This 60-minute made-for-television movie – a vehicle for Cliff Richard – was a co-production between the BBC, and Scandinavian broadcasters Sveriges Radio, Norsk Rikskringkasting and Yleisradio.
The plot (such as it was) concerned a mistaken suitcase and basically provided a broad scenario for some good character comedy, with Tim Brooke-Taylor making the most of his chances as an amiable old lady.
Sadly the two crooks who could – and one feels, should – have been a delight (Matti Ranin and Pekka Laiho) were reduced to a kind of Keystone Cops performance, the barriers of language being altogether too great.
Indeed the whole production suffered from being made with a view to triple consumption. It lacked pace because there was little or no dialogue, with characters’ voices included in voiceover as thoughts so as to allow for language difficulties.
The comedy was predictable and puerile, and it said little for the show that one of its funniest ideas was Tim Brooke-Taylor’s dilemma when faced with changing into (or was it out of) drag for the umpteenth time, that, faced with only public lavatories in which to perform the deed, he was unable to choose between ladies and gentlemen.
Cliff Richard was his usual amiable self, and the show was pleasantly photographed in the best travelogue tradition. Olivia Newton-John sang as well as ever, and the Scandinavian car and boat companies co-operated splendidly. A number of Scandinavian actors even took the bull by the horns and, for our especial benefit, spoke lines in English.
But when all was said and done the show was perhaps best explained by its last line: “He’s done it again he’s taken the wrong case Stop.”