Author Topic: Last of the Summer Wine  (Read 6552 times)

Autopsy Turvey

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2021, 07:07:26 PM »
I thought the last series was on the up, the Kwouk/Abbott/Murphy triumvirate were just finding their feet when it was cruelly axed. Maintain it as a vehicle for veteran sitcom actors to keep their hands in I say, it’s a very loose and phantasmagorical sort of set-up for a show. Works much better in that context than Still Open All Hours, Roy Clarke should have just written David Jason into LOTSW as a shopkeeper.

(new page of the summer wine)

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2021, 07:16:40 PM »
How did the show address actors dying every other week? I remember Compo dying, and it was a big deal, but I'm not sure about the rest.

Did they acknowledge that so-and-so had died, or were they never mentioned again?

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2021, 07:23:49 PM »
Poignant tribute was paid as their corpse was launched downhill in a wheeled bathtub.

petrilTanaka

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2021, 08:29:12 PM »
How did the show address actors dying every other week? I remember Compo dying, and it was a big deal, but I'm not sure about the rest.

Did they acknowledge that so-and-so had died, or were they never mentioned again?

they just rotated another old actor in, to a stage where the main Trio included Russ Abbot and Burt Kwouk iirc

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2021, 08:54:43 PM »
Yeah but did they mention the previous fella had carked it? Or did everyone "move away"?

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2021, 09:06:14 PM »
they just rotated another old actor in, to a stage where the main Trio included Russ Abbot and Burt Kwouk iirc

Nope. Not that many of the cast died when they were still involved in the series - also, by the time of Kwouk, Murphy, Abbot etc., there wasn’t a main trio as such but a large ensemble cast.

Of the main trio, only one - Bill Owen - died when he was still in the show and they gave him a big send-off over more than one episode. Michael Bates left the show due to cancer and had to cut down his work commitments (although he and Owen had a major argument over politics that almost led to recasting, Owen was one of the last people to visit Bates in hospital). Michael Aldridge left the show to care for his wife. Brian Wilde had left the show a second time before his death; basically, he pulled out of a series due to illness (shingles, iirc) that wasn’t as serious as first feared and although they asked if he wanted to do it, Wilde decided he wanted to left the show for good, but they explained Foggy’s absence and it was open to him coming back.  Sallis and Thornton both passed away after the show ended.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2021, 09:34:45 PM »
Thora Hird's character appeared in a photo on the mantlepiece of her Daughter's home surrounded by flowers in later episodes, obviously implying she had passed away. Not sure if they gave her a full funeral in-show.

They did write characters out, only to be replaced not long after by someone who filled a broadly similar role in the dynamics of the group - but it was generally more subtle than seeing a corpse being wheeled out the back of the cafe one moment, only to have their replacement arrive at the till five seconds later.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2021, 10:22:30 PM »
Thora Hird's character appeared in a photo on the mantlepiece of her Daughter's home surrounded by flowers in later episodes, obviously implying she had passed away. Not sure if they gave her a full funeral in-show.

They did write characters out, only to be replaced not long after by someone who filled a broadly similar role in the dynamics of the group - but it was generally more subtle than seeing a corpse being wheeled out the back of the cafe one moment, only to have their replacement arrive at the till five seconds later.

Wouldn’t say that - characters weren’t always replaced and when they were, there was a difference to them and the dynamics.

With the main trio, for instance, the dynamic between Blamire, Compo and Clegg is very different to the one after Foggy replaces Blamire. With the first trio, Blamire and Compo bicker like children, whilst Clegg often has an aloof air. Clegg is the one at the top but doesn’t feel the need to impose their authority as Foggy or Seymour invariably do. There are particularly telling scenes such as where Blamire looks over to Clegg appealing for his support and approval, and Clegg barely shakes his head much to Blamire’s frustration.

With Foggy, it’s very different. He wants to be the leader, which Compo and Clegg indulge him for their amusement and something to do. Although to a degree, this happens with Seymour, he goes about it fairly differently - e.g. attempting to persuade through reason, rather ordering. Also, others see him differently - Seymour is seen (by some) as having a certain distinction due to his education and profession, giving him more respect than Foggy will ever get. Seymour, I would say has slightly more self-awareness than the deluded Foggy and isn’t without charm.

