Out Of Tune
UK, BBC, Children's sitcom, Colour, 1996
Starring: Tim Downie, Jotham Annan, Louise Sullivan
A children's sitcom focusing on the motley bunch who comprise a church choir in a sleepy English village. The place doesn't have much going for it by way of excitement, apart from occasional activities at the village hall, so the best place for the local youngsters to meet, mingle, gossip and romantically liaise is at choir practice, hence the meetings are well attended. Few of the number are there because they possess a good voice, though, which means that the choir is bad - very, very bad - the combination of the youngsters' vocal 'talents' resulting in a sound that is pitched somewhere between a strangled cat and the mating call of a bull elephant. The patient vicar tries his best to improve them, but to no avail.
The central characters within the choir are Street, a rakish boy slightly order than the others; the bossy Chas, who leads the girls and is (initially) the object of Street's passion; Ice D, a streetwise, village newcomer from an urban environment; and Frankie, an aspiring wheeler-dealer whose uncle can get hold of anything, 'no questions asked'. The (jokey) villain of the piece was caretaker Tony Sweet who fulfilled a similar function within the sitcom to that of ARP Warden Hodges in Dad's Army In the third series Sweet is elevated to parish treasurer and ex-choir boy Street becomes the new caretaker, torn between his duties and loyalty for his old friends.
All told, Out Of Tune was a competent comedy that occasionally hit the right note, with fair acting from the young cast and some shameless hamming from the older members. Enjoyable but untaxing.
Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.
Number of episodes: 40
Length: 25 mins