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3rd Rock from the Sun (NBC 1996-2001, John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston)

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In sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun Dick (John Lithgow) is the High Commander of an investigative alien team sent to Earth on a mission to learn everything about humans and their “advanced civilisation”.

Armed with sharp minds and a nasty habit of always telling the truthe, Dick, Sally (Johnston), Tommy (Gordon-Levitt) and Harry (French Stewart) set about their task by integrating into their local community.

It’s a hilarious take on how aliens could look at all the injustices and absurdities of human life and America in general with a simple, childlike logic.

Memorable moment:
In the episode Fifteen Minutes of Dick, Sally beats up Luke Skywalker himself, actor Mark Hamill, in a restaurant. As a result of her temper tantrum, she becomes a celebrity and comic hijinks ensue when they all try to deal with her new fame.

3rd Rock From The Sun

Trivia:
In the very first episode William Shatner, playing The Big Giant Head, talks about a horrible experience he had aboard an airplane and Dick shouts: “So did I!” This is an inside joke about an episode from The Twilight Zone called Nightmare at 20,000 Feet in 1963 where Shatner played the lead role. In a bizarre twist, Lithgow played the lead role in the very same story during 1983’s film Twilight Zone: The Movie.

production details
USA / NBC / 138×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 1996-2001

Creators: Bonnie and Terry Turner

cast
John Lithgow as Dick Solomon
Kristen Johnston as Sally Solomon
French Stewart as Harry Solomon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tommy Solomon
Jane Curtin as Mary Albright
Wayne Knight as Don Leslie Orville
William Shatner as Big Giant Head
Simbi Campbell as Nina, Dick’s receptionist
Elmarie Wendel as Mamie Dubcek, Dick’s landlady

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Combat Sheep (BBC-1 2001, Steve Coogan, Ronni Ancona)

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Combat Sheep

One-off comedy film Combat Sheep detailed the comic adventures of four ex-army mascot sheep. Made using a mixture of live action and puppetry.

cast
STEVE COOGAN as Harris
RONNI ANCONA as Peaches
MARK WILLIAMS as Moose
KEVIN ELDON as Cooper
CHRIS ELLISON as Detective Inspector Hindle

crew details
Writer: Tim Firth
Additional material: Peter Baynham and Graham Duff
Executive Producers: Steve Coogan, Henry Normal
Producer: Robert Howes;
Director: Dominic Brigstocke.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One – A Baby Cow Productions – Childrens Company
Duration: 1×30 minute episode
Aired From: 30 December 2001 at 5:35pm

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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