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Who could not help but love the fu-fu-funny shopkeeper of Doncaster who is more concerned with the bottom line than he is about sp-sp-spending money. Ronnie Barker as Arkwright has once again created a quirky, fun-loving character that we all can relate to in some way. I think we all know someone who may be a tad tight-fisted when it comes with money, but I think Arkwright takes the cake.

Open All Hours: Volume One

Open All Hours is truly a classic BBC comedy that has entertained people of all ages and countries since its pilot show in 1973. David Jason as Granville is Arkwright’s assistant and nephew who does a variety of jobs from delivery the groceries by push-bike to stacking cans to making sure Arkwright’s hot lunch is made. It seems from the delivery of the dialogue that Barker and Jason are fine tuned with each other. The series is well written and the characters and situations they encounter as very believable. Linda Byron as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel rounds out this terrific cast. While the object of Arkwright’s obvious affections, just when she starts to think he has genuine intentions, he does something to stuff it up.

So, this on again, off again relationship of sorts is present throughout the series and always leads one to question; will they or won’t they? Will Arkwright ever be domesticated or will his eye always be on the bottom….line. A special mention and personal favorite is Arkwright’s cash register. How he was never bitten for putting money in the till is beyond me. One would think the cash register is almost human and provides for a series of laughter when it comes to money.

There are also some colourful characters that serve as customers throughout the series. Perhaps you might know someone just like these people as well?

Open All Hours: Volume One includes some very funny episodes. In Full of Mysterious Promise, Arkwright shows his true colours and intentions, but are they for Nurse Gladys Emmanuel? Does Granville come of age in A Mattress on Wheels? Isn’t it nice to share? Do we really feel sorry for Arkwright in A Nice Little Cosy Disease? Beware of the Dog will certainly appeal to people who might like to protect their property in Arkwright's unique and cost effective ways! In Well Catered Funeral, we ask ourselves should friendships be tested right until the very end? And in Apples and Self-Service we find out if self service is the wave of this shop’s future.

Open All Hours: Volume One

To find out the answers and to simply have approximately 200 minutes of laughs and fun, then I would strongly recommend seeing Open All Hours. Have you had your dose of Ronnie Barker this week?

Open All Hours is presented in the television ratio of 4:3 and taking into account the age of the film, the transfer quality was good. I don’t think the viewer would be looking for any major technical difficulties given the almost non-stop humour. The colour and lighting is adequate and even the outside shots are clean and relatively free from grain. Under the lighting at night, one can still more than make out shapes, items and who’s lurking up on the ladder under Nurse Gladys Emmanuel’s bedroom window.

Included on the disc is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, more than adequate for this DVD. Dialogue is easily understood and the cash register’s sound can be heard clearly every time Arkwright decides to use it. There are no distracting noises despite the fact the shop is located on a busy corner. I particularly enjoy the theme song that provides for a light- hearted opening and a warm closure at the end of each episode.

Other than a writer profile, the main extra included on the disc is a thoroughly enjoyable Pilot episode for the series. This addition to the DVD surely makes Open All Hours value for money in buying or renting. In addition to the Pilot, one is entertained by Out of Uniform,Watch That Perfume,Broke It Off,Stool Slipped and Credit. You will note there was a different actor for the part of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the pilot.

Open All Hours: Volume One

A sp-sp-special series with some hi-hi-hilarious characters for one to simply enjoy. Light-hearted humour and chuckles are had by all. Ronnie Barker seems as comfortable in his character of Arkwright as he does with any of his characters and is a true demonstration that he is brilliant in his craft. The humour is ageless and will certainly delight many audiences in the future who were not even born when the pilot of Open All Hours was shown for the first time in  1973. Ho-ho-hope you enjoy the viewing!