Going Forward. Image shows from L to R: Dave Wilde (Omid Djalili), Kim Wilde (Jo Brand)
Going Forward

Going Forward

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Four
  • 2016
  • 3 episodes (1 series)

Sitcom sequel to BBC Four medical comedy Getting On, following nurse Kim Wilde at home and after leaving the NHS. Stars Jo Brand, Omid Djalili, Tom Davis, Helen Griffin, Ben Colbert and Imogen Byron

Press clippings

Why studio laughter has no place in modern sitcoms

From Friends to Father Ted, some of the greatest sitcoms of all time have had laughter included on the soundtrack. But audiences have grown more sophisticated - and TV needs to follow their lead.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 29th June 2016

"I'm just going to empty your catheters: who wants to go first?" It's the concluding part of this wonderfully tough comedy, as Kim confronts outsourced care providers Buccaneer 2000, along with a familiar old face from the hospital. Meanwhile, son Ryan returns to live at home to save some cash, although his contribution to the family meal - Chicken Alaska - isn't the best ("Salmonella in the middle bit, carcinogenic on the outside"). There's a showdown with Jackie, too."

Ali Catterall, The Guardian, 2nd June 2016

Among Going Forward's many successes, it offers a stinging portrait of perils of health privatisation. It would have been even greater if its predecessor had been allowed to continue for more than three series: given the current crises within the NHS, it couldn't have been more compelling. But then, as with Going Forward, it was tucked away on BBC Four.

I have a feeling that the answer to my prayers might be a matter of platforms: just as Netflix has been a boon for US comedy, so you'd hope that might be the case when it starts commissioning British comedy: and now it's started commissioning British drama, how long can that be?

Hugh Montgomery, i Newspaper, 27th May 2016

Jo Brand continues her rewarding relationship with naturalistic comedy in this drily enjoyable series revealing more of the life of Kim Wilde, the care assistant first seen in [z]BBC4/z]'s Getting On. Jackie and Kim are facing up to having to pay £875 a week for their mum's care following her stroke. Husband Dave (Omid Djalili), meanwhile, must contend with a bilingual satnav, and "helpful" suggestions from his co-worker Terry (the very funny Tom Davis).

John Robinson, The Guardian, 26th May 2016

Going Forward review

Isn't it puke-inducing being lectured about poverty by millionaire comics?

James Delingpole, The Spectator, 26th May 2016

There was much fanfare recently about a comedian bringing a new sitcom to TV. Unfortunately, it was all aimed at Ben Elton with his awful Shakespeare comedy, Upstart Crow. Had there been any justice in the world the attention would have been on Jo Brand and her new sitcom, Going Forward.

It's a loose follow-up to Getting On, her comedy set in a geriatric ward. Kim Wilde (Brand) has now left her work in the NHS and is working for a private health-care provider called, with poisonously quiet humour, Buccaneer. Kim is calm, good and patient - and utterly exhausted by her job, where she has to zoom from house to house, trying to "care" for her elderly patients within a miserably short time-slot before dashing off to the next. She has to meet her targets with Buccaneer, but the human needs of her patients mean she simply cannot. Private health care, with its targets and timesheets, is not compatible with compassion.

The opening scenes are almost drained of colour as the morning sun bleaches Kim's kitchen, and it's not a pleasant, warming sunrise, but a blazing, intrusive reminder that the day has begun and all must rush, rush, rush off to work. Capitalism is breathing down your neck and demanding your subservience. And it also demands that you abandon the elderly man who hasn't been fed or ignore the appalling loneliness of the old woman whose son never rings her.

It's a slow, sly, clever sitcom, filled with despair and meandering dialogue, and yet all the attention has been on Ben Elton's watery rehash of Blackadder. If you told Kim this she'd just give a weary sigh and get on with things. She doesn't have the time to worry about self-important men in tights.

Julie McDowall, The National (Scotland), 21st May 2016

Going Forward: serious comedy, just don't expect laughs

So it's not that funny, for a comedy. But it is sharply observed, nicely performed, with credible dialogue, some of which is surely improvised. The days when sitcom meant a door opening, someone walking in and delivering a one-line, then pausing for the canned laughter, are nearly over, thankfully. Plus it captures a hellish world where people come second to profit, a world of care that doesn't care. And it will strike a chord with - or maybe send a shudder through - anyone who has ever worried about money, or has or will have elderly relatives who need or will need help. Everyone, in other words.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 20th May 2016

Jo Brand returns as former nurse Kim Wilde in Going Forward, who has now left the NHS and is currently working as a carer for the fictional Buccaneer 2000. Going Forward, which is set over three consecutive days, also follows the rest of the Wilde family most notably Kim's husband Dave (Omid Djalili) who works as a driver for a private hire company. The majority of this first episode, which is co-written by Brand and Getting On producer Geoff Atkinson, splits its time equally between watching Kim at work and seeing Dave's rather inane conversations with his colleague Terry (Tom Davis). Going Foward also introduces us to the Wilde children; teenage father Max (Ben Colbert) and high achieving schoolgirl Kelly (Imogen Byron), neither of whom have a lot to do in this first episode. Whilst I wasn't expecting Going Forward ever to live up to the standard of the flawless Getting On I wasn't expecting to be as disappointed as I was. I think the problem with having the character of Kim anchoring this series is that she sort of the straight man of the central trio in Getting On. Having her headline the show means that the more overt comedy has to be provided elsewhere as it was in Getting On thanks to Jo Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine's performances. However the characters of Den and Pippa are essentially replaced by Dave and Terry who are two men that I didn't really care for all that much. Their conversations about former colleagues who've done well and the positives of working in Iraq weren't that funny and outstayed their welcome very quickly. Atkinson and Brand also weren't sure if they wanted Going Forward to continue in the same observational vein as Getting On or being a more out-and-out sitcom. This a led to a very awkward scene in which Kim, Dave and Max were squeezed into his work car with one of his clients alongside one of her regulars and his dog. This scene typified to me everything that was wrong with Going Forward; a programme that did have moments of genuine promise. Most of these moments were those which saw Kim caring for the older patients and were those that were the most reminiscent of Getting On. For example the scene in which Kim helped one old lady write a birthday card for her son was both realistic and incredibly touching. Brand is also on form once again as a performer however I found her and Atkinson's writing a little inconsistent which was the main problem with Going Forward. That being said I will be going forward with Going Forward primarily due to my love of both Jo Brand and the character of Kim Wilde.

Matt, The Custard TV, 20th May 2016

Jo Brand returns as Kim Wilde, the NHS nurse from Getting On, coping with a demanding but poorly paid job as well as three kids and a dog. Omid Djalili co-stars as her husband, a private hire driver. Tonight, he's forced to rescue Kim from an emergency with a passenger in the back. This is isn't so much a sitcom about predicaments and foibles, however, as a warming portrayal of good people getting on with life under near-impossible circumstances.

David Stubbs, The Guardian, 19th May 2016

Jo Brand's sitcom is mouldy, miserable and very funny

Picking up where she left off with the Bafta award-winning Getting On, Jo Brand's domestic comedy finds the best laughs in grim despair.

Filipa Jodelka, The Guardian, 19th May 2016

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