Going Straight

Going Straight. Norman Stanley Fletcher (Ronnie Barker). Copyright: BBC.

Going Straight

Freshly released from Slade Prison, Norman Stanley Fletcher struggles to adapt to the changes of late 1970s Britain whilst holding down his first job

Avatar

The Rook

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 2:16am
  • Leeds, England
  • 670 posts

I'm interested to know what you guys think of this often overlooked sitcom? I think it works personally, although I think is was good that there was only one series. I mean, can you think of another sitcom spinoff where we see the further adventures of the LEAD character? It's a rare example of as nation and a set of writers (Clement & Le Frenais (?!) wanting to see what would happen to a character that they loved.

Avatar

Jack Massey

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 2:20am
  • England
  • 2,965 posts

I liked it, though obviously it wasn't a patch on Porridge. I paticulary loved the fifth episode titled 'Going, Going, Gone' guest starring Nigel Hawthrone later to find fame in 'Yes Minister' 'Going Going Gone' was the only episode to match the quality of 'Porridge' but a fine series and extremely dramatic when Ronnie Barker went to collect the bafta award that it won as Richard Beckinsale died a couple of days before the show won the bafta.

Avatar

The Rook

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 2:39am
  • Leeds, England
  • 670 posts

Yes that was a good episode but I don't think it matches the first 'Going Home'. How perfect was it when Mackay walked into the same train carriage as Fletch? The difficulty I expect they had when writing the show was how do you replace Mackay's authoratative role. I think that's what partly made Porridge so successful; the battle of wits between one man against the 'system'. In 'Going Straight' it was Ingrid that was taking over that role giving Fletch pressure to go straight and not back to skullduggery.

Avatar

Greg

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 2:59am
  • Peterborough, England
  • 141 posts

Yeah I really like the first episode- it's almost an episode of Porridge if you know what I mean.

Avatar

Jack Massey

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 2:59am
  • England
  • 2,965 posts

I think the problem was that Fletcher was always a winner inside, always getting mini-victories. But in 'Going Straight' it was quite clear that on the outside world, Fletcher was a loser.

Avatar

The Rook

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 3:10am
  • Leeds, England
  • 670 posts

I have heared that before about those criminals who want to stay in prison; there, they are somebody.

Avatar

Tursiops

  • Saturday 13th September 2008, 3:37am
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts
Quote: Jack Massey @ September 12 2008, 10:59 PM BST

I think the problem was that Fletcher was always a winner inside, always getting mini-victories. But in 'Going Straight' it was quite clear that on the outside world, Fletcher was a loser.

Prezunctly. Only watched the series once, and although the writing and performances were top rate, as you would expect, it just felt wrong.

Avatar

Steve Sunshine

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 6:30pm [Edited]
  • Dagenham, England
  • 14,776 posts

Just watching an episode of this.
Fletcher is working in a lobby as a receptionist, and the set looks suspiciously like it might be the same one they used for Fawlty Towers.

Avatar

Dave

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 7:13pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 1,172 posts
Quote: Steve Sunshine @ March 22 2011, 6:30 PM GMT

Just watching an episode of this
Fletcher is working in a lobby as a receptionist
& the set looks suspiciously like it might be the same one they used for Fawlty Towers


Yes, I think you're right. Does anyone know for certain?

Avatar

Aaron

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 9:50pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,810 posts

It's not identical, but it's certainly rather similar. Difficult to tell - one imagines that, even if they didn't use the same physical pieces, the influence of Fawlty Towers at the time must have affected the design and construction of any further hotel lobby sets?

Can't help thinking that it'd be a lot more the same if it was actually, well, the same?

Avatar

Blenkinsop

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 11:20pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,014 posts

I watched it at the time and have also seen reruns and as others have said, it wasn't bad but it lacked that certain something that Porridge had. Just wasn't the same.

Re the reusing of props: I have certainly seen the same ones used in completely different shows. One that springs to mind is a set of garish curtains that were in Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads that then subsequently turned up in Only Fools And Horses.

Also similar but not related. In an episode of Only Fools Del Boy had a stash of cardboard boxes that bore the logo of the very obscure vending machine company that I happened to work for at that time.

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Wednesday 23rd March 2011, 6:27am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,481 posts

Haven't seen it since it first aired. I liked it, had the main Porridge characters in, you wanted to see how they got on outside, Fletcher's daughter played more of a role, if I remember, had a catchy theme tune, would like to see it again, but have never seen it repeated on any channel myself.

On the similarity of set, quite possible that they did share the FT set, remember this was 1979, the country was harder up than it is now! And the BBC weren't exactly churning out new sitcoms in those days, they were tight with their, er, our money.

Avatar

Agnes Guano

  • Wednesday 23rd March 2011, 10:22am
  • Tediumcester, England
  • 541 posts

It seemed a strange decision to have Fletcher's wife leave him for this series. When she popped into Porridge they always seemed very close and loving despite their separation. The dynamics of the sitcom were odd without the wife's presence.

Avatar

Aaron

  • Wednesday 23rd March 2011, 11:48am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,810 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ March 23 2011, 6:27 AM GMT

Haven't seen it since it first aired. I liked it, had the main Porridge characters in, you wanted to see how they got on outside, Fletcher's daughter played more of a role, if I remember, had a catchy theme tune, would like to see it again, but have never seen it repeated on any channel myself.


It pops up on GOLD occasionally.

Or you can buy it on DVD.

Product artwork - buy at Amazon
Buy at Amazon
[p=http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/181839/Going-Straight-The-Complete-Series/Product.html]
[h=323793]