Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Xinzhou

Hello!

I am no longer in Cuba. I'm not home either (so still no pictures), but I'm on my way home - I'm in Mexico. Some people might point out that Mexico is further away from my home than Cuba is. To those people I say simply this: Shush.

Anyway, Xinzhou. I like it now, but it was one of those episodes where there were times during the writing of it when I simply didn't see how I could possibly get it right in time for the recording. The other ones this happenes with were Limerick and Fitton... all the ones, in other words, where it's just the main cast on the plane, and there doesn't appear to be a plot. Because those little buggers are always three times as hard to write as a normal episode, but because I am an idiot, I always forget that, and think: well, it's just them mucking about without a plot, that'll be easy. But it's not, because of course there has to be a plot, because if no-one wants anything, there's no stakes, and if there's no stakes there's no story; and if there's no story then the audience, even if they don't realise it, start thinking 'yeah, but why are you telling me this?', lose interest, and wander off to do the ironing. So, you have to write about people being bored without being boring, and you have to not only work out a plot that will keep the audience interested, but then hide it from them.  Plus, these tend to be the episodes where the characters unbend and actually talk to each other about stuff, so you've got to try to do that justice. All of which is far harder than sticking Martin and Carolyn out in the Irish countryside and then putting obstacles between them and the airport. Not better, necessarily, but definitely harder. And one day maybe I'll learn that.

But I didn't learn it this time, so the writing, or rather the rewriting and rewriting and rewriting; and then at the last minute more or less throwing it away and starting from scratch, and then rewriting that, was scarier than it's been for a while. All the episodes owe a huge amount to that prince among producers David Tyler, but this one more than most. Not least (though also not most) because a large amount of it was written in his house, whilst drinking his coffee, eating his cheese, and taking three minute breaks to play with his dog. This is not a service all producers provide...

Anyway, enough whining - it did get written, somehow, and the reward was that it was one of the most fun episodes to record - especially, as you might imagine, the ancient and noble game of Fizz Buzz Have A Banana.

What with being abroad I haven't been able to hear this one go out yet, so I'll do Notes and Queries and Deleted Scenes when I get back, and I'll put up a notebook photo too. Or possibly, for this episode, just a photo of a waste paper basket full of screwed up post-its.

Bye for now - by the next time I write, I'll be back in Britain, and we'll all have been to the charming Swiss town of Yverdon-Les-Bains. Hope you enjoy it...

155 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update, John! This was one of my favorite episodes so far - mainly because of the characters opening up to each other. I very nearly started crying when Douglas and Martin realized what might happen if Carolyn decides to move to Zurich. Not the best idea to listen whilst at work, then. That's what I get for living in Iowa...

keesiegirls said...

Hi John,

I'm sorry to hear this episode was such a pain to write, as I found it an absolute delight to listen to. It's been my favorite of season 4 so far. Full of great lines, and Douglas not getting pushed aside into a supporting role as has seemed to me the case in the earlier episodes this season.

Take a year or two off if you need to, change an actor or two if you absolutely have to (but not Roger Allam!) but please don't say the next episode will be the end of Cabin Pressure forever!

TellyNerd said...

I love how you manged to teach the essentials of writing in one paragraph compared to my arty farty professor. Who has spent 6 months (and going) trying to teach I and my classmates the exact same thing. As we read each other scripts and do group discussions, I can sadly say that over half of the class still can't comprehend it.

lilian.thigh said...

Fizz Buzz Have a Banana has the strange effect of bringing me to tears, now. My friend said that it probably represented the utter closeness of the MJN crew: fizz --> buzz --> have a banaaaana, all in that instantly formed chain...

And then I went out the next day and saw a group of senior high school boys in banana costumes. I laughed and cried. XP

Anonymous said...

If it's any encouragement to you, the sit-around-the-plane episodes (Limerick especially) are always my favorites.
Thank you for writing such a fabulous and entertaining show!

myriadprobold said...

Hi John! Thank you for the update.

This season of Cabin Pressure might be my favorite so far!

gurrier said...

Speaking as someone who absolutely loved Vaduz, this was my favourite of the season so far too! Partly because of the mention of Theresa, but also the snowmen and "Here I am, don't tread on me" and just how fond of one another they all seem.

Karen Rupp said...

I hope you had a wonderful time on your trip to Cuba! :D

To me it's kind of amazing that episodes like these are your absolute worst to drag out of you, because Fitton, Limerick, and now Xinzhou fall under some of my favorites just because of how it's just the four of them interacting together, being bored without being boring as you said. :P

Which I'm forever going to be thankful that this was the episode I had to look forward to after my auditions at district choir. With such lines as "Fizz, buzz, have a banana!" and "Here I am don't tread on me!" I was able to lose all the stress I had built up over the day - and it was a long one too. Because those had to be some of the funniest moments of the entire show. Which is an achievement because this show is just hilarious line after hilarious line.

Oh, and I've also recently got my little brother into the show also. We're on series 2 at the moment, and he finds it brilliant! I think his favorite episodes so far are Boston and Helsinki, but of course we still have many more letters of the alphabet to go through. :)

Ana M said...

Hello John! It makes me so excited to know that you are in my country, in Mexico! Anyway, I really hope you enjoy your stay here and have a great time.
The episodes have been really really amazing and I besides of the fact of the very difficult writing, I hope you enjoyed them as much as we have.
Have a nice day!

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Nicole said...

There was a massive snowstorm in our part of the world this past weekend. While stuck in the house as the blizzard raged, we listened to this episode. Then when went outside, all of us were remarking on the "structural integrity" of our snowballs. And Fizz Buzz Have A Banana was amazing.

Please don't ever stop writing this genius stuff.

Anonymous said...

"...you have to not only work out a plot that will keep the audience interested, but then hide it from them."

Crying, I tell you, I was *crying* with laughter once "Fizz Buzz" took off, and had to replay the episode twice more to hear all the dialogue (including G-ERTI's significant contributions). Sorry it was such a bugger to write--it was pure joy on this side. :)

--Cheryl from Orange County, CA

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Anonymous said...

For me, the "bored-pilot-and-bored-Carolyn" (Arthur never *gets* bored, does he?)episodes are the quintessence of Cabin Pressure. In my book Xinzhou is the best of that ilk; thanks is a small thing to send you for the toil of writing it. . .but THANK YOU!! -Molly

Pauline Laing said...

I came home that day to two teenagers lying on the floor singing "Here I am, don't tread on me!".

I hope you're happy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Finnemore! Thanks for the update. I hope Cuba was everything you wanted and more :)

When I listen to these episodes, I sometimes marvel at how incredibly difficult they must be to write. Each one sounds like it just flowed from the pen (or typed off the fingers) in hours. Haha, wouldn't that be nice? But, usually, the better/tighter/funnier something sounds (or reads), the more of a pain in the backside it was to write. There's probably some sort of equation for it.

