Eric Idle convinces a seriously odd assortment of British 'celebrities' to act out a weirdly contrived sequence of skits, musical numbers and snippets of a science lecture. On the one hand you have Tim Peake and Brian Cox, largely appearing likeable but utterly out of their depth, whilst on the other you have Noel Fielding, Warwick Davis, Robin Ince and Idle himself mocking everything, including themselves. Oh, plus Hannah Waddingham, who I had never heard of before but is apparently a big deal in the West End, as well as being the Shame Nun on Game of Thrones. Ah, and a 'resurrected' Morecambe and Wise because... why not, I guess?
The end result? A weird, mismatching mess of poorly contrived songs, mistimed punchlines and awkward moments. I'm not sure why Brian Cox was made to pretend as if he was against the entire affair, but I think it would have worked a lot better if he'd just gone with it. Only Idle's solo and the classic Galaxy Song finale were actually interesting to listen to, with most songs seemingly pitched at five-year-olds (despite the surrounding lewd humour), with often highly telegraphed punchlines.
The guests also felt mismatched. Arlene Phillips made a strange cameo, Morecambe and Wise were baffling, and Tim Peake seemed terrified. Even the main guests were heavily stereotyped and whilst I have no doubt they were happy to present themselves in such a manner it did make the show feel quite dated. Having Warwick Davis constantly crack short jokes, putting Waddingham in immensely revealing clothing/scenarios, and pitching Ince as nothing more than a nerd (albeit a pretty thick one) felt tired, lazy and a little cringe-worthy, closer akin to watching an elderly relative have one-too-many and start reeling off borderline racist jokes at the Christmas table.