These are the continuing voyages of the confused twenty-somethings
Tim Bisley and Daisy Steiner. Together with their odd assortment
of friends, they tackle the big questions that the 21st century
poses: who are they; what do they mean to each other; and
was The Phantom Menace really all that bad...?
not strictly sci-fi, this seven-episode series contains enough
genre references to keep any telefantasy fan happy throughout
its 173-minute running time. The highlights include a Matrix
pastiche in Episode One, a Sixth Sense spoof in the
fourth episode, and the hilarious reasons why Tim (Simon Pegg)
gets fired from two separate comic shops during Episode Two.
As in the first series, allusions to the Star Wars
saga abound, this time accompanied by genuine excerpts from
John Williams' music. And in case you miss any references
to this and other genres, there's a handy on-screen homage-o-meter
(accessible via the subtitles menu) to enlighten you.
well as the main stars (also the writers) of the show, Pegg
and Stevenson, the wonderful cast also includes Nick Frost
as war-obsessed Territorial Army member Mike, Mark (Big
Train, Stressed Eric) Heap as tormented artist Brian,
Katy Carmichael as his shallow girlfriend Twist, and the splendidly
seedy Julia Deakin as Tim and Daisy's alcoholic landlady Marsha.
Watch out also for guest appearances by Mark Gatiss and Reece
Shearsmith (from The League of Gentlemen), Kevin Eldon
(Big Train, Good Morning with Richard Not Judy)
and a pre-The Office Ricky Gervais.
madcap exploits of the first five episodes - including bitter
rivalry between Robot Wars contestants and a frenzied
race against time to retrieve a piece of incriminating comic
art - give way to true dramatic tension in the final two instalments.
Thanks in no small part to a sympathetic performance by Deakin
as the betrayed Marsha, the concluding two-parter generates
real emotional intensity, whilst managing to remain very amusing
surreal and silly sitcom will appeal most of all to children
of the '80s, who will recall from their schooldays exactly
what "Joey" means as a term of abuse (hint: it's nothing to
do with Friends). Don't let the word "sitcom" put you
off - this slick series is seriously funny, with a way-cool
soundtrack to boot.
DVD also contains seven trailers, out-takes, raw footage and
deleted scenes that range from minor trims to a three-minute
sequence that would have ended Episode Seven quite differently.
The innate humour of and rapport between the cast and crew
is also evident during the commentary, recorded by the director
Edgar Wright and the six principal cast members. For God's
sake, even the menu screens are funny! The only criticism
that I can possibly make about this product is that the disc
is rather slow when loading and moving between features, but
that's really just a side-effect of it being so jam-packed
full of goodies!
Tyres (Michael Smiley) would say: "You lucky people!"
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