The Royal Bodyguard Page 9

The Royal Bodyguard. Image shows from L to R: Colonel Dennis Whittington (Geoffrey Whitehead), Yates (Tim Downie), Captain Guy Hubble (David Jason), Sir Edward Hastings (Timothy Bentinck).

The Royal Bodyguard

Sir David Jason stars as newly promoted Royal Protection Officer Captain Guy Hubble, a man unquestionably totally out of his depth

Avatar

bigfella

  • Sunday 8th January 2012, 11:28am
  • Elsewear, England
  • 7,972 posts
Quote: chipolata @ January 8 2012, 11:15 AM GMT

Yes, it worked for Big Top.


But the kids loved it.

Avatar

Aaron

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 1:42am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,841 posts

The post-watershed commissioning is just utterly bizarre. What kind of drugs the BBC One team were on when they decided to put this blatantly 8pm show on at 9, I really don't know. I can only guess that they felt it would make a good double for the coarser and definitely-post-watershed Mrs. Brown's Boys, each drawing in an audience for the other. But nevertheless, a wholly wrong decision.

Anyway. Caught episode 2 this evening, and again loved it. Lots of laughs throughout, and really brightened my mood.

Clearly this particular show hasn't worked for many people, but this is exactly the kind of big, silly show that British TV has been missing for far too long, IMO. I just pray to God that the apparent low popularity of it won't put commissioners off ordering more.

It will, of course, and we'll have to endure another 4 or 5 years of substandard, Peep Show / The Office-aping shit, but DON'T DESTROY MY HOPE YET, DAMN YOU.

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 9:53am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,555 posts

I agree we are very short of proper mainstream 'traditional' funny sitcoms but I think they should be reasonably good, original and funny, still. TRB fails on all three, quite spectacularly. I can't see that forcing through facile kitform sitcoms just to balance out the type of sitcoms we're getting is the answer! A bad one such as this is more likely just to add sway to the surge of post G&M and Peep Show sitcoms being churned out.

And again, do you really think they'd take this script seriously if it was sent in to Writers Room from an unknown? It seems to break all the rules of what they say they want us to write. Oh, so it's alright for their tried and tested writers to write blatant sub Terry & June rubbish but not us!

And their nonsensical scheduling, to me, just confirms how completely at sea they are with sitcoms at the present time. I sense a deep crisis in the BBC sitcom dept. based on the way it's been for a while. They wouldn't know a decent mainstream primetime sitcom script if it jumped up from their desk and slapped them in the face because they haven't made one for so long. They've been pandering to their greedy celebrity comedian friends for so long now, they've let the once great TV sitcom be mutated into a vain, crude, self indulgent mongrel.

Avatar

Nedders

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 10:45am
  • Chiswick, England
  • 11 posts

Seems to me that the BBC went for "safe". Seemingly trustworthy if unspectacular 'friends of the beeb' writers, national treasure lead actor, simple 'humour'. I get that not everything can be for 18-30 eyes only, as in hip/clever/sweary, but equally this was so very far away from being either Some Mothers or Police Squad as to be an embarrassment. It's almost like the first draft of a Johnny English series. However, instead of Rowan Atkinson they got David Jason, with the idea that a star could carry off anything. Wrong. Ol' Nick Lyndhurst would probably have been a better choice.

The fundamental lack for me is self-awareness. The role could have been infinitely improved by simply playing on the fact DJ/Guy is old. Too old to do it. How he 'saved' the queen in the very first scene shot the rest of the series in the foot; a lot of comments I have seen can be traced back to this. A lot of viewers switched off, emotionally, when he ran after the carriage - actually switching off didn't take long after. What followed had to echo that, he had to remain very able bodied in spite of being post-70. If it had been written with a much more lovable, "awww, he's trying, bless his little heart" slant, with him being a bit Clive Dunn instead of Clive Owen, it may have worked. Someone of his standing trying to eat a lobster with a knife and fork? Like he'd never seen one before? A lobster that would not have been served that way? I mean, suspend belief, but not with the mundane. I should not be questioning time and again what is going on, I should be allowed to flow with the comedy. Aim a gun at room service - better still, aim a wallet or a phone, repeat the gag with him always reaching for the wrong item - but don't keep it aimed, when it's obvious it's just room service. Play out the fact that he's just as jumpy. Have him look under beds, but play on the fact he can't get up by himself - this could be repeated as well, as he attempts to appear young but his body can't cope.

