Cabin pressure, an audio comedy sitcom review

Hi my hot cute girly and boy geeks.


I’ve been thinking about which review to post next. I completed two books (well audio books really) the last couple of days and I promised you to keep up with my reviews as well as reviewing the books I read last year (thank god for Goodreads) But I also started listening to Cabin Pressure and since the first episode of season four will be on the radio tonight I decided to do this post instead. And I find myself being really busy these last couple of days.

I’ve been increasing the hours at work since my recovery from surgery is going well, I’ve been reading like crazy, still going to the gym twice a week. And since I don’t have my housekeeper any more (I had one after my surgery) I now need to do everything myself again. I swear, when I grow up I’m gonna hire a housekeeper myself, as soon as I can afford one. I’ve also been really busy with social media and thinking of topics for my blog, helping out a friend, thinking of how to woo a nice guy, turning my mum into a geek, get distracted by YouTube video’s, editing my Torchwood story, writing on my other story, thinking on how to adapt yet another story of mine into something completely different, still fail at sleeping properly. I swear one of these days; people are going to mistake me for a vampire.

So I’m gonna cheat a bit on this review and copy a lot of text of the official BBC4 radio website ( and just let you guys know what my thoughts are on this particular show. Because it wouldn’t be fair to get credit for something I didn’t write myself and you know, I think the website did capture it perfectly.

Synopsis according to the official website (see link previously mentioned):

Cabin Pressure is a sitcom about 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 they’re flying squaddies to Hamburg, metal sheets to Mozambique, or an oil exec’s cat to Abu Dhabi, no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult.

It’s written by John Finnemore, writer for The News Quiz, The Now Show, and Mitchell & Webb; and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement, Starter for Ten), Roger Allam (The Thick of It, A Cock and Bull Story) and Stephanie Cole (Doc Martin, Housewife 49).

Character description according to the official website:

CarolyneCarolyn Knapp-Shappey (STEPHANIE COLE) is at last, at 64, free of her awful husband, pleasingly not free of his private jet, and ready to show the world what she’s made of, by running the slickest, most successful, most profitable charter air firm ever seen. And were it not for her crew, plane, and passengers, she would do. An ex-stewardess, and a woman of formidable energy, formidable competence, and formidable formidableness, she is continually frustrated by the incompetence or irresponsibility of the sort of pilots who are prepared to work for the money she’s prepared to pay.

Captain Martin Crieff, for instance. Martin (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) has wanted to be an airline pilot since he was six, and before that he wanted to be an aeroplane. And naamloos2now, in his early thirties, he finally sort of is- although as Carolyn points out, MJN Air is not exactly an airline. You cannot put one aircraft in a line. If it’s anything, it’s an airdot. But nonetheless, Martin is at last a professional pilot, and a captain to boot, which is one in the eye for all those people who told him he’d never make it: parents, teachers, prospective employers… examiners. No doubt other things like spatial awareness, natural authority, and ability to make decisions under pressure will come in time. For now, the main thing is the desperate struggle to stop passengers mistaking him for a steward, a baggage handler, or the YTS lad.

DouglasThis is not something that troubles his trusty First Officer. Douglas Richardson (ROGER ALLAM) is an effortlessly charming, authoritative, dark-brown voiced smooth old sky god. He’s twenty years older than Martin, and spent most of those as a captain for the mighty Air England, before finding himself unexpectedly on the job market after a difference of opinion with Hong Kong customs about whether having seven silk kimonos stitched inside one’s jackets indicated one was a smuggler… or simply a lovable eccentric. Having to sit in the co-pilot’s seat, fly drunken city boys to Biarritz, and then hoover the plane afterwards is not how Douglas imagined the last ten years of his career, but with a wife to support, and two different flavours of alimony to pay, he’s not in a position to be choosy. And on the bright side, there’s Martin to tease, and… well, there’s Martin to tease.

