David Reynolds – The Beiderbecke Affair (1985)

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Some of IMDb reviews:

Splendily entertaining and disturbingly prescient.

This was not the first outing for Alan Plater’s schoolteacher detectives, who in 1981’s Get Lost had been played admirably by Alun Armstrong and Frances Tomelty. However no-one could quibble with the re-casting. James Bolam effortlessly nails each line of the arch dialogue, while the talented Barbara Flynn has that rare quality of looking both believably ordinary and incredibly fanciable. Some wonderful British character actors also get plenty of screen time in what is effectively an ensemble piece. Colin Blakely, Keith Marsh, Danny Schiller, Robert Longden and Keith Clarke all do sterling work, but special mention must be made of Dudley Sutton’s tweedy schoolmaster and Terence Rigby’s saturnine Big Al, while Dominic Jephcott was a real find as the callow university educated detective. A beautifully constructed series, that remains as pertinent as ever in a society increasingly disrespectful of privacy and intolerant of eccentricity.
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It doesn’t get any better than this!

If you think “Caddyshack” or “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” are the funniest thing on earth, this is not for you. If you love cool jazz and warm humour prepare for a treat.
It’s not just the script, although Alan Plater is undoubtedly a genius.
It’s not just the acting, although not a gesture is out of place, every nuance in its place.
It’s not just the soundtrack, although the Beiderbecke-inspired jazz soundtrack is superb in every respect.
It’s the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Pace? Who needs it. This is a series which proves beyond doubt that frenetic, fast-paced comedy is *not* the be-all and end-all. This is comedy to be enjoyed with a glass of wine and the life partner of your choice; it is as British as chips and brown ale, it is timeless. Watching it again twenty years on it is as perfect as it was on first viewing.

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no pass

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