The Mighty Boosh- Series 3 (2007)

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Photos:Baby Cow

 

“A psychedelic Open All Hours” as Julian Barratt described it, the third series of The Mighty Boosh could have been disastrous. The first was set in the Zooniverse and relied heavily upon their lo-fi, DIY asthetic due to a limited budget and the dynamic between the most unlikely double act of pretty boy hipster simpleton Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and uptight jazz aficionado Howard Moon (Julian Barratt)  with sundry characters and surrealist scenarios for them to bounce off. Mutant genetically tampered with species and boxing kangaroos seemed to reference the affection for kids’ TV in the 70s/80s and weird cinematic tropes alike.

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Halfway through the first series, I saw Noel Fielding doing his solo Voodoo Hedgehog live show at the Edinburgh Festival, and a new character, an idiot moon covered in shaving foam, appeared on a screen opposite him (wonder what happened to him?!)

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The second series, set in their retro flat, was far slicker and saw them having magical adventures, mostly outside of their hermetically sealed world. We were introduced to weirdo Boosh legends Old Gregg and The Hitcher, sea funk, Milky Joe, and some supernatural scenarios.

But the third was their Raw Power if you like. The hipster satire was still intact, but the humour went to even darker corners. The setting of the Nabootique gift shop made the series more claustrophobic and restrictive. Crack Fox is probably the most horrible character they’ve yet created, and Rich Fulcher’s groupie Eleanor proved he was oddly sexy in drag.

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Michael Fielding’s acting chops were (bless him) as poor as ever, eyes remained either big or small, and their own attack of the clones, The Flighty Zeus (Tom Meeten and Simon Farnaby) resulting in a unique, four way crimp-off with Bollo and Naboo in tow.

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What I most enjoyed, though, was how the characters became even more extreme, and the humour more unpredictable. The scripts relied on prosaic British references (Duncan Goodhew, posh actor clichés, pop mashups, London decay, etc) while going deeper into surreal pop culture elements: Beefheart-esque styles; nods to avant-garde sixties cinema, The Stones’ Rock n Roll Circus  and

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the prevailing trends at the time (bands like The Horrors, and members of  Dirty Pretty Things and Towers Of London appeared, pastiching themselves.) Gary Numan and Diva Zappa even popped up in little cameos. Best of all though, was Vince and Howard’s utter co-dependency, taken to new, and at times almost homo-erotic, places.

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