Minder (1979)

Season 1 Episode 1

Gunfight at the O.K. Laundrette

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 29, 1979 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
12 votes

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Episode Summary

Gunfight at the O.K. Laundrette
Terry is caught inside a launderette while it is being robbed. As the police gather outside, Arthur tries to make some money by selling Terry's life story to the press.

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  • Like Lennon and McCartney, Daley and McCann hit all the right notes.

    Gunfight at the O.K. Laundrette was a fine pilot episode to the Minder canon and very quickly set about establishing not only the show's tone but its two main protagonists - Terry McCann and Arthur Daley.

    When a group of three gunmen burst into a laundrette owned by a local businessman who's daughter had been married earlier in the day they take several people hostage, one of them being Terry McCann. McCann is a former boxer who had served time in prison for GBH and attempted armed robbery and since his release works for Arthur Daley as his minder as well as doing various other jobs for Daley, many verging on the illegal.

    McCann is likeable and compassionate, not only to the hostages but also to the gunmen's plights and he tries to do everything in his powers to defuse the situation, whilst acting as a go between for the gunmen and the police.

    Meanwhile outside a small crowd is gathering on the street as news of the holdup begins to spread in the local media. This is where Arthur Daley comes into his own and his motivations are immediately revealed to the viewer. With no consideration as to what Terry may be going through Daley is seen attempting to exploit the situation for he own financial gains, telling local scribes that he will get Terry on the phone for an exclusive interview to the highest bidder and selling the story of a young woman - a dancer - he says is in a serious relationship with Terry, whilst in reality he only earlier in the day arranged to go out with her for a drink.

    The earlier seasons of Minder were when it was at its most perfectly balanced in terms of the grim reality of life in some of London's less desirable locations, the cast of crazy and often dangerous characters Daley and McCann mixed with and the comedic element supplied by Arthur Daley and his relationship with Terry.

    The episode ends like so many did with Arthur blissfully unaffected whilst Terry is left to scratch his head in despair.

    And the show would only get better.moreless

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