Ray writes popular sci-fi stories when he doesnt
get writers block. He does, however, get many interruptions
- thanks to Colin, his lodger. Colin starts antenatal classes
in the hope of finding a girlfriend, and the flatmates
kitchen is suddenly infested with ants. Meanwhile, in the
infinite reaches of space, the mighty alien empire of Baron
Amstrad is suddenly invaded by ruthless alien hordes. The
Baron is feeling a bit broody, and gives birth to an idea
that might just help. But, wonders Info, his retro-looking
android, do the alien Labradons look more like locusts, bees,
ants - or dogs? Will Colin get lucky with a girl? And does
the red alert have to be so loud...?
This 27-minute sitcom, written by and starring David Mitchell
and Robert Webb, was first broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 05
May 2007, the pilot to a series that has not (to date) been
picked up. Thats a shame, as this is a good laugh, and
is bound to appeal to Mitchell and Webbs legion of fans.
Many of the themes are admittedly rather familiar, either
from the pairs radio sketch show That Mitchell &
Webb Sound and its television incarnation That Mitchell
& Webb Look or from their Channel 4 sitcom Peep
Show. For instance, there are jokes about animal charities,
lazy sci-fi writing (see Series
Two of That Mitchell & Webb Sound)
and a man dressed as an unconvincing robot (see Series
Three), while Colins (Webb) attempts
to get laid are every bit as pathetic as Jeremys antics
in Peep Show, though perhaps less cynical.
The comedians regular female lead, Olivia Colman, is
again present and correct, as is their Mitchell & Webb
Sound collaborator Mark Evans, supported this time by
the ever-amusing Mark Benton (Early Doors). As with
previous BBC ventures, the producer is Gareth Edwards.
This is, in fact, not the first time that Mitchell and Webb
have used the Daydream Believers concept. It was previously
a one-off television pilot in Channel 4s Comedy Lab
strand, which also starred Mitchell, Webb and Colman. The
premise allows for outer-space high jinks akin to Hyperdrive
(only funnier), with a comfortable grounding in present-day
suburbia, the traditional setting of British sitcoms.
On the basis of this single episode, its a pity the
show has yet to be commissioned as a series. I, for one, would
certainly like to hear more. Thats my dream, anyway.
My only real complaint is the price tag: nearly a tenner for
just half an hours listening. It might have been better
to have tagged this episode at the end of That Mitchell
& Webb Sound: Series Three or to have released both
the radio and TV pilots together on CD or DVD. Believe it.