Post by jno on Sept 29, 2015 15:11:58 GMT
Link to episode on minder.org: www.minder.org/episodeguide/S08E09_TheGreatestShowInWillesden.htm
The Greatest Show in Willesden
While Arthur's at the barber talking about the good old days of entertainment, Ray is playing snooker with his dodgy old school pal Barry, who Ray refers to as 'Barrel'. Barrel tries to recruit Ray to help promote his karaoke business in local pubs and clubs. Ray takes Gloria along to a karaoke evening at the Rose & Crown. Barrel is not a particularly nice character and he treats his right arm man 'Trev' very badly - Trev just seems to do whatever Barrel asks him without question (both pictured here).
When Arthur gets wind of the karaoke business, he gets himself down to the Rose & Crown and surprises them all. His plan - to check out what's what and before long Arthur is totally sold on the idea of karaoke and entertainment in pubs. He soon tries to convince Dave this would be a good idea at the Winchester, but Dave isn't buying.
Before long Arthur and his pal Monty Hinchcliffe have tracked down Tommy Pickford, a former ventriloquist who Arthur loved back in the day. Arthur wants to try and bring back his old act 'Mystic Mickey' and combine this with some karaoke at failing British Volunteer pub, where the landlord is a pal of Arthur's. Arthur borrows a karaoke machine from Mrs Gabadini, who together with her sons are a renowned tough criminal family in West London.
Overall - I like this one. There are not too many laughs, but it is very enjoyable nevertheless. There are one or two moments of humour, such as when Colin Stamp appears at the audition singing of "Fair Moon, To Thee I Sing".
Some top lines:
Dave to Ray (about the audition process): This is getting right up my hooter!
Arthur to Ray (when his karaoke machine gets stolen): Thanks to your nocturnal activities with the fair sex, I am now deep in the stilton with one of the more vicious families of West London. I only hope this wil be a lesson to you, women are trouble.
For me this is very representative of the time. I remember going to the pub in the early 90s and having to suffer karaoke which was gaining in popularity at this point in order to attract punters. This has such a great early 90s vibe about it. One notable point for me is the second karaoke singer at the Rose & Crown wearing a 'bum bag' down to the pub! This isn't the greatest episode of Minder but I do enjoy watching it - what it lacks is seeing what the Gabadinis do at the end in order to balance their books with the karaoke machine that Barrel has nicked. It would have been so nice to see him and Trev getting their comeuppance.
Some more history about 'Stables Market' and 'Stanley Sidings' where Mrs Gabadini's warehouse is located here: www.locallocalhistory.co.uk/ctown/p150/pages166-170.htm
Potential dialog blooper - listen carefully when Gloria turns up 44m38s - does Ray call Gloria 'Nina' ? Fair play, Emma Cunningham as Gloria, wow - she is very nice in this one.
For me this is one of the better ones from series 8 I think - shame there is no punch up though: 7/10.