We've already mentioned the undeniable pedigree of Toast's creators and their previous successes in TV-land, but a comedy show is nothing without a stellar cast. Matt Berry is superb as the slightly worn-down but eternally optimistic Steven Toast, with his often-quirky vocal delivery and real-life musical abilities coming into play at various points during each episode. Doon Mackichan (Smack The Pony, Brass Eye) stars as Toast's prim and proper (and slightly off the wall) agent Jane Plough (pronounced ‘Pluff’), with Harry Peacock (son of Trevor, The Vicar Of Dibley's Jim “No No No No No No No No... Yes” Trott) camping it up as Toast's nemesis Ray Purchase. Throw in some unexpected guest stars and cameos from Peter ‘Doctor Who’ Davison (and his foul-mouthed council estate girlfriend) and Mad Men's Jon Hamm (who Toast spends an entire episode falling in love with) among others, it's a wonderful ensemble that ensures each episode offers something different to the last.
In an era of ‘safe’ comedies such as Miranda and Citizen Khan, the delightfully absurd surrealism of Toast of London feels like a breath of fresh air. Having now reached its third series, you might almost expect the premise of the show to start wearing a little thin, but thanks to the imagination, creativity and, in the nicest possible way, silliness of its creators and cast, each episode of Toast manages to be consistently amusing. Occasional jokes might not quite hit their intended marks, and it's possible that some viewers might not take too well to some of the language and bawdiness (prepare yourself for a couple of C-bombs, if you're sensitive to that kind of thing), but there's always something ridiculous waiting just around the corner to raise a smile.
This DVD release also adds a few extra bits and pieces which fans of the series are sure to enjoy. A near 20-minute interview with Matt Berry discussing the music of Toast is a highlight, and there is almost half an hour of behind the scenes footage filmed with various members of the cast and crew. Add in a few out-takes, a deleted scene (just the one, sadly), photos, and storyboards, and you end up with a package that no fan of the show (or fan of this type of comedy) should be without.
TOAST OF LONDON - SERIES THREE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MICHAEL CUMMING / SCREENPLAY: MATT BERRY, ARTHUR MATHEWS / STARRING: MATT BERRY, ROBERT BATHURST, DOON MACKICHAN, HARRY PEACOCK, TRACY ANN OBERMAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW