1 February 2005 | didi-5
This 1950s series remains an affectionate milestone in television comedy, in its entertaining snippets of the life of egomaniac and resident moaner of Cheam, Anthony Aloysius Hancock. The very fact that Galton and Simpson wrote a character for Tony Hancock with more or less his own name (and perhaps, more or less his own personality) is key to the show's success. In the early episodes which were much the best of them all Hancock was usually supported by Sid James, and often people like Kenneth Williams, Hugh Lloyd and June Whitfield, but these collaborators were slowly weeded out until the series reached its often-quoted pinnacle with 'The Blood Donor'.
The best episodes were those which were both beautifully written and performed 'The Missing Page'; 'Lord Byron Lived Here'; 'Twelve Angry Men'. Even in clunky black and white and as old as they are, what are left of the half-hours are superb. Tony Hancock's deadpan voice and hangdog looks gave the character and the situations an everyday quality that viewers could, and can, appreciate. Long may these episodes continue to be shown and made available to future generations.