Ripping Yarns thread

I didn't find this kind of conversation, so I decided to start one.

Here you can discuss everything about the fantastic series Ripping Yarns by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. For example your favourite episodes and characters and everything you like and don't like.
My favourite episodes are at least: Tomkinson's Schooldays, The Curse of the Claw and Murder at Moorstone's manor. I personally think that one of the best things about Ripping Yarns is that every episode has a different set and characters. It sort of gives you the impression that you're watching a short movie or something like that, exept for a series.

Now, it's your turn.

0 votes
Login to post comments


Not that late: I've seen some of these, not all, I'm "saving" them.

Some of the episodes are hilarious, but some of them not really that funny, maybe just bits of it. The thing is that I don't own the dvds, and I don't have subtitles, sometimes I can't hear (or understand) a sentence and I miss the joke.

But I love Michael being the main character in every episode, even if it's just for half an hour he is such a good actor that you buy he is a kid in the school, or an old dying man in his bed. Amazing.

Here Comes Another One at 7:16 am November 08

He is a wonderful actor. He probably gets underestimated because he's a comic, just like people who attacked the Pythons assumed they were stupid, just cos they were funny. I heard Terry Jones say in something or other that MP was one of the 3 best actors he knew of.

The Yarns aren't a laugh a minute so you're probably not missing anything. I see them as adventure stories with lots of comic moments, rather than straight-out comedy. Tomkinson's Schooldays is probably the funniest one, at least in my opinion.

J.Gambolputty at 8:51 am November 08

I agree, he certainly is underestimated as an actor.

genji at 12:19 am November 09

I'm expecting Halfway To Hollywood to explore this, typically modestly I would think.

We watched A Private Function last night. He delivers a fine performance in that. He's great at performing straight roles and drawing you in to the extent that you (I did, anyway) feel hostile towards his enemies, whether it's Liz Smith as his mother-in-law or Denholm Elliot (who I think is ace but really detested in A Private Function) as his antagonist.

Here Comes Another One at 2:23 am November 09

I'll have to seek that one out; I hadn't heard of it before.

genji at 3:34 am November 09

It has a very strange ending.

Here Comes Another One: Oh, I'm glad you started this! I love the Yarns. Sometimes they bore me but some are genius. I love the same ones as you, JG, as well as Whinfrey's Last Case, which is just the right kind of insane, and Roger of the Raj, because I know about British India & appreciate the jokes more for it. I also like the DVD commentaries, despite them being 80% useless with prolonged silences. All the giggling amuses me, it's similar to watching Palin & Cleese corpsing each other in the live Parrot Sketch I think!

I also agree that the Yarns have a movie quality to them so it was interesting to hear MP & TJ agree that they felt they were like movies, and they never felt like 30 mins was enough!

J.Gambolputty at 10:24 am November 07

Oh yes, the Whinfrey -episode is genius also, how come I forgot it..? And Testing of Eric Olthwaite is wonderful too. Poor Mike, nobody listened to him ;)
In Golden Gordon Mike was brilliant. I always wonder did he like that he got to smash things..
And when John appeared in that episode, it was just hilarious how he looked at Gordon's wife.
By the way; it's a bit sad that Jonesy was only in one episode.

Here Comes Another One at 3:51 pm November 07

Yes, I agree. There's a whole saga behind that of course - mixture of the BBC not wanting him, a conflict of interest as to the style of the show, and MP wanting to be more independent.

Argh, yes, I forgot good old Eric. I watched that one so much when I first discovered the Yarns, I started finding it boring - was v interested to discover that the guy who played Arthur is the same one who was Jesus in L of B though!

Oh yes & in Gordon, M did like smashing things up, if I remember rightly he said in the commentary that it was satisfying. He was concerned about getting it right in one take though because otherwise it took ages to set all the scene back up!