Sorry to hear Xinzhou almost broke you--it really was hilarious and had some nice character moments. "Fizz, Buzz, have a banana" and "here I am, don't tread on me" were gems--and Mr. Tyler sounds like a wonderful producer.

Thanks for making Cabin Pressure great and have a happy flight home (and keep an eye out for any lemons!)

--ks from illinois

Anonymous said...

Just to add my voice to the many others: it's amazing that you had such a hard time of it with Xinzhou, because the episode seems to flow so well. Plus it has quickly rocketed to my top 5 list of favorite episodes! Absolutely wonderful, as usual. Now I must go back to gnawing my fingernails anxiously in preparation for Y...

Melanie said...

Wow it seems crazy to read that you had so much trouble writing this episode because Xinzhou is definitely my new absolute favorite episode. It's simply amazing. Perfection.

Queen Paige said...

Mexico? Oh you're so close, why don't you come visit us in Arizona? It wouldn't take but a few hours, am I right?

Jessie said...

I'm glad you stuck to your guns and finished it! I haven't laughed that hard in a very loooooong time. Thank you so much for your brilliance!

Anonymous said...

Hi John - I loved this one! I can understand why these less plotty episodes would be hard, but still, I always thought of Fitton and Limerick as special episodes because of the way the characters open up - they have a (relatively) calm and intimate tone about them. I always enjoyed all the characters from the start, but it was after Fitton that I started to feel a deeper affection for them. Xinzhou is the same way, anyway - it feels like the series' moment to take a nice deep breath. I always assumed you'd deliberately set out to have an episode like this within the second half of each series to sort of remind us that the characters have a bit more to them than we've seen, and to make the approaching end more poignant. In any case, I really love that you make room for episodes like this and I think it works wonderfully. :) Nice one.

Minuialeth75 said...

Your post should be read by all the writers who are somehow persuaded that good writers – it's you – don't struggle with their writing processus and go through it like a breeze. Because these writers tend to think that if they struggle immensely, it means that they aren't any good. Nope, it doesn't work like that, proof with "Xinzhou".

This episode rather painfully reminded me that laughing too much for a too long time can be a real problem because at some point your body is going to need air. I can't read the words "Fizz Buzz Have A Banana" without starting to giggle. "Here I am don't tread on me" was almost the nail on my breathless coffin. I think that if I had been at the recording, they would have had to throw me out. I just couldn't stop laughing after the Fizz Buzz Have A Banana game, so much so that I had to listen to the rest of the episode again. That and all the "awww" sounds I made upon learning that Martin had had two dates with Theresa, which covered a bit of the dialogue too.

That was a truly brilliant piece of writing.

Valerie_S said...

Absolutely lovely! Just as good as Fitton and Limerick (two of my favourite episodes!)

Crying with laughter at FizzBuzzHaveaBanana...really don't want the MJN goodness to end.

Philippa Sidle said...

Although I know it's true because you say it is, and I can SORT of imagine the process, it's still amazing to me that you struggled to write all three of the 'bottle' episodes - for the listener, the end result seems like a perfect, polished, almost pre-existing whole. I've loved all of this series, but Xinzhou has been the one I've been listening to over and over ever since last week. Perfection!

Andrew Bossom said...

Hmm. Yverdon-les-Bains is about 100 miles from Zurich. I stroke my beard and ruminate on what consequences this may have for the implied but presumably never-to-be-heard episode "Zurich". Or I would, if I had a beard.

I can almost imagine a spin-off, chronicling the fortunes of the characters after the demise of MJN: Carolyn mercilessly teasing Herc, Herc and Douglas locked in eternal rivalry, Martin struggling to cope with a real job and a demanding girlfriend while being pressured to join in with Douglas's Del-Boy-type schemes, Arthur being Arthur. The only thing I can't work out is how to get Douglas to stay in Switzerland, unless it's as Herc's chauffeur or something.

Speaking as one incapable of writing anything more than a 5-minute sketch fit for the bottom drawer of YouTube's Vault of Mediocrity, I can't imagine writing twenty-five minutes of four bored people, and I know I wouldn't want to try: it would end up about as mirth-making as Sartre's Huis Clos, and that only had three characters. I'll be honest, I do prefer the more plot-driven episodes; but there was plenty of gold in this one, beginning with Arthur's explanation for why he was building a snowman. I always think of Arthur as a sort of human Winnie-the-Pooh, and that was a very Pooh-like answer.

Anonymous said...

I loved the episode and I giggled - literally giggled - so much.

But I also found it sad as the overall plot seems to lead in one direction and if that comes true it'll be quite...well, sad.

F.

Nyala said...

Excellent episode as ever, although I wonder if I was the only person who, instead of hearing "have a banana", heard "Abu Qatada"? I obviously listen to The Now Show too much.

Pernillo said...

An update! Brilliant!

The episode might have been a pain to write, but if it's any comfort, it's one of my favourites. If not the favourite.
I had serious trouble breathing through the Fizz Buzz have a banana bit, and I still can't stop snorting at it.
I want to thank you for this episode, and hope that if you one day decide to write more episodes, you could pop by Denmark. Billund is very close to Legoland you know, and I am sure Arthur would be over the moon to go to a land made entirely out of Lego.
Have a safe trip home.
- P

Anonymous said...

Salutations Mr Finnemore!

This was an absolutely brilliant episode - right up there with my favorite - Limerick! (The best ones are usually the hardest to write, aren't they?)

Thank you for introducing me to the "ancient and noble game" Fizz Buzz Have a Banana!

Cabin Pressure is the best part of my Wednesday - I hunker down in an office cubicle with a covert pair of sky blue headphones trying (unsuccessfully) not to laugh out loud.

Love that things are starting to go Martin's way, but I teared up when Douglas said "even as we fold ours." In my mind, GERTI will never stop flying.

Get home safe, and be sure to protect that adorable, brilliant mind of yours.

Can't wait for the next installment!

- Ramona from NY

Anonymous said...

Like so many others I particularly enjoy the episodes when the crew are on their own as in X. or Limerick or Fitton. They might have been a pain to write but it was worth it. And isn't it mostly the case that, the harder you work the greater the reward, the praise, that is? Anyway, I love your work.

Another thing since you are about to fly (!) home: Can you still take cabin addresses, airport announcements etc. seriously?

Sarah-L-B said...

