The New Statesman: Season 1, Episode 5

Friends of St. James (11 Oct. 1987)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
6.9
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Alan organises a parliamentary fact-finding expedition....

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Title: Friends of St. James (11 Oct 1987)

Friends of St. James (11 Oct 1987) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Rowena Cooper ...
Norman Bormann (as R.R. Cooper)
Michael Troughton ...
Trevor Laird ...
Lance Okum-Martin
William Simons ...
Catchpole
...
Captain Hirsch
Steffanie Pitt ...
Cyndy
Neville Phillips ...
Headmaster
John Fitzgerald Jay ...
Co-Pilot (as John Jay)
Chris Tummings ...
Police Sergeant
John Carlin ...
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Alan organises a parliamentary fact-finding expedition....

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Comedy

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11 October 1987 (UK)  »

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The biter bit!
26 November 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Alan is guest of honour at prize-giving day at his old public school ( and thoroughly bored by the occasion ) when he bumps into Lance Okum-Martin ( Trevor Laird ), his old fag, currently 'President for life' - in other words a dictator - of the Caribbean island of St.James. He wants Alan to use his Parliamentary influence to secure a hefty loan to bail the country out of economic difficulties, but Alan is not keen. Lance gives him what appears to be a cigarette - it is in fact a marijuana joint. Alan is hooked.

He tells the Commons the St.James' banks have 25% interest rates. The drooling M.P.'s become keen to invest money there, and accompany Alan and Piers on a chartered flight to the island...

An average episode. The school and Commons scenes are great, but we spend a bit too much time on the plane for my liking. Angus MacInnes plays 'Captain Hirsch', a loud American who terrifies passengers by reminding them of the fates of Jim Reeves and Buddy Holly. In a nice twist, it turns out Lance has taken Alan for a ride. To stop them landing at St.James, he and Piers fake a hijacking, with them playing terrorists. Steffanie Pitt a.k.a. stewardess 'Cyndy', is the daughter of the recently deceased film star Ingrid Pitt. Alan's endorsement of Lance in Parliament - he supported Britain during the Falklands War - sounds uncannily like Thatcher's for the late, unlamented General Augusto Pinochet. William Simons is 'Catchpole', a Labour M.P. with a voice so boring he could give 'Father Stone' from 'Father Ted' a run for his money.

Funniest moment - on the plane, Piers sits down. The back of the chair collapses, landing in Catchpole's lap. "Argggh! You've crushed my nuts!", he whimpers. Piers says: "Didn't know you had any!".

Second funniest moment - Alan, high as a kite, delivering his speech at the school.


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