Sunday, 29 May 2016
402 Ripping Yarns
First viewed : Uncertain
I'm not sure when I first caught this. I remember my friends talking about it, specifically the story Tomkinson's Schooldays which I gathered had been a little rude in May 1978 which was already a repeat of the first series. I'm not sure whether I saw the first broadcast of the second season ( all three episodes of it ) on BBC 2 in October 1979 or a repeat of the whole set of stories on BBC1 in 1980.
Ripping Yarns was the brainchild of Pythons Michael Palin and Terry Jones and the self-contained stories in the series were affectionate parodies of pre-war boys literature. Jones was too busy directing The Life of Brian to appear beyond the pilot episode so Palin was left to carry all the subsequent stories on his own.
If you know the series and are familiar with my other blogs you won't have too much difficulty in identifying my favourite episode , the glorious Golden Gordon. Exaggerated as it is, nothing else has come close to capturing the masochistic joy of supporting a generally unsuccessful football club. We've all come home wanting to smash the house up like Gordon after a trouncing and yearned for a return to some golden age receding ever further into the past. For Dale fans the equivalent to Barnstoneworth's legendary Davitt was Reg Jenkins, star of the 69-70 promotion side and only in the last few years have we started putting him to rest.
Gordon has cast such a long shadow that my memory of the other stories is a bit sketchy and I'm not even sure that I've seen them all. The downfall of the series was its high production costs, the Beeb deciding after three episodes of the second season that they could not afford to finance any more.