I always find it strange when you say an episode was hard to write. The end result is always so polished and fits together perfectly. I could be forgiven for thinking that you make it look easy, haha! I really must stop listening with headphones though. If no one else can hear it and I burst out laughing, I do start looking a bit strange after a while....
Its also nice to get my "fix" of being on a plane (sort of). I had a cancelled flight at the weekend thanks to the snow storm in America, so no flying for me :( Weirdly, if Douglas had been there I bet he'd have found a way better than American Airlines did, haha!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Xinzhou immensely - and now I know how much you struggled, I'll enjoy it more on repeat, because that's inspiring.

However, it did slightly terrify me, in that things seem to be moving towards a happy conclusion for everyone, and I'm not ready to let the series, or those character (especially Arthur!) go yet. Am hoping Yverdon-Les-Bains brings disaster for them all - and lays the foundation for S5!

Thanks again for your wonderful, wonderful show.

Annie said...

Hi Mr. Finnemore! I really enjoyed this episode and I hope you never give up on writing these "stuck on a plane" episodes. Limerick, Fitton, and now Xinzhou have joined the ranks of my favorite episodes throughout the series. Looking forward to this week's episode as always! Although, coming to the end of the alphabet has set me on edge a little.

Luz B. said...

Cabin Pressure has become a weekly tradition for my husband and me and are a little sad there's only one more episode! This season is brilliant and hope there will be more to come!

Also, we're celebrating Valentine's day at home, and was inspired to make Cornish game hen by this episode. We'll probably refer to them as "baby chickens" while pretending to be giants.

tmort03 said...

I need to say it.

That "Hope you enjoy it..." makes me so unspeakably nervous!

Do you mean you sincerely hope that we do enjoy it, as in - oh, it's great, enjoy! Or is it more sinister? It feels quite sinister. Like - oh, my little minions, addicted to my characters and this MJN world and ho-ho-ho, ENJOY this, good luck picking up the pieces of your shattered heart!

I mean. I hope it's the former. But I really fear it's the latter.

That aside - I love this show, I love your work, you are brilliant and I will miss Cabin Pressure when it's over - now, later, whenever it happens. Until then, I will do my best to truly enjoy every moment of it!

Caroline said...

I too rank the 'stuck-on-a-plane' episodes as some of my very favourites. I can quite see how tricky they must be to write. You have to have a plot and then, as you say, hide it from us completely, so we think it's just four people having chat whilst shut in a plane (or van).
But what is true of these episodes is true of every single episode of Cabin Pressure. Not a single word is wasted - each and every one has its vital part to play -like the contents of hand luggage on a budget airline flight, nothing is brought along that is surplace to requirements.
All those casually thrown away remarks, and enthusiastic Arthurian responses are so tightly scripted and carefully placed.
(I'm in danger of resorting to the 'B' word - no not Buzz, or Banana - you know the one!)

Thank you once again for brightening our lives so very much!

Anonymous said...

Dear John Finnemore,
I cannot tell you how happy listening to Cabin Pressure makes me. Thank you!

gemma said...

I'd never abandon CP for the ironing - mainly because CP via iPlayer is the only thing that makes ironing bearable. You're a true public service :)

joanne said...

Thank you for the update! Xinzhou is one of my favorite episodes. I really enjoy listening to the characters open up in the "stuck on a plane" episodes, and it was great to hear gerti's participation. ;) I was literally laughing out loud while listening to the episode.

The "FizzBuzz" game is often used as a litmus test for computer programmers during interviews (write a snippet of code that prints out fizz/buzz/a number for numbers between 1 and 100), so it was a blast for me to hear your characters playing it. I'm going to have to stop myself from yelling "have a baaanaana" during interviews with candidates.

Your writing is wonderful, and I'm excited for the Y episode!

Justine said...

OK, since you said you were going to answer queries, I have to ask: wouldn't the smell of bacon be the strongest whilst Martin was actually ironing his shirt and infusing the fabric with bacon grease?

I wondered, but I did love the episode anyway. I like how Martin and Douglas got along really well and took turns dealing with the alarm and just didn't snipe at each other about the snow or having to sleep or anything.

Alison Davies said...

My utter fav so far....perfect like a circle...a total joy. Ta.

Alison Davies said...

My fav so far ...perfect like a circle and a total joy....Please Never stop ! Thanks for the most laughs this year ( and last )....

Jessica said...

Love. Except I'm worried about Douglas. Also, I was thrown out of the episode by the birthday party at the Taj Mahal thing? Sure, royalty could get some of the requirements waived, but it's a mosque as well as a (an? doesn't sound right) UNESCO heritage site. I don't know - it's kinda like a birthday party at Notre Dame Cathedral. Plus, there's not room; I mean, it looks feasible and all from pictures, but it's actually not that big. I'm sure it'd have been more romantic for Martin/Theresa regardless though than a couple friends on break from graduate course work in Bangladesh.

Lesser quibble - they'd have probably flown to Rwanda for a mountain gorilla documentary crew as Entebbe, Uganda is farther away from the gorillas than Kigali. (I realize it was a throwaway line for Martin's benefit in Wokingham and not meant to be real.) (Also, most tour companies do operate from Kampala, so I suppose either is actually alright, even if a film crew probably wouldn't use a tour company.) (Is it even allowed to film gorillas for a doc? We were only allowed to spend one hour with them.) (I need to stop using paranthetical comments as actual statements and only as paranthetical asides, but I like the way they look?)

Also, this is fiction. And none of it bothered me enough to ever want to go do the ironing. Thanks for giving insight into how you write; it's actually pretty fascinating.

Linda said...

How dare you, sir! As if I would ever wander off to do the ironing, in the middle of your work or not! No, really, you're fantastic!

Tina Poulson said...

If you're picking up comments in Mexico, then I hope you get this little nugget - try mole [pronounced mow-lay.] It's a very traditional dish and just a little bit incredible. It's a spicy/savoury chocolate paste that you spread onto small pancakes and then roll into a cigar shape before eating. Just... delicious and the Mexicans will be very impressed!

And thank you so much for your postings about each episode. It really spread out the enjoyment for me; knowing a little of the pain and pleasure that you've gone through writing each one. I'm always amazed at the plots you manage to conjure up and was seriously impressed with Xinzhou and the layering of tiny bits of seemingly random phrases that build into a chaotic and hilarious conclusion. It turned out beautifully!

Thank you for cheering me up each miserable, soggy, snow-infested week since mid January, and I really hope that there will be a series 5 to look forward to. Please?

VandaTheVampire said...

What a funny episode once again! Looking forward to read the deleted scenes. By the way... haven't you thought about editing a blooper special? The hilarity must have been striking during the Fizz Buzz Have A Banana game :) I'd love to hear that as I couldn't make it to the recording and I'm sure the others who did would love to relive it.

