Episode Reviews Part 8


Grace Brothers' foundations tremble—not to mention Ladies' Underwear—as the august firm faces a hostile takeover bid from rival Lally and Willett's.


In the shareholders' dinner scene, Trevor Bannister (Mr. Lucas) cracks up at the sight of Arthur Brough's (Mr. Grainger) wig.
Young Mr. Grace's ideas on how best to defeat the takeover bid:
  1. Burn down the store and collect the insurance (well, it worked in 1928).
  2. Get the Mafia to rub out the competition (inspired by an episode of Kojak).
  3. Hijack Mrs. Willett, lock her in the safe, and throw away the combination (Hawaii Five-O).
  4. Photograph Miss Bakewell in bed with Mr. Willett (Columbo).
  5. Photograph Mr. Humphries in bed with Mr. Willett (Mr. Humphries: "Is there a program I've missed?")
Not surprisingly, Harman's suggestion of sending ringers to the shareholders' dinner is adopted instead.

Dinner Guests:

More Best Bits: Bons Mots: Mr. Harman saves the day by giving a stirring speech at the dinner, convincing the other shareholders to reject the takeover bid.


This zany episode is one of the best not yet available on home video.

Goodbye Mr. Grainger

An odd cross between "The Clock" and "Forward Mr. Grainger".


Best Bits:

Grainger, thinking he's won the football pools (the approximate American equivalent might be winning the lottery), contritely returns to work and graciously apologizes for his behavior. Inspired to generosity by his assumed good fortune, he buys presents for each of the staff:

The staff decide to collect £50 to repay Grainger for the gifts, telling him that was the amount of his winnings.

Bons Mots:

The staff expect Grainger to take the bad news hard, but it's Humphries who faints when he tells Grainger he only won £50 (in reality, of course, he didn't win a thing). Harman had snatched Grainger's resignation letter away before Young Mr. Grace could open it, so Grainger is told he can stay on after all. Grainger then reads the letter to the staff, and the comments written in anger serve only to re-antagonize his fellow workers. Grainger is reluctant to read aloud his take on Mr. Humphries—when Humphries sees it, he has a fit, tearing up the letter and jumping up and down on the remnants.


A strangely flat episode, conspicuous only in its relative mediocrity compared to the rest of the 1977 series.

It Pays to Advertise

In this episode, not only are Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphries shown to be no dummies, but the staff also try their hand at making a cinema advert after Young Mr. Grace decides hiring Spike Milligan would cost too much.


Best Bits: "Grace Brothers Cinema Commercial": Bons Mots:

After Young Mr. Grace sees the mess the staff have made of things, he decides to hire Spike Milligan to do the commercial instead.


Perfect end to the 1977 series; unfortunately, not on home video.

Series Six (1978)

After the passing of Arthur Brough, veteran actor James Hayter stepped in to play the new head of Gent's Ready-Mades, Percival Tebbs. (Fans of Mr. Tebbs might want to check out the Percival Tebbs Memorial Roadside Attraction page, one of the most unique AYBS? sites on the Internet.) Even though Arthur Brough's beloved portrayal of Mr. Grainger was sorely missed, the quality of AYBS? remained high. Three of the 1978 episodes — "The Club", "Do You Take This Man?", and "Happy Returns" — are available on home video.

By Appointment

Mr. Humphries back from holidayAn exciting day for the staff of Grace Brothers as they welcome a new Gentlemen's department head (Mr. Tebbs) and eagerly await a possible visit from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.


Début of new Ladies' Wear uniforms.
Trivia: Best Bits: Tacky Bit:
Peacock's sounding like Donald Duck (or one of the Chipmunks) as a result of a throat infection contracted during a Swiss yodeling holiday. This fictitious malady is almost as ridiculous as "Marine's disease" from 1981's "Is It Catching?"
Bons Mots: After listening to the BBC's radio commentary, the staff rush to Rumbold's office window to watch the royal procession. Unfortunately, Mrs. Slocombe knocks a potted plant off the windowsill that just misses the royals as it falls, forcing them to flee the High Street and forgo a shopping trip to Grace Brothers without even stopping to see their selection of y-fronts.


One of the best of the post-classic era, and a strong introduction for the newest member of the AYBS? family.

The Club

Motivated by a £50-per-person fee, the staff redecorate a decrepit basement room donated by Young Mr. Grace to use as a social club.


Tacky Display:
The Flexi-Bra (Mrs. Slocombe: "I think that Mr. Harman should take it back to where from whence it came") and the matching pants.
Best Bits: Bons Mots: As the staff "decorate" each other, Mr. Rumbold enters and, seeing the mess the staff have made, threatens to cancel the social club altogether. The others promptly dump the rest of the paste on Mr. Rumbold, and the idea of a social club is forgotten.


Witty dialog and loads of physical humor make this episode most enjoyable.

Go to:
Next page of reviews!
Episode Reviews Part 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Back to the episode reviews list!
Back to the Virtual Video Vault!

©1999 Emily Jackson