That Mitchell and Webb Look: Wikis

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That Mitchell and Webb Look
That Mitchell and Webb Look title card.jpg
Format Comedy sketch show
Starring David Mitchell
Robert Webb
Olivia Colman
James Bachman
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 18
Production
Executive producer(s) Kenton Allen
Jon Plowman
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
BBC HD (2008–present)
Original run 14 September 2006 (2006-09-14) – present
External links
Official website

That Mitchell and Webb Look is a British television sketch show starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Shown on BBC Two since 2006, it is directed by David Kerr, who also directed Mitchell and Webb's previous television sketch show The Mitchell and Webb Situation. As well as Mitchell and Webb themselves, the writers include Jesse Armstrong, James Bachman, Sam Bain, Mark Evans, Olivia Colman, Toby Davies, Chris Pell, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Joel Morris, Jason Hazeley and John Finnemore. It is produced by Gareth Edwards. Other cast members include Olivia Colman, James Bachman, Mark Evans, Abigail Burdess, Gus Brown, Sarah Hadland and Paterson Joseph.

Many of its characters and sketches are first featured in the duo's radio show That Mitchell and Webb Sound. First aired on 14 September 2006,[1] a second series was commissioned later that same year[2] and shown between 21 February 2008 and 27 March 2008.[3] The third series began on 11 June 2009.[4] Since series two, the production has also been broadcast on BBC HD. The series won a BAFTA award in 2007.

