Directed by: Various (TV)
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Length: 150 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 15 August 2011
Cat No: 7953388
Screen ratio 1:1.33
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The Strange World of Gurney Slade
All six episodes of the early 1960s comedy series starring Anthony Newley as an actor who inhabits a fantasy world. While working on a TV... Read More
When someone gets round to writing a History of British Cult TV, they’ll need to take account of this fascinating curio, overlooked at the time but now justly celebrated (by David Bowie, among others) as an oddball treasure in which Anthony Newley wanders off the set of a dreary-looking sitcom and begins a series of peregrinations and daydreams in urban and pastoral settings.
The scripts, by Sid Green and Dick Hills (future writers for Morecambe and Wise), mostly amble pleasantly along, doing cheeky things with what was then TV convention, and you have to remind yourself that this was daring stuff in 1960. It’s been described as ‘a cross between Monty Python and The Prisoner’, but its affable surrealism puts it closer to The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film (made in the same year) or NF Simpson’s One Way Pendulum. Until, that is, the final two episodes, when the tone shifts to something darker, and the writing sharpens noticeably. The very last scene of all could even unsettle hardened Twilight Zone fans.