The New Statesman

Season 2 Episode 8

Who Shot Alan B'Stard?

Aired Unknown Jan 14, 1990 on ITV

Episode Recap

After Alan becomes the victim of an assassination attempt Piers starts to have guilty nightmares. He makes a speech in the House of Commons in favour of a bill to reintroduce capital punishment. The vote ends in a tie, but luckily a fully recovered Alan shows up just in time to cast the deciding vote. The United Kingdom will start to execute criminals again. Alan even suggests that executions be televised in order to make the self-financing.

Alan explains that his miraculous recovery is the work of a Central American Indian, and he now vows to collect money to help Central American Spiritual Healers. (Write the checks out to C.A.S.H.) He promises his friend Sidney Bliss his old job back as executioner. This proves to be more difficult than expected because the new Minister for Law and Order, Sir Greville, intends to introduce lethal injections. He has a contract with an American firm. Sidney Bliss, on the other hand, only believes in death by hanging. Alan finds a solution by giving Sir Greville a share in his timber investments, meant to build gallows.

Alan gets invited to a talk show hosted by Australian Kerry Grout. The host starts to grill Alan about all the scams the MP has pulled with organisations that created the acronym CASH on the checks. The dispute ends with Alan threatening to kill Grout, witnessed by millions of television viewers.

Sarah and Piers still don't quite believe that Alan was actually shot. Piers snoops through Alan's belongings in the office and has to hide when he hears Alan arriving with a gangster. It's obvious that the gangster was paid to shoot Alan while Alan was wearing a bulletproof vest. Piers gets discovered but soon after Kerry Grout also walks into Alan's offices. When Piers tries to explain to Kerry what happened, he accidentally shoots Kerry and flees. When the body is found, everybody believes Alan to be the murderer, and he gets arrested.

Ironically Alan could be the first person to be executed under the new law. At the trial he tries to defend himself by a claim of insanity, the result of the drugs he got from the Indian healer. The healer and his interpreter are quickly uncovered as members of the acting profession. Alan receives the death sentence.

At the actual execution he pleads with Sidney to sabotage the procedure (which would make him walk away scott-free), but Sidney's professional pride won't allow this. When the lever is pulled, Alan drops ... and the entire gallows follows. Apparently it was built from balsa wood, entirely unsuitable for the job. Again Alan survives.
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