Channel 4 (ended 1991)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 7

    Over and Out

    Aired 7/18/91

  • S 1 : Ep 6

    Message Understood

    Aired 7/11/91

  • S 1 : Ep 5

    Message Received

    Aired 7/4/91

  • S 1 : Ep 4

    Message Sent

    Aired 6/27/91

  • S 1 : Ep 3

    Send a Message to Michael

    Aired 6/20/91

  • Cast & Crew
  • Michael Palin

    Jim Nelson

  • Julie Walters

    Mrs. Murray

  • Lindsay Duncan

    Barbara Douglas

  • Robert Lindsay

    Michael Murray

  • Daniel Massey


  • show Description
  • As like as two peas in a pod; as different as chalk and cheese. Michael Murray and Jim Nelson are about the same age, grew up together in the same (unnamed) Northern city, are lifelong members of the Labour Party, and presently find themselves suffering inexplicable, extreme stress. Michael Murray is a charismatic and successful local politician, newly elected Leader of the City Council, poised to embark on a national career. An unscrupulous political opportunist surrounded by flunkies and yes-men, he has no friends, employs his elder brother Franky as an underpaid chauffeur, and scarcely remembers he has a wife and family at home.By contrast, Jim Nelson is rank-and-file, unambitious, high-principled, loyal to his many friends in the community, devoted to his job and to his wife and children.Michael is haunted by his past: by his humble birth, by the charismatic Union-leader father he never knew, by his classmates at school (and one sadistic little girl in particular), and most of all by the headmaster he blames for branding him a "loony" and sending him to a school for emotionally disturbed children. Jim is proud of his working-class roots, is nostalgic for the past, and… is headmaster of a school for emotionally disturbed children.Both believe they are being driven insane: Michael by a conspiracy he thinks he can unmask; Jim by something vague but terrible, inexorable, deadly, and having to do with bridges.Political agitators begin to drift into the area, led by the extreme-Left political theorist Mervyn Sloan and his two action men, Lou Barnes and Peter Grenville. When they convince Michael to call a Day of Action, the entire city comes to a standstill. Except for one small and insignificant site inadvertently overlooked by Murray's pickets: the school where Jim Nelson teaches.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • sarahjanesmith

    User Score: 135


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Doctor Goldup: (to Jim Nelson) In times of real stress, remember: 'Calm, Calm, Calm'. And your right hand over your left wrist, as an anchor.

    • Jim Nelson: (speaking to his dog about the poachers) Bad men, boy. Bad men! No, not bad men. Just stupid, misguided, insensitive products of ... Oh, I must stop reading the Guardian.

    • Michael: (talking to himself) The first thing to do is to stop talking to myself, and I am going to stop talking to myself. Soon.

    • Franky: Released! I am released! My brother is no longer my keeper!

    • Dalek, from Dr. Who convention in hotel: Durex; the biggest exterminator of them all! Exterminate! Exterminate!

    • Barbara: (to her father) Such Olympian heights. It must be cold up there, Dada. It is cold up there.

    • (On the way out of the Party meeting) Michael: He's me, y'know, Terry. Terry: Who is? Michael: Him. Jim Nelson. He's me.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (4)

    • Only Lindsay and Palin get star billing on the first episode. Julie Walters, billed in the opening credits for episodes 2 - 7, is not so credited here, although she does appear in the end credits.

    • Tamana Bleasdale, one of the Floor Runners for this series, is the daughter of the writer and producer, Alan Bleasdale, and had previously appeared as a child actress in her father's earlier TV series, Boys from the Blackstuff.

    • In the cast list for this episode (as well as episodes 4, 6 and 7), the name of the actress playing Monica (Michael Murray's PA) contains a letter unrepresentable in the standard character set: the R (not the E!) in Ayesa Toure's surname has an acute accent. This may be another mistake (see the note under "Goofs and Nitpicks", below), but it is a consistent one in all of the episodes in which she appears.

    • More crewClapper/Loaders ... Jonathan Earp and John FosterAssistant Editors ... Tim Vine and Peter DeakinDubbing Mixers ... Aad Wirtz and Adrian RhodesDubbing Editors ... Colin Miller and Richard DunfordFootsteps Editor ... Jacques LeroideAssistant Dubbing Editors ... Martin Crane, Elaine Thomas and Steve MaguireSound Recordists ... Phil Smith and Peter GlossopBoom Operators ... Tony Cooper and Steve O'BrienSound Assistant ... Shona AuerbachProduction Assistant ... Peter La TerriereProduction Accountant ... Craig BarwickAssistant Accountant ... Rebecca FerrandThird Assistant Director ... Carl OpreyContinuity ... Annie WottonLocation Manager ... Beverley LambLocation Assistant ... Ted DowdChild Casting ... David JohnsonCrowd Casting ... Lloyd PetersAssistant Crowd Casting ... Richard LeddyProps Buyer ... Gillie DelapAssistant Art Director ... Mark StonehouseArt Department Assistant ... Emma TongeWardrobe Supervisor ... Jenny MitchellWardrobe Assistants ... Anna Asgeirsdottir and Julian DayTitles Designed by ... Mendoza ProductionsOptical Effects ... The Optical PartnershipMusic Recording Engineer ... Austin InceMusic Co-ordinator ... Harry Gregson-WilliamsBest Boys ... Ronnie McKay and Tony HughesElectricians ... Jeff Latham, Bill Tracey, John Gracey, Frank Sheekey, Tom O'Sullivan and Mark Gay Chargehand Dresser ... John BaileyDressing Prop ... Danny EvansStandby Props ... Steve Wheeler and Graham StickleyStills Photographer ... Sophie BakerPublicity ... Lynne Kirwin AssociatesStandby Rigger ... Graham BakerStandby Stagehand ... Billy EdwardsStandby Carpenter ... Jed ShawStandby Painter ... Ian RodgersConstruction Manager ... Jim CarlislePainter ... Chris MasonCarpenter ... Jim McNeilTransport Captain ... Richard BoozCamera Car ... Dave FosterProps Standby ... Kieron SmithConstruction Truck ... Charlie SimpsonProps Runaround ... Harry PickeringWinnebago ... Paul BuckleyUnit Drivers ... Jack Wild and Richard WildProduction Runner ... Paul WillcockFloor Runners ... Ben Howarth, Jeff Bowen, Liz Keane, Tamana Bleasdale and Sarah HarrisonChaperone ... Peggy CloeAction Vehicles ... Screen Cars Ltd.Animal Handler ... S. A. P. Dog Training.G.B.H. (Films) Ltd. for Channel Four

    Trivia (2)

    • The credits to this series are amongst the most error-ridden in television history, especially as regards the cast. It appears that there may have been last-minute cuts to some episodes (particularly episode 4), made after the credits had already been finalised, resulting in some credited actors not actually appearing in the episode in question. This problem was compouded when the original seven-part series was recompiled to ten one-hour episodes for syndicated distribution, with partly remade credits that introduce new errors even while correcting others. Every effort has been made to rectify these problems.

    • Arthur Spreckley (Grandfather Burns) and Stephen Hall (Young Michael Murray) are credited, but do not appear.

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