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What were they thinking?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-12-19

Some things should just be left alone.
Perhaps if they'd actually written it themselves it would have been better but it was really poor.
Really poor.
Even the band were pretty awful and how did they get the legendary Dirk Maggs to agree to put his name to this?
As a big fan of the Goodies and ISIRTA, I'm hugely disappointed.

Doesn't work so well as an Audiobook

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-12-19

This presentation is taken verbatim from the brilliant television series and doesn't really work as an audiobook, especially as it was written for Atkinson who is a very visual comic (think Mr.Bean who is actually silent).
Often, the script itself isn't particularly funny but the audience are howling with laughter so you know something visual is going on but frustratingly, you are not in on it.
There is also more cross talk, sound effects and music than you would usually expect in an audio only production and although you can follow the plot, the sound of a horse galloping or a sword sweeping, doesn't really let you know what's going on.
It's a shame it isn't a radio adaptation because as it is, it's a pale version of the Black Adder we all loved.

17 people found this helpful

A masterpiece

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-08-19

I first came across this production on Radio4 several ago but only managed to catch about half of it.
I've have been trying to get hold of the complete series ever since and even contacted the BBC and the producer to no avail, so I'm delighted it is all finally available here.
Zola is one of the greatest writers that ever lived and this story is a masterpiece.
He was writing at about the time of Hardy and Dickens and if you have never dipped into Zola, he's in that quality of writing but this is industrial strength stuff: much darker, a much stronger social conscience than either of them.
And if you are the sort of person that still has images in your head from when you read Far From the Madding Crowd or Great Expectations, then I am sure you will love this.
The dramatisation is also a masterpiece. They haven't tried to use fake French accents the whole thing is in gritty English accents and that was a really good decision.
They have invested a lot of money and love in this and it really shows. The casting is excellent- just a look at the names tells you all- and they have given it enough time to tell the story properly and correctly.
It's a rare production, possibly unique, and of the very highest quality.
I can say no more.

8 people found this helpful