Saxondale (2006–2007)
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Episode #2.6 

Annoyed at Tommy's cynicism at Penny's 'Beyond Gender' art exhibition Magz books herself into a week long residential yoga course. Tommy is instantly jealous of her tutor Toby and goes to ... See full summary »


John Henderson


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Episode credited cast:
Steve Coogan ... Tommy Saxondale
James Bachman ... Alistair
Morwenna Banks ... Vicky
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Anton George Anton ... Toby
Darren Boyd ... Jonathon
Rosie Cavaliero ... Penny
Victoria Gould Victoria Gould ... Artist
Rasmus Hardiker ... Raymond
Ruth Jones ... Magz
Tom Meeten ... Gallery Couple
Barunka O'Shaughnessy Barunka O'Shaughnessy ... Gallery Couple
Peter Slater Peter Slater ... Dave


Annoyed at Tommy's cynicism at Penny's 'Beyond Gender' art exhibition Magz books herself into a week long residential yoga course. Tommy is instantly jealous of her tutor Toby and goes to bizarre lengths to show his spiritual side - though they prove to be unnecessary,as does his claim that he is dying of cancer since Magz only has eyes for him. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Did You Know?


Magz: The other night, we were doing this deep psychic cleansing - ya know, the chanting, 'n' that - and I just thought, "Oh, bugger this. I wanna listen to a bit'a Rush. So, I put on 'Caress of Steel, The Necromancer, Part III, Return of The Prince'.
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User Reviews

Season 2: Solid comedy due to the writing and character but it does have moments where it lapses into the obvious and unconvincing
28 October 2007 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Tommy Saxondale continues to be true to his rocking, anti-establishment roots while also working day-to-day as a pest controller with assistant Raymond and living in a leafy suburb with wife Mags. He is still in a weekly anger management session to try and curb his aggressive outbursts but his control is better – as demonstrated by his patience (or tolerance) of "relatable and friendly" neighbour and member of the resident's association Jonathan.

I'm happy to admit that, while I enjoyed season one of Saxondale, I didn't think that it was strong enough to make it through for a second season. So when it came back, flanked by Hyperdrive and The IT Crowd (two comedies I also thought would never get a second bite) I feared the worst. I'm happy to admit that with Saxondale I was wrong (plus it is posted on this site, so there's no point in me denying it). Season two comes back with more of the same in some regards but with consistently strong writing, wit, imagination and an understanding of the title character that enhances the stories and comedies. Suffice to say, out of the three comedies that I didn't expect to be back, Saxondale was the only one that I was actually sad to see finish season two.

This is not to say it is perfect but certainly it seems to have more of an aim rather than the floundering approach favoured by Hyperdrive for instance. When Saxondale is at its best, it has the confidence and awkwardness associated with Tommy – trying to be cool while almost recognising his failings, or finding the reality of his life undercutting what he would like to believe. However for these strong aspects we also have the weaker moments where it does rather obviously fall back onto straight "awkward" comedy that comes off as Brent/Partridge-lite. It is still amusing but yet it becomes a lesser programme as a result – the courtroom episode is a good example as it is nothing more than so-so The cast react well to the strong material and do their best to cover it when it is weak. However the weakest stuff does tend to hit Coogan hardest because he is at his best when the script gives him comedy from the character, as opposed to just a standard "awkward" situation for him to deal with. He does what he can with the more obvious stuff and he is still OK but cannot lift it. Jones is OK as Magz again but the writing of her character is not that great and instead she does have to deal with the fact that her character is more a plot device for Tommy, rather than a person in herself. Conversely a lot of the rest of the cast are less involved in the character aspect and they are used well in the comedy and in allowing Tommy to reveal himself as a character. Hardiker is a good example of this as he underplays nicely, way passed tolerating Tommy. Banks gets good material and plays her b1tchy character really well – playful but yet mean with it. Bachman is good in the ongoing opening therapy scenes while Boyd is a good addition as the interfering neighbour who doesn't want to be seen as such – not totally dissimilar from Tommy himself.

Overall, this may have benefited from being released at the same time as a couple of lesser "second season" comedies but regardless of it being better than Hyperdrive it is still a solid comedy. It has plenty of weak moments and fails when it has no character and perhaps needs to have lots of character but fumbles; however mostly it manages to make the comedy come from a convincing character and not just scenarios and it is better for it.

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Release Date:

27 September 2007 (UK) See more »

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Baby Cow Productions See more »
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