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Thread 99 (yes, 99!): Join us for spirited discussions of The Archers and its Top Blokes, whether you're Team Elizabeth (low spirits), Team Kate (Spiritual Home) or Team Toby (spirits =gin)

(994 Posts)
Bittermints Thu 14-Feb-19 08:12:41

archers Thanks due to @PseudoBadger for kicking off this long, long series of Archers threads and to @DadDadDad for being our resident statistician and keeping the ball rolling when Pseudo stepped back a bit. Thanks also to all those who contributed to the thread title.

archers All views on The Archers welcome here! New blood welcomed. We don't all agree on all points and most of us are posting tongue in cheek a lot of the time, so don't worry about revealing that you'd like to be Susan's best friend or other odd unusual views. grin

archers Spoilers: not on this thread, please. We don't wait for the omnibus to discuss the weeknight episodes, but we do try our best to avoid cross-contamination from www.mumsnet.com/Talk/radio_addicts/3439443-keep-it-to-yourself-the-archers-spoilers-thread-4, where spoilers are positively welcomed!

So, to business. What a fantastic two-hander. Massive BOOP points to Alison Dowling, the scriptwriter and director (and the therapist). I had more than a small tear in my eye listening to that.

I'm another one with a vote of thanks to chemenger for all that information on the last thread about distilling. I should know some of that because I went on a tour of the whisky distillery near where my parents live but I've forgotten most of it except how delicious the end product is. <ahem>

Eastpoint Thu 14-Feb-19 08:17:59

Thank you Bittermints for the new thread. I thought Elizabeth was very sad last night & it was great to have the recap of her life. Although I’ve listened all my life I’m about the same age as Elizabeth so I didn’t hear the parts when she was having operations as I would have been either at school or in bed smile.

SaturdayNext Thu 14-Feb-19 08:18:33

Thanks for starting the thread, Bittermints.

A comment on the last thread reminds me - did Toby ever pay the loan from Pip back?

Bittermints Thu 14-Feb-19 08:21:13

Hi, Eastpoint. Yes, I'm similar. I started listening in the early 80s before she was given a voice. Hadn't realised Alison Dowling had been playing Elizabeth for 35 years this year! I loved the early years when Nigel was the resident buffoon, first going out with Shula and then with Elizabeth.

If anyone missed the link on the last thread, here's AD on playing that scene: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2ZSffDbrnlDRvVWmr415hhx/alison-dowling-on-the-challenge-of-playing-elizabeths-mental-illness

thislldofornow Thu 14-Feb-19 08:42:40

Thanks Bittermints, and the various title creators!

thislldofornow Thu 14-Feb-19 08:44:24

We need to start thinking about that icon we want to request from mumsnet for our 100,000 post archers

echt Thu 14-Feb-19 08:44:26

I howled on listening to the last broadcast, but couldn't post as I had to go to work. I've listened (and howled )again. So much of the emotion of being left resonated, as well as the anger, and overwhelming sadness. I haven't been so moved by fiction lately, let alone TA.

Can't post more, as this thread is about TA, not me.

Tip-top acting.

JessieMcJessie Thu 14-Feb-19 09:17:14

I think that the episode worked because so many listeners are also still really sad and angry about Nigel’s death! It was therapy for us all.

BlueCowWonders Thu 14-Feb-19 09:20:21

Yes!
What JessieMc said!

QuaterMiss Thu 14-Feb-19 09:25:49

Sterling work Bittermints - thank you! And thanks to all the title makers. gingingin

Towards the end of the last thread I was ruminating on just how good TA is becoming and how much there is to look forward to. But my thoughts were concentrated on* the newer generation: Johnny; Lily and her poor bad twin, Ben and Ruairi; and now Mia (with, I suppose some nice boy currently at RADA with 'rural midlands accent' on his CV, waiting until the moment when George's voice might safely be assumed to have broken.)

But this. Elizabeth's always been one of the more convincing actors on the show - and clearly now she has the exact writer(s), director and editor to really - what should one say - challenge and exploit her decades of increasing skill.

And I'm a wee bit thrilled about Lorna Laidlaw too. My Doctors watching phase was before her time, so I've probably only seen about 15 minutes in total of her loud receptionist. It's absolutely stunning to discover her in TA (and I'm not going to write the rest because it's too early for a rant on the iniquities of stereotypical casting in the U.K.) I hope we hear a lot more of her with Elizabeth.