Contents

Recurring sketches

  • Numberwang - a deliberately nonsensical game show, starring Robert Webb as the ebullient presenter, and two seemingly permanent contestants, Simon and Julie (Paterson Joseph and Olivia Coleman). The game itself involves calling out random numbers until the host declares "That's Numberwang!", although what constitutes a Numberwang or how it is achieved is never explained. Midway through the game, before the final "Wangernumb" round, the board the contestants are seated on is rotated, briefly revealing a non sequitur scene, such as the birth of Jesus or two soldiers playing Russian roulette with a loaded pistol, as in The Deer Hunter. Related sketches have included the German version (Nümberwang) presented by David Mitchell, a spinoff using words entitled Wordwang, a documentary on the history of the show, a trailer for a film called The Numberwang Code (a parody of The Da Vinci Code), and an advert showcasing a home version of the game.[5]
  • The Quiz Broadcast - A television game show transmitted by the British Emergency Broadcasting System in the year 2013 some time after "The Event", a never-explained incident which led to the apocalypse approximately two years before (possibly parodying The Day of the Triffids and Children of Men, evidenced by when the host says that the world would have been different if they managed to keep some of the children alive and asking how one of the contestants was blinded by the 'Event'). As "The Event" destroyed much knowledge of the previous society, many of the questions asked either have unknown answers or blatantly incorrect answers accepted as correct. Prizes can be won in the "Conveyor Belt Round" (in parody of The Generation Game), where contestants can win prizes by correctly recalling them after being presented them carried by staff (as no one knows how to operate the conveyor belt itself). Prizes in the round include fuel, food, tablets, various stones, items claimed to be unknown (these items are a grandfather clock and a traffic cone), and plush toys of "frightening animals." Other rounds have include the "Film Round" (where contestants try to guess what happened next in the only surviving video from before "The Event"), and "Sudden Death" (shortly after this round was announced, a contestant suddenly passed out). The broadcast contains continuing messages for viewers to "remain indoors".
Robert Webb as the host of Numberwang
  • Ted and Peter - A pair of alcoholic, chain-smoking snooker commentators, known for their absurd banter and dishevelled appearances. Ted is played by David Mitchell and Peter by Robert Webb. They seem more interested in swapping anecdotes about the players than covering the game at hand, and these exchanges are sometimes laced with homoerotic overtones, such as when Ted delivers a short monologue praising one competitors prettiness, causing Peter to ejaculate. In a later episode Peter comes out as gay, a decision he discusses with Ted, who admits to having been homophobic before meeting his colleague.
  • The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar - A drunken, drug-addled tramp played by Robert Webb, who seems to be under the impression that he is a brilliant and intrepid Victorian detective, in the style of Sherlock Holmes. He and his companion Ginger - another derelict, played by David Mitchell, who serves as his Dr. Watson - commit various crimes (usually either theft or petty assault) whilst supposedly engaging in battle against the henchmen of their so-called "nemesis", a vague and undefined entity described simply as "the bastard who is presumably behind all of this". The sketch often ends with the pair being chased by somebody they've fleeced to the tune of Devil's Gallop. Although Sir Digby's past remains a mystery throughout the show, Ginger is provided with a certain amount of backstory. In one episode he alludes to having been sexually abused and repeatedly asphyxiated by his father, while in the third series we learn that his real name is Guy Pelly, and that he once had a wife and 12-year-old daughter whom he lost (and has since seemingly forgotten about) as a result of his severe alcoholism.
  • Big Talk - A debate show in the same vein as Question Time or the American program The McLaughlin Group and hosted by the confrontational Raymond Terrific (Robert Webb), who loudly bullies his panel of so-called "boffins" into giving yes or no answers to huge social and philosophical questions (e.g. "is there a God?"). The bemused panel then try and reason with him by starting a sensible discussion, but never to any avail. The show is given an epic and aggressive atmosphere, what with the theme tune being "Ode To Joy" and Terrific's worked-up behaviour. In one episode Big Talk underwent a format experiment whereby, instead of the usual boffins, mindless 'celebrities' were brought on to discuss laughably small matters (e.g. "how's your day been?"); this new version was appropriately called Small Talk, and the embittered Raymond Terrific frequently voiced his disapproval of the change being foisted upon him throughout.
  • The Party Planners - A couple, played by Mitchell and Webb, discussing who to invite to their next party. The list usually comprises either historical figures or fictional characters, such as in one episode when they decide to ask Moneypenny along, but then worry that she may bring James Bond with her. The humour is derived from the way they sneer at the prospective guest's behaviour at previous parties; for instance, whilst deciding whether or not to invite the Scooby-Doo gang, they deride Shaggy Rogers' excessive eating habits and general cowardliness.
  • The British Broadcasting Corporation - An old fashioned black and white broadcast, in which characters talk about the wonders of the new medium of television, and how it enables people to see them talking to each other, or if it works like a telephone, but as 4 of the 5 televisions were in use at the centre, they were not sure if they were hearing through television or an open door. Programmes shown include a short guest appearance of George VI, a host and a guest describing a vase, a talk show called 'The Mrs. Patrica Wilberforce Programme' and two hosts giving an inaccurate explaination about how television works.
  • Barry Crisp - Crisp (Mitchell) runs a range of attractions which are all unsafe, including charging £2 to jump off a cliff, or offering the chance to swim with a great white shark but with the shark inside the cage along with the diver. His middle class customer (Webb) assumes everything is "fine" because Barry has a sign, so it must be legitimate, and is seemingly oblivious to the obvious danger, always eventually agreeing to take part, much to Barry's surprise.
  • The Honeymoon's Over - Mitchell plays a rude, mean, condescending man who takes a variety of different jobs, in all of which he does his best to demean his customers (Webb and Colman) and make them feel uncomfortable and inferior. When Webb and Colman ask about the nice people they had seen in a previous visit Mitchell would always reply "She/He's gone, they're all gone, and we're back!" Jobs have included being a vicar, waiter and a tailor.
  • The Helivets - A pair of heroes clad in pink jumpsuits who claim they can rescue any pet in peril. A parody of TV shows following the Emergency Services.[6]
  • Lazy film/TV writers - In a parody of film and TV genres, two script writers, John Gibson (Webb) and Andrew Turner (Mitchell), can never be bothered to be original for their next project. Instead, they pick a genre, take its signature aspects, and put them together, to create something that is clearly a cheap cash-in on the genre. For example, they endeavoured to write an "underdog" sport film about cricket despite knowing nothing about the sport, they wrote a TV medical drama, but not knowing anything about medicine, and on the live show, a sci-fi series based on Star Trek called 'Star Trek and Wars'.
  • Colin and Ray - Webb and Mitchell are co-workers in the same office, who have different jobs which tend to involve extraordinary plots. Colin works as a hostage negotiator, while Ray writes the plots to pornographic films.
  • Get Me Hennimore! - A parody of 1970s sitcoms, each episode featuring Hennimore (Webb) being given an important task by his boss (Mitchell) which always ends in disaster due to Hennimore's often understandable confusion as the items and rooms he must not mix up actually look identical. For example, in one episode he is told that a group of Korean chefs in Room 1 should not come into contact with a group of dog lovers in Room I, but the room signs get mixed up. This is often brought on by his boss who unintentionally makes things difficult, like printing identical signs for Murder In The Dark (MITD) and Nervous Incontinents Tasting Day (NITD) on a printing press that confused Ns with Ms.
  • Food Advertisements - A series of parodies of some already heavily over-advertised foodstuffs (these aired in series 3). For example, a parody of Lucozade shows a runner drinking a bottle of 'Glucozade Port', the world's first alcoholic, isotonic drink or Cressps, which taste terrible despite the slogan Once you cressp you can't splessp whereas another advertises 'Mar-mitts' Marmite flavoured gloves that are 'completely unsuitable for human consumption' and finishes with Webb collapsing and Bachman announcing "I think he's dead!"

