Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Big John, Little John
The Complete Series


Starring: Herb Edelman Robbie Rist Joyce Bulifant
Fabulous Films
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: PG
Available 26 October 2009

Herb Edelman plays John Martin, a Junior High School science teacher who takes a sip from the fountain of youth. At the most inopportune moments, ‘Big John’ becomes a 12-year old version of himself ‘Little John’ played by Robbie Rist...

Ah, Big John, Little John. I must have been about eight years old when this was broadcast on British television. It's amazing how much of an impression the show made on me, as I could still remember the theme tune and the opening title sequence.

While the show has aged quite badly ('70s styles were just so wrong in every respect, weren't they?) and the gags aren't as funny today as they would have been back then, this is still an entertaining series, and certainly one that young viewers will find amusing.

Highlights in this collection include:

Very Little John: Big John thinks he's found a cure for his condition, and tells his wife that when she comes home he will probably be cured for good. However, when a neighbour comes round and asks John to baby sit her baby while she runs some errands, John's family mistakenly think that John's potion has made him regress to an even younger age.

The Principal Who Came To Dinner: After receiving a scare, John's voice switches so that when he is normal he has his young voice, and when he is Little John he has his adult voice. Things are made even more difficult for the Martins when Miss Bottomly (the school principal and John's boss) has to stay at their house to recuperate after hurting her ankle.

The Missing John: After a prank goes wrong, Miss Bottomly tells Little John she is going to expel him - even though Little John swears it wasn't really his fault. When Little John changes into Big John, Miss Bottomly becomes convinced that Little John has run away and hires a private detective to find him. The biggest problem here is that the detective's contract stipulates that the job isn't finished until he personally delivers the missing boy into the hands of his father.

Abracadabra: Homer's uncle is a magician and Homer is convinced he also has the gift - especially when he manages to make Big John become Little John and then change him back again.

The only issues I had with this collection was that there are a handful (I counted three) mildly racist jokes which revolve around Homer, the only black kid (apparently) in the school; and the picture quality on the episodes range from fair to poor.

This collection houses all 13 of the show's 25 minute episodes across two DVDs. The episodes are listed in the original TV series run. Extras are a little thin on the ground. We get text based Episode Synopsis and Series Synopsis; and a Stills Gallery.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£14.98 (
£14.99 (
£14.99 (
£17.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.