One liners are great, who doesn’t like one liners? Not only are they short and easy to fit into a well-written sitcom but they are great for throwing into everyday conversations and claiming you made them yourself.
One man who does like one liners is Milton Jones, a TV and Radio Comic who frequently blesses Radio 4 with his presence. I must admit that although some of his jokes are funny, I find his monotonous and deadpan style slightly/very irritating. However when I saw he was making a new sitcom ‘Thanks a lot Milton Jones’, I decided to give it a go anyway.
The series revolves around Milton and his friend Anton (regular collaborator Tom Goodman-Hill) who run a sort of ‘Private Investigating Service’. Whether it be smugglers or somebody writing bad reviews about B&Bs, they can solve any problem. These in fact were the two scenarios of the episodes that were recorded and both of them (incredibly) managed to be spun out long enough to fill thirty minutes. The hotel one was my favorite, simply because of its sheer ridiculousness. The pair start up their own hotel trying to catch the culprit behind the bad reviews and then claim to have a dead king buried beneath it. Very strange.
Milton Jones gave his usual ‘funny but annoying performance’ whilst Tom Goodman-Hill (My First Planet, Cabin Pressure) excelled and managed to give some depth to a sordid caricature. Ben Willbond (Horrible Histories, Rev.) guest starred in the episodes and put on a great french accent.
Although not managing to grab a script, I did meet the entire cast as well as Jessica Raine (Call the Widwife) who was in the audience watching her partner (Goodman-Hill) perform.
The show will be on Radio 4 soon. I dunno when though.
I really have been going to a lot of radio recordings, but, you’ve gotta go when they come.
So quite recently I went to the recording of episodes 3 & 4 of My First Planet Series 2, a radio sitcom starring Nicholas Lyndhurst. For those of you who don’t know it, it is set on a newly founded space colony. Brian (Lyndhurst) has been made colony commander after the original leader died en-route. He is assisted by his odd and unscrupulous team including Lead Scientific Adviser Mason (Tom Goodman-Hill), Plumber and ‘wannabe’ empath ‘Archer’ (Phil Whelans) and those appointed with the task of making a baby, who actually lied about being a couple just to get on the trip (John Dorney and Letty Butler). Vicki Pepperdine also appears as Medical Officer Lillian and Brian’s nemesis.
The gang get into all sorts of troubles and adventures which I’m perfectly certain would be far too common in space. The first episode sees them meet and form a quiz team with a talking plant whilst the second sees Brian overruled as top job is almost taken by somebody you’d least expect.
Although I could rant on about the truly epic theme music, instead I’ll talk about the acting. The actors work so seamlessly together that you can easily visualise the vents unfolding, a definite nesecity for radio. Another cert for Radio Comedy are overreactions, something Lyndhurst takes in his stride as his bumbling charecter struggles to maintain control. Tom Goodman-Hill is also excellent, reeling off jokes in the calm, faultless tone of his charecter Mason. Guest star Tom Meeton also did a good job as the secretive Head-of-Security.
My First Planet returns Spring next year.
Nicholas Lyndhurst; he’s an actor, who was in ‘Only Fool’s and Horses’, which is a sitcom, like My First Planet, which he’s also in, which I went to the recording of.
My First Planet tells the story of a newly founded space colony and its crew. Nicholas Lyndhurst plays Brian; the Second in command who takes command of the ship after its proper Captain dies. He gets himself into all kinds of scrapes that could only happen on a space colony, and indeed only happen in a sitcom. The supporting cast includes some great actors including Cabin Pressure’s Tom Goodman-Hill, Big Finish’s John Dorney and Up the Women’s Vicki Pepperdine.
I must admit I’d never heard of this show before tickets went up for grabs, but I went in the hope that I could delve into Series Two without much confusion. And my hopes were listened too; although Series 2 carries on much storyline from the first series, I got my footing quite quickly and after one episode I knew most of the characters.
The two episodes I heard put the crew in a whole host of strange situations, which included trying to tell the colony teacher that they had no baby for her to teach, and the men of the show trying to sabotage Doctor Lilian’s plan to artificially conceive a child.
For those of you who have been so inspired by this post, you’ll have to wait until April to here to show. Sorry.