Wednesday, 23 December 2009
THE LIKELY LADS DOUBLE DATE
There are seven surviving episodes from The Likely Lads. The series ran from 1964 - 1966, three seasons and 21 episodes. The episode Double Date which is on the BBCDVD The Likely Lads was the second episode of the first season. In fact the first episode is another of those that escaped being wiped and so the viewer gets a sense of the characters developing.
The series was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Franais, a celebrated writing team who were responsible for many hit shows including the sequel to this series, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads.
I enjoyed this episode - I know these early episodes by reputation rather than familiarity and I think I've only ever seen this once before. I love the way it's written, dialogue driven and flipping from scene to scene with the conversation being played out separately by two different couples. On one hand we have Bob and Terry and on the other the two girls who served as the lad's dates.
We don't actually see the night out, other than as a photographic montage which was probably a cost cutting exercise but its works brilliantly. Then we are in the aftermath of the night out with Bob and Terry stranded on a bus stop, they begin a conversation, Bob moaning that's he spent two quid and Terry snapping, 'I've spent three.' And from there the scene shifts to the girls, safe and warm back home, as they continue the thread started by the lads - we get the same events from two widely differing viewpoints.
It's all so 1960's working class comedy, so well observed that it serves as an example of the lifestyles of the British youth during the period. The episode, together with the other surviving six episodes are on the BBC DVD The Likely Lads (BBCDVD1879). There are no special features which is a pity but these episodes are superb examples of the new wave of 1960's British comedy and still as enjoyable as ever.