An increase in Cabin Pressure is imminent
January 8, 2013 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Bing bong! This is your captain speaking. This week sees the return of the BBC Radio 4 comedy Cabin Pressure, which follows the trials and triumphs (okay, mostly trials) of MJN Air, a tiny, one-plane, four-person charter airline. It was created and written by John Finnemore, a comedian and writer with credits including Mitchell and Webb, David Mitchell’s Soapbox, and his own sketch comedy radio show, John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme.

Cabin Pressure stars, among others, Finnemore as the daft-but-sweet flight attendant Arthur Shappey (his mum, Carolyn, played by Stephanie Cole, owns the airline!), Benedict Cumberbatch as the hapless and insecure captain Martin Crieff, and Roger Allam as first officer Douglas Richardson, king of the languid – and hilarious – put-down.

Each week’s episode features a new destination (“This week…Qikiqtarjuaq!”) and a new set of games the crew play to keep themselves entertained on long flights. How many Alfred Hitchock references can you squeeze into a cabin announcement? (Answer: 13.) What books sound more interesting if you take the last letter off the title? (How about “The DaVinci Cod?”) What’s the best place to hide the Traveling Lemon? (Answer: taped to the top of Martin’s hat.) What do you do when you see a yellow car? (Answer: say, "yellow car.”)

In the U.S., the three prior series are available through Audible and Amazon, with entertaining samples on You Tube:

Little Martin meets Big Martin

Passenger Derby

Get Dressed You Merry Gentlemen

The new series begins January 9th on BBC Radio 4.

And let us not forget the now-obligatory mashup of the BBC's Sherlock (featuring Cabin Pressure's own Benedict Cumberbatch) with the Cabin Pressure episode, "Ottery St Mary": Ottery St Sherlock.
posted by That's Numberwang! (39 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I credit Cabin Pressure with my knowledge of what Spanish squirrels say when they are off to help 32 men go mow a meadow, some really good airplane-themed names for bars, and how to say "Qikiqtarjuaq."

(Speaking of which, there's a line cut for time that I really wish would have made it in, because Cumberbatch's outrageous French comedy accent never stops being funny to me.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:50 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

(picked from the first few pages of the GoodReads long list)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fir
Gone With the Win
Animal Far
Charlotte's We
Green Eggs and Ha
Life of P
Watership Dow
The Stan
Charlie and the Chocolate Factor
The Wonderful Wizard of O
The Sound and the Fur
The Velveteen Rabbi
Invisible Ma
Jurassic Par
American Psych

just sayin'...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:22 PM on January 8, 2013 [9 favorites]

posted by That's Numberwang!

Let's rotate the board!
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:41 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

No love on Netflix or Hulu.
posted by sourwookie at 8:47 PM on January 8, 2013

No love on Netflix or Hulu.

Do they do radio shows now?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:54 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Authorized User at 8:54 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

While not on Hulu or Netflix, they can be found on Audible:
Series one
Series two
Christmas special
Series three

These are the US links, I think actual physical CDs can be found at Amazon UK.

ps: yellow car
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:06 PM on January 8, 2013

You can listen to the new season on the BBC Radio 4 website no matter what country you're in, since radio is not region-specific. You can listen when it airs, or for up to a week after that in the archive.

"Hey, chief, I might be wrong, but I think we're flying into a mountain. This makes me feel... scared of the mountain. One thing we could do is pull up and fly over the mountain. How does that sound to—" explosion fireball crash sound effect
posted by tzikeh at 9:30 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

yellow car
posted by tzikeh at 9:30 PM on January 8, 2013

(his mum, Carolyn, played by Stephanie Cole, owns the airline!)

"I don't have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an air dot."

(One of my favorite jokes is that since Carolyn got the plane in a divorce, MJN stands for My Jet Now.)
posted by Spatch at 9:34 PM on January 8, 2013 [4 favorites]

Not gonna lie, that bing bong! made my heart beat a little faster.
posted by book 'em dano at 10:15 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, looks like I found something new to listen to for when it gets too quiet. Thanks.
posted by aroweofshale at 10:18 PM on January 8, 2013

I think I've listened to every episode of Cabin Pressure at least six times (well, maybe not the one where Benedict Cumberbatch was out sick.) They can basically never make a third series of Sherlock but OH HEAVENS have I been dying for series 4 of Cabin Pressure.
posted by whitneyarner at 10:31 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I do like the fact that Cumberbatch, while rising to the level of playing bad guys in major blockbusters (almost the pinnacle of the British acting profession), is still doing terribly silly comedy on Radio 4.

(yellow car)
posted by brilliantmistake at 10:49 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

A Wrinkle in Tim
posted by titus n. owl at 12:33 AM on January 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

I've not heard it, but the premise and style of humour sounds similar to The High Life, a BBC Scotland sitcom from the mid-90s that was cut down in its prime (7 episodes if you include the pilot—ha! ha! do you see what I—ha! ha! ha! did you— ha! ha! did you see what I did there?). Created by and starring Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson, it documented the travails of the diminuitive Air Scotia, based out of Prestwick Airport, and the tiny power-struggles of its incredibly catty cabin crew.

It appears the whole thing is on Youtube.
Episode 1: Feart (starts slow, picks up greatly from the 3-minute mark)
Episode 2: Birl
Episode 3: Winch
Episode 4: Choob
Episode 5: Dug
Episode 6: Dunk

Added bonus: Pif Paf Pof, the Eurovision song from episode 5.
posted by Hogshead at 1:51 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Auuugh. I read the FPP, assumed it was a TV show, and went off searching for it. It was late and I thought I'd check out the links in the AM.
posted by sourwookie at 6:11 AM on January 9, 2013

It's surprising how they get big names for these (probably low paid) Radio 4 things: Sherlock Holmes on this; Rupert Giles on Bleak Expectations, Dr Who on the Afternoon Play.

