Comic Strip Presents... Five Go Mad in Dorset S01E01 Part 1/2
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Uploaded on Oct 15, 2011
The Comic Strip is a group of British comedians, known for their television series The Comic Strip Presents.... The core members are Adrian Edmondson, Dawn French, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson and Jennifer Saunders, with frequent appearances by Keith Allen, Robbie Coltrane and others.
Five Go Mad in Dorset was the first of the long-running series of Comic Strip Presents... television comedy films. It first aired on the launch night of Channel 4 (2 November 1982), and was written by Peter Richardson and Pete Richens, and directed by Bob Spiers.
The film is an extreme parody of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books, in which the titular Five — children Julian (Richardson), Dick (Adrian Edmondson), George (Dawn French), Anne (Jennifer Saunders) and their dog Timmy — investigate the disappearance of their Uncle Quentin (Ronald Allen). Daniel Peacock and Robbie Coltrane also made appearances, the latter in his first television role.
The satire on display was seen as particularly brutal, parodying established aspects of Blyton's books in addition to placing newer, sinister overtones onto them. Examples of the former include repeated demeaning reference to Anne as a "proper little housewife", the gang's propensity for overhearing shady conversations between criminals (portrayed in the film by burly thugs muttering "Blah blah blah, stolen plans, blah blah blah, missing scientists" and so on) and their taste for outdoor picnics of "ham and turkey sandwiches, bags of lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, heaps of tomato, and lashings of ginger beer". (Indeed, the film's catchphrase "lashings of ginger beer" became so well known that it is now often mistakenly attributed to Blyton herself, although it never appears in any of the Famous Five books.)
The film also portrayed Uncle Quentin as a "screaming homosexual" and his wife Fanny as an "unrelenting nymphomaniac", as well as strongly implying a homosexual relationship between Dick and Julian and a bestial one between George and Timmy.
In addition, much was made of the children's apparently racist and extreme right-wing views — a reference to the controversy that has retrospectively haunted Blyton's work. Despite all of this, however, Blyton's estate were said to have "loved" the film.
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