TV TV Review

The Likely Lads: The Original Men Behaving Badly

Hot off the presses from Network, The Likely Lads has made it to the land of blu-ray. Following the much-beloved spin-off Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, Network have also brought with them two newly restored and remastered episodes, previously lost in the BBC archives!

Penned by duo Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, their penchant for bringing these two walks of life together is nothing short of poignant (and exceptionally side-splitting). Picking up after the events of the spin-off show, James Bolam and Rodney Bewes bounce their unlikely chemistry as if it never left us in 1974. Terry is on the midst of marriage, which Bob’s wife Thelma sees as an opportunity to split the duo up for good. However, will she carry out this plan? Sightseeing the north of England on a caravan holiday of course (the true British way).

Restored to its original aspect ratio from the original negatives, Network have done a sublime job bringing this slice of Britannia to the high definition world. Die hard fans of the series will be pleased with the extra features that Network have included. As I mentioned earlier, two new episodes have been restored and offer a portal back to the 60s show that original fans never got to see. “A Star Is Born” offers up a delightful chance to see Terry channel his inner singer-songwriter to…mixed results. “Far Away Places” has our duo attempting to book a holiday with the travel agents. Fun in the sun or trip to Bognor?  

Even after decades have passed, the writing of Frenais and Clement still doesn’t miss a beat. Even with their situations and life outlooks definitely eschewed at times, the friendship between Bob and Terry is still as endearing as ever. Spending time with these characters is a genuine treat and one that never wavers. It’s a nostalgia trip not only in seeing this duo reunited via the hard work of this remaster, but also a trip down England all those years ago. It is hard not to think on this send off to their capers and hijinks, without thinking of Bolam and Bewes’ fallout that occurred around the time of release. With Bewes’ passing in 2017, it’s unfortunate that the two never settled their differences after The Likely Lads rolled credits.

Fans of The Likely Lads will certainly enjoy this package that Network have curated and this also stands as an opportunity to introduce friends and family to this cult classic, with the added benefit of its superb remaster.

 

My Rating

 

The Likely Lads blu-ray is now available to purchase

 

 

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