I'm thrilled and also sad as the last episode is coming up. Hope it's not going to be the end of MNM... sorry, MJN... AIR! :)

xx

Anonymous said...

Seconding a blooper special so hard. ♡ That'd be awesome.

I hope you had a good time in Cuba. Mexico, too. It's so great that you take the time write us these updates, it's really very much appreciated. I've enjoyed the series 4 tremendously. Please let there be a 5th.

Just to settle an argument, has it always been Karl instead of Carl? Or are there Karl and Carl working at the Fitton ATC?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Finnemore,
I'm just going to add my voice to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do writing this wonderful program. It is definitely a spot of sunshine in my day. If tomorrow really is it, thank you for a wonderful ride. The lemon will remain in play and we will ALWAYS be playing yellow car. Thank you.
-MJ

Suzanne Phillimore said...

Xinzhou was terrific, definitely the best episode of this series so far! Happy travels and I trust whichever airlines you fly with give you an instant upgrade to first class and a special visit to the cockpit?

Katrin said...

Really looking forward to tonight's episode, but also frightened what will happen … I loved how yesterday evening a thread on the Cabin Pressure Facebook page exploded with people saying they loved Cabin Pressure and didn't want it to end.
Though I've actually realized I don't mind if the series ends as long as there are specials for important holidays.
You know ... Christmas Special. Easter Special. Father's Day Special. National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day Special. National Tortellini Day Special (ooh, that's today!) ...
http://www.theultimateholidaysite.com/holidays/2013-2/

azrael said...

Thanks to Gordon Farmer for all those crazy holidays! Do we really have to wait for Mar 9th if CP comes to an end this evening? Those three dots are quite scary...
But I'm just convinced that Mr Finnemore will think of something clever an everything will be fine. That's the law.

azrael said...

Oh, just forgot to mention that Cabin Pressure is the funniest thing I ever heard! ThankyouThankyouThankyou!
Btw, what a clever move to place the last episode of the series on World Radio Day! *deep bow*

katieh said...

see, the ones you say are the hardest the write (and i definitely believe you) are also my favourite episodes. Nothing and everything is happening.

and it's wonderful.

thank you!

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Anonymous said...

Have to agree with most of the comments before me...Xinzhou is now one of my favourite CP episodes. Fizz Buzz had me roaring with laughter and generally this episode was full of memorable (and hilariously funny) lines to remember forever :) THANK YOU SO MUCH!

To Jessica (commenting about the Taj Mahal)..technically speaking, the Taj itself is not really a mosque. The mosque is next to it. The Taj is a tomb ;-) and definitely not fit for a party as you said.
I simply imagined them having the party in front of the Taj in the garden/park with lots of party tents.

Lea said...

Hi John,

I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love Cabin Pressure, and apparently the episodes that are particularly difficult for you are particularly loved by us - if that's any consolation.

I can't wait for tonight's episode, even though I don't want to think about it being the last one of this season...

All the best from Germany!
Lea

Selina_C said...

Another great episode! My favourite line is as usual from Douglas - 'So you took her to Duxford Air Museum, and she took you to a private party at the Taj Mahal...'

Just hearing Roger A say 'Taj Mahal' makes me laugh.

More, much more please.
Selina

Selina_C said...

Another great episode! My favourite line is as usual from Douglas - 'So you took her to Duxford Air Museum, and she took you to a private party at the Taj Mahal...'

Just hearing Roger A say 'Taj Mahal' makes me laugh.

More, much more please.
Selina

Steve Carter said...

A fantastic episode John!
Thanks so much.
It was laugh out loud time - again.
How do you do it?
Extremely well written & acted!
My highlight of each Wednesday.
What of the future???
Steve

Elasis said...

any idea when the CD is out, so I can relisten to the whole series?

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you for your wonderful writing and to let you know that we are here in our MJN Air T-shirts readying ourselves for take-off to Yverdon-les-Bains this evening. Long may Gerti fly the skies!

drinkingcocoa said...

My eight-year-old has been obsessed with Cabin Pressure since I made her listen to "Molokai" over Christmas, but Xinzhou might have inspired her more than any other episode. She went to pottery class and painted a bowl with "Fizz," "Buzz," and a picture of a banana. I'm afraid I may have to post a photo of our ceramic banana bowl, baked potato bowl (in Martin's honor), lemon platters, and cheese tray when everything comes out of the kiln.

She's been studying your episodes to learn how to structure humor. She's planning to write an alphabetical series of stories, inspired by you. And she's going around saying everything in Douglas Richardson style. Her current life ambition, to my husband's chagrin, is to be able to blend "yellow car" smoothly into her spoken sentences without breaking rhythm. I would pretend that this gets tedious, but frankly...it doesn't. It's just funny and full of joy. Thank you.

Julia said...

Thank you so much for the truly wonderful season! I'm anxiously waiting for the sixth episode, I'm both excited and extremely worried... I just really hope the series won't end anytime soon!

Even if it does end today I'm very grateful for all the funny & lovely moments I (and many others) have had the pleasure to spend with the MJN. : )

- Julia from the "sink in hell"

QueenPaige said...

Just finished Yverdon-les-bain.
THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
BUT THIS IS THE BIGGEST CLIFF HANGER EVER. OH MY GOSH.
I am so happy and sad and I don't even know anymore.
I'm speechless.

- From Arizona

The Real Emily said...

How COULD you end the last episode so CRUELLY as to not let us know about the fate of Martin and MJN? So heartless!
Regardless, I still love Cabin Pressure and therefore, you.

Anonymous said...

Aaauugghhh! Episode Y just finished. You are masterful, Mr. Finnemore. The yearning for Series 5 (or at least episode Z) begins NOW.

Thank you, thank you for CP. I love it so much.

~Diane in Nebraska

Jenna Muiderman said...

Oh my God!
Literally just finished Yverdon-Les-Baines!
I don't think any other episode has ever made me laugh so hard!
John, you were absolutely brilliant!
How many tries did it take you to get the--avoiding spoilers--voice right?
I almost cried it was so funny!
And of course Martin! Again brilliant! Your writing was only surpassed by the sheer talent of your actors!
Oh My God!!

Anonymous said...

I lost my trust after Y, I'm sorry.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for Xinzhou - it's a great favourite already in our house (I've always enjoyed the ones most that you've had to make most effort on).
Interestingly Fizz Buzz Have A Banana has met a Hubbard family tradition where Have A Banana is always followed by Ding (as one of my husband's musical performances at school involved a triangle).
By the way I'm writing this after listening to the last in the fourth series. I can't believe you did that. There has to be a Z special - Zurich has to finally give Martin what he's always longed for.
If not I might just bally well explode!

Veej said...

