What to say if you liked it
The Magnificent Seven (well, Six) return for their final epic adventure with all the high jinks and humour we’ve come to expect from Britain’s best beloved brickies.
What to say if you didn’t like it
A shanty town facsimile of their former imperious edifices, let down more than anything through a complacency that familiarity with the durable labourers would excuse a flimsy script.
What was good about it?
• The running joke of Oz’s discomfort caused by the shrapnel lodged in his backside.
• The hapless Barry romancing his manipulative ex-wife Tatiana, which was the sole remnant to remind us why we once adored this bunch.
• The return of traitorous ex-spy Tarquin, as this set up some welcome conflict between himself and former stooge Neville.
• The Indian elephants looked nice.
• The sole two scenes with any action – the theft of the guerrilla’s phone and the rescue – were well handled.
• Too little was seen of the two most charismatic characters – Barry and the devious Tarquin.
• When the gang were morally compelled to finish the washhouse they had built for the kind villagers it more resembled Heartbeat than Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
What was bad about it?
• The joke of the boys’ cultural ignorance was poorly observed and very hackneyed (Oz throwing up on Bangkok cuisine, Dennis getting bashful around Thai dancing girls), which was a feeble substitute for the potent dramatic foundations of a good script and was emblematic of the shoddy padding that blighted the whole chapter.
• Dennis remarking that when they began their escapades there were “no videogames”, when in 1983 when the first series was made we remember happily shooting space invaders and guiding a malformed, ravenous mouth around mazes.
• The sweat patches on Neville and Dennis’s shirts were unnaturally formed and looked as though they had been sprayed on by a make-up artist 10 seconds before.
• It took almost the whole hour for the first element of action when Barry was kidnapped. The preview of the concluding part had more action than the whole of the first episode.