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The Cuckoo Waltz

"'I love repartee!' My favorite Gavin line delivered so drolly. Series 1and 2 were television magic without a doubt, Series 3 somewhat less so as to a certain degree the scripts and acting had become more formulaic and I felt Gavin was being drawn more caddish less vulnerable. However, I did love the scene where Mrs. W. believing he and Fliss were having an illicit relationship and Chris was neglecting her, slaps Chris upside the head. That was hysterical and I think almost broke the 4th wall for all the actors but consummate professionals they were, they did not break characters. Gavin also invented the selfie at Belle Vue with his swanky movie camera. I was delighted with his and Carol's song at their house-cooling party. Lewis was unique and wonderful in every way possible for an actor and a man to be and I wish I had known him." - Reviewer unknown

"As a series, I don't actually think Cuckoo Waltz is heartachingly funny, I confess. Neither Diane Keen nor David Roper are natural comedy actors and this is partly why Lewis steals every scene he's in. That's not the only reason, of course: he has brilliant timing, which is absolutely vital in comedy. His only real competition in CW is Clare Kelly as Connie Wagstaffe: she's superb in this and on a par with the late Maggie Jones, who played Blanche Hunt in Corrie so brilliantly.

"Lew manages to infuse the outwardly brash, confident Gavin with some vulnerability. And, of course, at the start, he plays on that, with a fair degree of success!

"My favourite episode has to be where Gavin is leaving the Hawthornes' (yeah, right) and throws a party to mark the occasion. (Almost) all I can look at is the cloud of cigar smoke over the table. Did we really think that was an okay thing to do back then, smoke between courses? (Yes, we did, I can confirm).

"Is there anything I would fast forward? Yes. The bits with Diane Keen and David Roper. Okay, I accept I have to watch those. I just wish I'd remembered the Cinderella Rockafella scene from the original broadcast and had the foresight to zip past it.

"OMG. There are no words." - Reviewed by DollyMixtures

 

"If you love Lewis Collins as W.A.P. Bodie… you won't recognise him as Gavin Rumsey! But, to put it another way, after I'd seen Lew's character in The Cuckoo Waltz, it added a whole new dimension to my view of Bodie. I had to see the boyish charm, the silly soft nature, that defines Gavin to start to glimpse it in Bodie too.

"Gavin shares some classic Bodie characteristics, but taken to extremes (this is a sitcom, after all). Like Bodie, Gavin is vain and a walking clothes horse – but Gavin is a fashion victim who wants to believe he looks like Robert Redford (I'd take Lewis Collins over Robert Redford any day, if you're asking). Like Bodie, Gavin is a serial womaniser – but Gavin has a new temp to date every week, whereas some of Bodie's girlfriends might last just a bit longer (until they get stood up or blown up once too often). Like Bodie, Gavin loves fast cars. His Lotus Europa is his most prized possession, and in series 2 it gets worse. Both characters know how to have a good time with friends, and believe that money is there to be spent on the people and the things you enjoy. Both are egotists who do not subscribe to any greater principle than looking out for themselves, except when it comes to friends. Gavin is exceptionally self-centred (the other side of the coin from 'childlike'), but he is always generous and loyal to Chris. Bodie pays lip service to believing only in himself, and he just follows Cowley's orders without questioning them, but if Ray Doyle is hurt or in danger, nothing else matters. Beneath it all, both characters are insecure and emotionally vulnerable. So really Gavin, who couldn't knock the skin off a blancmange, is just a softer, more privileged, version of Bodie - Bodie without the physical training.

"Lew plays this strange, charming man/boy character wonderfully. He must have been very popular with the female viewers! In his interview on the set of Commando Leopard, about being typecast as an action man, Lew says he was known in England for years as a comedy actor, and it was "strange" for him to become accepted as "an action person" (nicely PC, there, Lew).

"There are other characters in The Cuckoo Waltz! Although Lew is, of course, the reason for watching, it is a completely charming series. The writing is clever and the production quite spare, letting the small cast stand out. The other four characters are likeable and interesting. Fliss and Chris, the disgustingly happy young couple with twin babies, struggling to make ends meet in a genteel suburb of Manchester, are balanced by Fliss's (widowed?) mother, Connie, and the eccentric elderly gentleman next door, Austin Tweedale, who may or may not be romantically interested in each other. The only one verging on stereotype is 'the mother-in-law', but her character is lifted by some literally random lines that add a touch of the absurd.

"Gavin is the odd one out. He moves in with his (apparently only friend) Chris when his marriage breaks down, and just stays. Gavin doesn't have the solid, loving relationship of poor-but-happy Chris and Fliss, or the worldly-wisdom and self-sufficiency of the older generation. But he has plenty of money and the freedom that brings…

"The first three episodes of series 1 (1975) revolve around Gavin moving in and the new domestic arrangements. In the seventh and final episode of the series, Gavin and his estranged wife Carole (Rachel Davies – Doyle’s girlfriend in Hijack!) sell their house and hold a breaking-up party, marking the end of Fliss's hopes of Gavin moving back in with Carole.

Series 2 (1976) continues with the status quo established by mid-series 1. Episode 2/1 ("the sporty one") stands out particularly for a marvellous guest appearance by Joanna Lumley as the latest temp, and for Lew posing in skimpy sporting kit. The final episode of series 2 is unusually reflective, as Gavin plans to move out, leaving the cosy nest… but will he? I believe Lew also appears in the third series, which is not yet out on DVD.

You could say that the whole point of The Cuckoo Waltz is that relationships are more important than money and material possessions. And that, as much as the mid-70s fashions and gender Rôles, is what gives it that nostalgic pre-Thatcher quality. - Reviewed by jaycat92