You clever clever writer, you!
Trying to cook supper, cheer on Martin through his interview and keep the scream noise level down at the end (all while holding off from a glass of wine in case I need to collect husband from station 15 miles away thanks to broken trains and replacement bus service)
Superb cliff-hanger ending, you're the best!

Gordiana17 said...

I loved this series. Every episode is better then previous one. Seriously, you are a comedy genius. I love brilliant people, and you are among them, Mr. Finnemore.

So, having said that - when can we expect the Fifth Series?

Jenna Muiderman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa T. said...

Thanks to the whole team.

My kids (12, 10 and 7) and I are not going to know what to do at Weds tea from now on. Thank you so much for brightening up this dark winter. We know every episode virtually by heart... and yellow car is a permanent ongoing fixture of our life.

We will so miss MJN air... here is hoping you are planning to go back down the alphabet....

Lisa

Katrin said...

Oh dear. You are an evil genius ...

Anonymous said...

You cruel, clever man!

rgeorge said...

Aha! I think I see what you did there with the cliffhanger - as well as keeping us all on said cliff, perhaps you've kept the door ajar for Benedict so he may or may not return....?? and I there was thinking we were to get Herc dropped neatly into the seat next to Douglas...oh clever ending, well done and thank you so much for another blinding series. My favourite was definitely Uskerty... I think. Superb. Really hope we get another series, oh please indulge us. Lovely lovely stuff, makes you feel good to be alive (or at least rather more able to deal with being alive, which is no mean feat at this time of year. Wonderful, thank you. Meanwhile please keep blogging so we can deal with the CP withdrawal symptoms, which will be brutal....!

Anja said...

What? Noooooooo! What? No, you can't possibly. Not like this. I am....numb...no words....soooo confused.... brain is buzzing. Don't leave us like this.

*sobs uncontrollably*

Gordiana17 said...

Actually, Taj Mahal is a tomb. With mosque beside it. But it has hotel for the maharaja guests as well, so I think the party there was possible.

casy said...

Dear Mr Finnemore,

you're sooooooooo cruel!!

Loved the episode though but a cliffhanger ending??????? How can you do that to us???

Only hope that means there'll be a season 5 and you start all over the alphabet again :)

Was hoping to hear Herc's reaction to his Bday present from Carolyn. And hear more of Martin/Theresa and of course Caroly/Herc. *sob*

You're really brilliant but also very cruel :) LOL

Kat said...

No! No, nonono! You're not going to leave us like this Mr. Finnemore, you just can't!
I've faith in you, and although you showed us that you're brilliant at cliff hangers, you'll at least give us a "Z" bonus episode to survive this. I mean...I mean...
Oh great, now you rendered me speechless, congratulations!


Glorious episode, by the way... ;)

Anonymous said...

Aarrrrrggggrr. So much pain, why you're doing this to us?

*sobs*

Martin can't go, you won't let him go, right? You love CP, don't you, and you won't tear teh crew apart, right? Right?

Magda said...

In other way, we want answers :)

Anonymous said...

Dear John!
Y episode was great!!! and you as Arthur just BRILLIANT! How did you manage to talk like this?? :)
Love every second of it! Douglas "beeing in Martin's shoes"!! And oh MAAAAAAARTIN!
love from Warszawa, B

Tabby said...

THIS was the meanest cliffhanger in a very very long time. actually, I think it might have been the meanest cliffhanger ever.
so...will there be a 5th series? or at least another christmas special? there is another letter left in the alphabet after all...but as long as we don't know that, martin's last line will haunt me.

apart from that: thank you so so much for another wonderful series! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Cabin Pressure.

kodama said...

*Aftershock after watching Y-L-B", spoilers ahead!*
You... You... You...I was really convinced that you will ultimtely say good bye...But you didn't. I thought I'm able to say 'good bye' for MJN Air. But now I'm not. Waiting for a next series.
Thank you for lovely flight, as always.

Anonymous said...

Wahhhhhhh! This was the only show that hadn't broken my heart yet. But you did it.

Just so you know, it's definitely worth the pain.

Anonymous said...

I'm speechless. That was just - wow. One of the funniest episodes ever, I was laughing most of the time. But I can't deny that I also had one or two tears in the corners of my eyes because of the dawning end and the love the crew showed for Martin (not only in this episode but throughout the complete series). And this cliffhanger is a killer!!! There has to be Z, at least.

Series 4 has been, well, brilliant. From start to finish I was impressed with how much the characters (especially Martin) have grown, how fond they are of each other, how you added depth to them and came up with innumerable jokes and word games... I salute you, thanks a lot!!!

Hm, not so speechless after all.

Daedalus said...

Regarding the ending of YLB: there had to be the question of how to address BC's impending elevation to Olympus, or at least the Hollywood Hills. Starring as an action movie villain is no guarantee of future fame - see various Bond villains for examples - but the possibility remains that BC would be out of reach for any future series. When that comes along, you can ignore it, or knowingly leave the question open for your audience to twitter about. In an episode that deserves the Arthurian adjective, Mr. Finnemore left us hanging nicely.

Anonymous said...

I cried.

Thank you.

Lisa said...

You'd never be able to tell that this was a tricky one to write. I laughed my ass of listening to this episode. Now I can't find my ass...

Anonymous said...

Adored it and adore you. If it is the end, thank you so very very much. What an amazing brilliant treat. I never watch sitcoms as they are dull as dishwater and we don't have radio shows here in the U.S. From the first few minutes of the first episode in the series, the MJN crew had my heart and now it feels a wee bit broken - I'm sad if we are saying good-bye but also glad the crew has grown close and remain lovable in all their oddity.

Martin can't go forever without pay; he must be paid and Carolyn wants it so for him. I would love a final "Z" episode but if we do not get one, I will be fine - it is a tremendous joy to have experienced it all - great, smart writing delivered by stellar actors who put their heart into their sometimes heartless characters.

Again - thank you. Cannot wait to see/hear what you do next! From NYC - have a safe journey back to your home!

Andrew Bossom said...

Ah, nicely done: it can be an ending, or you can carry on with or without Martin.

I enjoyed Douglas's ghastly moment of self-awareness. Poor man.

I have some trouble with the scene in which Arthur is trying to tell Carolyn what he'd eaten. I can't help but wonder why neither Douglas nor Herc said anything at that point: it seems a bit mean of them, to be honest. It was funny, I just thought it painted the pilots in an unflattering light.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could curse you with a string of expletives and throw lemons at you for breaking my heart.

But I can't.

I want to thank you for your brilliant writing and acting and for assembling such a wonderful cast for this wonderful series. You have thrown me in a whirlwind of laughs and tears. And I have a newfound appreciation for radio shows and for what great writing can bring. Thank you for giving us behind-the-scenes pictures and snippets from your writing process. It has been such a pleasure and joy following your work and blog.

