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 On the Buses

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Blakey
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PostSubject: On the Buses   Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:25 am

On the Buses is a British sitcom created by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1969 to 1973. The writers' previous successes with The Rag Trade and Meet the Wife were for the BBC, but the corporation rejected On the Buses, not seeing much comedy potential in a bus depot as a setting. The comedy partnership turned to a friend, Frank Muir, Head of Entertainment at London Weekend Television, who loved the idea; the show was accepted and despite a poor critical reception became a hit with viewers.Seventy-four twenty-five minute episodes were made, as well as spin-off films by Hammer Film Productions: On the Buses (1971), Mutiny on the Buses (1972), and Holiday on the Buses (1973), set on a Pontin's holiday camp. On the Buses became Britain's top box office film at the time, surpassing the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

The films were somewhat non-canonical to the series – in the films, Arthur and Olive manage to have two children (she is pregnant with their second child at the end of Mutiny On The Buses) and Stan is working for The Town & District Bus Company instead of The Luxton & District Bus Company. The buses in the films are mostly red ones and one green one (not counting the Windsor Safari Park tour bus in Mutiny On The Buses).

At the beginning of the seventh and last series Arthur, who is not seen, has left Olive; they are divorced and have no children. Olive again gets a job as a clippee on the buses as they are short of money now. Stan takes a job in the North in a car factory in the Goodbye Stan episode and the Inspector takes Stan's old room.

In addition, two five-minute Christmas specials were made by LWT as part of All Star Comedy Carnival in 1969 and 1972, ITV's answer to the BBC's Christmas Night with the Stars programme. The 1969 edition has been wiped but the 1972 edition – featuring a goose that the cast are chasing for Christmas dinner – exists in the Thames TV archive which is owned by Fremantle Media. A spin-off series, Don't Drink the Water (1974–75), ran for thirteen episodes, featuring Blake retiring to Spain with his sister, Dorothy (Pat Coombs).

The earlier series were recorded at London Weekend Television's studios in Wembley. In late 1972, LWT relocated to new studios on South Bank of the River Thames; here the outside doors to the main and secondary studios were too small to accommodate the double-decker buses used in the series. Therefore, single decker buses were used and a plywood mock up of an upper deck was lowered from a lighting rig.

Filmed external shots were part of the series. LWT arranged with the now defunct Eastern National bus company to use their buses at their long gone Wood Green bus garage in North London. For the series they were shown as under the ownership of Luxton and District. Luxton is supposed to be in Essex, and actual Essex towns including Southend, Basildon, Braintree and Tilbury are all mentioned. One of the termini for the buses was Cemetery Gates, for which LWT used the entrance to Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, North London, near Reg Varney's home. Lavender Hill also features in the last episode of the last series, featuring the Town Hall, now the Battersea Arts Centre.

The fourth series was affected by the ITV Colour Strike, with seven of thirteen episodes being made in black and white. On the Buses was the subject of a board game by Denys Fisher games.

The format of On the Buses was sold to American television, where it was remade by NBC as Lotsa Luck, starring Dom DeLuise as Stanley Belmont with Kathleen Freeman as Iris Belmont his 'Mom', Wynn Irwin as Arthur Swann, Beverly Sanders as Olive Swann and Jack Knight as Bummy Pfitzer, his best friend. After a pilot was made, it ran for one series of twenty-two episodes in 1973–74. Episodes based on the original On The Buses scripts were adapted by such American writers as Carl Reiner, Bill Persky and Sam Denoff. The American version was unsuccessful and has never been screened in Britain. The Blakey character did not appear in the American version, as Stan worked at the lost property office at the bus depot rather than being a driver.

After a successful tour of Australia in 1988 in an On The Buses stage play, a planned revival of the television series, entitled Back On The Buses was mooted in 1990, featuring all the original cast; Varney, Lewis, Robbins, Hare, Karen and Grant. Despite some publicity at the time of its announcement, including an appearance by the cast on the BBC TV chat show Wogan, the proposal was not taken up by LWT and the series was never made. The proposed new series was to feature Stan and Jack running their own bus company in the newly deregulated market, and coming into conflict with Blakey, who was running a rival firm.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Buses   Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:57 am

On the buses was simply one of the best television shows going, I love everything about the show and idea. I have two favorite characters and they are;

  • Arthur
  • Jack


Its one the shows that you can not get bored with and is very enjoyable to watch with my children, such fun and great atmosphere. One of my best collections that I know my future generations will enjoy also.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Buses   Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:55 pm

MUCH AGREED THERE MARK THEY DON'T MAKE THEM LIKE THAT NO MORE DO THEY
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PostSubject: Re: On the Buses   Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:14 am

What I love the most is the history behind them, its great to see how things were in the past. For example, Holiday on the buses is a great one that shows you the great times, where there was the smallest amount of things to do yet the best of fun from them. The chemistry between the actors was so good that you fell in love with the show, I don't believe they could match it in today's world if they were to try a re-make...but who knows.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Buses   Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:46 am

also you could'nt get away with it now days like an black bloke called chalky and the sexy clippies cor Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: On the Buses   Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:28 am

lol! To true! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: On the Buses   Tue May 07, 2013 3:36 am

Best 1970 TV show ever.
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