A BBC Pebble Mill production. Colour. 7 x 40 minute episodes.|
Broadcast dates for original UK transmission on BBC1.
Writer: Tim Firth
Directors: Chris Bernard [1-4] and Rick Stroud [5-7]
Producer: Bernard Krichefski
Executive Producer: Julian Murphy
Script Editor: May Gibson
Designer: Martin Boddison
Music: Richard Blackford
Theme Music: The Milltown Brothers
Hodge: Colin Buchanan
Eric: Paul Haigh
Dawn: Caroline Catz
Spock: Alistair McGowan
Lloydy: Adrian Hood
Ally: Kate Gartside
Diesel: Tony Marshall
Mel: Angela Lonsdale [not 2]
Jeanetta: Carolyn Pickles [not 4]
Kirsty: Holly Grainger [not 4]
Declan: Oliver Cotton [not 4]
Polson: David MacCreedy [not 6]
Rundle: Kieran Flynn [not 1-3,5]
Mr Wang: Ozzie Yue [1-2,4,6-7]
Mrs Ruddock: Matylok Gibbs [1,3,4,7]
Mrs Lomax: Lucinda Curtis [2,7]
Mr Lomax: John Hallam> [2,7]
Young Eric: Rico Pulisciano [6-7]
Young Hodge: Jack Allen
||Hodge's Driving Test
21 July 1997|
Guest Cast: Stephen Churchett (Driving Examiner Claude), Stirling Moss
(Himself), James Aden (Adman Gerry).
Despite the fact that Lloydy is staying with him, Hodge's mood has brightened
because he is being allowed to take Kirtsy out for the day by himself - for the first
time. However, this relies on him passing his driving test, which he is having to
take in the noodle van...
Notes: The series opens with an imaginative method of reminding viewers of
the characters and the on-going storylines through the use of a dream, which
also features a cameo appearance by the former world motor racing champion, Stirling
The episode introduces a new character, Mel, played by Angela Lonsdale. However,
her introduction is very subtle (she wrecks Jeanetta's car at the TA family day)
and it is not obvious that she will become a regular character. The episode also
re-introduces Matyelok Gibbs as Mrs Ruddock, Hodge's boss. She featured in the
first series but was absent from the second.
Six months have passed since the last series and there have been a number of changes.
Hodge's relationship with Jeanetta and Kirsty has stabilised and he now enjoys
regular contact with them under the pretext that he is Kirsty's godfather.
This is due to the fact Jeanetta has made it clear to her daughter that Greg is
not her father. The confrontation in the warehouse from "Lloydy's Ark" is mentioned.
In addition, Polson is now a sergeant after Rundle capitulated to his blackmail.
As the title of the episode implies, it concerns Hodge's driving test. Eric was
seen teaching his friend to drive in "Diesel's Garage" during the first series.
Choice Quotes: Diesel tries to reassure his colleagues about the minehunting
exercise that they are about to undertake: "It's not going to be dangerous is it?
This is the 20th century. Mine detection's all about sonar now. And how to use
ultra sound scanning machines." Polson (announcing): Okay, line up by
the left hand truck to collect your prodders."
Later at the TA family day a mine hunting exercise is being organised for
the children, but with very different equipment, as Diesel notes: "When we look
for mines we get knitting needles. When kids look for buried sweets they get a
C4 Humhauser electro sensor." Spock: "Do you remember how at home
there was always a set of plates that mum only got out for special visitors."
Diesel: "Point taken."
"Part of being a dad is admitting when you made a bad job of it." (Eric's
advice to Hodge).
||Eric's Won Ton
28 July 1997|
Guest Cast: Samantha Fox (Herself), Lucy Akhurst (Laura), Andy Grubb
(Soldier), Peter Lee (Ray Shoe), Nicky Henson (Greg Scarry), David Strickman (Policeman Roger).
Mr Wang's expectations of success for the Roman Holiday are dashed when he
learns of the opening of a rival Chinese Restaurant. Eric convinces him
to fight back, although it soon appears that this is not a sensible course
of action. Meanwhile, Dawn has
decided that she no longer wants to be a teacher.
Notes: This episode features a guest appearance from Lucy Akhurst and Nicky
Henson as Laura and Greg. It is revealed that Laura went off with Greg after
believing Hodge was having an affair with Jeanetta and has been touring the
world in his company, becoming a far less sympathetic character as a result.
Following Stirling Moss's cameo in "Hodge's Driving Test", this episode
features an appearance from model/singer Samantha Fox.
There are a number of continuity references to the time that Greg Scarry
dined at the Roman Holiday in "Diesel's Out Of Body Experience"; in
particular Greg then taught Mr Wang how to say "welcome" in Mandarin, which
he has now used in a cinema advert for his restaurant.
