St Petersburg, the final episode of the third series of Cabin Pressure, is now available here. Spoilers for it follow.
Well, I thought it was about time I did an exciting final episode. Both the final episodes of the first two series were 'shut-in' ones; the main characters alone, passing the time, annoying each other, playing games, and with a bit of character revelation. I really like episodes like that, but this time I fancied doing a proper finale, with actual peril, both with the emergency at the beginning, and with the threat to the company. One thing I like about it is that when Douglas says he hasn't got any ideas, and can't save them, he's telling the truth. It's only when he realises Gordon's plan that he sees how to turn it to his advantage. I also like that in an actual bona fide emergency, Martin is capable of coping with it, and Douglas is capable of letting him.
God, wasn't Timothy West good? I wanted someone who could equally well do genial and disarming at first, to make the guys (and us) wonder what Carolyn and Arthur are making such a fuss about - and then suddenly drop into sheer bastardry for his big speech. Trying to describe the character to David the producer before he'd seen the script, I believe I said: 'Well, if it was a film, you'd get Timothy West'. Still can't believe we actually did! And Paul Shearer! Only about six words to say as Tommo, but got a laugh on every single one! I felt at the time it was a terrible waste of such a funny actor (though he was also St. Pete ATC), but you can't argue with a laugh-per-utterance average like that.
Not much in the way of deleted scenes this time - or rather, there was one massive one: a four page long conversation between Martin and Douglas in the canteen about their fathers, but losing that meant we were able to keep everything else more or less intact. I won't post that, because I might use it in the future. The only other thing I slightly regret losing is the bit where Gordon, when he still seemed nice and reasonable, conned Carolyn not only into letting him book the office where they meet in MJN's name, but into thinking he was making a concession to her in so doing. I won't put that up either, though- instead I'll put up this very small cut from Gordon's first scene.
GORDON: Just got in. Bloody hell, the crosswind, eh? Hairiest landing I’ve had for years!
MARTIN: Yeah! You should try doing it on one engine!
GORDON: Jeez, I wouldn’t want to! Did you?
MARTIN: No, I didn’t!
GORDON: Oh. Right, I was gonna say!
MARTIN: No, I mean, I didn’t want to either.
DOUGLAS: ...However, he absolutely did. Rather well, actually.