Old Harry's Game
Radio Series 5

Starring: Andy Hamilton, Jimmy Mulville, Robert Duncan, David Swift, Geoffrey Whitehead and James Grout
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 405 67681 6
ISBN-10: 1 40567 681 7
Available 05 March 2007

Poor Satan has to undergo yet more trials and tribulations in this fifth series of the Sony Award-winning comedy. What with missing the Professor, a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and above all, the disastrous over crowding in Hell, he hasn't felt this depressed since Bill Clinton survived his heart operation...

This is the complete fifth series of Old Harry's Game, the fiendishly funny comedy set in Hell, from Drop the Dead Donkey co-creator Andy Hamilton. This 2-disc collection features all four 30 minute episodes, which were originally broadcast in 2005. The series features music that may sound familiar to fans of Horror movies. Segments of Christopher Young's atmospheric score from the movie Hellraiser are scattered throughout this series.

Levels of human sin are at their highest ever, and people are dying at an unprecedented rate. The check-in demons are overwhelmed, and Satan has to find a solution. He decides to launch a Crusade of Moral Rearmament, and infiltrates the worlds of religion, sport, politics and the media in an attempt to persuade people to behave better. Meanwhile, a new arrival is fomenting rebellion, aiming to overthrow Satan and take control of Hell.

This is much mileage to be had out of Satan having to walk amongst us in a bid to crack down on the number of evil doers on earth. But, as the Devil tries his damnedest to get humans to mend their ways they seem not to want to listen. No one wants to do good deeds any more. But then can you blame them when all of their outside influences (TV, Radio, the press, Hollywood and sport) are filling humanities mind with corrupt thoughts. As Satan kills influential people and takes their place, he tries to change the way our media industry works, but will anyone in charge buy into his new thinking?

And while Satan's away, the demons start to play... A new soul in Hell, a charming, persuasive type, decides that he want's to take control of Satan's domain and sets about organising a coup de grāce in a bid to end the suffering of millions of unhappy demons. Can Satan sort out the problems on Earth and then get back in time to save his own domain?

Very much a product of it's time there are numerous topical gags here that will go out of date very quickly. But, for the moment, we can all nod our head and recognise the annoyance of mobile phones ringing at the most inappropriate moment; the war in Iraq; the country's mistrust of Tony Blair - the countries worst liar; and annoying spam e-mails.

The writing is tight and the gags come thick and fast, it's just a shame that there were only four episodes in this series instead of the usual six. Still, this is a very amusing series and well worth picking up.

Darren Rea

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