Choice Quotes: "It's amazing how important college is to people who never went." (Dawn
isn't keen that everyone wants her to change her mind about leaving college).
"It'll look good commercially to have a woman in management. Just to show I'm
not sexist, like...Especially a pretty one." (Mr Wang offers Dawn a job).
"Hat from Madrid, dress from Milan, brains from Spud-U-Like." (Dawn's description
"I've never actually written to the Dateline computer, mate...Oh yes, I did once
actually, but I sent in your photo and details. No women replied, but computer
said it were quite interested." (Lloydy discusses computer dating with Spock -
see also "Hodge's Girlfriend").
||Lloydy's House Warming
4 August 1997|
Guest Cast: Valeris Blake (Chambermaid Millie).
Lloydy has finally moved out of Hodge's caravan, although Dawn and Eric are
not exactly pleased when they find out that he has bought the flat below theirs.
Hodge now has his freedom and enjoys a drunken night with Mel, who he meets
at the drill hall. However, he is in for trouble when he finds out who
she is related to...
Notes: When Lloydy moves into the flat below Dawn and Eric he compares the
situation to Friends, possibly a reference to the fact that the media has
often referred to Preston Front as a British version of that show.
The house where Dawn, Eric and now Lloydy live is 131 Churchill Rise (Spock
mentions the street name and the number can be seen on the door);
in "Polson's Lilo" it was number 26.
After an embarrassing conversation with Rundle, Lloydy declares "Opposite the
Hotel", a reference to "Spock's Leg" where the German teacher had been
told that this was an English expression meaning "great".
Choice Quotes: "I cannot do this with them downstairs!" (Dawn is distracted from making
love with Eric by the sound of the Wombles theme tune emanating from Lloydy's
"It's not fair asking him questions about sex. It's like Narnia for him.
This land of make believe which he's heard of but never actually visited."
"Whereas with you it's like Eurodisney. You make lots of offers but
still no one will go with you." (Lloydy and Spock during a game of truth).
||Spock's Dilated Pupil
11 August 1997|
Guest Cast: Moira Westhead (Fortune Teller Shun-Lee), Timothy Bates (Dean
"Benno" Benton), Teresa Lam (Ros Howard), Jacob Krichefski (Student Noj),
Chris Hargreaves (Smackhead Coyle), Jimmy Reddington (Policeman Steve).
Spock aims to help a disinterested pupil achieve something with his life, fearing
that he may grow up to be another Lloydy. Meanwhile, Lloydy himself has bought
a talking car and Mr Wang has a plan to improve the fortunes of his restaurant - but it
involves Diesel pretending to be The Artist Formerly Known As Prince...
Notes: This is generally an amusing comedy episode. However, it has a sting in
the tail when Eric tells Dawn that he is leaving her.
Mr Wang again disputes the name of the town he lives in ("Roker Bridge? Crap Bridge!")
in the same way that he did in "Lloydy's Fish" back in the first season.
Choice Quotes: "Does your intellectual development metre peak at pratt?" (Spock to Lloydy)
"I don't think I want my thoughts galvanised. I'm quite happy having them floppy
for a bit." (Dawn in the face of Eric's enthusiasm about her going back to college).
"What in life do you like?" "Monster Munch." (Spock to Benno, thus concluding
that he has an interest in food and thus gets him a placement at The Roman Holiday).
"...Then, while you were being distracted by your talking car you unwittingly followed
a convicted drug dealer's car into the Kale estate, flashing and blowing your horn,
until in an attempt to apprehend the stolen limousine in front of him, you ran him
off the road, whereupon your friends, dressed to resemble The Artist Formerly Known
As Prince, got out of the car, causing the driver to fear a reprisal attack and
produce a sawn off shotgun." (A policeman summarises Spock's statement).
18 August 1997|
Guest Cast: Mark Benton> (Richard), Jane Wall (Nurse Pauline),
Simon Slater (Colonel Vale).
The members of 2 Section are acting as waiters at a formal mess dinner being
organised by Polson. Ally is attending, but is getting drunk since she has
found out that her husband has been having an affair with his ex-wife.
An after dinner game of melon rugby allows a few scores
to be settled, but behind the scenes trouble is brewing between Hodge and Eric.
Notes: On its BBC transmission this episode was preceeded by a subtle warning
due to the violent nature of the melon rugby game. The BBC announcer also made
a somewhat risque joke (about "standing to attention") over the end credits,
following the closing scene involving Rundle and Ally in a shower.
Eric compares the situation at the mess dinner to the time when they all
waited at Laura's first catering event in "Laura's Mousse".
