Rock & Chips

Series 1 - 2. The Frog and the Pussycat

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

The late John Sullivan’s prequel to Only Fools and Horses staggers on to 1962 with Del and Rodney’s mum, Joan (Kellie Bright managing to be both sassy and naive), holding down two jobs to keep the Trotter family going. Meanwhile, Rodney’s biological dad and smooth criminal Freddie Robdal (Nicholas Lyndhurst) is being hounded by DI Thomas (Mel Smith at his jowly best) for the Margate jewellery heist, and young Del (James Buckley) has got engaged to a posh bird called Barbara.

Samantha Spiro and Alex MacQueen give wonderfully over-the-top, cartoon-like performances as the up-market Birds. The disdainful yet bewildered expression on their faces when they hear that Del’s dad is a docker is akin to that of Downton Abbey’s Maggie Smith when she enquired exactly what a weekend is.

But, despite these moments, most of this is clunky and charmless. And lovely Lambrettas and Golden Egg restaurant aside, some of the period detail is strangely unconvincing. Yet audiences have loved earlier outings. An enduring nostalgia for the Trotters maybe.

About this programme

2/2. The third of the late John Sullivan's 1960s-set prequels to Only Fools and Horses. Freddie's arrest threatens his dream of sailing away and beginning a new life with Joan. Meanwhile, Del falls in lust again, and the girl's parents throw an engagement party they will never forget. Starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, Kellie Bright and James Buckley.

Cast and crew

Cast

Freddie Robdal
Nicholas Lyndhurst
Joan Trotter
Kellie Bright
Ted Trotter
Phil Daniels
Reg Trotter
Shaun Dingwall
Del Trotter
James Buckley
Vi Trotter
Paula Wilcox
DI Thomas
Mel Smith
DC Stanton
Tom Brooke
Ernie Rayner
Robert Daws
Boycie
Stephen Lloyd
Trigger
Lewis Osborne
Denzil
Ashley Gerlach
Jumbo
Lee Long
Albie
Jonathan Readwin
Gerald `Jelly' Kelly
Paul Putner
Reenie Turpin
Emma Cooke
Raymond
Billy Seymour
Don
Bobby Bragg
Gwen
Joan Hodges
Barbara Bird
Jessica Ashworth
Beryl Bird
Samantha Spiro
Bernard Bird
Alex MacQueen
Rose
Denise Mack
Alberto
Daniel Cerqueira
Sgt Foster
Dave Lamb
Val
Alison Pargeter
Golden Egg waiter
Rufus Jones

Crew

Director
Dewi Humphreys
Producer
Gareth Gwenlan
Writer
John Sullivan
Categories
Comedy