High And Dry is a sitcom set on a desert island, written and created by Marc Wootton, and who would normally push me away from a show, but this one works well.
Following a devastating plane crash, just him, as camp steward Brett, and one passenger, Douglas (Harry Peacock), have survived. Will anyone save them? And if so, when? Well, I knew when I was just a few minutes into this that for the sitcom to stay the course and, perhaps, have a second series, they’ll have to ensure they stay on the island, so whatever can go wrong will go wrong… as long as it’s not the writing.
I don’t want to list everything that happens in the episode since that would negate the point in watching it, so I’ll just give a few highlights, such as when Douglas is trying to light a fire, while Brett is prancing about in the clothes of others. There’s stealing from the dead, and before too long – and especially because it’s only a 30-minute sitcom including adverts – other passengers turn up, and it becomes one of those ‘one room’ sitcoms where everyone has to bounce off each other, all bound by their situation.
When faced with a rather pointless complaint – given the situation, Brett tells Harriet (Vicki Pepperdine) that better people have complained about him before.. particularly Nick Knowles!
And there’s even an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom “Om Namah Shivaya” Hindu mantra reference in there… a nice little inclusion for geeks like me.
Overall, High And Dry – based on a 2015 Comedy Blaps (below) is very silly, but good fun and while I’ve only seen the first installment so far, I’m looking forward to future episodes to see how it turns out.
But… only after watching this did a friend tell me about the 2016 US series Wrecked… with exactly the same premise, and which even started almost identically, with ‘Brett’ as the Douglas character and vice versa, since the flight attendant is the calm one and the passenger is the frenetic one.
Oh, and Wootton’s also copied the early training/protocol joke.
So, Wootton ‘created’ High and Dry? Hmm… I’ve revisted this down from a 7/10 to 5/10. Even that makes me feel a bit dirty.
UPDATE: Thanks to Marc Wootton who emailed me to confirm that High and Dry was pitched in June 2013 to Channel 4, with the first script being submitted before end of that year. Then a second script was commissioned early in 2014, and then the Blap was made in 2015. The Youtube date states September 2015.
Wrecked had a pilot ordered in October 2014, and had a ten-episode series commissioned in May 2015, but I don’t know if the pilot was made widely available at the time, and I don’t know how much of that was used in the broadcast first episode.
Marc confirmed he hasn’t seen Wrecked and wouldn’t copy someone else’s joke, so given that there’ll be a lot of crossover between the two productions – the US one being written by Jordan Shipley and Justin Shipley – have they copied him, given that the Blap also contains the training/protocol joke? Marc could sue and make a fortune! And then charter a plane and banish them to a desert island, never to return. If so, I hope he also forces James Corden and Keith Lemon to join them 😉
High And Dry begins tonight at 10.30pm on Channel 4. Once broadcast, it will be on All4, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Director: Dave Lambert
Producer: Kerry Waddell
Writer/Creator: Marc Wootton
Brett: Marc Wootton
Douglas: Harry Peacock
Harriet: Vicki Pepperdine
Arnab: Asim Chaudhry
Susan: Grace Rex
Ted: Todd Boyce
Sandra: Susannah Fielding
Dudu: Baba Oyejide
Pilot: Neil Stuke
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.