Come Back Mrs. Noah – 1977
David Croft producer
Mollie Sugden – Mrs. Noah
Ian Lavender – Clive Cunliffe
Donald Hewlett – Carstairs
Michael Knowles – Fanshaw
Ann Michelle – Scarth Dare
Joe Black – Garstang
Jennifer Lonsdale – The Technician
Gorden Kaye – The Television Presenter
Review by Theo Robertson
Come Back Mrs. Noah” (1977)
Agreed , COME BACK MRS NOAH is not a classic comedy ,in fact it’s rather laughless but it’s nowhere as bad as many people have made out and I certainly wouldn’t put it in the same league as unfunny patronising crap like ALL ABOUT ME .
The problem lies with the format of a bunch of people being stranded aboard a space station and trying to rescue them . It should be pointed out that most of the humour comes from a special effect identical to the Ice Warrior death effect in DOCTOR WHO of peoples faces ” shimmering ” as they blast out of orbit . This happens in nearly every episode and wasn’t very funny the first time it happened so goodness knows why the production team thought there was a lot of mileage from this . There’s also a very formulaic idea of having a piece of technology take centre stage in every episode. For example there’s a VR machine that Mrs Noah tries that has her believe she’s at a wrestling match.
If the budget had existed then we might have seen the title character sitting in a wrestling hall but we are talking BBC budget here which means the joke involves Mrs Noah in the space station shouting ” Go on tear his arm off ! ” . There’s another episode featuring a computerised tea making machine . Come on how many laughs will that cause ? Not too many if you hadn’t have guessed.
So in space no one can hear you laugh because the ideas are severely limited and the casting doesn’t help since Sugden will always be known as Mrs Slocombe , Ian Lavender will always be known as Private Pike while Hewlett and Knowles will always be known as the two snobbish officers from IT AIN’T HALF HOT MUM and you’re instantly reminded of better things the cast have appeared in . As I said it’s short on laughs but there seems to have been a bit of a bandwagon over the years making out this is the worst comedy the BBC has ever produced . Despite being unfunny and unsophisticated it’s not that bad , it just had the misfortune to be produced during the golden age of BBC comedy