Cradle to Grave (TV Mini-Series 2015– ) Poster

(2015– )

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10/10
A real treat
ianstewartbrown16 October 2015
What a wonderful warm and brilliant treat. One of the best TV shows to have graced our TV screens. Excellent actors very well written. Highly recommend to who ever hasn't seen this to watch it and I promise you will love it. Brilliant sound track and very very funny. Thank you Danny for bringing your life to life. You really did have some life. I'm not going to tell you anything about the show don't want spoil it. I really hope they mange to make a second season. I for one would love more of this show that makes you if your a certain age remember when life was simpler and let's be honest a bit more innocent. And if you haven't read Danny's biography I highly recommend that as well.
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10/10
Very enjoyable comedy/drama
mabuhay_200010 October 2015
This series has been something of a surprise hit with me. I gave a miss initially, but then watched episode 1 on the BBC Player and was hooked. It moves at a good pace, interweaving the various threads throughout the episodes and across several episodes. The casting and acting is top notch all around. They've recreated the 70s superbly, too, and it really rolls back the years for those of us who are almost the same age as Danny Baker (I'm a couple of years younger). In addition, the music from Squeeze really fits the bill, along with a superb 70s soundtrack.

And ignore all that nonsense about Peter Kay's cockney accent. It doesn't matter. He does a great job with the role of Danny's father.

All in all, a great watch. I hope they push ahead with series 2. I read that Baker and Pope are already working on the second series.
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10/10
Danny Baker's memoirs look and sound beautiful
tiger-nation29 September 2015
I'd been looking forward to "Cradle to Grave" since I heard it was in production. I haven't ready Danny Baker's book "Going to Sea in a Sieve" but I had heard several media interviews where Baker told some of his tales and they sounded fantastic (two of the best feature in episode 1).

The show didn't disappoint. It's fantastic looking recreating seventies London. The theme song and the score are outstanding too. Each episode has been funny, well paced, established characters quickly and told great tales.

The casting is also a triumph. Lucy Speed is tremendous as Danny's Mum, Laurie Kynaston makes an excellent Danny and Peter Kay is outstanding as Danny's Dad "Spud". I'm not a big fan of Kay himself but he is a really good character actor as proved many times and once you've got used to his cockney accent - he's brilliant in this. Without spoiling, some scenes are poignant and Kay particularly shines there.

I'm not sure this has longevity as a series but as six, maybe twelve episodes, it will really make a mark as a comedy of very high standard.
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10/10
Brilliant, well-observed nostalgic comedy about a clever, funny man!
benjamin-twist12 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
As a long time fan of Danny Baker and a reader of his two brilliant autobiographies I was really looking forward to seeing Cradle To Grave. The first episode was spot on. It introduced us to his family (including his dad 'Spud' and his mum Bet) and his mates in a logical but amusing way and was choc full of funny, charming incidents. My favourite being the story of the rare green tonic trousers who were begrudgingly lent to a friend who dies and was laid to rest in said strides. Others included a visit to the West End to see the hippy musical Hair only for the young Danny to be slapped in the face by a too-close dancing male member. The tone was right, the costumes were right, the music was perfect (of course it was, this is Danny Baker), the scenes were not too long and the focus was always on Danny (nicely played by Laurie Kynaston) who was more-or-less in every scene.

But I have to say that by contrast the second episode was a little disappointing (sorry Dan). Out went the episodic nature which copied the book so well and in came some long-winded scenes focusing on Danny's mum and dad taking a cut-price caravan holiday (Spud's idea of giving Bet a good time) and going to a civic dinner. The former was like an outtake from an early episode of Only Fools and Horses with Spud and Co turning into stock BBC cockney caricatures and I happen to know that the latter story was not taken from Danny's life but from a caller who rang into his successful BBC Radio London show. She was invited to a works "do" and unintentionally ended up dancing with her husband's boss causing much embarrassment. Her version of it was very funny, sadly Danny's version, via Jeff pope, via Peter Kay somehow lost something in the translation. And therein lies the problem, stick to the truth and it's works. Start to tinker with it and it is in danger of failing.

So please, please let the remaining episodes go back to the superb style of the first one and focus on the young Danny and his mates. The real Danny, the one we know and love, with just occasional references to Spud's antics otherwise Cradle To Grave could be in danger of morphing into The New Peter Kay Show (although I suspect Peter had a hand in the writing).

Looking forward to see the young Danny meeting Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Marc Bolan in One Stop Records, the "David Essex" incident and of course Blackie the dog!
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9/10
It's not about Peter Kay
jan-2462613 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Had heard the poor reviews, particularly in relation to his accent, but thought I'd give it a go. I forget when the series started so watched episode 2 first, but have since caught up with episode 1 and I love it!

Despite the accent he's still very much Peter Kay but perhaps the people who don't like it haven't cottoned on that he didn't write this one. It's about Danny Baker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Baker) growing up in the 70's and he wrote it with Jeff Pope (Philomena, Mrs Biggs, Cilla, Appropriate Adult) who was born in 1959 so knows the 1970's well, as do I.

I find it very entertaining, lots of laugh out loud moments, and comfortably nostalgic. For me this is also new territory. I haven't read either of Danny Baker's autobiographies and, as in real life anecdotes are subject to poetic licence, but I shall stick with it.

Well done to all involved!
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8/10
Memoirs To Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt
SteveResin12 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
If you view this as purely a nostalgic comedy series set in early 1970's London then it works supremely well, there's lots of fun to be had with a slew of larger than life characters getting into many mishaps and misdemeanor's to enjoy. It recreates the period with aplomb and the soundtrack is to die for. However if taken as an interpretation of Danny Baker's memoirs then suspension of disbelief is required. So many ridiculous situations arise that you're led to believe Baker grew up in a Willy Russell play. It's also slightly let down by a story line played for laughs involving schoolboy Baker being sexually teased and seduced by his alluring French teacher, which felt awkward in the current post Jimmy Savile Operation Yewtree climate we live in. Some of the jokes are stolen from other shows or movies too, the most blatant being the football match episode which knicks it's entire storyline from the film Kes.

