Sunday, 4 January 2015

One Hip Flask And He’s Anybody’s

Andrew Wincott (Adam Macy)

That Adam is a bit of a tart, isn’t he? On New Year’s Eve Jennifer forces him to take Kate to the do at Grey Gables, at which she apparently tries to drink the place dry of champagne. As well as unburdening herself to Adam (of which, sadly, more later) she takes quite a shine to Charlie, asking Adam whether or not he has a girlfriend. Adam replies - rather tetchily - that he doesn’t know and Kate says that, if she didn’t know better, she’d say he was jealous. “Don’t be ridiculous - I’m a happily married man” Adam snaps back.

Later on however, Adam is alone with Charlie and the latter asks Adam why doesn’t he thank him? When Adam asks what for, Charlie reveals that it was he that bought Adam’s Secret Santa present of a hip flask. A hip flask? Bloody hell - I got aftershave and a box of Heroes. Adam is taken aback, as he never bought Charlie anything. He also tells Charlie that he took his advice to stand up to Brian and he and Ian are off to Miami tomorrow. There is more small talk and then they kiss. With impeccable timing, Helen comes outside for a breath of fresh air and catches them at it. “What the hell’s going on?” she demands.

So, what can we learn from this?  One: Helen isn’t that clever. Two: Charlie obviously only half understands the concept of a Secret Santa. Three: Adam is setting his sights higher - last year he had a sordid night of passion with fruit picker Pawel, this year he has traded up to Charlie and what lies ahead for next year? An affair with Justin Eliot, perhaps? The question remains, will Helen be able to stop herself telling Ian what she saw - after all, Ian is her friend? Perhaps it’s lucky that Adam and Ian are off to the States.

And now we have to talk about Kate and I hope you will forgive me if I break down sobbing. Not because of the revelation that Lucas has given up his job and taken the children back to Jo’burg, nor because Kate realises that she married the wrong man and not because Lucas’s family are trying to turn the children against her. No, tears sprang unbidden to my eyes when Kate announced that she wants to do an Advanced Diploma in International Development at Felpersham University, which means that she will be around Ambridge for the next year or so.

Brian, like me, was not impressed with this news. “Is there a job at the end of this?” he asked, expecting - and getting - the answer ’No’. Kate leaves the room and Brian tells Jennifer: “You know as well as I do - wherever Kate lands, chaos follows.” Jennifer, however, exhibits a touching (though probably unfounded) faith in her daughter and a strong case of the triumph of hope over experience, when she says “That’s all in the past. Kate being back is a positive move for the whole family.” Oh yeah? Want to bet?

Actually, Jen wasn’t happy, as the Echo decided not to use her story about the alleged plans of Justin Eliot to reduce Ambridge to an industrial wasteland unless she reveals her sources. She is outraged and her mood is not improved when Brian observes that, as BL shareholders, he and Jen could benefit greatly if Justin’s plans go ahead. Wrong answer Brian! Jennifer vows to fight to the bitter end.

We had another example of Rob’s occasional control freakery when he and Helen went shopping for a dress (for her) for the New Year’s Eve ball. Rob has issues with the dress that the store assistant recommended, calling it ‘a bit short’ and ‘trendy’ and suggests a mauve, more frumpy creation. Helen gives in and buys his choice.
On NYE, Rob tells Helen that “We obviously want the same thing - I think it’s time we had a baby.” This came as a bit of a shock to Helen and she asks if the timing is right? I’d get off the dance floor first. It will be an interesting test of how much control Rob actually has over Helen. It was quite a night for Helen - shortly after Rob’s bombshell, she went outside for some air and it was then that she saw Adam and Charlie. An interesting start to the New Year indeed.

There was a happy story when PC Burns and Fallon finally got it together, with her asking him if he’d like to go back to her place for a drink after New Year’s Eve. “I’d like nothing more” Harrison replies. I like Harrison and I like Fallon, so I sincerely hope that they continue to be an item and are happy forever - surely that’s the least the writers can do after bringing Kate back?

Roy had a wretched New Year, ringing Phoebe (no answer), Hayley (ditto) and ending up phoning Elizabeth and breaking down in tears when she doesn’t answer either. Happy New Year, Roy.

Lynda is anxious when she learns that Tristram ‘Hatchet’ Hawkshaw from the Felpersham Light Operatic Society is in the audience of Blithe Spirit and is to review the production for the Echo. After the show he approaches Lynda, who immediately becomes wary and defensive. No need to worry, as Tristram says it was one of the best interpretations of the play that he has seen. He then spoils it a bit for Lynda by heaping praise on Susan’s performance, asking her if she’s thought of taking on bigger parts? Lynda’s self-congratulatory glow is restored when Tristram tells her that she “has raised the bar for amateur theatre in Borsetshire.” Well done Lynda - but think about his words; you have triumphed, but surely it’s best to quit while you are at the top or else it‘s downhill all the way? So, perhaps no Christmas production next year then?


  1. Stumbled upon this, and now I am hooked!
    Fabulous take on The Archers, thank you so much Neil for this, and please, please keep going!!! :)

  2. I also really enjoy reading your blogs and often laugh out loud! Thank you very much Neil. I love what you do.

  3. Were Charlie and Adam just kissing? I couldn't make out the sound effects. It seemed such a mischievous script (all that business about putting Charlie in a kilt, and Helen saying that Ian "wanted to see in the New Year with a bang" that by the time I got to the denouement and Helen's "what on earth is going on?" I can't begin to tell you what was in my mind's eye. Very interesting writing: Jennifer foisting Kate on Adam, and then Kate's revelations and disinhibitions both drawing Charlie to Adam, and unsettling Adam to make him act on impulse. I have a great mental image of Helen too in her frumpy frock (mauve Dralon, with 1983 style piecrust collar) her hair now in a sort of a bowl cut a la Ann Widdecombe circa 1994.

    1. Yes, was wondering about Charlie and Adam, too...
      I guess we will have to wait for Helen to confide in somebody or talk to Ian about it...
      The problem is, she has isolated herself so much in that relationship with Rob that she doesn't have any close friends to talk to now.
      Can't wait for Rob's downfall, The Archers writers are so clever - there is going to be a slow build-up and a massive crash, for sure!