Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Hancock: The Craftsman

I have written about episodes of Hancock's Half Hour here before. I thought all the episodes of the earlier series just called Hancock had been wiped but have been delighted to discover some on YouTube. Perhaps I should say that they are far from archive quality, but we old TV fans mustn't be too fussy.
The key difference from the later show is no Sid James, and of course his presence was the rock on which the show floundered, because Hancock didn't want to become a double act. Here the stooge is played by the familiar face Brian Wilde - at least I knew his face but had to look up his name  He makes a less sharp counterpoint to Hancock than Sid James.
Set against the white hot heat of progress which is so often the setting in sixties TV, Hancock becomes the self-appointed expert, both in the old, embodied by the ancient lamp lighter and the modern, embodied by the trend for home improvement.
This show is quite heavily criticised on the Internet because of the way it then resorts to a quite stock comedy formula of the disastrous attempts Hancock makes at DIY. And that is one of the reasons I wanted to signpost people to this episode here. Yes, it's a stock comedy situation but in my humble opinion it is in the hands of a master here, and it shows. I haven't even watched the other shows yet!

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