Press Gang 4 DVD
Review: The Junior Gazette's all grown-up.
A mere six episodes and no special features - but still a cracking DVD. Probably because Press Gang is one of the best series ever made for kids. Or adults.
Four seasons in and the comic dialogue is still snappier than His Girl Friday, the plots are twistier than 24, and the characters are as wonderful as ever.
Oddly, the high-production values actually let down the first two episodes. The season opener tears apart Saturday morning kids' TV - but the cheap sets look all wrong on nicely shot film. The same happens with episode two, Professor X - a Doctor Who spoof that looks all wrong by being filmed in classy locations.
Both episodes end up feeling more Children's Film Foundation than cheap telly, but the scripts are razor sharp - plus you get to see Spike and Lynda engage in a massive slapping and swearing fest.
The rest of the season sails past - with more lumps in the throat than belly laughs as some quite terrible things happen, leaving you wondering if Spike and Lynda will ever sort things out.
The last episode nearly settles things forever, with a guardian angel, a set of flash forwards, and sublimely terrible wigs.
Throughout Julia Sawalha's Lynda just gets crazier, darker and more complicated. By this stage you're wondering if there's anything she won't do. I still fancy her rotten, but I'd hide the knives if she popped round for tea.
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