The Manturoid Mission: Episode 2 Commentary

[posted 8:00 am, 25 September 2014]

Controversies over screaming, pink things, violence against women, and “something for the dads”. Also more gorillas and a rubbish space rocket.

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

KATY: Hello, this is episode two, and we had a very exciting cliffhanger. I was tied up in the secret lab, and the monster thing with Ted Furnage inside it was coming to get me.

MANDY: I’ve just thought. That’s not you screaming, is it?

KATY: No. It wasn’t in the script, and we didn’t rehearse it with a scream. I did the first take the way we’d rehearsed and I thought it was alright. But then word came down from the gallery that they wanted a scream. I kept doing it badly until they gave up because time was short. I thought I’d won. But as it turned out, they dubbed someone else in later.

MANDY: I wonder who it was.

KATY: It’s starting.

MANDY: Here I come to the rescue.

KATY: … Is that it? It’s not very clever, is it?

MANDY: Well …

KATY: Cut away. Cut back. I’m free!

MANDY: I had terrible trouble untying the rope. We had to stop recording while the assistant floor manager cut you free with scissors. It was very fraught because it looked like we were going to overrun.

KATY: I remember I was dying for a pee.

MANDY: I think in a way it made you more convincing. Not that you weren’t convincing.

KATY: I know what you mean. It’s not easy to act with purpose when you’re tied up and someone says “scream now”. It’s no use directors asking “How would you feel?”. I don’t bloody know because none of this could happen to me. I’m from Croydon, not outer space.

MANDY: You’re supposed to imagine.

KATY: I know, but the script was all over the place. It was hard to make a through line.

MANDY: Here we go through the good old ventilation shaft.

KATY: That isn’t very clever either.

MANDY: Oh dear. My bum looks huge.

KATY: No it doesn’t. But I don’t think they ought to have shot us from that angle.

MANDY: I suppose it’s for the dads, isn’t it?

KATY: I don’t think my dad would have watched something for that. He liked Ian’s adventures, not looking up Susan’s skirt. And mum would have been very upset. We all watched it together. She adored Barbara.

MANDY: We didn’t have a set in those days. I felt a bit left out at school when the other girls talked about what they’d been watching. … Outside again.

KATY: Where’s gorilla man? … Oh, there are lots of them now.

MANDY: Bums for the dads, then action for the boys.

KATY: Fun for all the family.

MANDY: I think girls were inspired by seeing you in action. Vicky loved to watch you later on.

KATY: I’m not sure that I set a very good example.

MANDY: She did like to play at being you. And she-

KATY: Run away! We had to do so many takes of this bit. It was hell without a bra. And why do we have to run away when I’ve got a gun?

MANDY: You didn’t like your gun, did you?

KATY: Why on earth would a gun be PINK?! I felt like such an idiot, trying to look menacing with it.

MANDY: Meanwhile in the studio … Pam and Kevin are having a little tiff.

KATY: Pam is playing it so well. Her character should be in charge, really. Kevin’s is useless.

MANDY: He is calling for help now. That’s quite sensible.

KATY: Oh, that’s Peter Tuddenham on the other end, isn’t it?

MANDY: Yes. He was so lovely. Because we only heard his voice, he didn’t have to learn his lines. He read them from a little booth out of shot.

KATY: He always had a stash of booze behind his curtains. That made him very popular.

MANDY: Oh, they’re sending a rocket. It’s all very exciting.

KATY: I can see the stick where it covers up the stars.

MANDY: You’re not supposed to think about the stick, Katy. Let us on your imaginary forces work.

KATY: We don’t need to see this at all to follow the story. They wasted all that time and money to show us something obvious. Think when we talk of rockets that you see them.

MANDY: We’re still being chased. Will we ever escape?

KATY: No, far cheaper to have us running around a quarry with no-one to talk to. … At last, I’ve got my silly pink gun out.

MANDY: I don’t think you kill them.

KATY: … Open the door! Open the door! … Thanks, Pam.

MANDY: Here we all are, lined up against the fourth wall.

KATY: During the camera rehearsal, I stood in the wrong place, and the floor manager put his hands on my hips to move me over. I couldn’t believe it.

MANDY: Pam knows what’s going on. …

KATY: Oh, come on, Kevin. Of course it’s him! Stop being so dim!

MANDY: John is very convincing, though.

KATY: Yes, he’s so good at being slimy. I expect it’ll take another two episodes before we can catch him out. Look at him going off in a huff.

MANDY: That girl at the computer. She was in Angels later on, wasn’t she?

KATY: Oh yes, I think she was. Now, what was her name?

MANDY: I can’t think.

KATY: No, it’s gone. My agent wanted me to do Angels after this, but I wasn’t very keen.

MANDY: What’s John doing now?

KATY: I think he’s making another of those monster things.

MANDY: Oh, but he’s having some moral qualms.

KATY: … No you haven’t, John. Stop it.

MANDY: That line was from somewhere else, wasn’t it?

KATY: Yes. Derek was shameless. Did he ever have an idea of his own?

MANDY: I’m sure he must have done.

KATY: I suppose it was quite unusual that we were both women. Other programmes always had a man in charge.

MANDY: They’re now saying that Derek had some peculiar ideas. About men and women. Perhaps that helped him to think differently.

KATY: Apparently that’s why I was always tied up. … Oh, more running through corridors.

MANDY: Or flying in my case. When we were in the studio, I was hanging on a wire like Peter Pan. I could glide around quite elegantly. Although sometimes they got it wrong and I crashed into something.

KATY: Oh! Dead end.

MANDY: I think the idea is that the wall wasn’t there before.

KATY: I’m not sure how we can tell. … Look out, Pam! He’s behind you!

MANDY: She’s seen him … but it’s too late.

KATY: This scene is revolting. They’ve made it far too erotic.

MANDY: You sound like Mary Whitehouse now.

KATY: I bloody don’t! She didn’t want women to have any freedom.

MANDY: Cliffhanger! Who strangled Pam?

KATY: We all know it was John.

MANDY: It could be a surprise. We didn’t see his face.

KATY: We didn’t see much of Pam’s face either.

MANDY: Unfortunately, the rest of this story has been lost, but we’re both looking forward to talking about the next story. Until then, it’s goodbye from me, Amanda Cadewell.

KATY: And goodbye from me, Katy Froade. We’re sorry it wasn’t very good.

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