most of Alf’s vitriol is reserved for Rita’s husband Mike, who because he can’t afford to buy a home is forced to live with the Garnetts.
This four disc set from Roadshow features the complete fourth and fifth seasons (from 1972 and 1974 respectively) and its amazingly strong and very funny stuff, the scripts have lost none of their power and the whole cast are gelling together superbly, Warren MItchell deserves special mention for his apopoleptic tour de force as Alf though.
Quite an important release really giving comedy fans the chance to catch up a show that many people know about but probably these days not that many have actualy seen.
Trivia: The Randy Scouse Git that is Anthony Booth is these days better known as the father in law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.