Playing Sandwiches is the fifth of 12 episodes based on the original Alan Bennett scripts, but with new actors.
With Lucian Msamati (Kiri) in the lead role as parks gardener and odd-job-man Wilfred, it’s a very odd title, but refers to a game where you put your hand down, someone else puts it on top of yours, then you respond with your other hand, and they do likewise.
Along the way, he talks about people getting up to all sorts in the park as he catches them at it, and in his home life, he’s surrounded by lots of loud and annoying people and clearly looking for some peace and quiet. He also gets to know regulars Debbie a white mother, and her black daughter, Samantha.
Meanwhile, his boss is forever on his back because he can’t trace Wilfred’s records, which first made me think it’s something akin to the Windrush scandal following the recent fact-based drama, Sitting In Limbo. However, it’s something different altogether.
Given how everyone takes offence at everything these days, this episode has to come with a warning: “This film is set in the late 1990s and reflects the language and social attitudes of the time.” It refers to derogatory treatment by some of an Indian man he comes across.
Overall, this makes for an okay episode, but not essential.
Playing Sandwiches: Talking Heads is on BBC1 on Monday June 29th at 9.30pm. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
However, you can also the Original Talking Heads series on DVD.
The entire series is now available on the BBC iPlayer.
Director: Jeremy Herrin
Writer: Alan Bennett
Wilfred: Lucian Msamati
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.