Choice Quotes: "Can I point out you would be safer dating a canister of plutonium?" (Diesel's
advice to Hodge about moving in on Polson's sister).
"If someone who makes all their money out of oil's an oil magnate, and somebody
who's made all their money out of shipping's a shipping magnate, what do you call
someone who's made all their money out of fridges?" (One of Lloydy's observations
"Sweet on the outside, 90% air on the inside." (Eric compares Hodge's previous
girlfriends to a Crunchie bar).
1 September 1997|
Guest Cast: Melanie Kilburn (Estate Agent Pippa), Jay Worthy (Photographer Vern).
Hodge plans to spend a quiet weekend in a cottage with Kirsty. When Eric finds
out that Dawn was staying as well he is consumed by jealousy and immediately
goes over. He finds that Hodge has already been interrupted by Diesel, Lloydy, Mel
- and a recently liberated ostrich...
Notes: This episode includes a flashback featuring young Eric and Hodge, although
their voices are dubbed by Paul Haigh and Colin Buchanan. The flashback concerns
Hodge and Eric going on holiday, but Hodge spending his time getting off with
a girl, an event that was previously mentioned in "Polson's Lilo".
The episode ends with Diesel being attacked by his ostrich, and his screams
continue over the start of the end credits.
Choice Quotes: "There's something very special about this place." "There is - there's
an ostrich in the garage." (Hodge and Dawn discuss the cottage).
"Do you know what they call men who have to get ostriches to do their fighting for them,
hey?" "I don't think there is a technical term for it." (Eric and Dawn).
"That ostrich is now fulfilling the same role as Diesy's brother." "That should
be interesting, seeing as Diesy's brother used to serve petrol." (Lloydy and Spock).
"There are certain things in life that only come to the surface when you are trapped
in a room by an ostrich." (Dawn concludes the episode).
And lots of other great lines containing the word ostrich!
8 September 1997|
Guest Cast: Joan Campion (Mrs Disley), Gordon Langford Rowe (Mr Disley),
Freddie Davies (Heron Man), Alina Proctor (Wedding Guest Helena), Jason Bailey (Wedding
Guest Humphrey), John Bramwell (Customs Officer Kieran), Samantha Edmonds (Student Jen), Graham
Bryan (Student BJ), Vernon Nurse (Photographer Eryl).
Dawn and Eric are preparing for their wedding, amidst the formal arrangements
being organised by Dawn's parents. Unfortunately the wedding is at the same
time as Jeanetta and Kirsty's flight leaves, so Hodge will not be able to
say goodbye at the airport. Meanwhile, Spock is trying a change of image after
being voted most boring teacher at school.
The very last episode packs a lot into its running time. The wedding is only
really the backdrop, with the main emphasis being on Hodge's parting from Kirsty. As well
there is the Spock subplot and Polson's departure from the TA.
The episode sees the return of some familiar characters. Joan Campion and Gordon
Langford Rowe appear as Eric's parents for the first time since "Dawn's Ball" at
the start of the second season. Rowe gets his first line in the series when Polson's
tribute to Eric
the soldier appears to bring him out of his near catatonic state. In neat
touch which brings the series full circle, Freddie Davies reappears as the Heron Man,
looking to buy a decoy heron much as he did in the very first episode (although he
had appeared frequently since).
The somewhat obscure episode title refers to the leaving present that Hodge gives Kirsty
- a bag of seeds from Roker Bridge to be planted in California. Customs believe it to
be marijuna, holding Jeanetta and Kirsty, although this means that Hodge is able to
see them before they leave after arriving late.
On his wedding day, Eric presents Hodge with a gift - a framed copy of the Roker Bridge
Guardian with a headline relating to the time in 1982 when a 13 year old Hodge rescued
Eric from the River Roker (although the story did not mention that it was Hodge who
pushed him in the first place, after an argument over the lyrics to "Mull of Kintyre").
This newspaper featured in the title sequence to the first series, although the headline
was slightly reworded (changing from "Roker River Rescue by Two Local Lads" to "Local
Lads River Rescue"), to presumably better reflect the context of the story behind it.
This event prompts another flashback to Hodge and Lloydy's childhood, but the actors playing the younger versions
are uncredited here.
The fortunes of Mr Wang and The Roman Holiday have now improved, and he has even returned
to his soul singing, performing in the restaurant. As such, this provides another link
to the very first episode, which also featured a singer in Mr Wang's restaurant (although
that was Laura).
Choice Quotes: "Do you want to do it in the gnomes again? It was good with all of them watching,
eh? It was like Snow White's wedding night" (Mel refers to having sex with Hodge in
the garden centre).
"Oh God - I love this town!" (Hodge's exclaimation that ends the series in the midst
of a fight between the TA crew and students outside The Roman Holiday).