'Allo 'Allo!: Complete Series Eight'
(Gordon Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Moira Foot, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1993) 2008 / BBC Video)
Overview: In a small cafe in occupied France the harassed proprietor Rene is fighting his own war. With the German Army in residence at the bar Rene is risking his neck to aid the Resistance by hiding two British airmen and a radio transmitter upstairs. As if this wasn't enough Rene has also got involved in hiding a priceless painting in a garlic sausage which even now is being sniffed out by the Gestapo. But Rene's real problem is his wife Edith and what she will do to him when she finds out about the affairs he is having with two sexy waitresses!
DVD Verdict: The end is near for Rene and the 'Allo' Allo' saga. Even with new cast members (changing actors, but not new roles), the program made the passage of two years in a blink of an eye. Indeed, you need to be an 'Allo' Allo' fan to truly "get it" at this late point in the series, but this two disc set is WELL WORTH adding to the collection.
If you have never seen the series you need to begin at the beginning to build the plot of this, the most popular syndicated comedy of all time from the BBC. And YES, this series has larger distribution than Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, etc.
With a long two year break between this and the seventh season - which is all explained in the bonus material - the time has passed in the scenario, the actors look way older. Well, those who made it to these shootings, unlike the 2nd reincarnation of "It is I, LeClerc"! The series contains less episodes and the first one is way too overly long. Almost a movie, to be quite frank! The jokes are funny, some are new, and the Leutenant Gruber impersonation of der Fuehrer is unsurpassable!
The British airmen disappeared, so did the Italian Captain, but the Madonna is fully back and so is the 'ruthless' Communist Resistance. The series is saturated with anticipation of the war end, that way (the French) or the other (the Germans), and as usual the Resistance is quite preoccupied with money, be it ransom from Germans or cash from Rene's till, all along with some futile attemps to do the Germans a real damage.
And, of course, there is a somewhat new for these series 'pudding club' plot, which ends to everybody's satisfaction (almost). I am not sure whether this is the last one or if there are more due, but never mind as we already know who won the war: those fighters like Rene that were dragged into the vortex against their will and survived against all odds! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Comedy Connections - 'Allo 'Allo!
40-minute special tracking the careers of the 'Allo 'Allo! cast since the end of the series