Pompidou out now on DVD

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 23:00 Written by 

Pompidou - out now on DVDMatt Lucas of Little Britain and Come Fly with Me fame is the star, co-creator, co-writer and co-director on this six-part comedy series about a pompous aristocrat who has lost virtually everything and now lives in a decrepit caravan on the grounds of his old mansion. Pompidou Pompidou (Lucas) shares his humble abode with his man-servant Hove (Alex Mcqueen – “Four Lions”, “Cinderella”) and his Afghan hound Marian.

Like the whacky offspring of Mr Bean, Pingu and Worzel Gummidge (as Lucas describes it), there is no dialogue to speak of in this predominantly visual comedy, but rather the characters speak in gibberish mixed in with the odd intelligible word of English. Each episode sees Pompidou and co trying to solve one crisis after the next, be it their lack of money, food, heat or female companionship. Needless to say, things do not go according to plan.

Pompidou feels like it is a PG-rated alternate universe relative of Bottom, both in terms of plots and an old-fashioned feel. The comedy is a mixture of slapstick and visual gags, some more amusing and unexpected than others. As in some of Lucas’ other work, repetition is a key feature, and his facial gurning and vocal gymnastics take centre stage. Though the characters all speak nonsense, the gestures, expressions, visual cues and direction all combine to make it clear what is going on.

The character of Pompidou himself is one of those that you like and dislike in equal measure. He certainly has plenty of unattractive qualities such as delusions of grandeur, he is bossy, lazy, ignorant and self-absorbed. Fortunately, Lucas manages to add a sweet, innocent edge to his persona that softens the viewer’s heart a little.

Hove is a long-suffering, attentive servant who occasionally stands up for himself, much to the shock of his employer. Marian the dog is a marvel of puppetry and animatronics, giving off an air of disdain and superiority, which is not too much of a stretch when her owner is such an imbecile. The puppet is mainly controlled by Andy Heath and Yvonne Stone.

Guest stars include Anita Dobson (EastEnders) as the manager of a dating agency, Jane Asher (“Alfie”) as a toff in a charity shop, Elizabeth Bennett (Heartbeat) as an antiques expert, Roy Barraclough (Coronation Street) as a gentleman trying to indulge in some fishing and Bella Emberg (The Russ Abbot Show) as a poor old lady harassed by Pompidou.

Whether you find the series funny or not will almost certainly depend on whether you find the Lucas style of humour amusing. I am definitely a fan, and although some of the comedy does not stick, plenty of it does. Even if you have not been particularly taken with the baby-faced one’s previous work, the involvement of Ashley Baker (The Matt Lucas Awards) and Julian Dutton (The Big Impression, Chucklevision) does help to keep him on the relative straight and narrow.

There are some clever and wild ideas on show, including characters bursting each other’s thought bubbles, Hove swallowing a live bird that flaps around in his cavernous stomach, and Pompidou hastily crafting a suit out of a hospital gown. These nifty concepts go hand-in-hand with more obvious, knockabout humour.

Also in common with the likes of Little Britain, catch-phrases abound, such as when Pompidou admonishes others by uttering “Naughty, naughty, very naughty”, or objects to something by repeating the word “No” in many different tones and with varying emphasis. Again, if you like this kind of comedy, it will not fail to raise a chuckle.

The theme tune is a devious ‘ear worm’ of a ditty, instantly getting its hooks into your brain, accompanied by some daft visuals where the characters pop up and down from the bottom of the screen. Be warned!

Special features include:

  • Six audio commentaries featuring Matt Lucas and friends
  • Creating Pompidou
  • Making Pompidou
  • Living Pompidou
  • Marian the Woof Woof
  • Composing Pompidou
  • Wrapping Pompidou
  • Bloopers

Excluding the commentary tracks this adds up to over 30 minutes of good-natured and interesting bonus content. When you are watching the episodes you do not realise quite how many real and CGI special effects have been utilised, in what is - on the surface - a very simple comedy series.

Pompidou (2015) is out now on DVD, courtesy of RLJ Entertainment Ltd. The one disc set has a running time of 180 minutes approx, carries a 'PG' certificate and retails for £19.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Sunday, 18 October 2015 05:52

denizli escort denizli escort