“No occupation for a gentlewoman” – Potatoes Galore

TITLE: Potatoes Galore

NUMBER: Series 4, Episode 1

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 7, 1999

[A note before I begin recapping these final four episodes. Jennifer died on August 10th of 1999, and the experience of watching this season now, after living with this project for some time, must be similar to what it was like for BBC viewers to watch it then, knowing she was already gone. The show can’t quite feel the same.

[The nice thing about it is, she doesn’t seem ill in any of the episodes. On the contrary, she seems vibrant and well – in “Timber!”, for instance, I would argue she’s in as good a form as we’ve seen her in. It is only in the voiceover work, obviously recorded after she became sick, that you can hear a difference – her voice is thick and painful. Those moments, usually dubbed over the motorbike sequences or the introductions of the dishes at dinner, are very difficult for me to sit through.

[However, for the most part, she seems fine, and in a way, it is good that her illness took her so suddenly. There was no decline in the quality of the program or her ability to perform. As we shall see, these final four episodes are not compromises in any way.

[Anyway, not to prolong this digression, but I wasn’t too familiar with “Potatoes Galore” before – in fact, there were times when I felt I hadn’t ever seen it. However, when I said as much out loud, my girlfriend said, “Oh, that’s ridiculous, you’ve made me watch this one a hundred times.”

[Well, be that as it may, it’s a good one. Enjoy. – WK]

SETTINGS: This episode is set in (or on) Jersey, a place I didn’t know much about. [It is an island, a “possession” of the United Kingdom but closer to France and apparently overlapped with the latter in some cultural ways.]

Jersey

The ladies travel to a potato farm connected with the Les Prés Manor House, [a property that apparently has gone by other names in the past]. Continue reading

“I done gotta jerk my pork, man!” – A Caribbean Christmas

[It’s very cold and snowy where I live right now, so even though it’s a bit early, recapping a Christmas special somehow seems . . . right. – WK]

TITLE: A Caribbean Christmas

NUMBER: Series 3, Special

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: December 22, 1998

SETTINGS: The “special-ness” of this episode is immediately apparent. There is a pre-credits prologue, which we’ve never had before, set at the Air Jamaica counter at an airport [Gatwick].

Gatwick

Air Jamaica

[There is some sort of cartoon astronaut or something on a poster behind the counter, but I haven’t been able to place him.] Continue reading

“God, this is fantastic, better than sex!” – The Air Race

TITLE: The Air Race

NUMBER: Series 3, Episode 5

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 30, 1998

SETTINGS: Back to Scotland for this one. The ladies participate in a small airplane race at East Fortune Airfield [the home of the Scottish National Museum of Flight] in East Lothian.

"Fortune Favours the Bold."

“Fortune Favours the Bold.”

National Museum of Flight

Clarissa says it’s “so close to home” for her, [and indeed, the airport appears to be just half an hour away from where she lived in Musselburgh, a suburb of Edinburgh.] Continue reading