Friday, January 25, 2013

Update on The Complete Ripping Yarns by Michael Palin and Terry Jones

I am happy to report that I have now seen the nine episodes of The Complete Ripping Yarns, a late 1970s BBC television series written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. Many of the stories make better viewing than reading. I was a little let down by Escape from Stalag Luft 112B, probably because I already knew all the plot twists from reading the script. On the plus side, Tomkinson's Schooldays and Roger of the Raj were much funnier than I expected. I still think Murder at Moorstone Manor is the best of the lot.

What I may have liked even more was the amusing little documentary Comic Roots: Michael Palin, which is included in special features on the second DVD. Palin visits with his mom and neighbors in his old home town and then revisits his boarding school and college, meeting up with old friends, including Terry Jones. Produced in 1983 when the comic was only 40, it is a joyful piece that every Palin fan should see.

The Complete Ripping Yarns. Acorn Media, 2005. 2 DVDs.

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