Sorry, it just irks when good material's going to waste in favour of, well, favours and dross gets produced at the expense of aspiring careers.

AvatarBCG Supporter

Will Cam

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 10:50am
  • England
  • 8,078 posts
Quote: Nedders @ January 9 2012, 10:45 AM GMT

Seems to me that the BBC went for "safe". Seemingly trustworthy if unspectacular 'friends of the beeb' writers, national treasure lead actor, simple 'humour'. I get that not everything can be for 18-30 eyes only, as in hip/clever/sweary, but equally this was so very far away from being either Some Mothers or Police Squad as to be an embarrassment. It's almost like the first draft of a Johnny English series. However, instead of Rowan Atkinson they got David Jason, with the idea that a star could carry off anything. Wrong. Ol' Nick Lyndhurst would probably have been a better choice.

The fundamental lack for me is self-awareness. The role could have been infinitely improved by simply playing on the fact DJ/Guy is old. Too old to do it. How he 'saved' the queen in the very first scene shot the rest of the series in the foot; a lot of comments I have seen can be traced back to this. A lot of viewers switched off, emotionally, when he ran after the carriage - actually switching off didn't take long after. What followed had to echo that, he had to remain very able bodied in spite of being post-70. If it had been written with a much more lovable, "awww, he's trying, bless his little heart" slant, with him being a bit Clive Dunn instead of Clive Owen, it may have worked. Someone of his standing trying to eat a lobster with a knife and fork? Like he'd never seen one before? A lobster that would not have been served that way? I mean, suspend belief, but not with the mundane. I should not be questioning time and again what is going on, I should be allowed to flow with the comedy. Aim a gun at room service - better still, aim a wallet or a phone, repeat the gag with him always reaching for the wrong item - but don't keep it aimed, when it's obvious it's just room service. Play out the fact that he's just as jumpy. Have him look under beds, but play on the fact he can't get up by himself - this could be repeated as well, as he attempts to appear young but his body can't cope.

Sorry, it just irks when good material's going to waste in favour of, well, favours and dross gets produced at the expense of aspiring careers.


This is a great critique Nedders, just about sums it up.

Avatar

Tursiops

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 11:03am
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts
Quote: Nedders @ January 9 2012, 10:45 AM GMT

Ol' Nick Lyndhurst would probably have been a better choice.

He woud as well; he is a really good character actor and this sort of failed authority figure role would suit him much better than the bland domestic comedy leading man roles he usually gets. He might have been able to brings some much needed depth to the part.

Avatar

Micheal Jacob

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 11:07am
  • Manchester, England
  • 299 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ January 9 2012, 9:53 AM GMT

And their nonsensical scheduling, to me, just confirms how completely at sea they are with sitcoms at the present time. I sense a deep crisis in the BBC sitcom dept. based on the way it's been for a while. They wouldn't know a decent mainstream primetime sitcom script if it jumped up from their desk and slapped them in the face because they haven't made one for so long. They've been pandering to their greedy celebrity comedian friends for so long now, they've let the once great TV sitcom be mutated into a vain, crude, self indulgent mongrel.


To be fair, The Royal Bodyguard is made by Hat Trick rather than being an in-house production. And I'd argue that Miranda is a decent mainstream sitcom.

The scheduler for BBC1, who worked successfully with Danny Cohen at BBC3, is usually extremely sure-footed - it could be that the channel is experimenting with two back-to-back comedies and no pre-watershed slots were available. In general, though, scheduling mainstream comedy is much harder than it was when I started, and BBC1 ran sitcoms against World in Action. There are no soft slots any more. And surely the Sunday repeat is intended to attract a younger, 'family' audience?

