This new Radio 4 sitcom is written by and stars Dave Lamb, who is most famous for doing the voice overs for Come Dine With Me, as agoraphobic conspiracy theorist Dave Railings - presumably Lamb did not want to bother having to act someone with a different name.
In this first episode, Dave's younger brother Jim (Jim North - again another person who seems unwilling to playing someone with a different name) makes friends with an Asian Geordie newsagent Hannan (Jess Robinson) and decorates a birthday cake for her son Alan (named after Shearer). However, Dave becomes convinced that the cake is actually a bomb planted by the Americans to kill masses of people to lessen the damage caused be peak oil.
Much of the humour is of the cringing sort. For example, when Jim learns that Hannan's husband is, "no longer with us", Jim exclaims with joy. Dave later asks young Alan is his father, "died with a... kaboooooom?"
The ideas that spring from this show are rather off the wall but nonetheless interesting ones. For example, in next week's episode Dave's post arrives on time, leading him to think his normal postman has been kidnapped by an alien.
However, nothing seems to be hugely laugh-out-loud, as was evidenced by the lack of belly laughs from the studio audience at the recording. Interesting, isn't it, that a sitcom broadcast at 11pm feels the need for a laughter track, whereas the CBBC sketch show Sorry, I've Got No Head which goes out at 5pm doesn't see the need for one (see last week's TV review)?Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 30th May 2011
A comedy with a good premise but one that worked best away from its main protagonist's fears.Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 27th May 2011
The first in a new comedy series written by and starring Dave Lamb of Come Dine with Me fame as Dave Railings, an agoraphobic conspiracy theorist (that's two good reasons not to leave the house) who is convinced the USA is about to cull a chunk of the UK population because his brother Jim has run out of cooking oil and can't make doughnuts. The madness doesn't end there. Add in a couple of special constables - one high on caffeine and both desperate to be proper coppers - and a Geordie woman with links to Yemen, and Dave is convinced that a dirty nuclear bomb parked inside a birthday cake is going to lay waste to the local park. It's a big, bustling comic romp, just don't expect huge laughs along the way. Five for effort.Ron Hewitt, Radio Times, 26th May 2011
A new comedy for Radio 4, Dave Against the Machine starts this Thursday night at 11.00pm written by and starring Dave Lamb. We asked Dave where the idea for Dave Against the Machine came from. This is what he sent us.Dave Lamb, BBC Blogs, 25th May 2011
New comedy, written by and starring Dave Lamb. (You'll know his voice. He does the sarky commentary on Channel 4's inescapable Come Dine with Me). Here he's a man in the grip of conspiracy theories. He lives with younger brother Jim above a café. Dave wants Jim to make doughnuts but there isn't enough oil. Remember, Dave's the sort of chap who spies international plots in cooking oil shortages. This one, says Dave, will lead to a nuclear terror attack. Then Jim meets a nice young Yemeni woman and Dave's paranoia runs riot. And not just his.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 25th May 2011