So, a million BOOPS for acting etc. Though all I recall of various rl therapy sessions is that I was so much cleverer than the first that the whole thing was pointless - I just said what I knew they wanted to hear. And the second introduced herself by informing me that if I indicated in any way that I might feel inclined to cease being alive she would immediately call the police. Didn't seem much point to those sessions either. I don't envy Elizabeth - but I do envy her her therapist.

JessieMcJessie Thu 14-Feb-19 09:27:40

That Alison Dowling piece has some great clips in it- how nice to hear Nelson, and Jack Woolley (with everyone calling him “Mr Woolley”). Elizabeth sounds very much like Kate Aldridge in the last clip. It’s also interesting how little Patricia Greene’s voice has changed since the days of Cameron Fraser.

QuaterMiss Thu 14-Feb-19 09:30:27

*Apologies - I've been doing a lot of necessarily pontificating writing recently in rl. Bleeds into everything!

EverybodysTalkingAtMe Thu 14-Feb-19 09:38:34

I miss Daryll

ADarkandStormyKnight Thu 14-Feb-19 09:50:26

I must say I haven't warmed to Elizabeth over the years. She has always come over as spoiled. It was quite something to hear the self-awareness.

My minor gripe is that I wish the scriptwriters would sort out Lewis.

Fink Thu 14-Feb-19 09:52:34

Thanks for the new thread.

Beware, the link to Lizzie's therapy discussion above contains a photo of the actor sad. However, as mentioned upthread, there's a great couple of clips of older episodes too. Brillant one with Nigel and Elizabeth selling ice cream, which was before my concious memory of TA though it was probably on in the background. Elizabeth's accent has got much less posh over time, she's slipped more than the Queen!

5000FingersofDrT Thu 14-Feb-19 09:59:04

A proper piece of acting from Alison Dowling last night. Brava. A fully convincing portrayal of the agonies of grief, despair and self-loathing that she keeps covered up beneath that assured (if brittle) exterior.

Even by usual two-hander standards - which are usually a cut above - that was exceptional, I thought.

SaturdayNext Thu 14-Feb-19 10:00:11

EverybodysTalking, wash your mouth out!

cheminotte Thu 14-Feb-19 10:06:58

Brilliant episode yesterday

EBearhug Thu 14-Feb-19 10:21:02

Yes, I thought it was excellent yesterday - not sure I can say I enjoyed it, as such, but I did appreciate it.

Bittermints Thu 14-Feb-19 10:21:48

EverybodysTalkingAtMe is testing the boundaries I set in the OP and after a sharp intake of breath I am fine with that. We all have a dirty little secret somewhere. grin

The writer was Tim Stimpson and the director Kim Greengrass, btw.

QuaterMiss Thu 14-Feb-19 10:33:41

Both Tim S. and Kim G. were TA active during Helen's Star turn. So it must be the editor that's made the difference ...

One really intriguing comment from Ms Dowling's essay - the possibility/likelihood of Elizabeth's becoming a significant figure in Ruairi's life. That would be worth the wait ...

R4 Thu 14-Feb-19 10:43:01

Yes, I thought it was excellent yesterday - not sure I can say I enjoyed it
We've had a few researchers recently asking us if we 'like' specific TA storylines or characters. It's a bonkers question, isn't it. For example, I'm sure that I would hate Brian in RL but I enjoy listening to his character on the radio, some days more than others. It is probably due to the acting and beautiful voice of Charles Collingwood as much as anything else.
Appreciation is a much better phrase.

R4 Thu 14-Feb-19 10:52:39

the possibility/likelihood of Elizabeth's becoming a significant figure in Ruairi's life. That would be worth the wait ...
It could be deliciously awful. You can imagine Lizzie saying "I won't repeat the mistakes I make with the twins. I will do better this time" and trying to force a different set of mistakes on Ruairi. Brine will resent interference. JD will try to work out who has most moral rights over the boy. Meanwhile, Ruairi will get hacked off at the lot of them.grin

buckingfrolicks Thu 14-Feb-19 10:57:00

As is my habit, my cat and I listened to that episode in bed before sleep.

It's been a long time since I went to sleep all testy eyed. My goodness what an episode.

RAFTA for Alison please, if such a thing exists. And so great to hear her own summary of her life to date. Would it not be wonderful to have each character go to therapy and sum up their pasts in like manner?

Thank you for the new thread. This thread keeps me in spirits.

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 14-Feb-19 11:09:14

Yes, excellent episode. That ugly crying was spot on.

And thanks for new thread. I'm declaring myself as Team Kate, as I myself am a flakey old hippy blush (Disclaimer: this does not mean I actually approve of her behaviour.)

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