Reviews

Spitting Image: Series 1

3

Spitting Image drenched the ’80s with punkish, phlegm-flecked contempt for all we were urged to take seriously: royals, politicians, Mr Spock (“I am not Spock. I am the ac-tor, Leonard Nimoy!”) Well, it did in the second series… Here, the barbs seem oddly blunted – less acid anger and more gentle, Radio 4-style news-review joshing.

But then a year is a long time in politics. In 1984, the Spitting Image skinny on PM Margaret Thatcher was comedy-butch, an “Iron Lady” ballbreaker commanding a cabinet of simpering lackeys – with Nazi bully-boy Norman Tebbit her enforcer. Prince Charles was an effeminate buffoon. Princess Margaret got drunk a lot...

By the mid-’80s, as the nation wilted under Thatcherite austerity, the writers turned nastier and funnier, jamming grenades of derision down the trousers of harder, fresher targets (Gorbachev, Branson, Labour loser Neil Kinnock, with a savage running gag about Deputy Labour leader Roy Hattersley’s saliva retention).

 

 

Verdict:

With Have I Got News For You now settled into a cosy corner of the establishment smoking-room, Britain needs the likes of Spitting Image more than ever. Shame the revival talks have apparently stalled. We’d love to see what the writers would make of Brown (Vader-esque dark lord?), Bush (sixgun-toting cowboy savant?) and, surely, a cave-dwelling, Bond villain-style Bin Laden...

Film Details

  • 12
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: January 28th 2008
  • Genre

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