When Truly is another Foggy replacement, the character is a lot more shrewd than Foggy, has a wicked sense of humour and there’s an affinity with Clegg that is substantially different to his relationship with the earlier ‘third man’.  By this time, due to age, the characters were slowing down (when the show first started the main three are most likely in their early 50s, after all) that had an impact on the writing. Billy Hardcastle took over from Compo and although there was some similarities with their characters, not so with the dynamics between the three and during this time the series was shifting towards an ensemble one.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2021, 10:46:02 PM »
Yes, I probably over-simplified the changes throughout the show as different characters and personal dynamics emerged. I preferred Foggy to any of the other 'third member of the gang' characters, so always looked upon them as a bit of a letdown in comparison, ignoring that they weren't written to fill the same role and perpetuate the same group dynamics as when Brian Wilde was in it.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2021, 12:07:43 AM »
Yes, I probably over-simplified the changes throughout the show as different characters and personal dynamics emerged. I preferred Foggy to any of the other 'third member of the gang' characters, so always looked upon them as a bit of a letdown in comparison, ignoring that they weren't written to fill the same role and perpetuate the same group dynamics as when Brian Wilde was in it.

To be fair, the Foggy-Seymour-Foggy period is an awfully long one - twenty-one years - and although not identical, would say the two characters were closer in similarities compared to the other third men and suspect that’s affected how replacements are commonly seen. I have to admit being very surprised by the dynamic with Blamire and the others, thinking it would be closer to Foggy’s.

The show was rather clever at introducing new characters and using guest stars to distract when people left. Also, I think as explanations for departures tended to be given later when people were used to not seeing the characters, this drew far less attention to their absence than if those mentions had been made quickly after the last disappearance. Also, I feel it often made it seem that the characters were still part of that universe and could be seen again one day. In the case of Barry, it was quite canny  the way that he was mentioned in such a natural way (e.g. when the wives were talking at coffee mornings about their husbands) that his reintroduction after several years worked rather effectively.

That said, the sudden departure of Billy Hardcastle is quite jarring and totally unexplained. IIRC, Julie T Wallace’s character and her daughter were quickly written out, credited due to unfavourable audience responses and in that case, least said, soonest mended was likely the approach taken.

It’s been interesting to read such affection for Foggy - after Wilde left the second time, they kept the door open and tried getting him back without any luck (obvs).

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2021, 12:11:00 AM »
Despite it ending, Clarke is still pretty much writing Last of the Summer Wine with Still Open All Hours with Tim Healy as the Compo-lite "Gastric" and Brigit Forsyth as a sort of combination Nora Batty / Hyacinth Bucket.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2021, 12:19:19 AM »
This site (which mainly looks at episodes) has an interesting interview with Jonathan Linsley - http://summerwinos.co.uk/?p=2540 - that has some good stuff about the show and also how his character, Crusher, changed from the stage show to the series.

Andrew Vine’s book on the series is very good read as well.

Glebe

  • Lil nonsense now+then relished by the wisest men.
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2021, 12:22:33 AM »
I remember a BBC trail for Summer Wine when Michael Aldridge joined, one of those where the voiceover goes "and a new face arrives!" type of things (think there was a similar tease when Uncle Albert first appeared in OFAH). Didn't Aldridge's character come up with wacky ideas a la Foggy? I seem to remember one where he gets his leg caught on a rope and ends ups swinging upside down against an obvious blue screen background.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2021, 02:24:03 PM »
This site (which mainly looks at episodes) has an interesting interview with Jonathan Linsley - http://summerwinos.co.uk/?p=2540 - that has some good stuff about the show and also how his character, Crusher, changed from the stage show to the series.

Andrew Vine’s book on the series is very good read as well.

That's an interesting website - have started reading the series 1 and 2 reviews.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2021, 06:32:31 PM »
Right the thing is that Last of the Summer Wine will forever be, for me and many others growing up in the 80s, the shit boring program with the three miserable old unfunny cunts that heralded the actual physical and spiritual point where the weekend ended and it was school tomorrow, and it was still hours before Spitting Image and the American Football came on ITV and Channel 4. Even outside of that, the tone and atmosphere of LOTSW was just a horribly bleak reminder that there was never anything to do ever and everything was filling in the moments before you died.  That was a lot to deal with when you were 10 years old.  It's so strongly encoded in my brain that even I don't think anything will ever change it.  Even an image or clip of it brings back that horrible bleakness.
It's definitely up there with Antiques Roadshow and Songs of Praise in terms of end-of-the-weekend dread, the theme tune still fills me with that feeling.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2021, 06:36:06 PM »
I remember a BBC trail for Summer Wine when Michael Aldridge joined, one of those where the voiceover goes "and a new face arrives!" type of things (think there was a similar tease when Uncle Albert first appeared in OFAH)...

