'On The Buses' has always struck me as a pretty poor show, and time has not been kind to it at all.
It had memorable elements, certainly, as, forty years on, some of the catch phrases and characters still stick in the public consciousness, but viewed nowadays via the wonder of satellite TV it's a parade of antiquated attitudes, cliched sitcom conventions and pathetic blundering about by elderly actors (Reg Varney was 53 when the programme was first broadcast, pushing 60 when it finished), a really rather tawdry and slightly grim reminder of a very different time.
That said, all long running programmes occasionally go mental, and thanks to my old pal Gary Zammit and his dubious viewing habits, here is the moment, six series in, when 'On The Buses' goes off piste and crashes into a tree. Several points of interest --
1. the bizarre Radiophonic blips, bleeps and camera movements that punctuate the scene -
2. the bit with Blakey at the window (does 'The Wickerman', released a year later, pay 'homage' to it?) -
3. the extraordinary bleakness of the aerial shots -
4. the concrete soundtrack of birdsong and uncomfortable laughter.
It's a fantastic clip. So fantastic, in fact, that I haven't even asked how the hell he got to find something like this. Truth be told, I'm a little frightened of the answer.
Oh, as it's nearly Halloween, do you want to hear something really terrifying? Forget about 56 year old Reg, Bob Grant and Stephen Lewis (conductor Jack Harper and Inspector Blakey) were only 40 and 36 years old, respectively, when this sequence was filmed.