The Curse of Carterford: Episode 2 Commentary

[posted 8:00 am, 16 October 2014]

As the racism continues to appal, Mandy and Katy have a little disagreement about apartheid.

(CONTENT WARNING: This story will deal with sexual violence and mental illness. See Help Links for more information about these issues.)

MANDY: This is the second and final part of this story.

KATY: Good. Otherwise I might die of embarrassment.

MANDY: Yes, this cliffhanger does have some rather old-fashioned attitudes in it, but that’s how it was in those days.

KATY: She means it’s very racist because it’s from the seventies.

MANDY: Here I come to save you from the Witch Doctor.

KATY: Who’s going to save him from Enoch Powell? … He just ran off because he heard a noise? That’s pathetic.

MANDY: Listen. I’m explaining it now.

KATY: … A tiger? There aren’t any in Africa.

MANDY: I think there was one in Cape Town zoo. We took Vicky and James down there when they were quite small. They loved it.

KATY: When exactly?

MANDY: I think it would have been about … eighty-four. Yes, that’s it.

KATY: Oh, Mandy! How could you?

MANDY: I know there was all that going on, but we always felt we ought to keep politics out of the children’s holidays.

KATY: Politics would have been very much in your holidays if your husband was black.

MANDY: But he isn’t. I’m not racist at all, but I don’t think I would ever have married one.

KATY: Mandy!

MANDY: No, no, I mean Graham was the only man for me. I can’t imagine it being anyone else.

KATY: Oh, I see. At the time I couldn’t imagine why you’d want to marry an accountant, but now I know how happy you’ve been together.

MANDY: I couldn’t quite believe it myself. Sometimes I thought it would never happen. My big brother wouldn’t let boys near me. Then when I moved down to London, it seemed as if all the men were only after one thing. I suppose that was the permissive society.

KATY: It was always more permissive for men than for women.

MANDY: We’re missing the programme. Robert still can’t believe it.

KATY: He must be the only person who hasn’t worked it out. Oh yes! He’s giving us guns!

MANDY: It’s quite unusual because I didn’t normally have a gun.

KATY: These are much better than my pink plastic laser gun.

MANDY: You were very good at loading your revolver. I always dropped my bullets.

KATY: I’d been practising. I wanted to show that women could do all the gun play. As soon as I got the part, I had some shooting lessons so I’d know how to do it properly. But once we started filming, some directors made me do it wrong because they said it looked better.

MANDY: Off we go into the woods again. Apparently we had no time to change out of our ball gowns.

KATY: It looks a bit silly really. They got in the way when we were running around.

MANDY: Yes, they were ruined by the time we’d finished. If you look closely, the ones we wore in the studio weren’t quite the same. Some of the fans say these scenes are glamorous, but it didn’t feel glamorous at all when we were doing them. Night shoots are never easy and this one was no exception.

KATY: We were covered in scratches and bruises.

MANDY: And bites. The midges always came out at night. This must be Michael’s vicarage. I don’t think it was really a vicarage, but it looks the part.

KATY: Little does he know that there are two armed women lurking in the bushes. Will he give himself away before we freeze to death?

MANDY: Yes, it was cold. I think we did this in April and it was rather mild during the day, but it got a bit nippy after dark.

KATY: Caught red handed!

MANDY: Who’d have thought that a vicar would be the baddie?

KATY: Certainly not Mary Whitehouse.

MANDY: Oh yes, this is another thing she didn’t like.

KATY: I could hardly keep a straight face when I saw this.

MANDY: Yes, I should explain how they did this. It looks very convincing on film, but really it was a ground floor window. Jules had to crouch out of shot and then climb up.

KATY: And Vere told him to imagine he was back in the jungle. I mean, really!

MANDY: This is in the studio again. It was a very nice set.

KATY: I tripped over here and we had to go again. Vere wasn’t very pleased. I’d like to see him running up the stairs in that dress.

MANDY: Are we too late?

KATY: Carry did this scene so well. She never overplayed anything.

MANDY: We’re just like Cagney and Lacey here.

KATY: Freeze!

MANDY: Robert looks very nonchalant.

KATY: And that’s the end of the only black character so far. If we can call him a character. … Come on, Robert. You’d bloody well better believe us now.

MANDY: I think he does, at last.

KATY: … And now he’s going to hide in the attic! That’ll solve all your problems.

MANDY: This must be our cunning plan. …

KATY: It’s light already. Michael looks very pleased with himself.

MANDY: He won’t be for long. …

KATY: Oh, this is a wonderful bit of gloating.

MANDY: But wait. … Your brother isn’t dead.

KATY: Oh, that reaction. Brilliant.

MANDY: This swordfight was terrific. Robert and Michael worked very hard on their moves.

KATY: We didn’t have anything to do. We just stood and watched. I’ve always thought that was a bit strange. We could have just shot him straight away.

MANDY: We don’t seem to have our guns any more.

KATY: Or we could pick up swords too. We were never allowed to do swordfighting.

MANDY: I suppose it would make the blocking more complicated.

KATY: I don’t think that’s the reason.

MANDY: Oh no! Robert’s nearly had it!

KATY: Not so fast! … I love this shot of Carry with the smoking gun. It should be a poster.

MANDY: All’s well that ends well.

KATY: Except for the people who were killed.

MANDY: We’ll be back soon with the last story in this series, but for now it’s goodbye from Amanda Cadewell.

KATY: And goodbye from Katy Froade, but stay tuned for the Black and White Minstrel Show at half past eight.

MANDY: Katy!

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