Dr Plonk (Nigel Lunghi) and his mute assistant, Paulus (Paul Blackwell), are working in Plonk’s laboratory. Mrs Plonk (Magda Szubanski) slips on a banana skin discarded by Paulus.
The first scene of Dr Plonk pays tribute to one of the most frequently used and reliable props in silent comedy – the banana peel. Audiences in 1907 knew that once a banana appeared somebody was bound to slip over, and nothing has changed a century later. In this case the honour goes to Mrs Plonk, played by popular comedienne Magda Szubanski (Babe, 1995; Kath and Kim, 2002–07).
Also noteworthy is the authentic look of the film. Cinematographer Judd Overton shot Dr Plonk on expired film stock and used a hand-wound motor such as that used in the silent era. Seen at the beginning of this clip, the archival footage of Adelaide in the early 20th century convincingly matches the new material.