Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Flumps: Episodes 9 - 13

The Flumps Episode 9
Lend a Hand:- Includes the "Hands" Song.
Mother Flump is baking in the kitchen and asks Pootle for a hand. She is very pleased with the help he gives her. He then goes and helps Grandfather Flump with the polishing of his Flumpet. Grandfather Flump shows him some tricks with some cards. Pootle goes off to see if anyone else needs a hand or two. Father Flump is sanding down some wood. He is not really able to help as Father Flump is doing tricky work. Pootle then goes and helps Posie but gets all tangled up in Posie's wool.
Pootle helps out Pootle helps Grandfather Flump Grandfather Flump shows him a trick or two
Pootle helps Perkin Father Flump and Mother Flump in the kitchen Time for tea
Pootle goes and watches Perkin who is busy planting in the garden. He helps with some potting. Grandfather Flump arrives to offer some help as well. Pootle finds that he is a little tired after all the morning's work. He goes and plays with Posie, before going in for some nice freshly baked jam tarts.
The Flumps Episode 10
Quiet Please:- Includes the "Flowerpot" music played by the Flumps.
It was a very noisy morning at the Flumps. Father Flump was busy cutting wood. Pootle was busy walking on squeaky creaky floor boards. Grandfather Flump is playing the Flumpet rather loudly. Posie and Perkin are playing snap with a pack of cards. Only Mother Flump is being quiet and she tells everyone that she has a headache. Father Flump suggests a rest in his comfy chair whilst he goes and makes her a cup of herb tea. The other Flumps all promise to be quiet in order to let Mother Flump rest. Just as Mother Flump settles down, Father Flump wakes her up by pouring water into the kettle. The creaky floorboards walked on by Pootle, awaken Mother Flump again. Pootle says he is sorry and the children leave the room.
A very noisy morning in the Flump's house Mother Flump has a headache The floorboards are making an awful noise
Father Flump makes Mother Flump a cup of herb tea Posie shows Pootle a book about animals The Pootles play some music
Posie shows Pootle a book about animals and the noises they make. Mother Flump eventually comes into the room. She has had a good rest and her headache has gone much to the delight of the other Flumps. Father Flump and Grandfather Flump decide to fix the squeaky floorboards.
The Flumps Episode 11
Grandfather's Birthday:- Includes the "No one has remembered my Birthday" Song.
Grandfather Flump got up rather late today. He is the last to finish breakfast. He suddenly remembers that it is his birthday today. There are no presents, no cards and no one has wished him a happy birthday yet. Everyone must have forgotten him. He decides to go and jog their memories. Mother Flump is in the kitchen and Grandfather Flump tries to find out if she is baking anything special. Mother Flump avoids the question and gives him the impression that she does not know what today is apart from being tomato soup day. He goes away and finds Perkin. Perkin is making a picture for Grandfather Flump. Posie sees him coming and quickly takes the picture away. Grandfather Flump tries to see if Perkin has remembered but goes away disappointed. He next finds Posie, Father Flump and Pootle but none of them give the game away. Has no one remembered his birthday?
It is Grandfather Flump's Birthday Perkin does not let on Pootle has made a card
Posie also has a present She hides it as Grandfather Flump arrives Father is busy in his workshop
Grandfather Flump thinks everyone has forgotten A party for Grandfather Flump Lots of presents and a big cake
Grandfather Flump goes outside and believes everyone has forgotten his birthday. He is really sad and is feeling sorry for himself. Pootle and Posie eventually come out and bring Grandfather Flump in. A surprise party is waiting inside for him. He is overjoyed and so pleased that they all remembered.
The Flumps Episode 12
What a Carrot:- Includes the "The Dreaded Blight" Song.
The plants in the Flump's allotment are not growing very well. Father Flump and Grandfather Flump are very perplexed as to the reason why. They all decide to get their morning break (seed cake slices). Mother Flump reads them a poem about a great gardener called Uncle Weatherby. His garden was superb but he always wanted to grow plants that would not normally grow. Posie suggests that they talk to the plants in order to encourage them to grow. Perkin does the talking, whilst Pootle pretends to be a rain cloud whilst Posie pretends to be the sun.
The vegetables are not growing The Flumps gather to try and find out why Mother Flump brings out old Weatherby's book
The children talk to the plants Time to harvest the carrots What a Carrot
Grandfather Flump finds that the plants will not grow because of "The Blight." The book gives them a method of dealing with the dreaded blight. The potion works a treat and all the vegetables are splendid. One vegetable, the carrot, however, has not made an appearance so Father Flump tries out his new potion on the carrot plant. Some days later Pootle remembers the carrot and so tries to pull it up. Pootle cannot, so Perkin has a go. He fails and so everyone pulls together and eventually the biggest carrot you ever saw comes out of the ground.
The Flumps Episode 13
Where's Grandfather:- Includes the "Where is Grandfather" Song.
Mother Flump is Spring cleaning the family home. Everywhere she looks, she finds things the children have lost. She decides to start a lost property box. Father Flump arrives in the room. He has a sore throat and seem to be losing his voice. Pootle suggests that he looks for it in the lost property box. Mother Flump has some medicine that will make him feel better. Grandfather Flump has lost his glasses, they are actually on the back of his head but he does not know they are there. Grandfather Flump gets everyone mixed up when he cannot see who they are. Posie can see the glasses and so can Perkin. Pootle finally tells Grandfather Flump where they are. The children decide to play hunt the thimble. Pootle hides it and Posie and Perkin search for it. Pootle has hidden the thimble on his hat and eventually Posie spots it.
Mother Flump is busy Spring cleaning Pootle finds some of his lost things Grandfather cannot find his glasses
The childen play hide and seek Posie finds Perkin and Pootle The children now search for Grandfather Flump
Perkin is not happy and so decides that they should play hide and seek. Posie counts to twenty whilst Pootle and Perkin hide. She reaches twenty and then goes off in search of them. It is not very easy to find them and she is about to give up when she sees them behind the wall. The boys then count to twenty whilst Posie hides. Perkin and Pootle cannot find her. Eventually she turns up when Mother Flump arrives looking for Grandfather Flump. It is tea time and the bread pudding will get cold if he does not hurry up. The children go and hunt for Grandfather Flump. They search everywhere but cannot find a trace of him. The children stumble across a newspaper, a polishing cloth and then they find the Flumpet. These are all clues as to where Grandfather Flump is. Suddenly they can hear the sound of snoring from someone in the workshop. Inside they find Grandfather Flump having forty winks. Perkin shouts that it is teatime and Grandfather Flump wakes in an instant. they all head in for tea with hot bread pudding.

