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    Open All Hours - Series Two

    Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 207 mins . PG . PAL


    Ronnie Barker was one of the most reliable of Britain's comic actors, gracing such shows as The Two Ronnies and Porridge with his huge but strangely delicate presence.

    He usually played the typical British working man, but one free of Alf Garnett-style crassness and prejudices. His defining role was probably in Porridge, where he played the old lag serving a term inside, who had become a sort of de-facto father and fount-of-all-wisdom to the young lad sharing his cell.

    Well, Open All Hours, in which he plays the s-s-s-stuttering Arkright, the owner of a corner grocery store, assisted by his ever-happless nephew Granville, doesn't count amongst Ronnie Barker's finest hours.

    Here are seven episodes comprising the complete second series of Open All Hours. It's amiable rubbish, but without any of the pert pointedness of The Two Ronnies or the real wit and underlying affection seen through Porridge.

    On this evidence, it's hard to see how the show even made it as far as a second series. Scriptwriter Roy Clarke went on to better things (The Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances), but I feel we can now close the door on Open All Hours.


    The transfer from video is quite reasonable. Image is generally very soft and colours are muted, but the effect is not unsatisfatory for an old television series transferred to DVD.

    Its certainly well below optimum levels of reproduction for both video and film, but there's nothing here to mar the pleasure for any fans of the series.


    The very standard two-channel mono audio track is adequate. There is no distortion present and dialogue is clear. The recording seems somewhat on the muted side, but there are no pitch problems and no extraneous noise issues.


    There are no extra features apart from a very brief promo about other BBC programs which appears when the disc is inserted. The DVD cover warns that 'not all programs featured on this DVD's promotional video are available in this territory', so that's a pretty useless extra.


    Rent it if you're a fan of Ronnie Barker. There's only fair to average entertainment here otherwise.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3399
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      And I quote...
    "It's time to close the door on Open All Hours - it's not one of Ronnie Barker's greatest moments."
    - Anthony Clarke
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