The epic Victorian comedy is back with more of the remarkable adventures of Pip Bin as he battles his evil ex-guardian Mr Gently Benevolent (Anthony Head) in six more chapters of tragedies and triumphs in the style of Charles Dickens after too much gin.
Mark Evans, Richard Johnson, Tom Allen, Anthony Head, and Geoffrey Whitehead lead a magnificent cast, including James Bachman, Sarah Hadland, and Susy Kane, as well as guest star David Mitchell as the Rev Godly Fecund.
Series Four begins with Pip, who must enlist the help of his former nemesis to fight a new evil spreading terror and cake-crumbs through the streets of London.
Bleak Expectations is written by Mark Evans and produced by Gareth Edwards, whose other collaborations include That Mitchell and Webb Sound and That Mitchell and Webb Look.
Contains all six episodes from the fourth BBC Radio 4 series.
© AudioGO Ltd 2011
what started out in earlier series as a Dickensian spoof has evolved into a crazy steampunk fantasy and is all the better for it. All the voice actors are top notch, constantly delivering the jokes with great timing flair. I was glad to find that despite the fantastical and outlandish script the voice-actors played it straight, which I find to be the key to keeping the gags funny. The best part has to be Anthony Head's portrayal as the villainous Mr Benevolent. You can tell he is enjoying himself with such a fun and hammy role and its hard not to enjoy it with him.
what stopped this series from being as well liked as the previous ones was the more episodic nature to the storyline. Entire settings and plot devices were used as episodes that felt like they would have been stretched out to series long plots in previous series. The other problem was the series ending felt like it was jumping the proverbial shark and took thing just a little too far.
Besides that its a fantastic listen and I highly recommend it.
I introduced my teenage children to Bleak Expectations on the school run about a year ago, I had had enough of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series having listened to it repeatedly and although the children would go on indefinitely with Hitchhikers, I needed a change. Bleak Expectations has been brilliant, we have now listened to all 4 series multiple times and still laugh out loud. The Fourth series is just as funny as the first, we're hoping another series isn't too far away.
Series four continues in similar vein to the previous three, full of silliness, dastardly behaviour and innovative use of swans. As usual the standout performance is Anthony Head as Mr Gently Benevolent, Pip Bin's evil twice dead former guardian, but the whole cast do a great job and the result is constantly amusing. Even the occasional terrible puns are forgivable!
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