I look forward to your next works and am currently working my way through your previous ones.

Thank you, Mr. Finnemore. You brilliant arse.

But seriously, thank you.

Cheers from Connecticut, USA.

The Real Emily said...

Don't worry John Finnemore. Caring about other people's emotions is totally over-reated anyway.

However, you are still beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Damn You Finnemore!!!

I still love you, but I am hoping for a bonus episode sometime in the near future - You HAVE to finish out the alphabet, and Zurich does begin with Z . . .

Please don't keep us waiting too long!!

sylphida said...

Dear John,

I have just listened to the last episode of the Series 4. Thank you so much for such a wonderful program. Everyone in my family is properly hooked on the stuff. And as with all genuinely good things, we simply cannot get enough of it. I realize that all things must end eventually, but maybe it is not yet quite the time for Cabin Pressure?

Please, please, please let it not be the end of Cabin Pressure!

Thank you again and again.

Anonymous said...

Might be wrong but I think Carolyn took him out of the flight deck? She said something along the lines of "Arthur, come here" so I envisioned her removing him somehow.

Anna said...

I am rather torn about Yverdon-Les-Bains it was brilliant and then it made me cry....well done you wonderful man P:)

Anonymous said...

Loving all the episodes! I have a question regarding episode 6 though; if Martin was applying to be, As Herc said, Herc's first officer... does that mean Herc accepted the offer to move?

Anonymous said...

I do think Carolyn took Arthur out of the flight deck to give him the epipen and that's why they weren't there to say "dragon fruit" - that was my take anyway.

Pauline said...

Yes, I also noticed what Herc said about Martin being his first officer and he (Herc) referred to "my new company" or something alomg thoses lines, so he must have decided to go. Perhaps something was mentioned at the recording and then cut.
Brilliant ending of course but we really do need Z for closure.

Tara Mactavish said...

For the record, I actually love the "stuck on the plane with no real plot" episodes. I thought Xinzhou was wonderful, and Limerick remains in my top 5 favourite episodes. Great job on this season!!

Sarah (The other one) said...

The question is, will we have to wait until June for Z? Since you are pretty much keeping to real time elapsing... and a Christmas special Z is just too far away (you couldn't be so cruel, surely) or will Martin make up his mind before June and turn it down or.... or are you going to keep us hanging on this cliff at your whim... ohhhhhhhh the humanity...

Of course there are so many ifs...

I still think we are in safe hands....

Hugs Mr Finnimore

A.W. said...

Sorry to hear Xinzhou was such a pain to write. But it turned out wonderful! I'm still stuck on fizz, buzz, have a banana...Also, the ones where they're just on the plane together are the best.

As a member of the unemployed masses, Yverdon-Les-Bains made me so happy. (Seriously, Cabin Pressure is one of the few things that makes my jobless self happy). I felt so bad for Martin in his deteriorating interview. I've endured many, many awful interviews for jobs the companies had no intention of actually giving me. Unfortunately, I've never been so lucky as to have a terrible job interview turn into an offer. Once I turned up for an interview for a job that turned out not to exist - they wanted me to come in anyway because they "liked my cover letter." Luckily I didn't have to fly to Switzerland for that interview. Also, I totally run around shouting "I GOT AN INTERVIEWWW!" when I get one.

I am guilty of using the "too much of a perfectionist" line when they ask for the greatest weakness. That question is such a trap - I mean, what do they want us to say? A backdoor brag makes you look awful, but so does being honest. I absolutely hate it when interviewers ask things like this.

Such a great finale - I hope we see some more soon! (returns to the endless, Sisyphean job hunt)
.

E2 said...

Well, after knowing all the previous episodes by heart, YLB is probably the first one I will not be able to listen to again because it just makes me so SAD! We have a saying in our country - that hope is dying last, so let's hope on, that there will be a happy ending Z episode someday.

Erin Lindsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

And of course, if you're reading this John, I want to thank you, no matter if YBL was The End or not, for the magic you gave us creating Cabin Pressure, for all the wonderful moments, when simple listening to this show filled me with sunshine even on rainy days.

Tracy S. said...

Oh, these cracks in the veneer, these glimpses of vulnerability: heartbreakingly sweet and wrenchingly poignant! If they weren't packaged in such a smart comedic vehicle, I would surely be in tears!

I would think that writing comedy for comedy's sake is one thing, but writing comedy that draws you in and wraps you in a big dysfunctional bear hug is something else altogether.

A comic genius with a liberal dose of humanity - that's an irresistible combination. Thank you so much, Mr. Finnemore for letting us go along for this ride! *she said, hoping against hope the ride wasn't over...*

Hope your trip was a blast :D

Mandy said...

Thank you for giving us such a BRILLIANT Series 4! Please, please tell me you are going to give us more CP, or at least you have hidden away a surprise Z episode under your sleeves?

Casey said...

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ENDED Y WITH A CLIFFHANGER! We TRUSTED you.

Okay, I've got that out of my system finally. Sort of. I REALLY hope you're going to at least give us Z (though the lady at the end of the credits said 'present series' so I'm going to be ridiculously optimistic and hope we'll actually get more full seasons). Please do not make this a "choose your own adventure" ending because I can't handle it.

Of course, the rest of the episode was brilliant, as usual. I've gotten to the point where I can't even mention specific favorite parts, because everything was so fantastic. And regarding this actual post, episodes like L and X are my favorites, so the hard work is DEFINITELY paying off.

And just because all the cliffhanger-related comparisons are bugging me: Steven Moffat cannot hold a candle to you. You're a far superior writer in just about every way I can think of. I hope you receive more of the recognition you deserve in the very near future (be it for Cabin Pressure or whatever you have in your sights next).

Анастасия Горбунова said...

Please. Don't leave us! Maybe it is sounds strange, but MJN's crew is like a family. Don't make us an orphan. This world is empty without Cabin Pressure..

Andrew Bossom said...

A.W, the usual advice with the "your greatest weakness" question is to mention something that is a genuine weakness of yours, but one that won't seriously impact on the job you're applying for. The real point of those questions is not the answer you give so much as how well you cope in difficult situations.

Another classic is "How many piano tuners are there in the UK?" There's no correct answer (there are no official figures), but you win points by staying calm and coming up with a reasonable guess: "There are about 70 million people in the UK, so let's assume there's one piano for ever 70 people, that's one million pianos. If it takes about two hours to tune a piano..." and so on.

Amber Snider said...

It really surprises me to read that you had a hard time with this episode because I was absolutely crying with laughter while listening.
I guess all of that writing and re-writing wasn't done in vain, huh?

Amber Snider said...

