The cult team were divided when we watched an episode about a dream-potion scam, from 1983. Some of us loved its uncomplicated charm. Some of us could barely sit through it.
Steve: "Playground gags made real"
This has reminded me that some jokes are only hilarious when you're little. Remember 'Knock knock. Who's there? Doctor? Doctor Who?' Rentaghost is just like that.
The script was based on the contents of the comedy costume department and the worst of the Ha-Ha-Bonk jokebook. None-the-less it's still good fun for the little ones.
There's even comedy next door neighbours, the Perkins, making it feel like a supernatural One Foot In The Grave (by way of Panto on Skegness pier of course).
James: "Jaded woe of drag foolery"
Simple-minded camp spooks in bad drag prance around tiny sets practicising trivial magic, before venturing out on ill-judged open air foolery in suburbia.
Nothing has made me feel old and jaded quite as much as realising that Rentaghost is not the shining beacon of wonder I thought it was. It is instead a woeful collection of repetitive jokes, over-eager acting, and generally dreadful puns.
And Mr Claypole is no longer the all-knowing, sprightly hero of my childhood, but instead a grown man in a paisley romper suit with a silly hat.
The fact that Christopher Biggins is not the most overacting member of cast says it all.
Well, nuance, inflection and rigorous plotting aren't key. Prime Suspect it isn’t. Silly,' boisterous, tomfoolery it certainly is. Hurrah!
The other day I met a girl who hadn't heard of Rentaghost, and I suddenly felt very, very old. Anyone over the age of twenty was subjected to it on such a regular basis (it seemed to be on every day after school at least twice, and on Saturday mornings) that it has seeped into the consciousness like the Green Cross Code, and Star Wars.
Even before I watched this I could hear the sneezy-twang noise Miss Popov makes, and sing you half the theme tune. Was it some kind of brainwashing?