16 June 2019 | alan-trevennor
Almost there but not quite.
Production values on this can't be faulted - everything was right in that way. The 1930s period costuming, cars, boats etc are all superb and its shot and recorded very well indeed - in lovely locations too. The problem was a little miscasting plus I felt it never quite found the right pace - though the two series they made are very watchable even now. However, I felt that the studio bound 1970s version got the characters better. Perhaps if this had been allowed a series 3 it might have come right? - but we will probably never know.
Gregor Fischer as Para Handy is spot on - and Rikki Fulton as McPhael the bad tempered engineer was excellent. Sean Scanlon as Para Handy's second in command never quite clicked and Andrew Fairleigh as Sunny Jim was fine, but perhaps a little too grown up for the role.
The playing and pacing was the other problem. Some episodes are fine, but some move along at a snails pace. To be clear I am not suggesting that the show should have been fast-paced - this is gentle, dry, considered humour I know - but even by those lights the pace was too slow on some episodes. In series 2 they did get that better, so again, in a series 3.....
Does anyone know why the BBC failed to pick it up for a third series? Was it a ratings flop or did one of the principals drop out?
Anyway, if gentle, dry humour is your thing, take a look at this - you'll find something to like.