It really surprises me to read that you had a hard time with this episode because I was absolutely crying with laughter while listening.
I guess all of that writing and re-writing wasn't done in vain, huh?

Steve Carter said...

Thanks John for a fantastic series!
Totally magic from start to finish - but has it?
Finish, I mean?
We're left up in the air, well, not advisable with gertie, I know but please say, hint, Tweet or whatever that there'll be more.
I know all the cast (and that includes you) are all super stars but they seem to enjoy doing this show and will want to do more . . . a Z episode at Christmas?

Brillaint.

Miguel Ángel said...

It's just the crew inside the aeroplane, what's all the buzz? ... Ok, I'll have one.

Anonymous said...

John I have a Crieff HUNGER now!
or rather CP hunger!!!
bye

Roma said...

oh no,Mr.Finnemore what have you done!Yverdon-les-bains was the most hilarious & awesome episode ever!But you made me cry,laugh(actually roll-on-my-bed-&-almost-fall-off way),feel sad,puzzled & at the end feel murderous all in one episode!
Please tell us there'll be more!!
In Martin's words:Pleeeee..eaase...Mr.Finnemore!!

Lillian Bellamy said...

Reading your blog, I was thinking, what does he mean? This episode was so funny, even just reading you say Fizz Buzz Have a Banana makes me laugh out loud.

What makes it sad for me is that Douglas actually believes that Martin can become a paid pilot and this means he loves him really. Aww.

Frauke said...

I had a terrible fear of flying and I avoided flights for many years. I it made me panic. I had to fly to England last spring and it was surprisingly easy, because - after listening to CP sooo many many times - all the sounds on the plane (the bing bong, the sounds of the engine and the ventilation) were comforting and familiar and and it was fine, really.
So you didn´t only make me laugh many times, you also cured my aerophobia. Thanks for that.
Thank you also for this wonderful, heartwarming, clever and very funny Series 4 - although it has got an impossible ending. What about Martin and the Princess? And Herc? And Martin´s job? Please let us not wait forever for Z.

Julia said...

I absolutely loved it! I just really hope Martin stays with MJN and everything works out somehow. : ) Waiting for more episodes isn't that great but I'm just happy we'll most likely get more.

Paul Carson said...

I don't think Fizz Buzz is the best part of this episode. I'm amazed to read no one mentions 'the aroma of mysterious bacon'. Douglas back to his best after a few episodes on the sidelines. Regarding YLB, unmissable listening throughout. Swapping the characters personas (Douglas becomes Martin (the Captain), and Martin applying for first officer was clever). And 5.85 was hilarious. So was 'I got one wrong???' But best bit had to be... The extra column on the questionnaire! BRIlLIANT!

RobynD said...

He added a 6th column "Brilliant". With Arthur as a referee, how can you fail to get a job :)

Love Cabin Pressure. The camaraderie between the crew and Martin just wanting to do the job well - I should use his I just want to be a pilot speech in my next interview.

And Arthur: Fizz, Buzz, 3 - I just love him

Toru San said...

Hey, chief,
I might be wrong, but I think we're flying into the end of the story.
This makes me feel... scared of the END. One thing we could do is to show you how much this series means to us all.
How does that sound to YOU, John Finnemore?

Well, sorry for my english, but it goes better each episode. So please don't end with splitting the crew. Or just do not end.

CP give me so much: well, a better english only by the way, but it is so much fun in the series: simon says; Yellow Car (and i always play it), the lemon is in play, bet the manuel. And all the actors have so brillant voices. (Yes, Brillant is my favorite word). Like Roger Allam and you, John Finnemore. I want to believe there will be come a Z one and I really hope Z is not the end.

Or do something like that again in a other work place with other people but in that funny way you do it all the time on CP.

Okay, last: THANK YOU SO MUCH! If I ever meet you, I will hug you. And Sorry for that. Really creepy, isn't it?

Okay, bye! Love, the Airport.

Toru San from Berlin, Germany

Taxteddy said...

So it looks as though CP will sadly be coming to an end, as all good shows must eventually do.

But it has left me with a legacy which I don't always appreciate.

Recently, I have taken to wandering round the house, much to the bemusement of my wife and son, muttering “here I am, don't tread on me".

Worse, I play yellow car ALL the time - in the car with my son; in the car on my own; crossing Sainsbury's car park - it never stops.

I am beginning to think it's an affliction. Is there a treatment?

Pipit said...

LOVED IT! Of course, you MUST do a Zürich now. I would hate to see Martin go, but, as far as the character is concerned, it would be in his best interest to go to Zürich. Then Herc could take his place at MJN and be with Carolyn.
Loved your performance as Arthur on strawberry alert! Brilliant!
Please, Mr. Finnemore, PLEASE do a series 5! We need our CP in this uneasy world.

P.S. How Green Was My Valley-The Color of Money

Anonymous said...

So Martin can't stay at MJN because Carolyn cannot pay him, MJN is drowning in debts, GERTIE is falling to pieces and the van is old. Also in order to stay he would have to lie to everyone about the SA interview, Herc would know sooner or later, and what about Theresa. He can't leave MJN either because Douglas and Arthur are not cared for in the story yet.

So this is a very clever scheme to drive me mad.

Garnant

Steve Carter said...

About to buy "Cabin Pressure: the collected series" when I discovered that it is in fact only series 1 - 3!
How can that be a "collected " series??
Is/when wil series 4 be on sale . . . need more CP!!

Anonymous said...

For me, part of the beauty (of which there is much) of this sinfully delightful show is that I can listen to the episodes over and over and always laugh or hear something new; I rarely watch a television show or movie more than once but this series always saves me on airline flights (of all things) - I don't like to fly so reading is too much to concentrate on so I listen to this - the only squirrly thing is the overnight flights across the pond from NYC to the EU and trying not to laugh while all the lights are out and people are trying to sleep.

This show is an amazing collision between startling funny/good writing and actors who bring so much heart and zaniness to their impeccable delivery of the scripts.

Cannot wait for the next thing on deck....

Lillian Bellamy said...

John, are you aware that there are a lot of folk who play words of one sound on the soon to go BBC board of the tale of the farm folk. It is good and they are good at it. They will go on to play but on more boards that are called the tale of the farm folk when that one is no more.

Veej said...

Series 4 episodes are available to buy singly, T,U,V,W & X. Y will be available next week.

Anonymous said...

oh forget Z for Zurich!
What about Zebrzydowice, Zabrze, Zembrzus,Zgierszczańskie, Zezule, Zgłowiączka, Zwierżany itp? :)

Lesley Jones said...