Commissioning works like a pyramid - at the base are people pitching scripts and ideas which are winnowed out until the head of commissioning decides which shows to recommend to the relevant channel bosses - both at the BBC and elsewhere. So what you see on TV has been chosen by whoever runs that particular channel on the advice of a commissioner, which isn't always taken.

I'm going to be offline shortly until lunchtime tomorrow, so if anyone responds to this I'm not ignoring them.

Avatar

Nick

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 11:09am
  • Japan
  • 820 posts
Quote: Nedders @ January 9 2012, 10:45 AM GMT

What followed had to echo that, he had to remain very able bodied in spite of being post-70. If it had been written with a much more lovable, "awww, he's trying, bless his little heart" slant, with him being a bit Clive Dunn instead of Clive Owen, it may have worked.


I guess that's what they tried to do when they showed him failing all of the physical tests and wearing a wig to try to look younger in episode 2.

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 9th January 2012, 11:10am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,555 posts
Quote: Nedders @ January 9 2012, 10:45 AM GMT

The fundamental lack for me is self-awareness. The role could have been infinitely improved by simply playing on the fact DJ/Guy is old. Too old to do it. How he 'saved' the queen in the very first scene shot the rest of the series in the foot; a lot of comments I have seen can be traced back to this. A lot of viewers switched off, emotionally, when he ran after the carriage - actually switching off didn't take long after. What followed had to echo that, he had to remain very able bodied in spite of being post-70. If it had been written with a much more lovable, "awww, he's trying, bless his little heart" slant, with him being a bit Clive Dunn instead of Clive Owen, it may have worked. Someone of his standing trying to eat a lobster with a knife and fork? Like he'd never seen one before? A lobster that would not have been served that way? I mean, suspend belief, but not with the mundane. I should not be questioning time and again what is going on, I should be allowed to flow with the comedy. Aim a gun at room service - better still, aim a wallet or a phone, repeat the gag with him always reaching for the wrong item - but don't keep it aimed, when it's obvious it's just room service. Play out the fact that he's just as jumpy. Have him look under beds, but play on the fact he can't get up by himself - this could be repeated as well, as he attempts to appear young but his body can't cope.

Sorry, it just irks when good material's going to waste in favour of, well, favours and dross gets produced at the expense of aspiring careers.


To be fair, he has said a few times, 'They think I'm too old'. But maybe they're trying to get comedy from the fact this senior citizen can still outrun horses, etc. but it's just not getting through to the viewer. The writing is a bit of a botch job, let's be honest. It's OTT go for the big silly laughs and hope for the best, because a lot of things just clash here.

Avatar

Stephen Ryder

  • Tuesday 10th January 2012, 12:06pm [Edited]
  • Kent, England
  • 231 posts

Last night's episode was the worst yet IMO. The only thing I found remotely funny was when Hubble tripped over the glass and went head first into a grandfather clock.

Avatar

Nick

  • Tuesday 10th January 2012, 12:14pm
  • Japan
  • 820 posts

I thought it was amiable nonsense again. A lot of obvious jokes but still entertaining enough.

AvatarBCG Supporter

Chappers

  • Tuesday 10th January 2012, 5:43pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 32,150 posts

The bit about the dog and the cake was really pathetically childish.

(Wish I'd written it!)

Avatar

Millsy

  • Tuesday 10th January 2012, 7:30pm
  • England
  • 194 posts

It's absolutely pathetic, I'd go as far as to say I can't remember a worse sitcom in recent years. No laughs at all.

Avatar

David Carmon

  • Tuesday 10th January 2012, 7:38pm
  • Cheshire, England
  • 2,030 posts
Quote: Millsy @ January 10 2012, 7:30 PM GMT

It's absolutely pathetic, I'd go as far as to say I can't remember a worse sitcom in recent years. No laughs at all.


Big Top

Avatar

David Carmon

  • Tuesday 10th January 2012, 8:22pm
  • Cheshire, England
  • 2,030 posts

The drop in figures seems to be awful. The officials for Episode 1 are out. 8.35 million viewers. Looks like it's dropped to around 3 million already. 5 million loss or thereabouts = Bigger flop than Big Top :/