I’m not a huge fan of the sketch format, and maybe I’ve been spoiled by Jam, but I am a fan of Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, Amelia Bullmore, Kevin Eldon, and Julia Davis, so I’m giving Big Train a try. Big Train (1998-2002) is Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews’ comedy sketch show. It’s poppy, with an in-your-face title sequence and a laugh track. I remember seeing the Do You Speak English sketch eons ago when I first discovered Spaced. This is one of the better sketches, as it comes to its logical conclusion, whereas many sketches end too soon with no real landing of the joke. There’s a horse who commits suicide. There’s a squib-happy shoot-out that ends with Eldon getting blown to bits and Pegg screaming “Noooo!” There’s an office scene that seems just designed to show off Mark Heap’s juggling skills. There’s a radio DJ with children enslaved to write puns for him.
In the first two episodes, the only sketch I really liked was about jockeys and firefighters, largely because the acting is so convincing. They cast mimics the body language of children with alarming accuracy and subtlety.