Plumber Harry Blackburn is mad about country and western music, and when he joins the boys Oz regales him with his tales of Nashville and Merle Haggard. The truth comes out about Dennis' ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Gary Holton ...
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Ally Fraser
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Arthur Pringle
Kevin Lloyd ...
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Kenny Ames
Julia Tobin ...
Brenda Hope
Val McLane ...
Norma
Lesley Saint-John ...
Vicki
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Howard Radcliff
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Storyline

Plumber Harry Blackburn is mad about country and western music, and when he joins the boys Oz regales him with his tales of Nashville and Merle Haggard. The truth comes out about Dennis' debts and the lads all go on strike. Ally, annoyed to here of this sends in his toughest boys to sort them out. The eight builders of course, show them the road back to the North East. Written by salim

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Comedy | Drama

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28 March 1986 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bomber says that he prefers Adge Cutler and the Wurzels, and West Country Music. The Wurzels came from Somerset, near Bristol, and styled their music Scrumpy and Western after the type of cider. Drink up thy Zider (in West Country Dialect) was released in 1966, and is practically regarded as the "national anthem" of North Somerset and Bristol, if not all of Somerset. It is by far the most famous Adge Cutler song, often played on local radio. It is also the anthem of Bristol City F.C. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the restaurant, Kenny Ames appears to say something to Ally, but it has been overdubbed with a sigh. See more »

Quotes

Albert Moxey: [on Country music] The original head bangers...
Barry Taylor: Not so much "Heavy Metal" as "Thick Grass". I would think prolonged exposure to this would make you grow udders.
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Connections

References High Noon (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Best of the Rest
23 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

I rate this particular episode as being amongst the best of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and certainly the best of the second series. It's funny, it's engaging and it's good drama.

There's some great ideas in this one. There's country music, and a western style showdown. There's also some great dialogue, such as Barry's pronouncement on Country music - "Not so much Heavy Metal as Thick Grass. I would think prolonged exposure to this would make you grow udders." – or Kenny Ames on his exile in the Costa Del Crime "This is a real prison, this is." Even Neville gets a great comedy line, and he shines in this episode.

Series two had some really laboured (no pun intended) story lines about class conflict and snobbery, but in "Cowboys", we're spared the dreadful upper class stereotypes of "Another Country", and the political points are much better made. Ally perhaps represents the Thatcherism of the time, with his get-rich-quick scheme, which rides roughshod over the pride/self-respect of the lads, and is not ashamed to use force if necessary. Someone rightly describes Ally's proposed old folks' home as a "cardboard death trap". More obviously, "Cowboys" tackles the (now largely complete) Americanisation of England.

The drama works really nicely too. The lads manage to do Dennis a good turn, and stand up for his (and their) rights, and justice is served. It's also one of the few times that the villain Ally Fraser gets to show his true nature.

While series one of AWP was full of good episodes, series two wasn't. I just wish the rest of series two – and indeed series three and four – were this strong. Maybe Harry Blackburn should have been brought back, instead of that "Wyman" character. (Even Trev would have been better)

High Point: The showdown (Barry's contribution cracks me up)

Low Point: The ghost subplot doesn't work very well, particularly when we find out what the cause is.

Look out for: Big Willie Osbourne's number, Kenny and Ally in the jacuzzi, a young Gina McKee.


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