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Ghost Canyon

'Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 2003'
(Peter Sallis, Frank Thornton, Robert Fyfe, Keith Clifford, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2015 / BBC America)

Overview: Britain's oldest delinquents are back to wreak havoc in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in the world's longest running sitcom. For intoxicating Vintage 2003, Billy recruits a band of archers in case France invades England. Clegg's plans for a quiet birthday celebration go raucously awry. Truly prepares to meet his ex-wife's new husband, with the help of his new financial advisor. And a drunk girlfriend upsets preparations for global warming!

DVD Verdict: I, as have my family, have been devoted fans of three old men from Yorkshire who have never grown up and who continually face the trials of their fellow town citizens and everyday life as they try to stay young by reminiscing about the days of their youth - let alone continually attempting feats not common to the elderly!

The world's longest running sitcom, 'Last of the Summer Wine' is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke that was originally broadcast on the BBC. Indeed, 'Last of the Summer Wine' premiered as an episode of Comedy Playhouse on 4 January 1973 and the first series of episodes followed on 12 November 1973.

With only Peter Sallis (as Clegg) the only original left of the three old guys out for fun (at an impressive 295 episodes, 1973-2010), the quality of 'Summer Wine' is reflected in its longevity and ongoing popularity. Admittedly, I was afraid (and deeply saddened) when Compo (Bill Owen, with 186 episodes under his belt, 1973-2008) died it would go down in laugh quality, but it just keeps getting better. Wesley (Gordon Wharmby) is gone in this year and it suffers without him and his Land Rover, but Barry (Mike Grady) and Glenda (Sarah Thomas) step up to fill the void; somewhat.

Anyway, with Compo and Wesley gone the addition of Billy Chiselhurst (John Jardine) was pure genius. His craziness takes over for Compo perfectly. Sure he'll never be Compo, for nobody ever could, but man, he sure gives it a new lease of life for trying. Here in the Vintage 2003 collection, we get ten hilarious episodes, where, amongst other things, Truly (Thornton) prepares to meet his ex-wife's new husband, Clegg's (Sallis) plans for a quite birthday go massively awry, and Billy (Clifford) recruits a band of archers in case France decided to invade England! And there's also the 2003 Christmas Special, "A Short Blast of Fred Astaire."

Oh, and one of the great things about the show is that just about all of the actors in the show have made their mark in other comedy's and other shows, yet they all seem like they have been in the show from the start, for example Jean Alexander spent many years as Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street, Frank Thornton was Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served?, and Stephen Lewis was well known as Blakey in On The Buses. Take a look at this show and I think you will be glad you did. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.BBCamerica.com





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