The Beatles Plate Collection

The Beatles 1967-1970 Plate Collection was an incredibly striking collection of six 8" LIMITED EDITION commemorative plates, produced by the world renowned Delphi hallmark in association with Apple Corps Ltd. Each beautifully crafted porcelain plate is adorned with a different Diane Sivavec image of the group, depicting a landmark event in the final years of the band's decorated career. The series consists of the following titles: Sgt. Pepper, All You Need Is Love, Magical Mystery Tour, Hey Jude, Abbey Road and Let It Be.
The Beatles,Complete The Beatles 1967-1970 Plate Collection,UK,Deleted,MEMORABILIA,507748

Minder - The Dennis Waterman years

Dunno about you guys but I thought Minder went down the pan after Dennis Waterman departed. Didn't like Gary Webster one bit.
Minder was a comedy-drama about the London criminal underworld. Initially produced by Verity Lambert, it was made by Euston Films, a subsidiary of Thames Television (Central in 1993 and 1994) and shown on ITV. The show ran for ten series between 29 October 1979 and 10 March 1994, and starred Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, an honest and likable bodyguard (minder in London slang) and George Cole as Arthur Daley, a socially ambitious but highly unscrupulous importer-exporter, wholesaler, used-car salesman, and anything else from which there was money to be made whether inside the law or not. The show was largely responsible for putting the word Minder, meaning personal bodyguard, into the UK and Australian popular lexicon. The characters often drank at the local members-only Winchester Club, where owner and barman Dave (Glynn Edwards) acted often unwillingly as a message machine for Arthur, and turned a blind eye to his shady deals. The series was notable for using a range of leading British actors, as well as many up-and-coming performers before they hit the big time.

Minder was devised as a vehicle for Dennis Waterman after his success in The Sweeney, though the emphasis increasingly focused more on George Cole as the wheeler-dealer. The show had a lukewarm start, not helped by being delayed by a nine-week technicians' strike which effectively blacked out the ITV network. In the light of initially poor viewing figures the show faced the axe but a plea by Thames' managing director Bryan Cowgill to other board members saved the show. By series three the show had become a major hit, and the jewel in ITV's Drama crown.

Terry is a former professional Boxer who has served time in prison (Wormwood Scrubs) ("two years for GBH and three for attempted armed robbery" according to a police sergeant in the first episode, "Gunfight at the OK Laundrette"), having served a substantial term because he would not grass up his co-accused. With few options, Terry is employed as Arthur's minder on vague and ungenerous terms. In the title sequence, Arthur is shown meeting him at the prison gates following his release. He drives a white Ford Capri which was either bought or given as part of his employment deal (he drives a copper coloured Capri in some mid-run episodes), and a silver Capri in others. Terry enjoys a drink but usually responsibly, does not smoke and has an eye for the ladies. Despite his incarceration, he is honest, trustworthy and loyal, particularly to Arthur, although the scrapes that Arthur lands him in make him wonder why.

