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Classic TV: Minder – S06 E05 – “From Fulham with Love”


About this episode

Arthur is forced to give Nigel, his wife’s skinhead nephew, a job. His only skill appears to be sewing, learned in prison, so he alters a batch of tracksuits that Arthur plans to sell to Sergei, a seaman from a Russian cargo ship in the London Docks. Arthur’s mate, Ernie, also wants Arthur to sell the seaman digital watches and personal stereos, but when the deal is made, Arthur is paid in roubles, which his bank won’t exchange. The ship’s boatswain and political officer, the attractive Natasha, seeks out Terry and gets him and Arthur to track down Sergei, who has gone on a drunken tour of London with Ernie. He seems to want to defect, but before Natasha and his crewmates can persuade him not to, Chisholm arrests the whole party. DCI Norton is furious at a possible diplomatic incident and has them released. (Episode title spoofs the 1963 film, From Russia with Love)

Guest stars:: Joe Melia as Ernie, Rula Lenska as Natasha, Michael Gothard as Sergei, Tony Caunter as DCI Norton, Jonathan Warren as Nigel, Claire Davenport as Nigel’s mum


About the series

Minder is a British comedy-drama about the London criminal underworld. Initially produced by Verity Lambert, it was made by Euston Films, a subsidiary of Thames Television and shown on ITV (originally by Thames, then Central Independent Television in 1993 and 1994 after Thames lost its franchise). The original show ran for ten series between 29 October 1979 and 10 March 1994. The series was notable for using a range of leading British actors, as well as many up-and-coming performers before they hit the big time; at its peak it was one of ITV’s biggest ratings winners

The show starred Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, an honest and likeable bodyguard (minder in London slang) and George Cole as Arthur Daley, a socially ambitious, but highly unscrupulous importer-exporter, wholesaler, used-car salesman and purveyor of anything else from which there was money to be made, whether within the law or not.

The series is principally set in inner West London (Shepherd’s Bush/Ladbroke Grove/Fulham/Acton), and was largely responsible for putting the word minder, meaning personal bodyguard, into the UK popular lexicon. The characters often drank at the local members-only Winchester Club, where owner and barman Dave (Glynn Edwards) acted, often unwillingly, as a message service for Arthur, and turned a blind eye to his shady deals.

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