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Cabin Pressure: The Complete Series 1 (2008)

by John Finnemore

Other authors: Roger Allam (Actor), Stephanie Cole (Actress), Benedict Cumberbatch (Actor), John Sessions (Actor), Geoffrey Whitehead (Actor)

Series: Cabin Pressure (1)

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335722,763 (4.59)9
Performing Arts. Nonfiction. Humor (Nonfiction.) HTML:

Cabin Pressure is set in the wing and a prayer world of a tiny, one-plane charter airline; staffed by two pilots, one on his way down, and one who was never up to start with. Whether flying actresses to Italy, cricketers to the Sahara, or a cat to Abu Dhabi, no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult.

Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, MJN Air's formidable boss, has employed two of the very cheapest pilots money can buy: Captain Martin Crieff, who's always wanted to fly and won't let a little thing like lack of ability stop him, and First Officer Douglas Richardson, smooth-voiced old sky god and eternal schemer. Passenger service is provided by the relentlessly cheery Arthur, proud inventor of both Surprising Rice and his own hat.

Written by John Finnemore (John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, The Now Show), Cabin Pressure stars Stephanie Cole as Carolyn, Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin, Roger Allam as Douglas and John Finnemore as Arthur.

'The more I listen to John Finnemore's Cabin Pressure, the more I think what a stonking masterpiece it is. Perfect in every department.' ?? Philip Pullman

'Unexpectedly brilliant' - Time Out

'An inspired new sitcom' ?? Observer… (more)

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
{First of 4; Cabin Pressure series. Comedy, audio book/ radio play} (2008)

Episodes: Abu Dhabi, Boston, Cremona, Douz, Edinburgh, Fitton

I got hit by a book bullet from (MickyFine) for this which I borrowed as an audiobook although it is actually six episodes of a radio play, from BBC Radio 4, about an airline called MJN ('My Jet Now') with a fleet of a grand total of one aircraft, called Gerti, running on a very tight budget.

Carolyn: I don't have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an air dot.


It has a star cast (from British entertainment); the four regulars are Stephanie Cole (as the owner and stewardess), pilot Benedict Cumberbatch, first officer Roger Allam and steward John Finnemore, who also created and wrote the show, with guests coming on as passengers, air traffic controllers etc. Each episode features Gerti flying to a different destination (whether she reaches it or not) and issues with cargo, passengers, foreign paperwork, whisky, lemons ... not helped by Douglas's (Allam) attempts to belittle the less experienced Martin (Cumberbatch) by misinforming him (which tend to backfire on the whole enterprise) or by Arthur's (Finnemore) well meaning but often disastrous attempts to help.

Arthur: Aha, my signature dish. Behold! Surprising Rice.
Douglas: Good lord!
Martin: What are those bits?
Arthur: Ah, you see, Skipper, if you don't mind me saying so, that question is entirely against the spirit of Surprising Rice.


We listened to these episodes over a few family dinners; my husband and I really enjoyed them and even the kids appreciated the show. In this day and age, that's pretty high endorsement. My eleven year old giggled when Douglas described himself as calling from 'the pointy end' over the intercom. My sixteen year old liked Douglas's character while I had to do mental gymnastics compressing Sherlock down when Martin is described as a small man.

Martin: But I have always wanted to be an airline captain.
Douglas: Really?
Martin: Yes, ever since I was six.
Douglas: Oh, and before that?
Martin: I wanted to be an aeroplane.


Recommended. Short, sharp and sweet, like a good lemon meringue pie.

4.5 stars ( )
  libraian | Jun 4, 2020 |
So good.

Incredibly funny, heartwarming, and very British - just the thing I needed right now. I’ve listened to the whole thing a couple of times now, and it doesn’t lose its humor with the passing of years.

If you need a pick me during this time (and who doesn’t, let’s be honest), I heartily recommend it. ( )
  tetiana.90 | Apr 28, 2020 |
Cabin Pressure follows the crew of a small, one-plane airline on their sometimes peculiar, sometimes disastrous trips through across the world. This is one of the funniest shows ever - the cast is brilliant, the writing brilliant, the situational comedy spot on. Love it. ( )
  -Eva- | Jun 21, 2019 |
Quite simply the funniest thing I have ever listened to. Brilliant! ( )
  angelaoatham | Feb 21, 2017 |
This is good old fashioned comedy brought up to date. It does not wittily lampoon the political system or shock with language that, whilst one may use experimentally after hitting one's thumb with a hammer, one would prefer the children to believe is a complete mystery to one of your age.

The antithesis of the above is so much part of modern comedy that a lot of humour that tries to buck the trend, becomes puerile. Not so this one: if I do not laugh out loud, at least five times during an episode, then it is a rare dud. None of this first series falls into that category and I am delighted to report that second and third hearings have not dulled the comic value.

A description of the characters may sound formulaic; there is the curmudgeonly old owner of a curmudgeonly old aircraft, her pilots - one clever, the other less so and a gullible male flight attendant. Were the script to be poorly written, or the actors of modest ability, then this charge stick, but the writing is so crisp, the crew so accomplished that this series is pure joy. Oh, by the way, I liked it!

If you have not had the pleasure of hearing Cabin Pressure you are lucky - not because it is bad, but because the delight still awaits you: remedy the situation immediately, you will not regret it! ( )
2 vote the.ken.petersen | Aug 3, 2012 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Finnemoreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allam, RogerActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cole, StephanieActresssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cumberbatch, BenedictActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sessions, JohnActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitehead, GeoffreyActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, First Officer Douglas Richardson here. ("Abu Dhabi")
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I don't have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an air dot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Performing Arts. Nonfiction. Humor (Nonfiction.) HTML:

Cabin Pressure is set in the wing and a prayer world of a tiny, one-plane charter airline; staffed by two pilots, one on his way down, and one who was never up to start with. Whether flying actresses to Italy, cricketers to the Sahara, or a cat to Abu Dhabi, no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult.

Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, MJN Air's formidable boss, has employed two of the very cheapest pilots money can buy: Captain Martin Crieff, who's always wanted to fly and won't let a little thing like lack of ability stop him, and First Officer Douglas Richardson, smooth-voiced old sky god and eternal schemer. Passenger service is provided by the relentlessly cheery Arthur, proud inventor of both Surprising Rice and his own hat.

Written by John Finnemore (John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, The Now Show), Cabin Pressure stars Stephanie Cole as Carolyn, Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin, Roger Allam as Douglas and John Finnemore as Arthur.

'The more I listen to John Finnemore's Cabin Pressure, the more I think what a stonking masterpiece it is. Perfect in every department.' ?? Philip Pullman

'Unexpectedly brilliant' - Time Out

'An inspired new sitcom' ?? Observer

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