Ah, that's interesting - and given the show's popularity at that time, it would be surprising if they didn't make a big thing of it. Aldridge's first episode was a special, which introduced new characters and having Thora Hird as a guest star (and she was always credited as thus) was a big thing... certainly, the news that she was playing Edie contributed to the pressure that Gordon Wharmby felt and who was hospitalised after suffering a nervous breakdown.

...Didn't Aldridge's character come up with wacky ideas a la Foggy? I seem to remember one where he gets his leg caught on a rope and ends ups swinging upside down against an obvious blue screen background.

Yes and a running theme was the involvement of inventions that Seymour came up - however, as his time went on in the series, feel that they reduced that element. By all accounts, Aldridge was a complete delight to work with and his influence made the show a lot more fun to work on.

With the scene hanging down, I know the one you meant - saw it a little while ago and thought it was pretty well done and can't recall a blue screen look. On the whole, they did the stunts and use of doubles pretty convincingly. I saw the bath episode, posted earlier in the thread, very recently and when at one point, when they were pushing the bath, noticed how the faces of the actors were concealed by how they positioned in relation to the camera (e.g. characters bent over, or looking away) and that it was obviously doubles being used, but at that point, the actors moved so you could see it was the stars, which I thought was a clever bit of editing - in the shot that had the actual stars, they started in the kind of positions that the doubles were moving in to help create the illusion it was them earlier.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2021, 06:53:16 PM »
It's definitely up there with Antiques Roadshow and Songs of Praise in terms of end-of-the-weekend dread, the theme tune still fills me with that feeling.

Although I think people's memories are playing tricks on them a little bit. The series only permanently moved to Sundays during the 1990s; in the 1980s, there was a move to Sundays for some series, but others continued to be shown on weekday evenings - albeit at a more family-friendly time slot than in the 1970s.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2021, 06:53:58 PM »
That's an interesting website - have started reading the series 1 and 2 reviews.

Glad you enjoyed it - and because you started this thread, I've just bought the Alan Bell book about the series as I'm in the mood!

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

  • Your sleep paralysis demon
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2021, 07:01:53 PM »
Fambo, why on earth are you subjecting yourself to hundreds of hours of this? Surely there must be better things to watch?

Unless you secretly love it of course, in which case carry on.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2021, 07:10:04 PM »
Fuck off.

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

  • Your sleep paralysis demon
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2021, 07:44:08 PM »

gilbertharding

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2021, 08:33:09 PM »
Right the thing is that Last of the Summer Wine will forever be, for me and many others growing up in the 80s, the shit boring program with the three miserable old unfunny cunts that heralded the actual physical and spiritual point where the weekend ended and it was school tomorrow, and it was still hours before Spitting Image and the American Football came on ITV and Channel 4. Even outside of that, the tone and atmosphere of LOTSW was just a horribly bleak reminder that there was never anything to do ever and everything was filling in the moments before you died.  That was a lot to deal with when you were 10 years old.  It's so strongly encoded in my brain that even I don't think anything will ever change it.  Even an image or clip of it brings back that horrible bleakness.

Reeks of Vosene.

Although, I remember finding it very, very funny. Not for long, but when I first watched it (era of Foggy, Wally Batty, and Sid café bloke). Rot set in with the introduction of Wesley, Barry, Howard and all that lot.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #52 on: May 26, 2021, 01:02:56 PM »
Fambo, why on earth are you subjecting yourself to hundreds of hours of this? Surely there must be better things to watch?

Unless you secretly love it of course, in which case carry on.

It's amusing, a distraction from all the bleak global news, well written and to be honest there isn't much else to watch. 

Finished the Andrew Vine book today, which is well worth a read.

Watched the episode where they try to work out how big Nora Batty's feet are yesterday. Very amusing with a nice ending.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #53 on: May 26, 2021, 01:19:48 PM »
It's a show I, as a young person, hated at the time or at least professed to hate, but have a kind of fondness for it now. It's so gentle and easy going, like sliding into a warm bath (on wheels), with lovely scenery and the kind of old northern characters I'm familiar with. It seemed forever stuck in a quaint old wartime spirit England that hasn't existed for decades (and possibly never did) which I think made it appealing. It's escapism in its own way which I think was comforting on a Sunday evening as opposed to an episode of Taggart or something like that. I guess a show like Call the Midwife has similar appeal.

