More TV Memories – Tim Vine Travels In Time.

Tim Vine Travels In Time (BBC1, 2017)

Tim Vine is someone who has been on the stand-up comedy circuit for about three decades now, and I have been a fan of his since the mid-90s, as he combined his amusing range of quickfire jokes and puns with hosting game shows, along with various other TV appearances. He has performed on several successful tours, and he was also a regular in sitcom Not Going Out for a while.

I do enjoy seeing him on TV, and I also hope that he is given a show of his own, so when he had a sitcom that was part of a series of comedy pilots, of course I just had to watch this. Tim Vine Travels In Time (or Tim Vine Travels Through Time as this has also been credited) actually started out as a one-off on BBC Radio 4 (he also had a radio comedy chat show at this time), before transferring to BBC1 later in the year.

This was an opportunity to be rather silly, whilst twisting the genre a little. The idea is that Tim works in an antiques shop, and various people turn up. Then, thanks to a magic grandfather clock, he then travels back in time, this can be as far as several centuries, and he bumps into various historical figures. Look, there’s Robin Hood! Look, there’s that woman off that thing!

There was also a scene where a game of archery was played. Now Tim is really into his darts, meaning that this almost turned into an edition of Bullseye at one point, which really was marvellous. Will he make it back home in time for his dinner? This didn’t receive a full series, which was a disappointment (being shown in a post-news slot didn’t help), but surprisingly, there was one further episode, which was a Christmas special.

This did again contain the mix of celebrities and silly jokes (and he might even burst into song if you’re lucky), but I do feel that a lot of the potential of this idea has remained untapped, I would’ve been pleased to see more. I do still follow Tim’s career, and I hope that he will get more TV comedy work for a while yet (even I don’t know what his “Plastic Elvis” routine is all about though).

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One of his most recent TV appearances was in Dictionary Corner on Countdown, which is usually a lot of fun. But unfortunately this time round he struggled, partly because he had no studio audience to bounce off as usual, but also because host Anne Robinson didn’t seem to find his style amusing, although this is mostly because Anne is seemingly unaware of the basic human emotion of laughter.


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