It was always my intention when writing this blog to do a sort of summary post once I’d finished the series. Now I find I’m a year out from recapping the final episode and still haven’t done it.
It’s easy to get swallowed up by nostalgia when valorizing a decades-old TV program. (As a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I know this too well.) That Clarissa and Jennifer themselves seemed like throwbacks to an earlier time (characters out of Wodehouse or Saki, perhaps), and that on the show they constantly referenced the past, usually comparing it favorably to the present, compounds this problem. Continue reading
Hilarious quiz. I won’t tell you my score. Click the “give up” link to reveal the correct answers.
Haven’t posted anything in months, I know, but I got a tip that this existed and so had to share it at once. I think it definitely belongs in the “WTF, TFL?” category.
Here it is, the final recap! Hope it doesn’t disappoint. – WK
TITLE: A Day at the Races
NUMBER: Series 4, Episode 4
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 28, 1999
SETTINGS: At the opening of the episode, Clarissa and Jennifer arrive at yet another fishing boat, identified by a title as being in “St. Abbs, Northumberland,” though most maps put it on the Scottish side of the border. (The fisherman they meet has a heavy Scottish accent, which seems to support the latter theory.)
No flirting with the fisherman this time, shockingly, even though he does give them a taste of what Clarissa says are langoustines. [They look like ordinary enough shrimp to me – WK]. Continue reading
As much as I hate to leave you hanging, the demands of the holiday mean my final TFL recap will have to wait till next week. In the meantime, perhaps this will keep you occupied. (And you can find my recap of it here.) Have a ravishing Christmas. – WK
NUMBER: Series 4, Episode 3
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 21, 1999
[This episode is one of my all-time favorites – the final classic, perhaps. – WK]
The ladies are in “bonnie Scotland” again, and fairly far up into it this time (in the Ardnamurchan peninsula).
They pass by the seashore at one point. Continue reading
I got married over the weekend, so I’m afraid there will be no recap today. Normal coverage should resume by next week – thanks for your patience.
Title: On Safari
NUMBER: Series 4, Episode 2
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 14, 1999
[From what I’ve read, “On Safari” was actually the last episode to be filmed before Jennifer took ill. This interesting timeline of Jennifer’s life claims Series 4 was to have been the final series anyway.] Continue reading
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, which Pat Llewellyn confirmed in Enjoy! was recorded from Jennifer’s hospital bed, 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.]