Revolting People

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Revolting People
Revolting People S1.jpg
CD cover of the first series
Other names Tollers
Genre Historical sitcom
Running time 30 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Andy Hamilton
Jay Tarses
James Fleet
Hugh Dennis
Tony Maudsley
Sophie Thompson (Series 1)
Jan Ravens (Series 2-3)
Julia Hills (Series 4)
Felicity Montagu (Series 1)
Penelope Nice (Series 2-3)
Susie Blake
Creator(s) Andy Hamilton
Jay Tarses
Writer(s) Andy Hamilton
Jay Tarses
Producer(s) Paul Mayhew-Archer
Air dates 18 January 2000 to 6 June 2006
No. of series 4 (up to 2006)
No. of episodes 24 (up to 2006)
Website Official website

Revolting People is a BBC Radio 4 situation comedy set in colonial Baltimore, Maryland, just before the American Revolutionary War. The series is written by the Briton Andy Hamilton and the American Jay Tarses, with Tarses playing a sour shopkeeper named Samuel Oliphant and Hamilton playing a cheerfully corrupt, one-legged, one-eyed, one-armed, one-eared one-nostrilled British soldier, Sergeant Roy McGurk, billeted on him.

Samuel's children are Mary, in love with McGurk's commanding officer Captain Brimshaw while at the same time operating as a notorious anti-British pamphleteer under the pseudonym Spartacus; Cora, in an unconsummated marriage with the pompous pro-British official Ezekiel but nevertheless a mother; and the dimwitted Joshua, whose favourite recreation is wrestling bears.

Repeats on the series now play on BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly BBC Radio 7).

Cast[edit]

Additional roles played by Philip Pope, Michael Fenton Stevens, Rebecca Front and the cast. Series 1 had guest appearances by William Hootkins as Samuel's brother Dan, and Timothy West as General Venables. Produced by Paul Mayhew-Archer

  1. ^ a b Series 1
  2. ^ a b Series 2 and 3
  3. ^ Series 4

Episode list[edit]

Series 1 (2000)[edit]

Originally ran in 2000. Revolved around the imposition of martial law in Baltimore and the springing up of a torrid, though also chaste, love affair between Oliphant's daughter Mary and an officer of the local British garrison, Captain Brimshaw. The show starts on 5 March 1770, the day of the Boston Massacre.

  1. 18 January – Storm Clouds
  2. 25 January – More Storm Clouds
  3. 1 February – Even More Storm Clouds
  4. 8 February – Tons of Storm Clouds
  5. 15 February – A Helluva Lot of Storm Clouds
  6. 22 February – An Incredible Amount of Storm Clouds

This series was released on CD on 3 September 2007.

Series 2 (2001)[edit]

Originally ran in 2001. Less continuous than series 1 but developed the same theme with the added introduction of Oliphant's long-departed wife reappearing as a lesbian (to McGurk's lecherous satisfaction).

  1. 24 April – Trying Times
  2. 1 May – Even More Trying Times
  3. 8 May – Some More Trying Times
  4. 15 May – And Yet Even More Trying Times
  5. 22 May – A Bunch More Trying Times
  6. 29 May – Still in Trying Times

This series was released on CD on 7 January 2008.

Series 3 (2004)[edit]

The third series originally ran in 2004 and consisted of stand-alone episodes parodying various classic films with a final episode that turned the series on its head.

  1. 27 May – Young Love
  2. 3 June – A Kiss is Just a Kiss (parodying Casablanca)
  3. 10 June – The God-Given Talent
  4. 17 June – Over the Rainbow (parodying The Wizard of Oz)
  5. 24 June – Them Thar Hills (parodying gold rush westerns)
  6. 1 July – Secrets And Lies

Series 4 (2006)[edit]

First broadcast in 2006, and repeated from 31 March 2007.

  1. 2 May – Ezekiel is Kidnapped – Samuel's pompous son-in-law, Ezekiel, is kidnapped by a rebel militia
  2. 9 May – McGurk Runs the Shop – Samuel goes in search of his cousin
  3. 16 May – George Washington[1] – Samuel realises he's in the middle of a war when half his shop is burnt down by colonists and the other half by the British. [2]
  4. 23 May – Pirates – Samuel, McGurk and the others flee to England
  5. 30 May – Reunion – Samuel, McGurk and the others arrive in London
  6. 6 June – The King – Samuel, McGurk and the others finally meet King George III.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The episode centres on Capt Brimshaw's attempt to convince Washington to negotiate a peace with Britain.
  2. ^ This episode opened with a nightmare in which Samuel is sent to Hell for indecision. The Devil turns out to resemble McGurk; a reference to Andy Hamilton's role as Satan in Old Harry's Game.
  3. ^ They nearly manage to get him to call off the war, until Mary accidentally implies that the war is "all about oil" (in a reference to a criticism made by the opposition to the Iraq War) and re-awakens Britain's interest in keeping the rebellious colony.

External links[edit]