Crumbs, Chief. Would you believe, DangerMouse
is thirty years
old this Autumn? Cosgrove Hall's madcap, action-packed,
animated series premiered on ITV on 28th September 1981
which means that DM and his trustless sidekick Ernest
Penfold have been out there thwarting that
amphibian Baron Silas Greenback and his nefarious cronies
three whole decades.
"DangerMouse" broke the British teatime mould,
It was loud and anarchic and in-your-face, with bomb-bastic
titles and a preposterous blend of ITC action and Pythonesque
right-hand turns and dead-ends in its storytelling.
a world away from the Watch With Mother whimsy that
dominated our screens, and it arrived at just the right
as if it were some absurd antidote to the doom and gloom
tv headlines that were dominated by stories of mass
unemployment and a Summer of riots.
"DangerMouse" celebrated a peculiarly British brand
it ridiculed its heroes and villains alike, it mocked not-so
Britain and the world at large by way of its ludicrous
Isembard, and it even broke the Fourth Wall on
chastise its own production team. There's no doubt that some
of that inventiveness was inspired by the constraints
budget - there was lots of repetition in the show, and many
pitch black scenes - but that was all just part of the charm
of the thing. David Jason, Terry Scott and Edward Kelsey
were at the top of their game, riffing on the absurdity
of it all
in their sound booth, and giving each episode a freewheeling,
Goon-like quality (you can see them working here).
So here we are, three decades on, we've gone full circle
once more emerging from a Summer of torrid, flame-fueled
headlines. Perhaps it's an omen. Perhaps it's time for the
nation to embrace the absurd once more, and celebrate
this amazing, astounding British mouse again...?
As part of the DM celebrations, FremantleMedia Enterprises
The Complete Collection 30th Anniversary
which is billed as a ten-disc DVD box set featuring every
single episode of the series presented, at last, in their
screening order. And that's a Big Deal, deserving of capital
because fans have felt just a little shortchanged by previous
muddled releases. Alas, the extras peg the set back
just a little.
There's the original pilot episode, and more, but they've
seen before. "DangerMouse and Friends" is the main
featurette. Oh, a commentary-or-two would have been great,
don't you think? Still, despite the double-dipping it's
a big fat
box set of fun, and certainly the best release we've seen
UK, thus far. It hits stores on or around 26th September.
Oh, and whilst we're waiting for that, there's a viral
can drop by, in the form of The
DangerMouse Fan Hub, with
clips and snippets and nostalgic celebration to keep
the mood for mayhem!...