Following the huge critical and public success of Father Ted, acclaimed sit-com writer Arthur Mathews (Comedy Showcase: The Eejits) turned his comic attentions away from the surreal peculiarities of the Irish priesthood to focus on the equally surreal idiosyncrasies of the late 1960s counter culture in Hippies, released on DVD by Fremantle Home Entertainment on 10th March 2008.
Overlooked by many during its original BBC2 broadcast, the little seen Hippies is now finally making its much welcomed debut on DVD, featuring all six episodes of the series complete with audio commentaries for each episode by co-writer and co-creator Arthur Mathews. Also included as an extra is a rare clip of the infamous "hippy invasion" during an edition of the David Frost Show in 1970 by left-wing American social activist Jerry Rubin and his supporters. Wittily reconstructed and satirized in the early moments of the first episode of Hippies, the incident achieved historical fame for being the moment when Oz magazine's Felix Dennis became the first person ever to say the word "c***" live on television.
Starring Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz; Shaun Of The Dead), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Stardust; Green Wing) and Sally Phillips (Green Wing; Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason), and set in and around a Notting Hill commune just as a new decade is about to dawn, Hippies pokes affectionate fun at the everyday lives of the editorial staff of the ambitious but laughably ineffective underground magazine, Mouth.
Pegg stars as Mouth magazine editor, Ray Purbbs, a passionate and earnest idealist desperately wanting to become an anti-establishment hero but who struggles to find anything to be reactionary about. Ray's mission to change the world is further hindered by his co-contributors to Mouth, girlfriend Jill (Phillips), reluctant co-conspirator Alex (Rhind-Tutt) and the permanently spaced out Hugo (Darren Boyd).
Alex, despite giving the air of being a true hippie, is in reality an over-privileged ex-public schoolboy more interested in playing golf and generally being louche. Jill, a well-versed and committed student of the radical theorists and their philosophies is the perfect, "free love" promoting, hippie girlfriend - unless you are Ray, whose amorous advances towards her are often met with violence. And Hugo, insecure and paranoid, usually doesn't know what day it is.
A sit-com in the truest sense, much like Father Ted, Hippies doesn't rely on one-line gags for its humour, instead choosing to build brilliantly constructed comic situations that escalate to hilarious conclusions, usually with a healthy dose of slapstick along the way. Very much a forerunner of Pegg's self-scripted Spaced, Hippies is a great comedy series from two of the best writers currently working in British comedy.
- None or TBC
Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.