Till Death Do Us Part is part of BBC’s sporadic sitcom season, this one specifically one of three ‘Lost Sitcoms’, and which I lost track of in the schedules, as when the ‘Sitcom Season’ trailers have been on TV, they show clips of various entries in the season, without specifying what date and time and channel they’re on, and as the season rolls on, most of them have already aired. Hence, with this one, I had to catch it on iPlayer.
I was a big fan of the original Till Death Do Us Part, albeit in its later, ’80s, guise, of In Sickness And In Health, catching up with TDOUP later on. Alf Garnett is a character that some idiots thought was a racist, when he was actually poking fun at real-life racists. Of course, real-life racists are too stupid to realise this.
Recreating a ‘lost episode’, A Woman’s Place Is In The Home, that’s no longer available for broadcast, since the BBC didn’t keep a lot of the original recordings in the old days, this is… okay. No-one can do Alf like Warren Mitchell, and as brilliant as Simon Day can usually be, this is a tough row to hoe. Since no-one else has to be such a definitive character, the rest of the cast come off better than he does, unfortunately. All that said, most of the humour was derived from the situations in the script, and not the performances.
Johnny Speight used to keep his premise simple, and this one revolves around Alf Garnett going without his dinner, with just the promise of fish and chips to come later… if it comes. In his world, what can go wrong, ALWAYS goes wrong. Will he starve?
Till Death Do Us Part 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 1st, and click on the top-right image in this review for the full-size version.
There’s also a 4-minute accompanying short piece called Let’s Talk About Alf.
The other forthcoming episodes are Hancock’s Half Hour (Thursday, BBC4, 9pm) and Steptoe and Son (Wednesday, September 14th, BBC4 at 9pm).
Director: Ben Gosling Fuller
Producer: Owen Bell
Writer: Johnny Speight
Alf Garnett: Simon Day
Elsie Garnett: Lizzie Roper
Rita: Sydney Rae White
Mike: Carl Au
Girl in phone box: Victoria Balnaves
Woman at window/call box: Vari Sylvester
Ted Williams: 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.