Monday, 22 April 2013

The Next Tom Archer?

Cian Cheesbrough (Josh Archer)

Is Josh Archer set to take over from his relative Tom as Ambridge's most ambitious entrepreneur? Neil and Hayley have more or less decided to sell off the hens and Josh wants to buy them and set up his own business. Neil says 'no', as it might interfere with Josh's education and maybe in a couple of years…

Josh is distraught, saying that doing the hens hasn't interfered with his schoolwork thus far and that he has so many ideas for the business and he wants to try them out now, not in two years. Neil remains adamant and Josh tells him that he's not going to give up. Do these ideas involve Ready Meals, I ask myself – will we have a film clip of chickens playing football? The pigs would thrash them, I reckon.

A disgruntled Josh returns to Brookfield, where he demands that David takes him to school, as he's missed the bus (what was that about the chickens not affecting his schoolwork?). David doesn't like his tone and Josh eventually flounces out to ask Rooooth to take him.

If Josh wants to be the next Big Thing in Ambridge, you might expect Tom to put up a fight, but in the blink of an eye the Sausagemeister has gone from full on obsessive to not giving a toss. Pat confronts him on Sunday and berates him for not getting on with selling the cows. Tom breaks down and tells his Mum the whole story of the split with Brenda. "Oh Mum, what am I going to do?" he sobs. Get on with making Ready Meals – failing that, have a heart to heart with Maurice; that would probably be the last straw.

Pat is sympathetic, but later on in the week Helen turns up for a talk with her brother, which can be summarised as "get your backside into gear and stop moping." Helen is appalled to learn that Bellinghams (a small chain) rang Tom about trialling the Ready Meals in London and the South East and he said he'd ring them back. As Helen continues to have a go at her brother, he says that Bren only moved out yesterday (she's gone to stay with Roy and Hayley) and "can't you cut me some slack?" Helen says "no" and reminds Tom that she knows what it's like to lose someone you love, so bloody well get on with it. Later she apologises for being hard on him, but he says it was just what he needed and he has rung Bellinghams and made an appointment to meet.

Brenda met with Pat, to try and explain what has been happening and Pat, obviously trying to win the 'British understatement of the year' trophy, says that "I know Tom can be a bit obsessive about his business." A bit? A bit! Compared with Tom's level of obsession with pig meat products, Captain Ahab merely demonstrated a passing interest in tracking down Moby Dick.

There was an amusing moment when Jim, interviewing Brian Aldridge as his final subject for Borsetshire Life, remarks that it is good that, despite all his varied business interests, Brian still finds the time to take an interest in village affairs. Take an interest? If there was an affair in the village, it was odds-on that Brian was involved – ask Siobhan, or Caroline, or anything female on two legs.

It was a return to the bad old Emma days when Nic told her that she (Nic) was pregnant. Emma immediately reverted to bitchy cow mode and her mood is not improved when Ed says "Good luck to Nic." Nic mentioned to Clarrie that Emma didn't seem to pleased when she told her and Clarrie demonstrated once again her blind optimism and total ignorance of Emma's character when she says "When Emma's got more time, she'll come round." Clarrie, there's probably only another 20 billion years or so before all the suns die and the Universe expires in a cold, dark heap of slag and Emma will still be feeling resentful.

Meanwhile, things are looking black for Darrell – Des (described by Darrell to Neil as 'a seriously nasty piece of work') has promoted Darrell from car park attendant and lookout at the mysterious late-night gatherings to cleaner-upper and Darrell throws up when he has to clear up the bloody aftermath of an evening of dog fighting in the barn. This begs a question – if people are turning up in cars, presumably with lights on, and there is an evening of dog fighting, which I would hazard a guess is a fairly noisy experience, then exactly how far away from the farmhouse – or any other dwelling - is this barn?

Anyway, Neil hatches a plan, whereby he tells the local police community officer that he's heard rumours of dog fighting. On Friday night, Neil rings the law to say that he was out walking when he noticed some unusual activity; cars and aggressive dogs. As Neil finishes his call, Darrell rings; he has chickened out and says "Don't ring the police." Neil explains that it's too late and tells Darrell to leg it. Darrell does so, but the criminal mastermind has brought the walkie talkie with him and an irate Des rings up as the police and RSPCA raid the barn. Wouldn't you know it – Des manages to get away in the confusion; a shot rings out, we hear an "oh!" from Neil and a copper's voice saying "Mr. Carter, are you all right? Mr. Carter!" And so the week ends.

Finally, back at Brookfield, David wanted Pip to help him with the lambs the following day but she rings and tells him that she will be in the library all day, getting her head down, working at preparing for a possible job placement. David is disappointed, but pleased that Pip seems to be taking uni work seriously for a change. But wait! We then hear Pip phone Spencer and say excitedly "We're on for tomorrow – London here we come!" If she is getting her head down, then it would appear to have nothing to do with work…

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