Episode Reviews Part 4

Up Captain Peacock

This episode's plot is twofold—Captain Peacock's promotion and the staff lunch break's being delayed 1 hour.


Mr. Humphries' trademark "I'm free!" first occurred in the following exchange:
Peacock: "Mr. Humphries, are you free?"
Humphries: "I'm busy pricing my ties, Captain Peacock."
Peacock: "The gentleman wishes to try on a dress."
Humphries: "I'm free!"
In previous episodes, Mr. Humphries had merely replied "Yes, I'm free" in a matter-of-fact way to the query "Are you free?"
Tacky Display:
The Sensi-Touch Gloves display, which Mrs. Slocombe manipulates slightly to persuade Rumbold not to use it on the shop floor.
Best Bits: Bons Mots: Captain Peacock is eventually brought down to earth during his lunch in the executive dining room when the wall separating it from the canteen is knocked down by order of the Factory Inspector due to the canteen's being too small for the number of people using it.


With a clever plot and interesting customers, "Up Captain Peacock" is a neat little gem.

Cold Store

In this episode prominently featuring Mr. Lucas and Mr. Mash—which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view—the staff must cope with seasonal illnesses and injuries, some real, some (Lucas') unreal.


Elsie the cleaner suddenly becomes Daphne the cleaner.
That nurse is no nun: she's a nursing sister (somewhat analogous to the German Krankenschwester, or "sickness sister").
Best Bits: Bons Mots: A desperate Lucas finally has to intentionally slip on spilled floor polish (courtesy of Mr. Mash) to try to get the day off. Thanks to Young Mr. Grace's benevolent intervention, he gets to go to the hospital instead.


An irony-tinged surprise ending, with Young Mr. Grace's benediction "You're all looking very well" and topped off by a clever end credit sequence showing the door to the gent's in place of Mr. Grainger.

Wedding Bells

This episode, in which visuals are as important as dialogue, is the first of a pair in which the ever-man hungry Mrs. Slocombe almost gets married (well, in her own mind, at least), the other being "Do You Take This Man?"


First hint of Young Mr. Grace's "dirty old man" nature.
Best Bits: Bons Mots: Sadly, Mrs. Slocombe's hopes are dashed, but she does get a clever last word:
Captain Peacock: "When's the happy day?"
Mrs. Slocombe: "Today."
Captain Peacock: "Today?"
Mrs. Slocombe: "I turned him down!"
With its tidy surprise ending, "Wedding Bells" is a charming jewel of an episode.

German Week

Achtung, Einkäufer! Willkommen zu den Grace Brothers! This episode, a favorite of many fans, features one of Grace Brothers' most notorious (and disastrous) sales gimmicks: as if it weren't hard enough to push British goods, the staff are now required to push German goods for an entire week. The lack of success of Russian Cosmetic Week should have told them something, but….
Terminology: Our very own German Week Glossary lists German words and phrases used in this episode, plus some additional expressions that might have been useful if Grace Brothers had ever dared attempt such a stunt again.

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk: Stereotypical German accents, pejorative terms such as "Kraut" and "Jerry", plus German words chosen more for comic effect than accuracy ("Ausfahrt" is a highway exit, but it apparently has a greater titter factor for English speakers than "Ausgang").

Die Ersten:
First appearance of Miss Thorpe, the prettiest of the "bimbo" secretaries.
Die Trivialitäten:
Joanna Lumley (Miss French, the perfume company representative in "His and Hers") makes a return appearance as one of the German customers.
Die Fehler: Die besten Stücke: Die witzigen Bemerkungen: After seeing the chaotic demonstration, Young Mr. Grace decides to take Grace Brothers out of the Common Market. "American Sportswear Week", anyone?

Der Schluß:

No plot to speak of, but still an endearingly absurd romp. One of the best AYBS?'s ever.


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© 1997 Emily Jackson