Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Bonus Posting: The Pedalo Of Doom

I thought it might be an idea to share some of the comments that are sent in about the blog (and thank you for the mostly complimentary remarks!). Keep the comments coming, as it’s good to know how some of you think.

The first comment is from an anonymous reader, who has noticed a temporal anomaly in our favourite village:

Something odd has happened to Ambridge time. If it was Tuesday in the real world then it would be Tuesday in Ambridge. The result was that you only ever got fifteen minutes of anything. The "piece of rope" that hitches The Archers to the real world has been replaced by a piece of elastic now. Days can pass in real time, but it is still Monday in Ambridge.

I'm finding it exhilarating, but unsettling. Quite enjoying storylines where something actually happens for once, and not missing the "wallpaper" that used to be in some episodes.

A different point of view from those who bombard the BBC Radio 4 ‘Feedback’ postbag with complaints about how The Archers is turning into ‘Eastenders in a field’ and similar, plus Mr or Ms Anonymous is spot on about the ‘elastic time’. While this allows the writers to build up suspense in some storylines, we should be careful what we wish for; under the ’Old Ambridge Time’, something like Lynda Snell’s Christmas panto only got a 15 minute airing (albeit after months of rehearsal, drama and casting problems) – imagine if they decided to broadcast the whole panto over a week! It doesn’t bear thinking about.

The next comment comes from Colin, who seems to think that the writers of The Archers have let a golden opportunity slip by:

Drat, the only victims were some sheep and maybe Scruff. They could have used the opportunity to kill off some annoying characters - a boat carrying Will, George, Vicky, Jim and that irritating Johnny capsizes and sends them all to a watery doom hee, hee. If only…

Colin has a point, even if you don’t necessarily agree with his choice of victims. I started to make a list, but had to stop, as the size of vessel needed to accommodate the growing crowd could never have navigated the Am. I was up to HMS Belfast size before I stopped. Discipline! That’s what was needed! So I decided that, tempting as it was to load up all the dead wood, I would have to limit myself and I came up with the idea of the Pedalo of Doom - a vessel capable of carrying only four passengers on their final journey to the Other Side.

Try it; it’s hard to stop at four, especially when the first two (for me) were nailed-on certainties, so that’s half the quota gone in half a second. Yes, sitting nervously in the front two seats would be Kate and Will, but who to join them? Wayne? But that could be a waste of a seat, as he only seems to be appearing sporadically and I can put up with one appearance every nine months. No, the remaining two seats would have to be reserved for those who were regularly annoying.

James and Leone? Annoying enough, I grant you, but thankfully we don’t hear a lot of them, thank God. Joe Grundy? Another waste, as, at 93, he can’t have many years left, can he? The pre-bull trampled Tony would have been a shoo-in, as indeed would the old sausage king Tom, but I’m prepared to give their new incarnations a chance to impress.

The next candidates called to mind the first scene from ‘Macbeth’ as I considered Pat, Jennifer and Lilian and, had it been a five-seater pedalo, one of them would be waving goodbye. Or it might have been Rooooth. You see how difficult it is? I could go on for ages, but it’s so frustrating, so let’s stop here and announce that the four in my Pedalo of Doom are Kate, Will, Lynda Snell and Susan Carter. You may disagree (and the chances are that I will have changed my mind by the end of the page) but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

The third comment came from a friend of mine, who said “Nobody seemed to be thinking of Peggy during the flood, did they?”  How very true, but then again, perhaps she’s a champion swimmer. Obviously the writers cannot account for everyone in Ambridge, but the remark did make me revisit a thought that has been in my mind for some time, and that is ‘What has happened to Darrell?’ Unless I’ve missed something, the last we heard of Darrell is that he was living up near the Stables in a converted camper van, but since moving in, we haven’t heard anything from him and no-one has even mentioned his name.

We know that the Stables were affected, as Shula and Alistair had to be rescued and taken to Grey Gables, so where was Darrell? Has he starved to death? Did his camper van float serenely down the Am with him inside it? If so, I’m going to swap the Pedalo of Doom for the Camper Van of Fate – you can get many more than four annoying people in a camper van.


  1. Excellent! Yes, we've wondered what's happened to Darrell.

    For the Pedalo of Doom, I think my nominations would be the same as yours except I'd go for Emma instead of Lynda (who I feel a bit sorry for sometimes - she means well, doesn't she?). Mind you, I've been finding Fallon quite irritating recently. Then there's cringeworthy Jolene & annoying Kenton...

  2. And whatever happend to Jamie and Kathy? Did they quietly fall off the list of characters or did I miss the bit where the went on a round the world cruise? The last time i heard of them, Kathy the manager at Grey Gables and Jamie was working with Mike? ZOE

  3. My vote is for: Roooth and Susan Carter, Kate and Pip. I rather like Lynda Snell...

  4. Am I the only one who would give the first seat to Jill ?! With fellow passengers of Kate, Will and Rob ?
    Definitely not Pip though !

  5. Is the pedalo still afloat? if so, may I suggest that it is currently being manned by Jamie, Dan, Ben and Freddie? They all seem to have disappeared below the floodwaters. Yes, I know Jamie is supposed to be out in Bavaria shooting people, but we only have his mother's word for that, and she's clearly deranged.

    Alternatively they're in the queue for the next season of the X-Factor having formed a boyband.