“Leave the love out of it; stick to the money” – A Day at the Races

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.)

“St. Abbs, Northumberland.”

Scottish border map

Note the border.

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

Advertisements

“Dinky little peaches, dinky little moussies, for the dainty little lumberjacks!” – Timber!

TITLE: Timber!

NUMBER: Series 4, Episode 3

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 21, 1999

[This episode is one of my all-time favorites – the final classic, perhaps. – WK]

SETTINGS:

The ladies are in “bonnie Scotland” again, and fairly far up into it this time (in the Ardnamurchan peninsula).

DCF 1.0

They pass by the seashore at one point. Continue reading

“Well, I hate to break this rustic idyll . . .” – On Safari

Title: On Safari

NUMBER: Series 4, Episode 2

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 14, 1999

SETTINGS: The ladies visit Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside.

Knowsley logo

[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

“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

“I’m quite glad I gave up the law books for the recipe books” – Barristers at Lincoln’s Inn

TITLE: Barristers at Lincoln’s Inn

NUMBER: Series 3, Episode 4

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 23, 1998

SETTINGS: Unusually, this episode opens with a field-trip prologue, set before sunrise. The ladies venture out to visit the famous Smithfield meat market in London. [The market’s business hours are 3 a.m. to midmorning.]

Smithfield is in the same neighborhood as Lincoln’s Inn. The Inn is home to a professional association of barristers (with a voiceover reminding us that Clarissa used to be one) and is the place where ultimately they will be cooking.

On the way there, they pass St. Paul’s Cathedral.

No Cybermen, though.

No Cybermen, though.

There’s this conversation: Continue reading

“Crazed with lust” – The Cambridge Eight

TITLE: The Cambridge Eight

NUMBER: Series 3, Episode 3

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: September 16, 1998

SETTINGS: The setting this time is Cambridge University, where Clarissa and Jennifer cook for “the Cambridge Eight” – that is, the eight winners of an annual competition between the rowing crews of Cambridge and Oxford University.

Half the places they go to look like this, don't they?

Half the places they go to look like this, don’t they?

[I know there’s some crossover between fans of this show and those of P.G. Wodehouse.  Continue reading