Sometimes, you are lucky enough to stumble upon something that adds value to your life in an unexpected way. Such is the case with the largely unknown, vastly underrated, yet ceaselessly entertaining radio sitcom that is Cabin Pressure.
All those adjectives for a 'Radio Sitcom', you say? Absolutely yes. I would be willing to pit Cabin Pressure against ANY current TV sitcom; it's THAT good. Quality writing, wonderful acting, and serious laughs abound.
So what's it all about? So glad you asked. The plot revolves around the global adventures of four main characters, all employees of a small Airline Charter Firm, MJN Air: Captain (Lest you forget) Martin Crieff, First Officer Douglas Richardson, Owner/Manager Carolyn Knappe-Schappe, and her son, Steward Arthur Schappe.
Martin (played by the surprisingly hilarious Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, THAT Benedict Cumberbatch) is a Captain severely lacking in self confidence. While he has wanted to be a Captain nearly his entire life (before that his desire was to be an airplane), he has had quite a lot of trouble achieving that goal (failing his test multiple times before landing the job at MJN). Martin is the straight character of the bunch- now that he has achieved his dream, he is a stickler for rules and procedures, though he generally still makes a mess of things, especially when goaded by Douglas.
Douglas (played by the perfectly cast Roger Allam) is nearly the opposite of Martin in every way. He is a veteran pilot; he was actually a Captain at Air England before being fired (for smuggling). Despite his overly relaxed and cocky manner, he is still a tad bitter at the fact that he is First Officer (being a vastly superior pilot). He is generally always looking for way to make Martin uncomfortable. He is also nearly always assumed to be the Captain by passengers, adding to his smugness (and vexing Martin to no end).
Carolyn (played with potent superiority by Stephanie Cole) is the owner and manager of MJN. She acquired GERTI (the airplane) from her ex-husband in their divorce settlement, and has since been using it mainly to spite him. Thus the name MJN ('My Jet Now'). She is fiery, sarcastic, and independent, and generally doesn't suffer fools gladly. Unfortunately she works mainly WITH fools.
Arthur (played with simplistic and effervescent joy by the writer of CP, John Finnemore) is the slightly dim, yet eternally cheerful 28 year old son of Carolyn. He is generally known for his irrepressible joy (even if he is a bit slow on the uptake). There is nothing he loves more than flying on the airplane with his heroes, Martin and Douglas. His overzealousness often leads to many of the crews misadventures. I truly believe Finnemore deserves awards for his performance (not to mention his writing).
Over the span of the 6 episodes of Series 1, you will be whisked along with these four as they attempt to run a profitable, and reputable, airline. Or at least keep it from completely falling apart. Along the way, you will have more fun (and laughs) than you have had in a long, long time. After 3 hours, you'll wonder where the time went.
Well, you're in luck! There's 3 more seasons, all just as funny as the last. Hop on board! We'll be taking off soon.
"MJN Air: putting the adventure back into flying. Sometimes...too much so."