VERBOSE VOYAGES in a double-breasted suit. “Here, the streets of Bombay team with a multitudinous morass of sociological strata, the profligate penny-pinching panjandrums rubbing skyscraper-shoulder pads with rag-clothed ruffian roisters.” Began as a well-attired segment in the middle of the TONIGHT programme, wherein our hero flew off – via BOAC – to a former colony and chatted with natives on scratchy film with the sound dubbed on afterwards at Lime Grove. Obvious spin-off potential was too good to resist, however, and so the series proper was born, replete with fantastic titles featuring a giant jet aeroplane taxiing off a runway to reveal a massive WHICKER’S WORLD logo underneath. Episodes invariably revolved around Alan earnestly trying to make sense of some new counterculture or other (“they call themselves flower children, though from what I could see, few would want this kind of fauna decorating their back garden”) or jawing with a former dictator in cloth-backed chairs on the front lawn of an imperial villa, or riding in some glamorous means of transport with an equally glamorous starlet. Defected to Yorkshire TV in 1968 taking the brand name with him, ditto an increasingly fawning, alliterative-obsessed attitude to his eponymous planet. Filmed about a million boring jaunts to the Far East. Came back to the Beeb in the 1980s for spruced up theme (the one that went nah-nah-ner-nah, nah nah nah nah nah-ner ner, BANG BANG) and incorrect title sequence that showed an aeroplane taking off and Alan not on it. Series now branded with subtitles – Living With Uncle Sam, Living With Waltzing Matilda – implying the Whicker wanderer couldn’t be arsed to travel around much anymore. Famously knocked back AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, preferring AROUND WHICKER’S WORLD: THE ULTIMATE PACKAGE, a dreadful transglobal gander in the company of obnoxious zillionaires. Brand “rested” during much of the last 15 years, only to return in the form of Whicker’s War, featuring the old bugalugs revisiting his days as a journo in Italy in the 1940s. Further jaunts are promised, despite Alan now into his 80s. Britain’s finest export after The Beatles and the penny post.
TVC on Twitter
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Oh yeah, this is back, as well. And later than ever as well, with the whole series seemingly being shown around this time, and this bumper extended episode – the longest one since it came back, we think – even creeping past the watershed, which is a bit of a jolt when in previous series the Beeb have always seemed extremely reluctant to put it on any later than the very youngest viewers can see it. Looks like there’s a change of heart with the new grumpy Doctor though we don’t doubt it’ll still be fun for the whole family and Peter Capaldi’s performance will be immaculate.
Subscribe to Creamguide
Points of View
- In 'You Gotta Be Jokin’!', Droogie says: "Another godawful BBC saturday evening comedy show from back then was Something For The Weekend. A ropey sketch show with the likes of Mike..."
- In 'Longest Day, The ', Morgan says: "“…. And if your in doubt about who’s on the other side of that wall, here’s a cricket thingy.” Can’t help but..."
- In 'Grand Prix ', Morgan says: "Severely disturbing scene of the mortality of the 60′s motor racer, rendered ridiculous by previous shoots of a boiler suit stuffed with socks,..."
- In 'Goodfellas ', Morgan says: "Watch out for the bit when the news of Tommy’s whacking reaches Jimmy, who in turn whacks the telephone booth and the prop falls over off camera...."
- In 'You Gotta Be Jokin’!', Richard16378 says: "It’s sounds like I dodged a bullet by somehow missing this. The BBC’s LE Dept had a few clunkers around this time, the..."