Mammoth (2024)

In this post, Jamie Dyer writes about the new three-episode BBC sitcom Mammoth. Please note: there may be some spoilers.

What would you do if you were frozen for 45 years from today? What do you think would have changed? Would your distilled present still be acceptable decades from now? And would your friends, who have had the chance to evolve with the times, still find some common ground? All of these questions and more are touched upon in the new BBC comedy Mammoth.

In 1979, Tony Mammoth was a PE teacher with a girl in his life and a best friend by his side. One day while skiing with the class, he gets frozen under the ice. He awakens 45 years later, unaltered in any way, and attempts to resume his life where he left off; Only things have changed, and Mammoth has to adapt.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series, created by and starring Mike Bubbins as the title character. He perfectly embodies the vision of an ordinary guy from the 70s. He drives a Ford Capri, sports a Burt Reynolds moustache and exudes overconfidence from a world before political correctness. He loves nothing more than a night down the pub with his mates.

The show does a great job of positioning him as a fish out of water from various angles. He gains employment at his former school but immediately comes up against a change in attitude. Lucy, played by Mali Ann Rees, is head of P.E and tries to keep him in line. Though his attempts at finding common ground are clunky (and horrifying), there is a degree of friendly warmth between them.

The supporting cast as a whole is great. Tony’s best friend from the 70s, Roger, is now living in a retirement home, played brilliantly by Joseph Marcell. This pairing is sometimes satisfyingly retro: such as in their longing for female company and their inept attitudes towards finding it. But there is an added brilliance in the paradox of a character in his mid-80s schooling ostensibly a middle-aged man on modern life. Their scenes with their friend Barry, played by William Thomas, in his time-warp pub are some of the funniest scenes throughout this 3 episode run.

Sian Gibson is sublime–as ever–and very believable as Mel. They soon discover that Mel is the daughter who was born after his snowy demise. Joel James Davison’s performance as Mel’s son Theo, one of Tony’s students and–as it turns out–his grandson, is very pleasing in its sincere subtlety. His embarrassment at his newly discovered Grandad will strike a chord with many generations, who have experienced parents with out-of-their-time humour and attitudes.

I must praise this show for the references to 70s popular culture. Instead of the usual tired narratives portrayed in this type of scenario, Mammoth feels unaffected by what has lasted through the ages, or even what is now considered taboo. There is a scene in which Mammoth makes several lists of people who have passed since his time. A lead up to an impression of a disgraced media personality feels like it would normally have landed on the cutting room floor quickly, but its inclusion makes Mammoth feel more genuine; Unaware of what has happened in 45 years, before being updated hurriedly by Roger. References to The Professionals are plenty, and they also help to ground his character in an era.

Another note about this series is that the legendary American composer Mike Post worked on the theme music for this series. His list of TV credits includes Law & Order, The A-Team, The Rockford Files, Quantum Leap, Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser. His name can be seen on many an American TV show! To have enlisted the help of such a famous composer gives this series an enormous amount of street cred. It makes the opening title sequence feel more genuine with an element of loving pastiche.


Mammoth is a funny show with plenty of moments that will make you laugh out loud. Whether you remember the time that Tony Mammoth originates from, or you’re a fan of the era, this show will have something for you. I was disappointed this show only got three episodes because this premise has so much potential. Hopefully if it is well received, Mammoth can live some more. Highly reccommended.

All three episodes of Mammoth are available on BBC iPlayer.

Did you watch Mammoth? What did you make of it? Let us know by leaving your comments below. Alternatively, you can email with the subject heading “Mammoth Review” and let us know your thoughts.

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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