3 Things I Learned Re-Watching The Young Ones

Last night, I cracked open my new box set of The Young Ones. It occurred to me as I did so, that I’ve never owned a digital copy of the show, and that means I can’t have seen it since I had it on VHS. I loved these tapes to death.

But that can’t be right. I must have watched them somehow in the interim.

Anyway, Demolition, the pilot episode it still great. I don’t hold with the view that the show hasn’t aged well, because it’s so of it’s time that it is just a period piece . It also became quickly apparent that it’s hard to watch it now without playing a game of ‘spot the fifth housemate’.

Ignore the crazy talk at the end of that video, just marvel at how subtle the joke was.

The commentary on the first episode with Geoff Posner and Paul Jackson is also fascinating. They talk about shooing the exterior scenes on video, not film, and I had a real “HUH” moment. I’d never really taken that in before. If you don’t know what that means, think of any 80s show, going from indoors to outdoors, and the jarring change of medium.

But no so The Young Ones.

Also in the commentary, Paul Jackson makes reference to an aborted CBS pilot of the show. Now, I’m fairly sure this was on my radar, and that Robert Llewellyn mentions it in his books The Man In The Rubber Mask. He talks about following Nigel Planer over the pond as the only cast member used for the US pilot, I think.

The pilot was called Oh, No! Not THEM!, and also featured Jackie Earle Haley, and Robert Bundy. There was no fourth housemate, let alone a fifth. It was developed by David Mirkin.

No footage has ever surfaced.


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