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TV Shows "borrowing" from steptoe and son.

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Postby PhilGlass » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:09 pm

DAH1 wrote:First Post. Big S&S fan and also a big fan of OFAH. However John Sulivans influence's (copying?) from other shows is beyond debate. As well as the incidences already mentioned does anyone see the similarities in the S&S episode where they go to the pictures (to watch the fellini film rather than nudes of the sixties!) and the OFAH episode, Royal Flush, when the brothers go to the opera ?


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Oh this scene in "A Royal Flush" really annoys me!!

Interestingly the DVD version of that has been highly edited by Sullivan himself as apparently he said it showed Del in a bad light - and he must therefore be the one who put that annoying fake laughter track on the dvd... grrr...

Such a copied scene it is beyond belief!!
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Postby ianb » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:48 am

I am a big fan of classic BBC comedy (Steptoe, Only Fools & Horses, Porridge, Dads Army) and I love them all (they don't make em like they used to!) and I have to say they have all influenced each other. I don't think OFAH is a complete rip off of Steptoe it's just there are similarities in all comedies based around men and the situations they find themselves in. I have seen episodes of Porridge and Dads Army that have similar themes also. If its well written, funny and well acted it is good whatever IMO. There is room for all of them. What really makes all of these great comedies stand out from the crowd is the actors bringing the characters/scripts to life. Ronnie Barker, David Jason, Harry H Corbett, Wilfird Brambell, Arthur Lowe etc. Will we ever see such talent on show again?
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Postby bob » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:53 pm

Hi Ianb - Sorry its taken me a long time to welcome you to the forum.

I think the real reason they don't make them like they used to is that old chestnut (much debated on this forum) PC.

In my view the essence of any good show or drama is contrast. The humour that can be experienced from people who are different to us, and who equally find our differences amusing. I am not talking about race or hate, but genuine difference.

Basil Fawlty acts differently depending on who he is dealing with, all of it is inappropriate, but it is still funny.

While I like Little Brittan, it can only get away with a middle class lady vomiting because she has just eaten a cake made by an Indian lady because the scene is not really attempting to portray reality, it is a grotesque cartoon. But Albert alluding to the fact that you won't find any cats near the Indian take-away is considered by some to be offensive.

Therefore anybody writing a sitcom these days tend to portray very standardised middle class families.

I wish somebody would write a sitcom about some really horrible group such as the BNP. Not only would it give us a good laugh at them, but it could just make us realised that the world is not this nice sanitised place some people would want us to believe.
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Postby Archie » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:46 pm

[quote="bob" But Albert alluding to the fact that you won't find any cats near the Indian take-away is considered by some to be offensive. .[/quote]

Again I find my life echoing S&S - my 2 young cats went missing a fortnight ago, as have several others.
No there are no Indian takeaways in the village :cry:
Eeh I wanna see the Nudes of 1964
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Postby Graham_S nli » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:02 pm

I really enjoyed reading through this thread....

I'm a OFAH's fan as well but deeply regretted David Sullivan's and the BBC's decision to bring it back from 2001 to 2003 in the "Xmas Specials" format which I'm assuming was a Ratings led decision on the BBC's part and money led on the cast and writers part....

It had the PERFECT ending ruined....

Green Green Grass?

A spinoff that never really grabbed me as Boycie and Marlene were part of an ensemble cast not main characters to me....

Rock and Chips?

Watched the first special and hated it! Lyndhurst as a baddie just didn't convince....

Surprisingly The 2nd one recently I did actually enjoy and I might watch any further with renewed interest...

apart from Steptoe which finished on a high with us the public wanting more.

The only other comedy series I rate as highly is Father Ted....

They only made 3 series and no further series were planned when filming was wrapped up on the final series...

Dermot Morgan who played Father Ted untimely death not long after finishing the 3rd series made sure of that.

I'm fairly sure though that had Dermot lived a lot longer. Channel 4 would have stumped up enough cash to convince them (the writers and the cast) to make at least a few "specials" a few years later.... again IMO ruining the memory of a great show...
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Postby taylorslade » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:05 am

As I mentioned in another thread, I have not had internet acess for a while now and subsequently have not been able to post here and when I first came back on I was amazed to see this subject still being debated in this thread that I started quite a long time ago so it just goes to show you that it has resonated with a few members.

When I look back over the last few years on UKTVgold there has been quite minimal coverage of S+S whereas OFAH at one point was on everyday for about 1 year. I accept the fact that the BBC would point to OFAH being more reliable for ratings than S+S but the coverage by UKTVgold has been quite disgraceful. Aside from the Steptoe weekend where they showed every episode and Steptoe dominated the channel from 9am-9pm for a weekend, mainly due to the fact that the "Missing" episodes had been discovered, I seem to remember.
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Postby bob » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:38 am

I'm very much believe in the old adage "leave them wanting more". There are too many artists and shows who just don't know when their time is up. OFAH, Summer Wine, Forsythe and Wogan to name a few.

OFAH is the most obvious example, the whole county loved the idea of them finally becoming Millionaires and it should have been left there.

