Hancock, 1963 (ITV)
There are a surprising number of sitcoms either starring or written by well known names that perhaps could be classed as…..but not as you know them. This ITV series is a perfect example.
When you think Hancock you automatically think of his work for the BBC, this ITV series is often forgotten, which is a shame as whilst it lacks the polish of the partnership with Galton and Simpson, it is still classic Hancock.
Tony Hancock had left the BBC in 1961 to pursue a career on the big screen. The result was his ill feted second cinema outing, The Punch and Judy Man in 1962,
Following the failure of The Punch and Judy Man to kick start his career in films Hancock returned to his sitcom roots.
Hancock not to be confused with his final BBC series of the same name was the third of five series he did with ITV.
Broadcast around the same time as Steptoe and Son, the series was generally not well received and was Hancock’s last regular television series. It ran for one series of thirteen twenty five minute episodes in 1963.
In much the same vane as Hancock’s Half Hour, he reprises his character of the pompous fool, and his timing is as good as ever, the ATV series followed Hancock in a different situation each week.
Channel: ITV (ATV)
Written By: Godfrey Harrison
Original Run: 3rd March 1963 – 28th March 1963
All 13 episodes are thought to exist although there are only 6 in the public domain. Some sites advise that Roger Hancock (Tony’s brother) does not want to see them broadcast or released to any other media as he does not feel they hold up as a good quality example of his work. However having viewed the few episodes that are in the public domain, it is clear that whilst it’s not Galton and Simpson’s classic scripts, it’s still quality Tony Hancock.
The problem is that in it’s original form Hancock’s Half hour was a masterpiece of British sitcom, everything fitted together brilliantly the cast executed Galton and Simpson’s superb scripts to perfection.
As for critiscism of this series both writers and Hancock had decided to move on, just as Galton and Simpson went onto have a great many successes elsewhere, fans perhaps never let Hancock move on.
Where To Watch
All 13 episodes were released to DVD on 15th July 2022. The DVD contains a photo gallery, extensive booklet and a selection of TV commercials featuring Tony Hancock. The first 200 copies contained two exclusive postcards.