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Series / Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

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Why Aye, man!

Comedy-drama from the writing team of Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais. Season One (1983-1984) involved seven manual labourers from various parts of England. It was the mid-Eighties and there were no jobs to be found in this country, so they travelled to Germany to find work, forming themselves into a tight-knit group amid all the Culture Clash. They even used The Magnificent Seven title.

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Season Two (1986) featured the same seven re-uniting and travelling from Birmingham to the English countryside to Spain on various building projects.

British Brevity was somewhat averted by these first two seasons, which contain 13 episodes each rather than the usual six. A third season was planned but shelved after Gary Holton, one of the seven principal cast members, passed away.

It was eventually revived for a few years in 2002, Darker and Edgier. With the six remaining members, Timothy Spall (Barry), Christopher Fairbank (Moxey), Jimmy Nail (Oz), Tim Healy (Dennis), Pat Roach (Bomber) and Kevin Whately (Neville) returning and Noel Clarke filling the gap as Wayne's son, Wyman.

The strong accents (especially Geordie), including regional slang terms and the obscure British cultural references, would probably make the series almost completely unintelligible to anyone from outside the United Kingdom.

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This programme provides examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Wayne reluctantly turns down Bomber's daughter because she's too young, vulnerable and only looking for attention (and he's been threatened with castration) and he mentions turning down two Rolling Stones groupies who mistake him for Ronnie Wood because it goes against his code to trick them like that.
  • Abusive Parents: Moxey and Oz. Oz is also guilty of being an abusive parent.
  • Anti-Hero: Most of the main characters.
  • Artifact Title: Season One was the only one to involve Germany.
  • Badass Beard: Bomber and Big Baz.
  • Badass Longcoat: Oz in Season Two.
  • Bar Brawl
  • Berserk Button: Though Oz has a bit of a Hair-Trigger Temper in general, never harm or threaten one of his friends in front of him.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Dennis.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Oz (6'3") and Dennis (5'6") respectively.
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  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Barry and Moxey are blonds, Dennis, Oz and Neville are all brunettes and Bomber is a redhead while Wayne is raven haired.
  • Book-Ends: Series One begins with Dennis, Oz and Neville on the ferry on their way to Germany. The second of the hour-long Christmas specials ends with the exact same scenario, and Neville gives us a Title Drop.
  • Brainy Brunette: Dennis but he's not as clever as Barry.
  • Britain is Only London: Very much averted here, as almost every part of England is represented by the main seven. Neville, Oz and Dennis are Geordies, Barry is from The Midlands, Bomber is from The West Country and Moxey is a Liverpudlian. Wayne is the only Londoner.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Possibly. Kadi and Tatiana are probably only pretending to be brother and sister but it's never actually confirmed.
  • Bruiser With A Soft Centre: Bomber.
  • Butt-Monkey: Barry and sometimes, Moxey.
  • The Casanova: Wayne.
  • Character Development: Oz did some serious growing up between Season Two and the revival.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The videotapes in "A Home from Home".
  • Chick Magnet: Wayne again.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Wayne refuses to take advantage of teenage girls or trick Rolling Stones groupies who think he's Ronnie Wood into sex, and he seems to treat the women he sleeps with quite respectfully. He did cheat on his wife, but, unlike other characters who mistreat their wives, he expresses genuine remorse for it.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The Turkish pimp and his knife. Ally Fraser shows the potential to be this when he warns Wayne off Vicky.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Neville's wife Brenda, in the first season.
  • Coffin Contraband: In "Last Rites", Oz develops a sideline in selling pornographic videos. When his mate Headly Irwin dies, Oz tries to smuggle the video tapes back to Britain in Headly's coffin.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the first episode, Neville acquired an embarrassing tattoo on his arm whilst drunk and couldn't afford to have it removed again. When he briefly appears shirtless in the 2002 revival, it's still there.
    • Neville takes on extra work during Series 1 as Brenda wants to re-do their bathroom. In Series 2, Neville mentions that he still hasn't got around to re-doing the bathroom after two years.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Moxey has his moments.
  • Darker and Edgier: The 2002 revival had Bomber suffering from a serious illness and Moxey and Dennis struggling with extreme poverty. Also featured drugs, hitmen, organised crime, an illegal immigrant almost forced into prostitution, and the various issues surrounding the use of gangmasters providing East European labour on the Middlesbrough Bridge contract.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often Wayne.
  • Domestic Abuse: Vicky is the target of this from Ally Fraser. Moxey comes from a family with a violent stepfather who molests his sister.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Neville, who is the nicest of the characters and happily married to Brenda, wakes up after a night of drinking to find "Neville Loves Lotte" tattooed on his arm. He doesn't even know anyone called Lotte.
  • Fanservice Extra: There were a few of these in the Spanish episodes.
  • Fille Fatale: Bomber's daughter Tracey (though this was seemingly an act to get attention).
  • Five-Man Band: The Magnificent Seven in this way
  • Friendless Background: Moxey.
  • Fun with Acronyms: DIMNOBB!
  • Gentle Giant: Bomber.
  • Gold Digger: Tatiana and Vicky.
  • Happily Married: Neville and Brenda (most of the time).
  • The Hedonist: Wayne and in some ways, Oz.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dennis and Oz and arguably Moxey and Barry as well.
  • House Husband: Neville at the beginning of Series 2.
  • I Have No Son!: Oz in Series 3.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Nikki Miles.
  • Jerkass: Ally Fraser, Geoffrey Granger, Arthur Pringle, MacGowan, and Tarquin Pearce.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Oz (sometimes).
  • Lady Killer In Love: Wayne with Christa.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The very last episode plays out with "Breakin' Away", the opening theme from Season 1.
  • Last-Name Basis: Moxey. His first name is Albert, but he rarely uses it.
  • Lovable Rogue: Oz, Moxey, and Wayne.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Wayne.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: It’s in full effect given that the team consists of:
The Leader: Dennis.The Lancer: Neville.The Big Guy: Oz.The Smart Guy: Barry.The Chick: Wayne or Wyman.The Mentor: Bomber.The Sixth Ranger: Moxey.
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