Tag Archives: Douglas Richardson

Cabin Pressure – Season 1 – Cremona

22 May

Settled down last night to continue my appreciation of Cabin Pressure by listening to the third episode of season 1 – “Cremona”.

Wasn’t expecting the joys of listening to Benedict Cumberbatch sing Sinatra, even if it was only a brief snatch of the song “Come Fly With Me”.  Benedict needs to sing more often.  He has a beautiful singing voice.

The premise of “Cremona” is that MJN are flying a movie star, one Hester Macauley to Cremona to make a film.  Of course it’s a given that Arthur is a fan of hers.  He fanboys all over the place.  Martin isn’t any better.  He’s smitten.  And he has the best line. Martin: Please, call me Madam – MARTIN.

John Finnemore has been very clever with this episode.  It is extremely funny.  As in roll off the couch and onto the floor funny.  It is also very sharply observant on the subject of actors and their fans. 

Hester Macauley is not a nice person who treats her fans with scorn.  While her fans may be a little weird, they do seem pretty harmless, well, Arthur is one of them after all.  Arthur is a lot of things, but dangerous isn’t one of them.

I particularly liked Carolyn’s comments on the subject, after Hester has ripped into Arthur:

Carolyn: I apologize, madam, but . . . Can I congratulate you on the hard-line manner in which you dealt with the menace?
Hester:  What?
Carolyn: Oh, it’s just that so many people, faced with someone shyly telling them they liked their work, would simply have smiled and said “Thank you” but not you. You let the bastard have it with both barrels! Well done, you!

And well done, John Finnemore!

Don’t want to give too much more away if you haven’t listened to “Cremona” yet, but I have to say that the episode also provides the finest display of manipulative genius by Douglas Richardson I have heard so far.

Mixed nuts anyone?

Cabin Pressure – Season 1 – CD 1

30 Apr

My season 1 “Cabin Pressure” CDs arrived yesterday.  I’d been waiting for these since I first heard about the series. 

I curled up with great anticipation to listen to the first CD with the episodes “Abu Dhabi” and “Boston” on it.  Within moments I was nearly hysterical with laughter.

“Cabin Pressure” is brilliantly written by John Finnemore, who also plays the sweetly simple steward, Arthur.

The true jewels of the show are Benedict Cumberbatch as Captain Martin Crieff and Roger Allam as First Officer Douglas Richardson.  Martin is rather sweet, scared, obstinate, and way out of his depth.  Douglas is older, devious, conniving and sarcastic. 

The combination of Benedict and Roger is pure comedic gold.  The complimentary blending of Benedict’s voice and Douglas’ also gives a wonderful edge.  Both men have perfect radio voices.  Warm, deep, smooth, sexy, with the ability to demonstrate massive emotional ranges.

“Abu Dhabi” delighted me.  Poor Martin making a command decision and getting roasted for it by MJN Air’s owner, Caroline.  Caroline treats all her staff as though they are six years old.  Though given her pilots’ penchant for playing games like “Simon Says” on the flight deck you can certainly understand why she does so. 

Douglas saves the day (and the freezing cat in the hold) in “Abu Dhabi”.

“Boston” gave up one of the the best lines I have ever heard, when a passenger bullying Martin refers to his “Fisher Price When-I-Grow-Up-I-Want-To-Be-A-Pilot uniform”.   Every time I travel on a plane from now on, I can see myself snickering at every terribly young looking pilot I see.

Of course, only Martin could manage to be arrested by the TSA over a pair of nose hair clippers.

I have become a devoted fan of “Cabin Pressure” after listening to only two episodes.  I will have to listen to them again and again.  Mostly because I missed so much because I was laughing.  Not light laughter.  The sort of laughter that has you curled in a ball, no noise coming out because all air has been squeezed out of your lungs and you can’t draw any more in, and stomach muscles aching from the strain.  The very best sort of laughter.



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