Meanwhile, passenger service is provided by Carolyn’s excitable son, Arthur Shappey. Arthur (JOHN FINNEMORE), like Martin, always wanted to a pilot, and, like Martin, was Arthuralways told by everyone he’d never make it, and so, unlike Martin… he isn’t one. However, his Mum has let him be the steward, and his boundless enthusiasm for his new role is only matched by his boundless enthusiasm for pretty much everything else he ever sees or does. He’s particularly delighted to be allowed to serve Martin and Douglas- in his unshakeable opinion the two greatest aviators to take to the skies since Wilbur and Orville.

My Thoughts (this is actually something that is written by me and not copied of the official website):


A friend of mine from Italy pointed out this show to me on facebook. The fact that it has Benedict Cumberbatch in it and I am sort of in love with his voice made it into a no-brainer for me to get my hands on some copies and listen to all the seasons in just under 2 days. It is absolutely hilarious. I think my neighbours are a bit spooked my me, cause I listen to them on Cabin Pressure, recordingmy mp-3 player while I’m at home. So they only hear me laugh and not that I’m playing some music or watching TV. And my god did I laugh.

How could you not? MJN airlines, or My Jet Now, that is just brilliant. Stephanie is playing such a good role of the divorced former stewardess, trying to run this airline with her stupid Cabin Pressure, spot the Lemonson, a pilot who is insecure as hell and works for free and a first officer who is far too smart for his own good. She is constantly tired by keeping them all in check, working out schemes to get a profit and just being sarcastically as hell.

Benedict Cumberbatch, I swear, if the man was reciting his grocery list I would still listen to it. That voice… But he is so funny. I’ve seen him act in Sherlock and immediately loved his acting work, being al serious and playing an awkward Sherlock, caring for the people around him while maintaining his own claimed sociopathic status. In this role it’s completely different. He is actually funny! And I somehow wish they would make this into an actual series on TV. Just to see him act instead of listen to him. How he constantly must remind everyone he is indeed the captain of the airplane, never wins a game from his first officer, being torn between the threats that his boss makes and the constant not so serious advice from his first officer. And actually a soft sweet spot when you listen to the Christmas episode. And I find it funny that he plays a short character in this audio comedy sitcom, because in real life he is 6ft (1.83m) which is quite tall. I wonder what Sherlock would to say about Martin if they ever met…


Cabin Pressure Martin and DouglassRoger Allem in the role of faithful first officer, well, not exactly faithful. He looks like the captain, sounds like the captain, was a captain once before, knows everything a captain needs knowing and is really smart. He comes up with all these schemes, loves to tease Martin (Benedict) tries to fool everyone around him and not entirely sure he only does it for amusement or is actually kinda mean. But he does play it rather well.

John Finnemore playing Arthur. To keep on the Sherlock thing, he is like a 5 year old Watson. Has this huge admiration for everything Captain Martin says and does, thinks everything is brilliant. The only difference being he is dense as can be. He’s always cheerful, always sees the best in people, admires everyone that is smarter than he is (not that difficult really) believes everything you tell him and just has this thing that you don’t know whether to cuddle him for being so dense and cute or Cabin Pressure 2strangle him because he is always so damn cheerful and happy and annoying.

By the way, Anthony Steward Head has a small part in it as well, playing Herc, another Captain and a love interest for Carolyn.

But the series is really brilliant, funny, withy, well written and well played. The interaction between the characters is amazing and the trouble they get into and how they get out of it is something that just keeps you enthralled to listen to it more.


I actually rate this really high and I’m giving it 9 out of 10. And as you know me, I don’t grate that high that often. An absolute must hear, so catch it tonight on BBC4 radio at 18.30 UK time, if you go to the website you can listen to it on the BBC player, even outside of the UK (I checked) so once again the link:

Cabin Pressure

And until my next review, love your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy


About hotcutegirlygeek

Hi I’m Mendy, 30, live in the Netherlands together with my lovely cat Sir James. I’m a social worker who works with drug addicts and homeless people by day and a geek, avid blogger and aspiring author by heart. I read, write, blog, bake and create. More about Hot Cute Girly Geek

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