Plot: What’s it about?
Rupert Rigsby (Leonard Rossiter) is a landlord, but he isn’t the kind of man you’d want to be a tenant for. He is rude, racist, and miserly, not an ideal person to share a building with. But he still manages to keep the rooms filled and in the case of Miss Jones (Frances de la Tour), one that has been around for a long while. Miss Jones loves the men that cross her path, falling for any she gets an eyeful of, except for Rupert, of course. That doesn’t dissuade him from trying to get into her good graces, but his advances have always failed. She isn’t the only unusual tenant however, as medical student Alan (Richard Beckinsale) is also there, not to mention an African price, named Philip (Don Warrington). Will Rupert’s antics ever drive his tenants to leave, or will they continue to have the last laugh on their landlord?
After I watched the fourth and final season of this show, I was so impressed that I decided to watch from start to finish. So now I have seen the first season and without question, Rising Damp is fantastic right from the start. I am not a fan of sitcoms, but the British ones tend to a little sharper than the ones in the United States, which is this show is an example of. The premise is simple, but this show isn’t as much about the stories as it is the people within them. Leonard Rossiter is the heart and soul of the show, in a role that you have to dislike, but still connect with. Those around him are also up to par, especially in their interactions with Rossiter, this is just great stuff. I had a lot of fun with this first season of Rising Damp, it was loaded with laughs and of course, I’d recommend the series as a whole to those interested.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. This series was shot on video, like videotape, so the transfers don’t look that impressive. If you’ve watched many British shows from this era, you know to expect softness and a VHS type texture, so this isn’t the usual DVD level of crispness. Even so, this is by no means a bad presentation, as the image is clean and while soft, still displays solid detail, for the material. The colors aren’t that vivid and contrast is a touch dark, but overall, these episodes look decent and I doubt fans will be too disappointed.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here is as basic as it gets, but that’s all the material needs. The show’s music and sound effects are audible, but don’t expect any kind of depth here. This is a mono soundtrack for a dialogue driven show from 1978, that should tell you all you need to know. The crucial element is the show’s vocals and since dialogue sounds clear in all six episodes, I can’t knock these audio tracks too much.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes production notes and cast filmographies.