Eric has a number of favourite episodes, and has noted the following episodes in interviews given for Oh…Miss Jones! and other known sources:
Eric has documented ‘All Our Yesterdays’ and ‘The Permissive Society’ to be two of his favourite episodes, primarily because they deviated from The Banana Box. The main reson being that if he could write these, then he could go on with new settings and situations for Rigsby and co.
And, most notably, ‘Stage Struck’ and ‘Clunk Click’, the latter was also chosen by Leonard Rossiter, Frances de la Tour and Judy Buxton as their preferred episode.
As with all comedies that rely on some form of loneliness, claustrophobia and/or restrictive scenarios, be it in setting or the lives of the characters, to move them out of this can sometimes cause the show to lose its base. The cramped life of the boarding house suffocated the characters and, as a result, their inability to move forward was hampered. When the setting changed to an outside location, some shows lose the very essence of the comedy which attracted you.
So, with Rising Damp, Eric felt a ‘A Night Out’ was one of his weakest episodes, simply because moving to an open set at the Grange restaurant gave more room for any comedy to leak. Eric was always very hard on himself but you could understand his cautiousness, thankfully the rest of the cast and crew disagreed and, for the record, this writer. However, it is more noticeable in The Movie when we see scenes shot outside in Rigsby’s car, the field, the rugby match and at the convenience store (this scene in the store is fantastic, proving that going outside but returning back inside, into a confined space, really heightens the scene.
Do you have a favourite episode that you always go back to?