Day: December 14, 2015

The Beiderbecke Affair – tape 307

Here’s some episodes of The Beiderbecke Affair, Alan Plater’s lovely, quiet comedy about middle-aged love and the ‘white’ economy. The first episode here is episode 4, Um… I Know What You’re Thinking. The police had made a raid on Big Al’s church warehouse, but found nothing illegal. Jill’s campaign meeting was sabotaged, and nobody turned up – except for Trevor’s ex-fiancée.

It’s a mystery who told the police about Big Al’s warehouse, until Trevor’s ex, Helen, tells him that a man with a dog was putting a ‘cancelled’ sign on the sign for Jill’s meeting, so Al and Trevor find the man with the dog and give him a thorough grilling, and under their relentless pressure he admits he told the police about Al’s warehouse, and he sabotaged the meeting, under orders from a man in the betting shop. But when he tells them he heard the name MacAllister in a conversation with the man in the betting shop Trevor gets interested – MacAllister is Helen’s father’s name, a man who owns parts of chemists, restaurants and other businesses.

In the next episode, Sgt Hobson tries to ‘fit up’ Trevor by planting a stolen electric toothbrush in his flat. Helen makes some calls and Trevor is released but when he’s invited to Sunday lunch with Mr MacAllister, and he tells Trevor to stop seeing Jill, and stop associating with Big Al, Trevor tells him where to go.

So Jill puts together a dossier on the MacAllisters, and Chief Superintendent Forrest (Colin Blakely) who are all involved in corruption on the planning committee, and passes it to Sgt Hobson.

And in the final episode, the day of the election comes, Jill gets 54 votes, Hobson delivers his dossier, supplemented by several files of affidavits procured by Big Al and Little Norm, and Hobson is able to arrest the two MacAllisters, and sees Inspector Forrest summoned to an interview with the Chief Constable.

I love this show. It’s understated, but filled with lovely performances, and a quiet, witty script from Alan Plater, and, as my daughter remarked, a distinct lack of yelling and drama. Plus some trad jazz on the soundtrack.

After the third episode, there’s the start of an episode of the health programme The Treatment. There’s a report on a recent paper which suggests that vitamins help improve children’s IQ, with the doctor in the studio doing a good job of rubbishing the report and criticising its methodology and poor statistics. Like a 1980s Ben Goldacre.

The tape ends after five minutes of this programme.

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  • One to One – partwork
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