Hancock’s Half Hour is another in the Lost Sitcoms three-parter, following last week’s Till Death Do Us Part.
The recreated episode, this time, is The New Neighbour, where Hancock (Kevin McNally) and John (Kevin Eldon) are being right noseybonks when a new guy moves in next door. Instantly, Hancock is wondering “What’s he got that I haven’t?”, and as John has made a full list, it turns out to be the kind of equipment someone bumping people off might carry! Can that really be the deal?
The original Hancock’s Half Hour was before my time. I’ve tried once or twice to get into it since, but it was… okay, that’s all. However, this is actually, surprisingly good, and I think I could go a whole series of this if they were up for making it.
Of the casting, while I’m less familiar with Eldon’s John Vere and Katy Wix‘s Hattie Jacques, McNally and Jon Culshaw are superb as Hancock and Sid James, respectively, but hitting the mark every single time is Robin Sebastian with a note-perfect impression of Kenneth Williams. I hadn’t heard of Mr Sebastian before, but here, he was just incredible!
And if you want to try this in a different way, the 2014 radio recording of this episode is available on the BBC Radio Player for just one more week!
Hancock’s Half Hour is available to pre-order on DVD as part of the Lost Sitcoms season, ahead of its release on September 19th, and you can also watch the episode on BBC iPlayer, up until October 8th, and click on the top-right image in this review for the full-size version.
Still to come is Steptoe and Son, next Wednesday, September 14th, on BBC4 at 9pm.
Directors: Neil Pearson and Ben Gosling Fuller
Producer: Owen Bell
Writers: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Music: BBC Concert Orchestra
Tony Hancock: Kevin McNally
Hattie Jacques: Katy Wix
John Vere: Kevin Eldon
Kenneth Williams: Robin Sebastian
Sid James: Jon Culshaw
Mario: Robert Jack
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.