Production

The show follows on from the duo's earlier TV series The Mitchell and Webb Situation, and is an extension of their Radio 4 sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound. The show's producer Gareth Edwards commented that the show's pitch to the BBC "was the shortest pitch I've ever written", citing that the show "has worked on the radio, just like Little Britain worked on the radio and Dead Ringers worked on the radio, and they transferred successfully to TV, so why don't you [the BBC] transfer this one to TV as well?"[1]

A pilot for the show was filmed on 27 January 2006 at BBC Television Centre,[7] with a full series being later commissioned.[8] Preview nights for the show were held at The Drill Hall in London on 11 January and 20 March 2006, and at Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush in London on 14 and 21 May 2006. These took the form of a radio recording, with verbal prompting to the audience for any visual element that would be required. The series was shot on location in June 2006 and three audience recording sessions were held in Studio 4 at BBC Television Centre on 14, 21 and 28 July 2006.

Following the first series, the pair went on a tour of forty-four UK venues between October and December 2006, entitled The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb, featuring many of the same sketches as That Mitchell and Webb Look.

A preview night for the second series was held on 18 May 2007 at The Drill Hall in London. This series was shot in high-definition[9] on location during June/July 2007 and three studio recordings with an audience were held at TC8 in Television Centre on 3 August, 10 August and 17 August 2007.

Two preview nights for series three were announced on 30 June 2008 on the BBC Tickets website; all tickets were booked in less than 24 hours. The first preview night took place on 13 July 2008 at The Drill Hall, with the second held there on 10 August, 2008. Two audience recording sessions at Television Centre — with additional live sketches — were announced on 3 October 2008, and took place on 31 October and 7 November 2008, again in high-definition in studio TC8. A third recording session at the BBC Radio Theatre was announced on 10 October 2008, taking place on 18 November 2008.

A preview night for the fourth series was announced on 18 November 2009 on the BBC Tickets website; this was held on 26 November 2009 at The Drill Hall. David Mitchell has confirmed via Twitter that the fourth series is currently being filmed.[citation needed]

Reception

The show was nominated for two British Comedy Awards in 2006, in the categories of "Britain's Best New TV Comedy" and the "Highland Spring People's Choice", it won neither of the awards.[10] However, the show did go on to receive a BAFTA in 2007, in the category "Best comedy programme or series"[11] and been named "Best British TV Sketch Show 2006" in The Comedy.co.uk Awards [12]

DVD release

The first series was released on DVD in the UK by Contender Home Video on 29 October 2007. Extras include Outtakes, Behind the Scenes footage and a Mitchell & Webb documentary.[citation needed]

The second series was released on DVD in the UK by Fremantle Media on 20 October 2008.[13]

The third series was released on DVD in the UK by 2|entertain on 20 July 2009, meaning that all three series have been released on different video labels.[14]

Worldwide broadcast

Region Channel
 United Kingdom BBC2 / BBC HD / Dave
 New Zealand UKTV
 Israel Yes stars Comedy
 Australia ABC1 / ABC2 / UKTV
 Arab League ShowComedy
 Canada bold
 Sweden TV4 Komedi
 Finland Sub
 Denmark DR2
 United States BBC America[15]
 Netherlands Nederland 3
 South Africa BBC Entertainment
 Argentina Film&Arts
 Colombia Film&Arts

Notes

  1. ^ a b Mitchell, Ben (27 August 2006). "Masters of comedy". The Observer. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,,1856420,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  2. ^ Ross, Deborah (2006-11-18). "Peep Show's David Mitchell and Robert Webb". The Independent. http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article1988496.ece. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  3. ^ "BBC Week 8 Unplaced 2008". BBC Press Office. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/tv/wk8/unplaced.shtml. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  4. ^ Saffron Walden Reporter (2009-06-03). "That Mitchell and Webb Look". The Saffron Walden Reporter. http://www.saffronwaldenreporter.co.uk/content/cambs24/entertainment/story.aspx?brand=Cambs24&category=--WhatsonReviewTV&tBrand=HertsCambsOnline&tCategory=entertainmentALL&itemid=WEED03%20Jun%202009%2009%3A24%3A50%3A833. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thatmitchellandwebbsite/characters/numberwang.shtml | BBC - Numberwang
  6. ^ "That Mitchell And Webb Look series two episodes". BBC Press Office. 2007-12-19. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/12_december/19/mitchell_webb_episode.shtml. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  7. ^ "Mitchell and Webb bring critically-acclaimed radio sketch show to BBC TWO". BBC. 2006-11-24. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/11_november/24/mw.shtml. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  8. ^ "That Mitchell & Webb Look Goes HD". BBC Resources. 2008-02-22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/08_august/29/mitchell_webb.shtml. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  9. ^ "Mitchell and Webb bring critically-acclaimed radio sketch show to BBC TWO". BBC. 2006-11-24. http://www.bbcresources.com/about/archive/240809_mitchell.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  10. ^ "The Nominees 2006". British Comedy Awards. http://www.britishcomedyawards.com/nominations.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  11. ^ "Victoria Wood scoops Bafta double". BBC News. 2007-05-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6670797.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  12. ^ "The Comedy.co.uk Awards". British Comedy Guide. http://www.comedy.co.uk/awards/2006/. 
  13. ^ "That Mitchell and Webb Look: series two DVD review - Den of Geek". Denofgeek.net-genie.co.uk. 2008-10-16. http://denofgeek.net-genie.co.uk/Reviews/130417/that_mitchell_and_webb_look_series_two_dvd_review.html. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  14. ^ "That Mitchell and Webb Look: series three". http://www.amazon.co.uk/That-Mitchell-Webb-Look-DVD/dp/B001UHO4R2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1247667299&sr=8-1. 
  15. ^ "BBC Comedy Hit Heads to U.S.". NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18632820. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