Peter Kaye is an exceptional comedic talent and he is stellar here as Danny's ducking and diving father Spud. Lucy Speed is also exceptional as Baker's frustrated but strong and loyal mother Bet. Laurie Kynaston is fine as a young Baker but I must admit I didn't find the character entirely convincing. Danny Baker is known as one of the most loquacious people in the media, yet here he's portrayed as quite sullen and laid back. His appearance seems to have been re-imagined too, as Baker I'm sure is nobody's idea of leading man material yet here we're meant to believe he's a David Essex lookalike with the uncanny ability to enchant both the nubile and the mature, hot French teachers no less.

That said the series is well written, the acting is largely great and the music is wonderful. There's plenty of laughs to be found and a few heartfelt moments, although I wouldn't recommend binge watching as the "cor blimey guvnor" cockney ambiance can become grating.

8/10
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10/10
I loved every episode and Laurie Kynaston is outstanding!
carolinetaylor-3455420 October 2015
I thought this series was superb - enjoyed the nostalgia of the 70's clothes, decor and lifestyles. Each episode is a story in it's own right but would recommend watching the whole series so you can follow the story lines that go throughout the series too. Each of the main actors are fantastic but I particularly loved Laurie Kynaston - playing a naive teenager! I have not read Danny Baker's book but am tempted to do so after seeing this series. Always a fan of Peter Kay - has he ever done anything bad?? Another plus is the music throughout - especially Squeeze's theme tune. Will miss it now that it has finished but do hope there will be a second series!
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8/10
Brilliant
pithawg-18 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Peter Kaye is spectacular as a docker. The perfect fit. Would have expected much more gear in the house. Pallets of food, containers of spam panda licorice.. just to name a few of our fallin' goods. The premise is great. Made me homesick and i haven't lived in Europe since 1970. The fashion and the audio tracks are glorious.. i know smoking is frowned upon and bad language is outlawed but it was the only noticeable items missing. The seventies was horrible .. every person smoked, everywhere.

The "Humor" is priceless in most situations, nothing can prepare you for how well this scheming comedy was forged. Hope a second season comes out from the shadows soon. Best family comedy in a very long time. Could become a classic if treated just right.
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10/10
Refreshing and Uplifting - A Great Show Done Right
myrtz-5248731 August 2016
It's greatly disappointing to see that British critics are slamming the "Cradle to Grave" so quickly and so harshly with negative comments. Ease off, kids. This show is fantastic. Not everything needs to be a bloody, break-neck, speed-of-light drama edited to within an inch of your life.

This is good family fun without the pretense of pleasing all of the people all of the time. The characters are interesting, hilarious and realistic.

The music is the BEST and I can't say enough great things about the writing, the directing, the acting, and most especially the costuming and set work. If this show is ended before its due time, it will be like someone taking your giant box of chocolates away and kicking you in the, um, stomach. Blood would be shed for such insanity and injustice. No. This show must continue. Great work one and all. Keep on Truckin, and Keep on Keepin' on. (Just a few 70s phrases for you from the States.) :)
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9/10
Great laughs and a few tears
pensman30 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It is the 1970's and Danny Baker's (Laurie Kynaston) parents are thoroughly estate people. In the states we would say to be nice they live in subsidized housing or to be a bit unkind, they live in public housing. His dad Fred (Peter Kay) is a bit of a wheeler dealer (not a thief but not one to pass up a good deal even if it might skirt the law) and one of the boys; his mom Bet (Lucy Speed) longs for a more regular and "moving up" life. Frequently it is dad's down to earth quality that saves the situation. Or exacerbates it but general with "good" consequences, not always but . . . . The series has some of the characteristics of a picaresque novel as Fred (Spud) relies on his wits to move along, has a tough time holding on to a job, and while in the later episodes there is a story arc (making sure the daughter has a nice wedding), by and large the adventures—especially of Danny —are incidents from his life growing up South London and are meant to amuse.

Danny and his friends get in and out or trouble with usual high spirits, but on occasion a consequence can be serious: one such ends up with the death of a mate (friend). I know, this doesn't sound like a comedy but it is. When Danny goes to a show with his sister and her boyfriend, he is looking forward to it as the cast (Hair) has nude scenes. But when the dancers go offstage (completely nude), and Danny gets hit on the cheek by a loose penis, I just about fell off the chair laughing.

And watching Fred and the other dock workers try to outwit the new breed of dock security workers before the docks begin to shut down is bittersweet as they try to liberate some sherry but confuse sherry with sherry vinaigrette.

While Danny might not be a fan of school, he is a fan of the "future studies" class taught by the smoking hot Miss Blondel which sets up a conflict of choices between football (soccer) and the possibility of being in the photography darkroom with Miss Blondel. And when you find out how Teddy Arsewhole got his nickname, you will be laughing so hard you will be in tears.

What we have is a nostalgic look at a time (not unlike any cultural/economic shift) when manual jobs were being lost; and the incursions of newer technology (VCR's for example) had not yet had a major impact. You don't have to be British to enjoy this series but some of the thicker accents could make an American wish for subtitles in English. Regardless, it's a great show in the vein as "Moone Boy," The IT Crowd," or "Spy" (Darren Boyd). If you get a chance to see it then be sure to catch it. Currently running on Acorn TV. And the soundtrack is beyond great.

I understand a second series has been commissioned; but this really works as a one off.
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