Jeeves And Wooster (ITV, 1990-1993)
This is a comedy-drama series that was adapted from the stories by PG Wodehouse. Now this isn’t usually the kind of thing that I am interested in, but there are a few things that attracted me to this one, and as this month is the 30th anniversary of the launch, it’s worth featuring here. Of course, one of the things that was good about the show was who played the main characters.
Seemingly not content with only the acclaimed BBC comedy sketch show A Bit Of Fry And Laurie, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie then hopped to the other side for an equally popular show that ran round the same time and was a Sunday night triumph for ITV. Jeeves And Wooster was set in the 1930s, with Laurie as Bertie Wooster the gentleman, and Fry as his faithful manservant Jeeves, the gentleman’s gentleman.
Jeeves was always keen to help Wooster out. Wooster was someone who liked to play the piano, and he also spent a lot of time at The Drones Club. His circle of friends included Hildebrand “Tuppy” Glossop, Cyril “Barmy” Fotherington-Phipps, and Augustus “Gussie” Fink-Nottle, what a thoroughly splendid bunch of chaps. These roles were played by Martin Clunes and Robert Daws among others, proving that the support cast was rather great too.
Wooster would also often get himself in awkward social situations, including constantly becoming engaged, much to the irritation of his various aunts. Along with buttering his toast, Jeeves also thinks nothing of coming up with a clever plan that would spare Wooster’s blushes, much to his relief. One series tried something a little different as they were set in the bright lights of America… the states…
There were 23 episodes of Jeeves And Wooster in four series. All of the episodes were an hour long and it was a big success, it was nominated for several awards, Fry and Laurie clearly enjoyed themselves and couldn’t have been better in their respective roles. In 1992 to promote the third series they appeared on the cover of TV Times. There was also a great opening theme which really captured the music and the mood of the era.
There have also been several repeat runs, including on Granada Plus and ITV3, where it was shown rather frequently for a while. It was watching some of these that made me get into the show and decide to buy it on DVD. All of the episodes have been digitally remastered and are on eight discs, although they contain no extras. It was definitely one of the peaks of Fry and Laurie’s careers.