This is a tender, rounded, and sympathetic portrait that leaves the viewer feeling as if they knew this extraordinary figure and his chaotic mind just a little bit better.Steve Bennett, Chortle, 11th December 2014
Inevitably, it was Milligan's mind that we kept coming back to: breakdowns, suicide attempts, the moment when his children saw him being led into the bathroom for electroconvulsive therapy.Ben Lawrence, The Telegraph, 10th December 2014
You may be expecting a breezy, knockabout profile of a zany comic talent. Certainly there are ripping clips: the sort of humour that constantly tore up the rulebook and demolished the fourth wall ("What are we going to do now?"). But Verity Maidlow's detailed biography ends up being a profound meditation on work pressure, mental pain, and the things that really matter in life.
The story of his life (born in India, scarred by the Second World, dedicated to entertaining) is told by Milligan himself in archive interviews, his daughters and admirers. A poet, trumpeter and green campaigner, Milligan developed a style of comedy that was like freeform jazz. As director Richard Lester says, he had ideas "like fireworks going off".
The goofing clown of anarchic classics The Goon Show and Q comes across as a passionate, sometimes tormented soul - he bravely admitted his depression at a time when it was taboo to do so. But it was his children that brought out the inner calm in Milligan (Love, Light and Peace refers to his sign-off in letters). Asked what he considered his greatest success, he replied, "Being a good father."Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 10th December 2014
Drawing extensively on his own words, home movies and the recollections of family and friends, this is a doc that beautifully tells the story of Spike Milligan's life, including much on his battles with depression. And does far more, too, because 90 minutes in the company of The Goon Show's chief creator acts not just as a reminder of how influential he was, but makes you keenly miss his anarchic spirit.Jonathan Wright, The Guardian, 10th December 2014