I like a lot of Radio 4 silly comedy, including ISIHA Clue and the Souvenir Programme, so probably should also like this, but for some reason I don't. I have a theory that comedy is so subjective, that if I'd been in a good mood when I first heard Cabin Pressure, I'd be a big fan now. as it is, I just get irritated at the audience laughter and turn off.
posted by Gomoryhu at 6:23 AM on January 9, 2013

It's such a shame Wings was cancelled after only 4 seasons.
posted by joecacti at 6:47 AM on January 9, 2013

PSA: If you listen to this on your commute, and your earbuds are hidden under a winter hat, you will totally be the crazy person on the L laughing out loud for no apparent reason, causing people to edge away from you.

It's a great way to get some elbow room on the new 5000-series cars.
posted by sldownard at 6:59 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I started listening because of Benedict Cumberbatch (a name which would win the Evil-Sounding Names game all by itself), and he is very funny as Martin, but it's Roger Allam that keeps me listening over and over. Douglas is the Sky God.
posted by tomboko at 7:21 AM on January 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

you will totally be the crazy person on the L laughing out loud for no apparent reason

I credit/ blame listening to The Bugle while walking the dogs for the fact none of my neighbors bother me.
posted by yerfatma at 7:27 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I desperately want a job in which I can convince people to play ridiculous Douglas-style word games. I'm not sure I much care what it is, only that I can make my life more like the best bits of life aboard Gerti.
posted by asperity at 7:32 AM on January 9, 2013

The last time we listened to the Passenger Derby my husband thought he was going to run the car off the road, we were laughing so hard.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 7:40 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

The lemon is back in play! Brilliant!
posted by keever at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm miserable with a cold but in about a half an hour I am actually going to hear an episode I do not know by heart, nay, that I do not know AT ALL and this is better than Christmas. ARGH THEY JUST RAN A PROMO and I have to sit here through the news and I'm all wiggly!
posted by tomboko at 10:00 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

better than Christmas

posted by asperity at 10:14 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

The one where Cumberbatch was out sick is excellent, actually. Tom Goodman Hill is awesome and the riffs they put in about "you sound different, are you okay" are funny as hell.

Cumberbatch is a great great radio actor. I was so psyched that they did more Young Rumpole for Christmas.

Yay, Cabin Pressure!
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:22 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

And how did I not know there was a new series of Bleak Expectations in November and December?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:26 AM on January 9, 2013

Have y'all heard about the upcoming Neverwhere?
posted by asperity at 10:29 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Gasp! I had not heard about Neverwhere. That is awesome! ...And Timbuktu was an excellent episode of Cabin Pressure. Topsy-turvy Birling Day!

I do love how actors don't seem to get pigeonholed in the UK the way they do in the US - an A-list actor can do movies, TV, and radio! That's just better for everybody! They get to have a variety of work, and we the audience get to enjoy them in it. Martin Crieff is as different from Sherlock Holmes as a character can possibly be, and Benedict Cumberbatch makes you believe both.

posted by tomboko at 8:28 PM on January 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Seriously, Benedict Cumberbatch is the best name ever.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:00 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

We just binge-listened to the first three episodes while making dinner (periodically having to put down the knife for fear of cutting off a fingertip due to excessive laughter).

This is outstanding stuff. Cumberbatch (or as PBZM insists on referring to him, CUMBERBATCH!) is delightful, of course, but I find myself in love with Roger Allam's performance. He does supercilious soooo well, without tipping over into brittlely arch. Brilliant. And the writing is sharp, sharp, sharp.

Thank you for posting this!
posted by Lexica at 8:55 PM on January 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

Come for the Benedict Cumberbatch, stay for the Roger Allam. (He really is the show stealer.)

They were both recently in a BBC TV production of Parade's End together and for every scene they had together I could only imagine them playing "Brians of Britain" or counting otters and it made me giggle through what was otherwise a Very Serious BBC Period Piece.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 11:08 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

New episode Uskerty was excellent. Carolyn and Martin are extremely funny together.
posted by tomboko at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

"The posh Welsh, they sound like us."

I don't know why, but as an American I find this line hilarious in an overall hilarious series.

Cumberbatch (or as PBZM insists on referring to him, CUMBERBATCH!) is delightful, of course.

It's pronounced with a raised fist, back of the hand facing away, upper arm forward and 90° from the body, slight wobble to the upper arm; "CUMBERBATCH!"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:23 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Simon Says:

Thursday-Night Poke
The China Stud
Pot Plane
Pogo: We Have Met The Enemy And He Is U
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:35 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

The more of the episodes I listen to (such a bargain on Audible!), the more I find myself thinking, "I want to pet Roger Allam's voice as if it were a cat."

And the more I think about it, the more apt the analogy seems: silky, plushy, and oh-so-sensuous… and may turn around and whap you at any time. Claws? No claws? Do you feel lucky, punk?

And OH GOD do I now want to hear Roger Allam say "Do you feel lucky, punk?" </fangirl>
posted by Lexica at 8:52 PM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Found via Fuck Yeah John Finnemore! here's The Shappey Way. I've been singing it to myself ever since I first heard it.
And you, you ask me how I'm
always happy
but I don't know how
not to be.
Because my life is brilliant
and so are you.
And if you ever fail to see it
I will gladly point it out to you, to you.
posted by Lexica at 8:07 PM on February 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

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