STUDIO: BBC Worldwide
MSRP: $79.98
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 560 minutes

  • Audio commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
  • Featurettes on history, production, and publicity
  • Isolated musical numbers
  • “Sweet”- a short film by Fielding and Barratt
  • “A Journey Time And Space” – 60 minute doumentary overview of the series
  • Q & A at the Institute of Contemporary Art
  • “Boosh Night Live”
  • Photo Galleries
  • and more…..

The Pitch

“It’s a crack-baby lovechild of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers who can draw pretty well and has a lovely singing voice.”

The Humans

Creators/Writers:  Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding
Cast:  Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown

The Nutshell

Howard Moon and Vince Noir are an odd-coupling of best friends adventuring through our world and beyond, not always by choice. Joining them on most travels are their shaman pal, Naboo The Enigma, and his talking gorilla familiar, Bollo. Absurdity abounds in this live-action cartoon full of magic, monsters, and catchy musical numbers.

If more dancing reality shows had a genie and gorilla, I might actually tolerate them.

The Lowdown

Describing The Mighty Boosh is almost as difficult as explaining why I like The Mighty Boosh. The show is simply one of the most inventive comedy shows I’ve seen in ages. The free-spirit of a sketch show has invaded the framework of a half-hour sitcom to produce a monster. A beautiful, beautiful monster. Writers/lead actors Julian Barret and Noel Fielding have created a world that feels like it’s been adapted from children’s drawings, and I do not mean that negatively. It’s a world in which animals talk, wizards have stag parties, and Death himself mistakenly takes a man in a gorilla costume to Monkey Hell. Logic has been banished from this pocket world of madness, and if you can just enjoy the ride then there’s a lot to enjoy.

This television show is the third incarnation of The Mighty Boosh, the first being a live show performed in comedy clubs, which itself begat a radio program, which begat a BBC 3 series. The series begins with the lead characters as co-workers in a bizarre, dilapidated zoo called The Zooniverse. Plots start simply enough, something like “Let’s go solve the mystery of the disappearing animals!” or “Let’s save the Zooniverse from being sold!”  From these quiant starting points the stories take sudden turns toward the fantastic, sending them to the likes of the arctic tundra and the aforementioned Monkey Hell.

Series 2 dumps the extraneous Zooniverse and sets up Howard, Vince, Naboo, and Bollo as flatmates in Dalston, England. The simplified “home-base” helps the writers concentrate on upping the adventuring ante and giving the show a bit more scope. In one episode Howard’s insecurity about his age dovetails into a quest for the fountain of youth on Naboo’s distant home planet of Xooberon. And so on.

In series 3 the pair are working for Naboo in his secondhand shop, the Nabootique.  The adventures stick close to home in these episodes, putting more focus on the lead characters rather than the outlandish adventures.  The change in formula keeps the series from getting stale, though there’s still plenty of absurdity to go around (even a mundane task like taking out the garbage turns into a horrifying ordeal when Vince meets a talking, crack-addicted fox). Keep an eye out for a cameo by 80’s new wave star Gary Numan.

Tim Burton’s Aladdin.

The show just works for me.  The absurd characters are brought to life by the boundless energy of the cast, not to mention the tireless makeup department.  The cheap and simplistic special effects serve the story rather than detract from it.  The songs are no Flight of the Conchords (as in I won’t be buying a cd of Boosh tunes to play in the car) but they do get stuck in my head more than I would like. Some gags go on too long, and the writers seem to think urine is lot funnier than it really is, but these moments are few, and I find myself delighted for the majority.
I don’t think I need to tell you that the show is not for everyone. Even if this sounds like your cup of tea, heed my warning; tread lightly and stop frequently. I had been a fan before checking out this set, but that was from incremental doses. Watching the show marathon-style for this review, I actually started to get overwhelmed, and a little irritated. The show works best when enjoyed one episode at a time. If you rent this, give yourself some breathing room. Take your time. It gets a bit punishing to watch 2 full discs in one sitting. Have a look, and I hope it takes you on a beautiful journey as it did me. 

All the best to Sam Raimi, who continues the valiant fight against Sony executives and their….ideas for Spider-Man 4.

The Package

This 7 disc set is housed in a fold-out box adorned with Noel Fielding’s character sketches.  Six of the discs are a repackaging of individually released season sets, with an added seventh disc of all new features.  The picture quality looks as good as a TV show shot on digital is capable of.  Colors pop and textures are good.  Audio is of an equally adequate quality.  Each season comes with a standard set of audio commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes and outtakes, and isolated music numbers.  Disc 7 has a rather baffling maze of a menu, but it leads to some informative features like a 60 minute series overview documentary, titled A Journey Through Time And Space, a Q&A at the Institute of Contemporaray Arts, and a video recording of one of their live shows.  The randomized nature of the menu suggests that there must be more here that I have not yet unearthed. A great set of features that will keep fans occupied for hours on end.

The Mighty Boosh – Special Edition is a wonderful set for a fan of the show, and it’s worth a look for the curious.  Just be sure not to overdose.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Fans of both Twilight and That Thing You Do need their imaginations confiscated.

9 out of 10