Phoenix Nights

Season 1 Episode 1

Season 1 Episode 1

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Jan 14, 2001 on Channel 4
out of 10
User Rating
12 votes

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Episode Summary

Season 1 Episode 1
The Phoenix Club is re-opening tonight with the help of Roy "It's The Way I Tell 'Em " Walker and Brian and the crew have to make sure everything runs smoothly which isn't helped by a Nazi bandit, singing builders, short circuit a racist folk band and Max and Paddy. Opening Night is sure to be great.moreless

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  • And then there was the beginning...

    The beginning of the series: and what a beginning! This episode sets the series up brilliantly, though the premise is certainly an unusual one - a group of 'misfits' running a club - it works fantastically well. The characters each have their own personality, which shine through here. It's the opening of the new and improved Phoenix Club, and everyone is working hard to see it happens, all overseen by the sarcastic Brian Potter. Though there are a few mishaps in the beginning, the club opens with a 'celebrity' guest and runs along in a seriously shaky fashion. Some of the highlights include: Max and Paddy the club bouncers being introduced to the concept of headsets, a power cut at the club, a risque racist band, and of course the general interaction between the club owners and their residents. Phoenix Nights is off to a banging start... literally!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Audition Piece:
      'Starman' - a man in a space suit strapped to a revolving disc, miming to the David Bowie song 'Starman' whilst another man fires a plastic ray gun.

    • We discover in this episode that Brian's first club flooded, and his second burnt down.

    • In this episode, Max claims to have fought in the Falklands conflict. This was a controversial conflict which lasting from May - June 1982. It was fought between British and Argentinian forces over the rights to islands in the South Atlantic ocean. The battle has apparently left Max unable to climb ladders.

    • According to this episode, Brian takes Zantac, a medication which treats peptic ulcers.

    • Jerry's 'Guide to Colon Care' is endorsed by ventriloquist Bob Carolgees.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Max running around the Phoenix car park, wearing a headset)
      Max: Can you hear me now?
      Paddy: Hear ya? I can see ya, you dick

      (Jerry tells singer they may not be playing tonight due to power cut)
      Singer from Folk Band: Ney, ney lad we don't need electric, we're a folk band
      Brian: Can you speak English, you're sending me over the edge

    • Brian: Den Perry? Have you met him?
      Debra Quinn: No.
      Brian: Den of Iniquity we call him. Lap dancing on a Sabbath? Little kiddies running around? It's a disgrace. The secret to running a successful club is to cater for the family. Nothing offensive, nothing blue. Like these lads Donna.
      Debra Quinn: Debra.
      Brian: Whatever.

    • Max: I know why you won't wear them headsets.
      Paddy: Why?
      Max: You don't wanna mess up your hair. What hair you've got left!
      Paddy: Don't.
      Max: Baldy - baldy bouncer.
      Paddy: Leave it!

  • NOTES (5)

    • Music :
      Yazz - The Only Way Is Up
      Aled Jones - Walking In The Air
      Paul Hardcastle - 19
      Les Alanos - Theme from The Saint
      Dave Spikey - New York, New York ;Dance The Night Away

    • The label in Roy Walker's jacket reads 'Property of Southern Television'.

    • Brian refers to the black and white builders as 'The Lighthouse Family', but this was originally going to be 'Charles and Eddie'. The producer felt that not enough people would recognise the reference to Charles and Eddie, a one-hit wonder band, and that The Lighthouse Family would be better.

    • There is a real Chorley FM, a community radio station which has recently been licensed. They do not use the taglines 'Coming In Your Ears', or 'Where The Listener Comes First'.

    • Paul Le Roy announces the special guest at the Phoenix as Roy 'It's The Way I Tell 'em' Walker. This is actually the catchphrase of Irish comedian Frank Carson. Roy Walker's catchphrase is 'It's good, but it's not right'.

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Brian calls Half A Shilling 'Combat 18' in reference to the organised fascist hooligan group which operates out of the UK.

    • Brian calls Spencer 'Jive Bunny' in reference to the British DJ team who released a number of mixes of popular songs from the sixties and seventies.

    • The band's name, 'Half A Shilling' is an allusion to the 1967 film 'Half A Sixpence' which stars Tommy Steele as an orphan who comes into money.

    • Ray Von's name alludes to the song 'Rave On' by Buddy Holly.

    • The backing band's name 'Les Alanos' is derived from the name 'Los Alomos', a city in New Mexico. It also features the names of the band members, Les and Alan.

    • Brian tells Roy Walker he's 'pissed on his Mr.Chips', in reference to the animated character in the clues on Catchphrase.

    • Alan's caller ID calls Brian 'Ironside'. This is a reference to the wheelchair bound detective played by Raymond Burr.

    • Brian refers to the two builders, one black one white, as The Lighthouse Family. This is a reference to the British soul duo consisting of Paul Tucker and Tunde Baiyewu. Their album Ocean Drive sold over 2 million copies in the UK.

    • The fruit machine that Brian accepts from Eric is based on the 1981 film Das Boot, directed by Wolfgang Peterson. The film shows events on the German U-Boat U-96.

    • Jerry mentions that 'Jon Picard' has previously booked the band Half A Shilling. This is a reference to the character Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek : The Next Generation .

    • When Holy Mary says that the church banners are doing no harm, Brian replies "Tell that to Cat Stevens". He is referring to the folk singer-songwriter who converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.

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