The Completely Made Up Adventures of Dick Tuprin

He’s a highwayman who is after our hearts. The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin is one of the best comedies to roll out in 2024. Based on the real highwayman, Dick Turpin, this new series seems to follow the golden formula for a hit show. Start with a time period, root it in a historical moment, add a splash of modernization, amp up the humor, and fill it with a great cast. The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin is the perfect show for fans who are upset over recent cancellations like The Great and Our Flag Means Death.

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Upon its debut, the first two episodes were released on Apple TV, with a new one airing every week through March. Noel Fielding not only stars as Dick Turpin in the series, but he is also one of the writers and executive producers. Recently he stated, “I just forgot that I’d missed that kind of comedy. I love comedy and I love weird comedy, and I’m sort of interested in these magical, fantastical realms, really.”

Who is Dick Turpin?

Historically known as an English highwayman whose adventures were romanticized following his execution. The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin takes the small elements of truth and blows them completely out of the water with silly, and over-the-top comedic antics. For example, in episode one we see Turpin become the leader of the Essex gang, which in reality he was a part of; even if the way he got involved is vastly different.

The story of Dick Turpin has always seemed to be a mix of fact and fiction. Which is why this new series seems perfectly suited. Take the character Elize Bean, played by Dolly Wells, who is a writer who is polishing up Turpin’s tales. Through the first two episodes, we get a good glimpse of the contrast between what is happening and how it is being told to others.

While Elize Bean is more of a secondary plot in the second episode, the small bits we see of this are beautifully crafted to deliver laughs. Not only that, but the parallels between reality and fantasy, are showcased in a variety of ways. This includes the way that certain characters see themselves, Turpin’s dreams, and even random moments like hideaways that aren’t so secret.

It’s Stupid Funny

Noel Fielding said it best when he said “weird comedy,” because that is the best way to describe The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin. Take into consideration the first episode, where we are introduced to all the main players of the Essex Gang.

Dick Turpin is dressed up as a man from the future, with a blue cap and a poncho, walking with his new gang mates who are dressed up in more period appropriate clothing from The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin
Dick Turpin (Noel Fielding), Moose (Marc Wootton), Honesty (Duayne Boachie), Nell (Ellie White)

Nell, played by Ellie White, does nothing to truly hide her female appearance, except for a drawn-on mustache paired with wearing men’s clothes. The fact that Turpin clearly spots this while her other two members are shocked at the revelation, is the best kind of stupid. This only adds to the moment because we had just finished up hearing Moose, played by Marc Wootton, discuss how the ex-leader would make fun of his feminine style of riding. At the same time, this whole bit is wrapped up deliciously when we see the new gang’s attire, which by way of Dick Turpin’s love of fashion, is so random, and yet, somehow just fits.

But it isn’t just big building moments like this or running jokes that are written in the script that leave you laughing. Small things are happening constantly that will grab your attention. Like the constant appearance of the tiny sewing machine, or the random sleep pillow in episode two. Honestly, The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin is a shining example of how a comedy can be completely off the wall, while still being great.

A Delicate Balance

The reason doing humor like this can be so hit or miss is because it takes a certain type of balance. Rocky Horror Picture Show is a great example of this. The original movie is a cult classic because of the camp, but most remakes have utterly failed because the actors try too hard to be over the top.

Honesty and Dick Turpin peaking through a window of a carriage they are about to steal from in The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin
Honesty (Duayne Boachie) and Dick Turpin (Noel Fielding)

For all purposes, The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin feels at times like a more serious comedy, like New Girl or Friends. A series rooted more in the characters’ connections with each other, than outright silliness. These moments are what add the heart to the series, draw the viewers in, and leave a lasting impression.

Then while the viewers are hooked and invested into the story, out of nowhere you are hit by a runaway wheel. This balance comes down to everyone involved in the show; from the actors who deliver on every line, the costuming and prop department, the writers, producers, and even directors. Everyone who is a part of this series, truly understands that delicate balance and it shows.

An artist in the tavern holds up is bad drawing of the new Essex Gang from The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin
Alf the Artist (Jota Castellano)

Along with finding the balance, the writers do a great job at setting up the punchlines. Even when you think you know what’s going to happen, chances are it’s not going to happen exactly as you thought. Take for example the wheel, which you see throughout episode one. Dick Turpin even calls it out multiple times, and yet when the inevitable occurs, you are still left laughing.

The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin is a show worth watching. Put together like a puzzle, with each piece perfectly fitting with another, this show will leave your sides hurting. Even if it looks utterly ridiculous, weird, and downright, stupid; The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin, will steal your heart with its charm.

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Check out the first two episodes of The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin now on Apple TV+ before the third episode airs on March 8.

About The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin

Release Date: March 1, 2024
Created by: Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis, Stuart Lane
Executive producers: Kenton Allen, Victoria Grew, Ben Palmer, Noel Fielding, Matthew Justice
Writers: Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis, Jon Brittain, Stuart Lane, Richard Naylor, Noel Fielding
Distribution: APPLE TV+
Cast: Noel Fielding, Ellie White, Marc Wootton, Hugh Bonneville, Duayne Boachie, Tamsin Greig, Asim Chaudhry, Joe Wilkinson, Mark Heap, Geoff McGivern, Michael Fielding, Kiri Flaherty, Samuel Leakey, Dolly Wells

Synopsis: Dick Turpin is a legendary British motorway robber, whose success is defined mostly by his charm, showmanship, and great hair. Together with his gang of rogues, he sets out on new adventures, all while trying to escape the clutches of a thief-taker.

What did you think of the review? Have you watched The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin yet? Are you a fan of the show? Let us know your thoughts about the series on The Illuminerdi’s social media.

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