All Gas and Gaiters

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All Gas and Gaiters
All-Gas-and-Gaiters.jpg
All Gas and Gaiters DVD
Genre Sitcom
Created by Pauline Devaney
Edwin Apps
Starring Robertson Hare
William Mervyn
Derek Nimmo
John Barron
Ernest Clark
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 33 + 1 short
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC1
Original run 17 May 1966 (1966-05-17) – 17 June 1971 (1971-06-17)

All Gas and Gaiters is a British television ecclesiastical sitcom which aired on BBC1 from 1966 to 1971. It was written by Pauline Devaney and Edwin Apps, a husband-and-wife team who used the pseudonym of "John Wraith" when writing the pilot. All Gas and Gaiters was also broadcast on BBC Radio from 1971 to 1972.

Cast[edit]

Plot[edit]

All Gas and Gaiters, predominantly farcical in nature, was set in the close of the fictional St Ogg's cathedral and concerned various intrigues and rivalries among the clergy. "Gaiters" in the title refers to part of the traditional dress of bishops and archdeacons. The bishop was easygoing; his friend the archdeacon was elderly, tippling, and still appreciative of attractive women; and the bishop's chaplain was naïve and accident-prone. Their wish to live a quiet bachelor life was continually threatened by the overbearing dean, who tried to bring by-the-book rule to the cathedral.

The series initially aroused some controversy because of its portrayal of senior clergy as bungling incompetents, although some clergy quite enjoyed it. In the opening credits, St. Alban's Cathedral was shown as the fictional St Ogg's, but with the twisted spire of Church of St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield added to the central tower.

It proved to be the first of a series of comedies starring Derek Nimmo as similar bumbling clerical characters (Oh, Brother!, Oh, Father! and Hell's Bells). It is regarded the best, partly because of a strong supporting cast (particularly the experienced farceur Robertson Hare as the archdeacon) and partly because it included some elements of gentle satire.[1]

All 11 surviving episodes were released on DVD by DD Home Entertainment in 2004, originally accompanied by a detailed behind-the-scenes booklet, written by Andy Priestner in consultation with show's writers, Edwin Apps and Pauline Devaney, but later released without. Cinema Club have since bought the DVD rights.

Episodes[edit]

The pilot and first three series were videotaped in black-and-white. The third series was taped in colour, but originally broadcast in monochrome. The fourth and fifth series were made and shown in colour. Only 11 episodes still exist in the archive, owing to the wiping policy of the BBC in this era. The three surviving black and white episodes and two of the colour episodes are preserved as black and white 16mm film recordings with optical sound. Only six colour episodes are preserved in their original colour videotape format.

Pilot: 1966[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
The Bishop Rides Again 16 May 1966 part of Comedy Playhouse

Series 1: 1967[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
The Bishop Gets the Sack 31 January 1967
The Bishop Meets a Bird 7 February 1967 lost
The Bishop Writes a Sermon 14 February 1967 lost
The Bishop Sees a Ghost 21 February 1967
The Bishop Turns to Crime 28 February 1967 lost
Only Three Can Play 7 March 1967 lost

Series 2: 1967[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
The Dean Goes Primitive 24 November 1967 lost
The Bishop Gives a Party 1 December 1967 lost
The Bishop Gets a Letter 8 December 1967 lost
The Bishop Goes to Town 15 December 1967 lost
Give a Dog a Bad Name 22 December 1967 lost
The Bishop Gives a Shove 29 December 1967 lost

Series 3: 1969[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
The Bishop learns the Facts 8 January 1969 lost
The Bishop has a Flutter 15 January 1969 lost
The Bishop is Hospitable 22 January 1969 lost
The Bishop Pays a Visit 29 January 1969 lost
The Bishop takes a Holiday 5 February 1969 lost
The Affair at Cookham Lock 12 February 1969 lost
The Bishop Keeps his Diary 19 February 1969 lost

Series 4: 1970[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
The Bishop Buys a Car 15 April 1970 lost
The Bishop Gains a Reputation 22 April 1970 lost
The Bishop Loves His Neighbour 29 April 1970
The Bishop Beats the System 6 May 1970
The Bishop Buys a Mug 13 May 1970 lost
When In Rome 20 May 1970 lost
The Bishop Takes Up Business 27 May 1970 lost

Series 5: 1971[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
The Bishop Warms Up 13 May 1971
The Bishop Entertains 20 May 1971
The Bishop Gives a Present 27 May 1971
The Bishop Shows his Loyalty 3 June 1971
The Bishop Has a Rest 10 June 1971
The Bishop Loses his Chaplain 17 June 1971

Surviving episodes[edit]

Series No. Ep No. Title Broadcast Notes
Pilot The Bishop Rides Again 17/5/66 Previously lost, found in 2001
Series 1 Episode 1 The Bishop Gets The Sack 31/1/67
Series 1 Episode 4 The Bishop Sees A Ghost 21/2/67
Series 4 Episode 3 The Bishop Loves His Neighbour 29/4/70
Series 4 Episode 4 The Bishop Beats the System 6/5/70
Series 5 Episode 1 The Bishop Warms Up 13/5/71
Series 5 Episode 2 The Bishop Entertains 20/5/71
Series 5 Episode 3 The Bishop Gives a Present 27/5/71
Series 5 Episode 4 The Bishop Shows his Loyalty 3/6/71
Series 5 Episode 5 The Bishop Has a Rest 10/6/71
Series 5 Episode 6 The Bishop Loses his Chaplain 17/6/71

Christmas Night with the Stars[edit]

Christmas Night with the Stars was a programme screened annually on Christmas night, when the top stars of the BBC appeared in short versions of their programmes, typically five to ten minutes long. All Gas and Gaiters appeared once alongside its sitcom spin-off Oh, Brother! in 1968, however this telerecording still exists in the BBC's film and videotape archives alongside other surviving Christmas segments from other sitcoms.

Christmas Special: 1968[edit]

Title Airdate Description Notes
25 December 1968 as part of Christmas Night with the Stars

Radio[edit]

A radio version of All Gas and Gaiters was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from 5 January 1971 to 4 December 1972 for 33 episodes. The television cast stayed the same for the radio series, with the exception of Derek Nimmo who left after thirteen episodes to be replaced by Jonathan Cecil. Though seven radio episodes were thought to have been wiped, these were later found and all are available through radio enthusiasts. Some episodes were rebroadcast on BBC7 in October and November 2006 and again a year later and in early 2009. They continued to be broadcast on the station, now renamed BBC Radio 4 Extra, August 2011.

Radio episodes[edit]

Series One: 1971[edit]

  1. "The Bishop Rides Again" (5 January 1971)
  2. "The Bishop Writes a Sermon" (12 January 1971)
  3. "The Bishop Meets a Bird" (19 January 1971)
  4. "The Bishop Turns to Crime" (26 January 1971)
  5. "The Bishop Sees a Ghost" (2 February 1971)
  6. "Only Three Can Play" (9 February 1971)
  7. "The Dean Goes Primitive" (16 February 1971)
  8. "The Bishop Gets a Letter" (23 February 1971)
  9. "The Bishop Gives a Party" (2 March 1971)
  10. "The Bishop Goes to Town" (9 March 1971)
  11. "Give a Dog a Bad Name" (16 March 1971)
  12. "The Bishop Gives a Shove" (23 March 1971)
  13. "The Bishop Pays a Visit" (30 March 1971)

Series Two: 1972[edit]

  1. "The Bishop Learns the Facts" (24 July 1972)
  2. "The Bishop Takes a Holiday" (31 July 1972)
  3. "The Bishop Buys a Car" (7 August 1972)
  4. "The Bishop Gets the Sack" (14 August 1972)
  5. "The Bishop Has a Flutter" (21 August 1972)
  6. "The Affair at Cookham Lock" (28 August 1972)
  7. "The Bishop Loves His Neighbour" (4 September 1972)
  8. "The Bishop Beats the System" (11 September 1972)
  9. "The Bishop Entertains" (18 September 1972)
  10. "The Bishop Gains a Reputation" (25 September 1972)
  11. "The Bishop Buys a Mug" (2 October 1972)
  12. "The Bishop Loses his Chaplain" (9 October 1972)
  13. "When In Rome" (16 October 1972)
  14. "The Bishop Is Hospitable" (23 October 1972)
  15. "The Bishop Gives a Present" (30 October 1972)
  16. "The Bishop Takes Up Business" (6 November 1972)
  17. "The Bishop Keeps his Diary" (13 November 1972)
  18. "The Bishop Warms Up" (20 November 1972)
  19. "The Bishop Shows his Loyalty" (27 November 1972)
  20. "The Bishop Has a Rest" (4 December 1972)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sangster and Condon TV Heaven.

External links[edit]