I think YLB is Schroedinger's episode (I am undoubtedly misapplying Schroedinger). It's the end and yet unfinished: Martin can start his new job and also refuse it. Our lovely crew can simultaneously move on and stay the same; we can wish them all happy futures and at the same time believe that Gertie will fly for ever. Both can be true. It's perhaps the best of all possible worlds.

If by any chance that's not the case, can I please adopt Arthur? I promise I won't tread on him and we will always be playing yellow car. That would be brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Lillian Bellamy, what are you talking about? Please explain in words of one syllable!

Anonymous said...

Lillian Bellamy, "did you know" not "are you a-ware".

Anonymous said...

Loved Martin's impassioned speech in YLB. Just read a NYT article that has a bit about pilots in terms of being either a worrier or a warrior that statistically supports Martin's career arc: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/magazine/why-can-some-kids-handle-pressure-while-others-fall-apart.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

ilmariell said...

Dear Mr Finnemore,

After each and every episode, I can't help but wonder at how skillful your writing is. Setting aside the brilliant comedy, I absolutely admire your skill at writing such emotionally believable characters. It's not a thing that often happens in a sitcom, in fact it might be the first one ever in which that particular aspect has impressed me so much. And your blog is an invaluable source of insight into the process of writing - I've learnt so much by reading it!

This season, I think I'm especially fond of how the friendship between Martin and Douglas is developing. And Douglas's moment in Xinzhou of I'll-mock-you-because-I-don't-want-you-to-leave-but-am-too-badass-to-admit reduced me to bits. I've read some people complaining about Douglas in S4 and I think they seriously underestimate how well-structured this series is.

Oh, and I loved the Crieffhanger at the end of Yverdon-Les-Bains! :D As much as it now seems a perfectly inevitable ending, I never ever saw that coming!

Thank you and keep up the great work!

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Anonymous said...

Mr Finnemore,

Did someone forget to inform you that Cabin Pressure is supposed to be a comedy?

I'm kidding, of course. Every season just gets better and better, and you should be very proud of yourself. You are a very talented storyteller. You are our Douglas, always a step ahead with a trick up his sleeve.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. You have done your fandot proud.

Seanna said...

You've done a fantastic job with the new series! It was really, truly brilliant, and I hope you are very proud of yourself. Because I'm really proud of you! :D Seriously, though, series 4 was hilarious, and I've listened to each episode a whole bunch of times already. It was fantastic. Cheers!

Susanne Oppitz said...

"oh no.. what's the APU"...this is sooo funny...and when Arthur counts to fizz buzz I'm lying on the floor laughing....I'm listening to "Cabin Pressure" to improve my english and this is definitely the best way ever...I can listen to it a hundred times and it never gets boring because everytime I understand more ;)Thank you so much, John Finnemore Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland Susanne

Lore said...

WHAT? You were in Mexico??? I live thereeee!!! I wish I could have met you! Everytime I read about people meeting you I get very jealous because I live so far away to go to CP recordings or anything so obviously I'll probably never meet you! BTW, I've probably been learning more about shows and psychology with your blog entries than at school, so thank you!

And I just wanted you to know, (though I think famous people remember more the mean posts they read about themselves than the nice ones) When I listen ( or my mom listens, she's a big fan of yours now) to Cabin Pressure I get in a good mood, even if people around are being horrible! So you brighten my day a lot, so I just wanted to say Thank you very very much, John. I spend 11 hours on an office and 4 hours traveling home back and forth so believe me when I say that making me laugh, it's not an easy task.

Johnny E said...

It shows that episodes like this are harder to write, because the dialogue is magnificently crafted. I think the three you mention are some of my favourites in the series, precisely because of that.

I'm ashamed to admit, incidentally, that I have only just now realised where the final episode is going to be set. "So they're up to Y, and there's one left -- oh, that's clever, 4 series plus 2 specials makes 26. So I wonder where episode Z will be... Z, Z, uh, Zaragoza? Zurich? Oh right, Zurich. Yes. I see now."

Johnny E said...

It shows that episodes like this are harder to write, because the dialogue is magnificently crafted. I think the three you mention are some of my favourites in the series, precisely because of that.

I'm ashamed to admit, incidentally, that I have only just now realised where the final episode is going to be set. "So they're up to Y, and there's one left -- oh, that's clever, 4 series plus 2 specials makes 26. So I wonder where episode Z will be... Z, Z, uh, Zaragoza? Zurich? Oh right, Zurich. Yes. I see now."

theredwitch said...

Thank you. Yverdon-Les-Bains is brilliant. I always knew it would hurt your anal retentiveness (Martin gets it from somewhere) to end on a Y...

And... Dragonfruit... Goddamn Dragonfruit...

I think it's now my goal in life to earn enough money to pay you to walk next to me talking like Arthur's just eaten dragonfruit...

I must work out how to make it my ring tone...

I look forward to Z...

Yes, I have a fondness for fullstops...

MK said...

This is what happens when you play too many Cabin Pressure games at once: You end up telling your friend to 'Have a fruit-that-is-the-shade-of-the-sun-and-comes-from-the-land-south-of-here'. As if people weren't looking at me weirdly before :P

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll find time to come back to this post soon (like you sort of promised). Xinzhou must be the most popular episode of series 4. I'd really like to know what more you were going to say about this brilliant episode. :3

Tara said...

Dear John Finnemore:

Look who's talking(?)
The man who knew too much

The first is not really a question, but I think it works anyway. In case you still collect double bills...
All the best from Tara, talking too much as well. Fizz!

Andrea said...

Mister Finnemore i cant believe you were in Mexico and didnt hang out with me. You are my best platonic friend. This friendship could be real, if only i had seen this post a month ago. I am a terrible platonic friend.

I hope you had a nice trip, please come back Mr. Finnemore!.

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Anonymous said...

I was turned on to CB by my teenage daughters, and I love the ones like X since being part of flying means being stuck in places, waiting to take off. The crew has to entertain themselves and take care of the most practical things while impatiently waiting to travel. I love the characters dearly, and my daughters love word games. Now we play Fizz Buzz HavaBanana. Thank you John for so much entertainment to us poor Yanks in the Pacific NW of the US

Anonymous said...

John, that cliffhanger wasn't a cliffhanger. It was a Martin Crieff-hanger.

Hector said...

I hope you continue to write 'just they guys on plane with no plot' episodes and don't learn because THEY ARE THE BEST EPISODES EVER, well not that I can distinguish really (although I always find Timbuktu awkward). I have listened to Cabin Pressure for approaching 6 days of my life and some episodes do get unlistenable the 20th time around but Fitton, Limerick and Xinzhou are the ones I always want to listen to. So I implore you to continue writing these episodes (unless its too much trouble then I can completely understand) and this started off as a nice comment about those episodes I like but has now turned into the start of some kind of petition. Oh well.