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Porridge: Inside Out

S1-E3 Good Behaviour

S1-E3 Good Behaviour

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Review

The final chapter of this comforting hug of a programme focuses on the third and final series of Porridge – and its best, according to writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Also the spin-offs: Going Straight, in which Fletcher returns to civvy street; the 1979 movie (filmed at Chelmsford Prison during refurbishment after a fire); and the US adaptation, which featured a Puerto-Rican Fletch.

Going Straight is regularly dismissed in comedy textbooks as disappointing, but the only series made (in 1978) still attracted 15 million and won a Bafta. And marked an early appearance of Nicholas (Only Fools) Lyndhurst as Fletcher’s son Raymond.

Christopher Biggins (Lukewarm), Sam Kelly (“Bunny” Warren) and Tony Osoba (McLaren) express pride at their involvement in co-starring in Porridge. And Kate Beckinsale, only five on the death of her father Richard, who played Godber, says she finds repeats “endlessly consoling and surprising”. As do many.

Summary

The final episode of the series examines life after the prison sitcom, remembering spin-off Going Straight and the untimely death of actor Richard Beckinsale.

Documentary Arts

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