That Mitchell and Webb Look is a sketch comedy television series written by the British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, and based on their earlier production That Mitchell and Webb Sound.

Contents

Series 1

Episode one

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

Sir Digby: "On a lonely planet spinning its way toward damnation amid the fear and despair of a broken human race, who is left to fight for all that is good and pure and gets you smashed for under a fiver? Yes, it's the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken-Caesar!"

Sir Digby: "The story so far: As usual, Ginger and I are engaged on our quest to find out what the hell is going on and save humanity from my nemesis, some bastard who is presumably responsible."

Sir Digby: "The forces of darkness say - give me my can back. The forces of darkness are moving in. Quick, search Jacques, see if he's got any money."

Sir Digby: "Will Jacques have any money, or will Ginger be forced to go back on the game? Where will my nemesis strike again - will he attack a political leader, attempt a terrorist outrage, or have another go at stealing my special plastic bag filled with fluff and litter?"

Series 2

Episode 1

Mitchell: [in a Sky Sports teaser parody] Thousands and thousands of hours of football, each more climactic than the last! Constant, dizzying, twenty-four hour, yearlong, endless football! Every kick of it massively mattering to someone, presumably. Watch it all, all here, all the time, forever, it will never stop, the football is official going on forever! It will never be finally decided who has won the football! There is still everything to play for, and forever to play it in! Watch the Football! Keep Looking at the Football! It's Going to Move...

Episode 2

Skit from That Mitchell and Webb Look

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

Sir Digby: "In a world spinning as fast as the inside of Homebase when you've just had a go at a four-pack of Dulux tester cans, who is left to fight for all that is right and proper and good and leather and full of money and belonging to that teenager who doesn't look like he can handle himself? Yes, it's the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!"

Sir Digby: "I believe we are looking for a menstruating child who is waterproof to a depth of fifty meters."

Sir Digby: "Gadzooks! He must be hiding amongst these cake-eating dwarfs!"

Sir Digby: "How did my nemesis shrink himself? When will Ginger find a better method for discovering waterproof dwarfs? Why don't kids' parties have real booze anymore like they did when I was a dwarf? Find out in the next enthralling installment of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar."

Episode 3

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

Security: "You two, out!" Ginger: "But we're not having sex, we're not having sex!"

Sir Digby: "Ginger, I think my nemesis has corrupted even my beloved mother!"

Sir Digby: "In a country lacerated by the sharp shards of broken brown-eyed promises, in a world bent low by the burden of disease, war and the price of Thunderbird, who is left to make full account of God and Britain's depleted moral mini bar? Yes, it's the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!"

Countess: "He's got germs!"

Sir Digby: "Ginger, beat the crap out of her!"

Sir Digby: "How will I break the unholy alliance between the Countess and my nemesis? How will I tell friend from foe if not by asking them for a quid and then pushing them over? Is it true that if you sneak into the London eye they let you sleep there?"

Episode 3

Mitchell: Welcome to Back to Life...
Webb: ...Back to Reality.
Mitchell: The show that adds an "un-" to the phrase "safe revival of cryogenically frozen billionaires"...
Webb: ...and an "ir-" to the phrase "responsible treatment of reanimated cadavers!

Sir Digby: "How many harmless narcotics must Ginger and I consume before the empire is safe? What the hell happened to my guard from the Home Office? How much longer will Benji's remain the only sandwich shop not to have security men on the door? Find out in the next thrilling installment of The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!"

Episode 4

Robert: [presenting the prizes for the "Conveyor Belt Round" as people walk by carrying them] Food objects! Fuel! Tablets! Holy tablets! [A presenter carries a toy dog past] Frightening animal! Someone's head! [A presenter carries a traffic cone past] We don't know but they're everywhere. A stone. A stone. A stone. A stone. [A presenter carries a giant clock on a stand past] We don't know but they're everywhere, [A presenter carries another stuffed toy past] frightening animal.

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