Review: Kingswood Country – Complete Series
Pickle me Grandmother! Ted Bullpitt is back, and he’s installing the venetians in the Kingswood.
Originally born out of a sketch on The Naked Vicar Show from 1977, Kingswood Country – the iconic Australian 80s comedy sitcom that coined the phrases “Not the Kingswood!”, “Money on the fridge”, and “Give a man a heart attack!” and some other phrases that aren’t quite right for this politically correct day-of-age has finally been released as a complete series on DVD, thanks to Via Vision Entertainment and Madman.
From 1980 to 1984, the Gary Reilly / Tony Sattler production was screened on the Seven Network, telling the story of Ted Bullpitt (Ross Higgins), a suburban father who took pride in his Kingswood car, his greyhounds, the newspaper, the war and beer. His dithering wife Thelma (Judy Farr) holds the household together while his fully grown adult kids Craig (Peter Fisher) and Greta (Laurel McGowan) visit, and Greta’s Italian husband Bruno (Lex Marinos) is the bane of Ted’s existence – purely because of his nationality, amongst other things.
Previously, Kingswood Country was released as ‘best of’ compilations from 2003 to 2010, with only 52 episodes from 89 were commercially available. However, the long out-of-print DVDs can now be moved to the side to make way for the new 11 x DVD box set, containing all 89 episodes of the Logie winning series.
Let us polish the antenna and tell you some specifications.
Presented in the original 4:3 aspect ratio and in glorious 1.0 mono sound, the entire six seasons of Kingswood Country are spread over 11 DVDs under Region 4 format. Each episode has been lifted from the master tapes, so expect the standard lightly grainy presentation. The box set also includes some extra features, listed below:
Disc One: Season One. Episodes 1 – 8. Extras: Original sketch from The Naked Vicar Show.
Disc Two: Season One. Episodes 9 – 13. Season Two. Episodes 1 – 3.
Disc Three: Season Two. Episodes 4 – 11.
Disc Four: Season Two. Episodes 12 – 13. Season Three. Episodes 1 – 6.
Disc Five: Season Three. Episodes 7 – 14.
Disc One: Season Three. Episodes 15 – 20. Season Four. Episodes 1 – 2.
Disc Two: Season Four. Episodes 3 – 10.
Disc Three: Season Four. Episodes 11 – 18.
Disc Four: Season Four. Episodes 19 – 23. Season Five. Episodes 1 – 4.
Disc Five: Season Five. Episodes 5 – 10. Season Six. Episodes 1 – 2.
Disc Six: Season Six. Episodes 3 – 10. Extras: Blooper reel.
The original sketch from The Naked Vicar Show featured on Disc One has not been seen since the Best Of The Naked Vicar Show DVD released in 2007, which is long out-of-print. The Blooper reel is roughly 22 minutes long.
All 89 episodes are presented well, uncut and with a smorgasbord of guests – including the famous Graham Kennedy episode where he comes to dinner with the Bullpitt family. So if you already own the compilations, you will now be able to buy this set and complete the series. Or replace it – it’s up to you.
Is it a must have? Yes – but only if you’re a baby boomer / Gen-Xer or you’re familiar with the tone and humour of the show. This show may unintentionally offend with some racial or sexist liners, but it holds the depictions of the time. It’s 34 hours and 31 minutes of your life you won’t regret… this is the only time you can take the Kingswood!
No word on the 1997 sequel Bullpitt!, where we saw Ted living in a retirement village. While less successful, only 26 episodes were made and 13 episodes were released on DVD, but that is out-of-print too. We’re hoping for a full release!
RRP ranges from $115 to $139, but check ViaVision.com.au and your local DVD retailer for prices and availability. Make sure you use the money on the fridge.
Kingswood Country – The Complete Series is available November 4, 2019.