The spectre of Mrs T looms even larger than usual.
(CONTENT WARNING: This story will deal with sexual violence and mental illness. See Help Links for more information about these issues.)
KATY: It’s the cliffhanger, and we’re going to be executed. Again.
MANDY: They think we’re scabs, but it’s all a misunderstanding.
KATY: I don’t think Bob liked the unions very much. He’s putting them in a very bad light.
MANDY: The real strikers did kill someone.
KATY: Yes, that was awful. But the police were very violent too.
MANDY: Oh, but they can’t kill us yet.
KATY: Thank you, Timothy. Of course, this argument about a ballot is very true to life. … Bloody hell. I fluffed again.
MANDY: Never mind. Where’s the yuppie off to?
KATY: I expect he’s up to no good. He didn’t save us.
MANDY: These caves look awfully good, don’t they?
KATY: Oh yes. The only thing I don’t like is the studio floor. You can always see smooth, shiny floor, and it spoils it a bit.
MANDY: There wasn’t much they could do about it, because they had to be able to move the cameras. … That policeman. I’m sure I know him. Wasn’t he in Porterhouse Blue?
KATY: Oh yes, it’s Harold Innocent. He did lots of things at the National. He was wonderful. But this other policeman. I can’t place him.
MANDY: Wasn’t he in Rita, Sue and Bob Too?
KATY: No, you’re thinking of George Costigan, aren’t you?
MANDY: Oh, of course. James loved that film. I thought it was terribly rude.
KATY: It was true to life.
MANDY: I don’t think Mary Tamm got up to that sort of thing.
KATY: Different times, Mandy. Of course, I took over from Mary at Birmingham Rep.
MANDY: Didn’t you know her from RADA?
KATY: Not very well. She was in the year above me. And she didn’t go to girls only parties.
MANDY: This bit is very funny. People are always complaining that the police have too much paperwork.
KATY: The police should do things properly, otherwise who knows what they might do.
MANDY: Bob had been a policeman before he was a writer, so I expect he knew what it was like.
KATY: (LAUGHING) What star sign are we? That’s a good one.
MANDY: The yuppie doesn’t seem to think it’s very funny.
KATY: He did very well not to corpse. Bob’s dialogue was hilarious.
MANDY: Now, this is a lovely scene that we did with Timothy.
KATY: Yes, he’s very expressive.
MANDY: This bit explains what everyone’s fighting about very well. Bob could paint a wonderful picture with a few words.
KATY: Yes, this sort of scene can be very boring, but this one isn’t.
MANDY: You’re being very feisty, as usual.
KATY: Yes, a bit too much nostril flaring. Gemma always wanted to fight. I expect you’ll calm her down. … All as bad as each other. That’s just like Bob.
MANDY: This bit didn’t go down very well with certain people.
KATY: They couldn’t really complain. Lots of policemen were caught taking bribes in the seventies.
MANDY: It’s a far cry from Heartbeat.
KATY: Heartbeat makes me feel sick. It’s so bloody cosy.
MANDY: I was in it once. Everyone was lovely.
KATY: I’m sure you were good.
MANDY: Maggie is wonderful at plotting and scheming. Such range.
KATY: Yes, when I think how upstanding she was in I Claudius. … I can see that what Bob did with these businessmen was very clever, but I don’t think they ought to have been Japanese.
MANDY: There were Japanese businessmen in everything in those days.
KATY: And they were always the same. Inscrutable.
MANDY: I suppose it was work for Japanese actors.
KATY: This is only one actor, though. They’ve copied him with that paintbox thing. It’s appalling.
MANDY: I think Equity did have something to say about it. In the end he got three fees. … Ooh, Maggie is up to her neck in it.
KATY: They were trying to get people to buy shares in everything in those days.
MANDY: We had some. Graham always knew a good investment.
KATY: Now I wish I’d been more sensible with my money.
MANDY: Oh my goodness! If only the miners knew where the charity money was coming from.
KATY: Now this wasn’t like real life. We worked very hard to collect money for the families.
MANDY: I felt very sorry for them. I gave privately, but you did a lot more in public, didn’t you?
KATY: I wasn’t very important, but I did help with some concerts.
MANDY: You have a lovely singing voice. Much nicer than the chap from Essex.
KATY: He was very committed. I admired him enormously. It wasn’t all singing either. Once I did a bit of Lady Macbeth dressed as you know who.
MANDY: Perhaps that was going a little too far.
KATY: It was great fun. The crowd were booing and hissing as if it were a panto.
MANDY: Knowing how some people felt about her, you were lucky to get out alive.
KATY: Oh look! It’s the robot. Was Tip Tipping inside it?
MANDY: No, he didn’t do this one because he got a big film.
KATY: I feel awful about teasing him now.
MANDY: You weren’t quite yourself, were you?
KATY: … It’s the other policeman again. I wish I could remember his name. Was he on That’s Life?
MANDY: No, I’m sure he wasn’t.
KATY: … That’s a real Bob Holmes line.
MANDY: Oh, more bureaucracy.
KATY: It is dangerous to let the police have guns too easily.
MANDY: (LAUGHING) Oh, I see what you mean.
KATY: (LAUGHING) That’s horrible! I love it!
MANDY: Trust Bob.
KATY: There’s just enough truth in it. The police and the army were a bit trigger happy.
MANDY: It’s good to see some women in the police. It’s a little bit of progress.
KATY: That one looks like Lynda Baron.
MANDY: I don’t think it is her.
KATY: No, just similar. Lynda did a party political broadcast not long after this. She was very good in it.
MANDY: They asked me to be in one, but in the end I decided not to.
KATY: Whyever not?
MANDY: Well, I’d already had my photo taken with the two Davids, and that caused some … comments. So I was in two minds. And my agent said I should be careful not to look like too much of a lefty.
KATY: That’s awful, Mandy. How could they?
MANDY: I know. I am a bit of a lefty, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
KATY: No. There isn’t. I couldn’t stand Mrs Thatcher. She was-
MANDY: Mrs Thatcher, of course … no longer with us.
KATY: (SILENTLY DOING SOMETHING)
MANDY: (STIFLING GIGGLES) Stop it, Katy! … Oh no, you’ll get us into terrible trouble. … Don’t! … I think we’ve missed the cliffhanger.