The Dust Diggers: Episode 4 Commentary

[posted 8:00 am, 13 November 2014]

The last ever episode of Time Girls (and supposedly Bob Grant’s last ever TV appearance). What is the rudest word Katy will manage to say before the end?

(Stay tuned for the denouement next week.)

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

MANDY: We’ve reached the last ever episode of Time Girls.

KATY: It finished just when it was getting good.

MANDY: Now, in the last cliffhanger, the robots were killing everyone, and it looked as though they would kill us.

KATY: The extras are making a meal of their death scenes. Some of them couldn’t really act.

MANDY: I expect it was all they got to do. Oh, now they’ve killed Bob Grant.

KATY: See. That’s a much better death. He didn’t overplay it.

MANDY: My best death was in Casualty. Clive did his best to save me, bless him, but it was too late.

KATY: How many times have you died on screen?

MANDY: I’ve lost count. Here’s poor old Garfield.

KATY: Is he out of work too?

MANDY: I think everyone is.

KATY: That’s Bob Holmes for you. No good ever comes of anything.

MANDY: But we’re trying to get everyone to work together.

KATY: With Bob, you never know if that’s going to work. You might win or you might all get shot.

MANDY: By this time, we knew it would be the last episode, so I suppose they could have changed it so that we all died.

KATY: Maggie is very pleased with herself.

MANDY: She has such a wonderful evil smile.

KATY: They’re still only celebrating with fizzy water.

MANDY: Well, it would have been tea time when it went out. Mustn’t set a bad example.

KATY: Is Garfield Morgan still with us?

MANDY: I don’t think he is. Although I could be wrong.

KATY: It’s so hard to keep track of everyone.

MANDY: I know. Once I put my foot in it because I thought Trevor Eve had died.

KATY: Oh no!

MANDY: Of course, he’s still going strong now, I’m glad to say. I felt such a fool.

KATY: The robots have got a bit further. That one nearly tripped over.

MANDY: I’ve just noticed, they’re wearing moon boots, which used to be quite trendy.

KATY: Used to be. Everyone thinks the future will be all silver, but it never is.

MANDY: We’re all getting together now.

KATY: I hope we’re plotting a revolution.

MANDY: Oh no, Bill doesn’t want to.

KATY: He’s so woolly.

MANDY: He’s got principles.

KATY: He’s got the wrong ones.

MANDY: Even the yuppie has come over.

KATY: Mercenary!

MANDY: Bill is so sweet in this scene. He just doesn’t realise how awful the yuppie is.

KATY: (LAUGHING) Oh Bob! You evil old bastard!

MANDY: Language, Katy. This makes it so ambiguous. It’s very clever.

KATY: Yes, you could never accuse Bob of having rose-tinted spectacles.

MANDY: I think that’s settled it.

KATY: Yes! Get the guns! What are you doing?

MANDY: I think I’m making something to zap the robots. It always makes me laugh when I have to use these gadgets and gizmos. I’m really not very technically minded at all.

KATY: We can’t see her face, but I think this is a double. I don’t run like that.

MANDY: I don’t think you’re in it any more.

KATY: Oh. … This must be when I was having my … problems.

MANDY: I think you were very unlucky to get caught. You weren’t really doing any harm.

KATY: It was a very difficult time for me. The tabloids wouldn’t give up. They were desperate for a nude photo, but of course there wasn’t one.

MANDY: You were very brave to get through it all.

KATY: You were an enourmous help. And I was lucky to get the best treatment.

MANDY: I felt very sorry for you, but I think it did you good to leave Time Girls.

KATY: I still feel awful about letting everyone down.

MANDY: You mustn’t. I don’t think it would have lasted very long in any case. The people upstairs had turned against it, and I think they were already looking for a reason to cancel the rest of the series.

KATY: I was blacklisted for years afterwards. That’s why I’ve never done Eastenders.

MANDY: I wouldn’t have thought Eastenders was really your sort of thing.

KATY: I don’t know. It’s more theatrical than people make out. They still use multi-camera. And the dialogue is very refined. It’s not how common people really speak.

MANDY: You see, the thing is, common people are so … inarticulate. The writers wouldn’t be able to get their ideas across.

KATY: It’s only because they didn’t get into grammar school. We never heard their voices on telly in the old days.

MANDY: There was Fred Dibnah.

KATY: Now he was fascinating. And so different.

MANDY: But some of the words he used. Dear, oh dear. I think it would frighten the horses if Eastenders went too far in that direction.

KATY: (IMPECCABLE RP THROUGHOUT) Mary Whitehouse would have a fit. It would be all “you fucking cunt” and-

MANDY: Katy! Really!

KATY: But this is what they’re like. It’s a shame that people are judged by how they speak.

MANDY: I managed to change. I’ve done alright for myself, really.

KATY: It’s a shame that you had to change. They made us all the same.

MANDY: I didn’t mind. It’s a wonderful thing that in Britain anyone can get on if they’ve got brains and work hard.

KATY: I think our generation was luckier than most. Nowadays the public school boys get all the best jobs again. My old school went private after I left.

MANDY: It cost us a fortune to send Vicky there, but it did her the world of good.

KATY: I don’t know whether my parents could have paid for me.

MANDY: Oh, the poor snake. … I think this is a joke about Jeremy Thorpe, isn’t it?

KATY: Bloody Jeremy Thorpe. We were doing so well and then it all went wrong. That always happens.

MANDY: Roy Jenkins and David Steel didn’t get into any trouble.

KATY: No, they were good. It was the bloody awful voting system that did for us.

MANDY: We all have so much to thank Roy Jenkins for.

KATY: Yes. It seems funny now that in the sixties and seventies we thought things would always keep getting better.

MANDY: Well, this is the end of the very last episode, and so it’s time for us to say goodbye. We’ve enjoyed doing these commentaries very much, haven’t we Katy?

KATY: It’s work.

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