As time goes by I am also warming to the view that OFAH owes much more to Steptoe and Son than I originally thought. Had S&S still been running when OFAH started, then I am sure the public would have seen the comparison and perhaps not been so welcoming. Rag and Bone men were a thing of the past in 1981, and "independent traders" were a natural successor.
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Postby Graham_S nli » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:06 pm

Reading through this again just reminds me how similar the shows were...

Someone mentioned that OFAH's started going downhill when wives and girlfriends were introduced.....

Alas Rodney and especially Del were starting to look old after series 5....

Both series suffered from at least one of the main protagonists starting to look their age...

Harold (Harry) was I think 48 when the show finally stopped and at that point where it was unconvincing that he could still pull the birds...

Del Boy (David) was the same. About the same age in his late 40's. He could no longer convince on his part of pulling the birds so John Sullivan had no choice but to change the dynamics....

A strange fact is that David Jason could have played Nicholas Lyndhurst's father as there is nearly 20 years between them yet Wilfred was only about 13 years older than Harry and could have been his older brother!

John Sullivan and the producers worked round the problem when the series started by knocking 7 years off David's real age making him 35 and Nicholas adding 3 years on making him 23....

As you can see only 6 or 7 years in, Rodney was still baby faced looking but the age gap had really caught up on Del Boy...

The same applied to S & S.... Wilfred looked perfectly aged now in 1974 but Harry's real age caught up with him in the setting they were in....

I'm just wondering if G & S could have introduced a wife/child (similar to the first film) to freshen it up....

I honestly don't think it would have worked as OFAH's became more an ensemble cast (we had the odd appearance of the likes of the Vicar and Frankie Barrow as a sort of ensemble cast instead) at that point when Sullivan needed to change it...
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Postby bob » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:06 am

Graham

I agree with everything you say except that a 48 year old can no longer pull the birds. We at least that is my assesment as a 48 year old !!!
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Postby Graham_S nli » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:15 am

Bob,

As a very near 47 year old myself.... I think I should re-phrase it as their girlfriends were getting a bit more "mature"....

I remember in OFAH's in season 2 I think an episode called "Second Time Around"....Del boy met up with an ex who he was engaged to during the 60's....

The reason he got engaged so much was explained in Rock and Chips recently where he was told the "secret" by a older car dealer friend of how to get a girl to give him a "taste of the goods" without marrying them by getting "engaged" to them where he would upset them not long after with them throwing the ring back at him!, a clever ruse I wish I had known in my teens!.

Towards the end where they finally split up, Grandad said the classis line "We don't need no birds!"..... Del and Rodney still looked young enough at that time to get away with it....

Unfortuntely when Rodney finally got married at the end of series 6, Del to me looked old and lonely and I think Sullivan had to change the dynamics to combat that.... Age caught up on Del boy (David)....
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Postby PhilGlass » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:33 pm

John SUllivan has had very few original ideas.

I dont know if anyone remembers but it was on one of those "greatest catchphrases" things c4 do where they spend 5 bloody hours doing some clip show, where they pointed out the phrase "lovely jubbly" originated 10yrs before in an advert. The phrase "pukka" also came from somehwere else too, yet Sullivan accused Jamie Oliver of ripping HIM off...

Dont get me wrong, I like OFAH. But to me it wil lalways be a "Steptoe and Son" remake.

And let us not forget, who was first choice to play "grandad"? ... Wilfrid Brambell...
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Postby bob » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:28 pm

OOHHH Never knew they wanted Willy to play grandad.

I guess we shouldn't be too hard on John S, after all if I sat down and tried to write a sitcom now, it would be very much influenced by S&S whether I was aware of it or not.

Phil, if you ever mention Jamie Oliver on this forum again I will suspend your account !!!! Let that be a warning to the rest of you
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Postby Graham_S nli » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:55 pm

Jubbly Ice lollies.... My daughter loves them.... Buy a box of ten every so often from Sainsbury or Iceland to throw in the freezer...

and whats wrong with Turkey Twizzlers?

That Mockney has a lot to answer for! ( HE WHO CANNOT BE NAMED).

Jim Broadbent (who played Roy Slater in OFAH) and Enn Reitel were wanted for the part of Del Boy before David Jason was cast.

Only Nicholas Lyndhurst was an original casting choice....
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Postby PhilGlass » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:23 am

BOB - What if I mention slapping Jamie oliver? Everyone has to support that surely?

I have heard from many OFAH experts that the part of Grandad was written for Wilfrid - after he played in "Citizen Smith" JS said he wanted to write a part for him.

Willy's reason fro not taking the part is much disputed. OFAH fans say he was too busy. Erm, doing what?

I like to think he saw too much of a similarity. But thats just a theory. But JS is on tape saying he wrote the part for Wilfrid and Wilfrid turned it down. We may never know why..
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Postby bob » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:04 am

Lots of interesting stuff re Willy and OFAH. I think he would have accepted the role if offered, but it’s only my personal view.

PHIL any comments about slapping the spluttering, stuttering chef are welcome. It could be a website all by itself.
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