Arthur is a mid-level professional criminal of rather mature years, a minor con man eternally in dodgy dealings, usually seen puffing inexpensive Castella Panatella cigars. He typically drives a Jaguar (first a silver Jaguar XJ6 Series 2, then a pale primrose Daimler Sovereign Series 3) Also in Series 3, he drives a silver Merceds, notably in the episode "Back in Good Old England". In the Series 3 episode Broken Arrow, Arthur drives a Ford Granada Mk.II but as it is in for repair due to accident damage, he is forced to borrow a friends customised Chevrolet Corvette C3 Stingray that he is trying to sell. In the Series 7 episode "It's a Sorry Lorry Morrie", Arthur is down on his luck and has to resort to driving a clapped out mustard yellow Ford Granada Mk.II. In the special episode, "An Officer and a Car Salesman", Arthur has moved up in the world, and drives a yellow Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

He survives by his wiles and self-belief, and exploits everyone, especially Terry. He is always trying to make a quick quid and his schemes usually backfire and leave him either in debt to local underworld figures, or with his activities coming under the scrutiny of the police (or often a combination of both) - with Terry ultimately being left to sort out the mess and get him out of trouble. Arthur thinks of himself as an "entrepreneur", but his tailored three-piece suits, Jaguar and social affectations do not disguise his working class accent and origins. Arthur tests Terry's patience with dishonest and doomed schemes to make money ("nice little earners"), then uses his cunning to persuade Terry to stay with him. In the same way, Arthur manipulates friends such as Dave of Arthur's haunt (the private, if downmarket, "Winchester Club"). Arthur refers to his wife, who never appeared, as "'er indoors"; the implication that she is a fierce and formidable woman is reinforced by the appearance of actress Claire Davenport (famous for such roles) as her sister. Arthur is not above bending the law and sometimes attracts the keen attention of the local police. Despite being the one who has served time, it is Terry who serves as the show’s moral conscience, keeping Arthur from straying too far outside the law and persuading him to do the right thing whether Arthur likes it or not. The name Arthur Daley has become synonymous with a dishonest salesman or small time crook.

With Arthur's dodgy schemes, the duo encounter undesirable underworld figures, many of whom Arthur deals with and many of whom turn nasty, leaving Terry to fight and outwit their way out of trouble. But for all Arthur's obsession with get-rich-quick schemes, he is never malicious, and the pair often end up putting some other wrong right. Most of Arthur's schemes fail in the end, owing to his greediness, but he does occasionally have the odd minor victory and puts one over on the law or more serious criminals.

The series was conceived for Dennis Waterman, to follow The Sweeney, in which he co-starred as Detective Sergeant George Carter, which had finished its run the previous year. Indeed, as the title Minder suggests, Terry was to be the lead and Arthur, a secondary character, would find different tasks for Terry each episode. However, the rapport between Dennis Waterman and George Cole was evident and quickly became popular. The focus shifted to feature Terry and Arthur more evenly, with more screen time to Arthur and his dealings. Barman Dave (whose last name was given on a couple of occasions as Harris) at first made only occasional appearances, but the rapport between Arthur (and Terry) and Dave also become popular and by the second series he too was given more screen time.

Despite its eventual success, Minder was a slow burner. The first series, although critically acclaimed, did not attract large audiences because it began soon after the 1979 ITV Strike, when the channel was struggling to recover its previous audience. Management at Thames were intent on scrapping the show but managing director Bryan Cowgill persuaded them to commission one further series and repeat the first. Both attracted huge audiences.

The tone of the programme in series one and two, and much of series three, mixed poignant drama and action sequences with offbeat comic moments. As the series progressed over 15 years, more emphasis was placed on the comedic aspects of the minder-principal relationship, and the show became more a comedy driven by a dramatic plot. Social Satire played a strong part throughout the series, grounded in the cinematic and social ethos of the 1980s. In the earlier series Terry would succeed in seducing a 'dolly bird', resulting in at least one scene of female semi-nudity per episode, though as the series became more popular these instances were reduced. And although always an element of the series, the fights—common and brutal in early episodes—were also toned down and became less frequent.

The series has a number of parallels with long-running BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses, with both being set in London, both involving lovable dodgy dealers with endless get-rich-quick schemes which invariably backfire (and both of whom tried to make out to be of a higher status than they really were), and both having a blend of comedy and drama. Indeed, Only Fools... creator / writer John Sullivan has claimed that one of the ways he persuaded the BBC to commission the series was by pointing to the success of ITV's Minder, which had begun the previous year. After both having lukewarm starts, both series went on to became huge hits, and share much of the same fan base. One Christmas, specials of Only Fools... and Minder were scheduled against each other, angering many viewers (in the days before Video recorders were commonplace in UK homes).

The show was a number of times said to have come to its end, only to reappear. For example, in 1984, TV Times reported that series 5 would be the last. In 1985, it again seemed as if that the current series was the last one, and it was off-air (bar repeats) for three years, to reappear in 1988. This series appeared to be the last as Dennis Waterman announced his departure at the end of its run. However, after a two and a half-year break, the show was back again for a further two and a half-year run which ended with the tenth series in 1994. For many years, it appeared that Minder was off-air for good, until the 2008 announcement that the show was to return again then end again in the same year it returned during its eleventh series.

The series inspired a hit single, "Arthur Daley (E's Alright)" by The Firm, which made the UK Top 20 in 1982. George Cole and Dennis Waterman released a Christmas record in 1983 called "What are we Gonna Get 'Er Indoors?" which reached No. 21 in the charts. The duo performed it on Top of the Pops on 22 December 1983.

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