I had a friend at college who was obsessed with the show (along with the music of Falco and gay clubs) and once insisted I come over as he'd got hold of an episode where Foggy calls Compo "fuck-face". I went round and he was there with the tape lined up and a girl from college who he had shown it to and also insisted it was "fuck-face". Watched it and it did sound like "fuck-face" but then realised after replaying it about 10 times that it was "frog-face". Quite how we thought Last of the Summer Wine had gotten the f-word into an episode is beyond me.

Although apparently we weren't the only ones: https://www.summerwine.net/community/threads/compo-saying-the-f-word.10731/

@ 24:13 - https://youtu.be/xv2RcJjanqg?t=1450
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 01:39:01 PM by El Unicornio, mang »

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

  • Your sleep paralysis demon
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #54 on: May 26, 2021, 04:22:32 PM »
I dunno, it depressed the fuck out of me when I was a kid, because it was always shown on Sundays, so it gave you that "going back to school tomorrow" maudlin feeling. Plus it gave you a glimpse of a possible future for yourself; some old cunt in the middle of nowhere, fucking about in baths and getting aroused by an old lady's baggy tights.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #55 on: May 26, 2021, 04:40:26 PM »
The beauty of rural Yorkshire is also nice to look at.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #56 on: May 26, 2021, 06:10:23 PM »
Plus it gave you a glimpse of a possible future for yourself; some old cunt in the middle of nowhere, fucking about in baths.

In all honesty, that sounds like an ideal future compared to the most likely alternatives.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #57 on: May 26, 2021, 08:53:44 PM »

On a Sunday in the late 1990s, I vividly remember flicking over from Snooker the  highlights to land on an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, dwelling on it for a bit and being utterly amazed at how batshit mental it was.  I then later learned I had been watching the first ever episode of The League of Gentlemen.

Glebe

  • Lil nonsense now+then relished by the wisest men.
Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2021, 09:53:37 PM »
This site (which mainly looks at episodes) has an interesting interview with Jonathan Linsley - http://summerwinos.co.uk/?p=2540 - that has some good stuff about the show and also how his character, Crusher, changed from the stage show to the series.

Thanks for that Ignatius, very interesting! Didn't know Crusher started out as a character in a stage show version! I'd heard Lindsey was in the Pirates movies, never actually watched any of them. Robert Fyfe popped up in the Wachowski's Cloud Atlas, oddly enough.

Quote
I once asked Noel Edmonds, who had a very nice dressing room on the upper floor, if I could use his room when he’d finished with it, because he used to fly off home in his helicopter,  and there was an empty dressing room for the rest of the day! Well that really upset the BBC because I’d gone outside protocol and asked another performer directly. Of course, Noel said it was no problem at all, he wasn’t using it. But the BBC said ‘Well, he might come back and use it later…’

Fantastic.

Quote
...I socialised with Peter Sallis in Eastbourne, because he was going through his ‘I’ve never been to a nightclub’ phase! And we used to take him out to nightclubs and discos, and he thought it was brilliant.

Heh!

Quote
...in the early 1980s, there was that slight punk feel… which had happened in the late 1970s, and we brought that in. The wristbands and the leather and the studs, and originally I had a ripped t-shirt with safety pins in it. That was the fashion at the time, and I think all we were trying for was to be fashionable. Crusher was a product of his time. And that made him a little bit anarchic, and a little bit difficult… so that’s why I can see what you’re saying about The Young Ones. Here was a different generation coming into a television series that was really about the older generation. They hadn’t had a youngster in the show at all, and I was very aware of that.

It's weird, I recall Crusher being more of a rock 'n' roller... not a teddy boy exactly, but not a full-on heavy metaller or anything. Certainly not a punk!

Quote
...I lost fourteen stone in weight, half my body weight, and of course the newspapers got hold of that. The News of the World rang me up and asked if they could do an interview, because they’d seen me in other things, and thought ‘This can’t be the same man who played Crusher in Last of the Summer Wine’… and, of course, it got into the papers that I’d done this. My agent was phoned by the News of the World, and at the time I was um-ming and ah-ing as to whether to do it, because I didn’t really want my private life to be plastered all over a newspaper. And they said ‘If you don’t do this interview, we might be forced to print some of the rumours… he’s a single man, and he might have AIDS…’

Yeah, that was about TNotW's level, good riddance.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2021, 10:08:31 PM »
I was once chatting to some American tourists who were telling me of their itinerary of all the iconic places to visit in Britain: London, Stratford-on-Avon, Holmfirth, and Edinburgh. Amazing stuff.

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