Hot Metal (1986– )
7.5/10
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Religion of the People 

Millionnaire Twiggy Rathbone is seeking a new figurehead to control his look-alike editor Russell Spam. Failing TV Presenter Richard Lipton believes that his integrity will enable him to clean up the Daily Crucible. Is he right?

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Russell Spam / Twiggy Rathbone
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David Barrass ...
Jack Thrush
David Lodge ...
Sgt. Major Lutterworth
Caroline Milmoe ...
Maggie Troon
Richard Kane ...
Greg Kettle
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Records Clerk
Gladys Crosbie ...
Lady Driver
Ben Stollery ...
Police Officer
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Storyline

Millionnaire Twiggy Rathbone is seeking a new figurehead to control his look-alike editor Russell Spam. Failing TV Presenter Richard Lipton believes that his integrity will enable him to clean up the Daily Crucible. Is he right?

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Comedy

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6 March 1988 (UK)  »

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Written, composed and performed by Alan Price
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God joins the Crucible!
7 May 2013 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

After an absence from our screens of one year, 'Hot Metal' returned for a second and final run in 1988. Some cast changes took place - Geoffrey Palmer declined to return, hence the opening moments of the first episode of Season 2 show Twiggy Rathbone delivering a eulogy at a memorial service for Harry Stringer ( his plane having vanished in the infamous Bermuda Triangle'. The hunt is on for a replacement. Rathbone settles for 'Dicky Lipton' ( Richard Wilson ), a daytime television presenter with no experience of running a newspaper whatever. Presumably Rathbone thinks he will be easier to control than Stringer. Also gone was Geoffrey Hutchings' 'Max Rutherford' and John Gordon Sinclair's 'Bill Tytla'. In place of the latter is 'Maggie Troon' ( played by the attractive Caroline Milmoe, best known to viewers at that time as 'Julie Jefferson' in Carla Lane's 'Bread' ). To promote the show, Milmoe went on the B.B.C.'s 'Open Air' and fielded calls from viewers. One asked her directly for her opinion of tabloid rags such as 'The Crucible', and she answered: "I think they're pathetic!". Not a girl to mince words, our Caroline.

Lipton soon finds himself in a similar situation to his predecessor - unable to stop the paper churning out more and more mindless pap. The latest wheeze to push up sales is to publish the names of A.I.D.S. sufferers in Britain. In case you think this tasteless, it is no more so than the hostile coverage meted out to real-life A.I.D.S. sufferers at the time. When it was announced that Princess Diana was to visit a clinic and meet victims of this terrible condition, many tabloids reacted furiously, more or less stating that their condition was their own fault due to their 'obnoxious practises'. The Crucible has another new gimmick - a weekly column penned by 'God', alias a retired soldier named 'Lutterworth' ( David Lodge ), a right-wing loony who thinks firing squads are the best way to deal with traffic offences.

Funniest moment - Lipton turning up for work at the Crucible to find the papers has moved to new premises - without telling him! Shades of Murdoch's move to Wapping!

Finally, its been a while since I last commented on 'Dr.Who'. Frankly, its not worth commenting on these days. Since 2009, the stories have been wildly inconsistent, with Matt Smith's impression of the title character ( I wouldn't call it a performance ) becoming increasingly annoying, consisting as it does of him waving his arms about like the late Dr.Magnus Pyke and gurning furiously like Phil Cool taking off Quasimodo. I cannot wait for him to go. Last Saturday's episode - 'The Crimson Horror' - was a scandalous waste of Dame Diana Rigg.


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