Ah, Birling Day!
- This episode evolved out of another one, in which MJN were given a spot check by the CAA, and had an inspector ride along in the flightdeck, so they were trying to do everything by the book to impress the inspector, whilst also trying to bend the rules to please a big-tipping passenger. I called the Inspector 'Goole' and the passenger 'Birling', after the characters in 'An Inspector Calls'. But then two things happened. One was that I couldn't make the conflict believable, because however much I tried to persuade myself otherwise, I knew that actually, in that situation, even Douglas (let alone Martin) would first make sure the Inspector was happy, and his job was safe. And the second was that it occurred to me that we could try to get Geoffrey Whitehead, one of my favourite comic actors, to play the passenger. And as soon as I started hearing his voice in my head, I just wanted to write more and more for that part. So, Inspector Goole bit the dust, and I rewrote the episode around Mr Birling… whose name now, of course, made no sense as an allusion; but I'd got so used to calling him that, I couldn't bring myself to change it.
- In this episode, there's a running joke that Arthur doesn't know much about rugby. And also in this episode, Wales apparently play France in Scotland, for some reason, at the previously little-known 'final' of the Six Nations. Rugby fans may at this point be able to spot where Arthur gets it from…
-Deleted lines, after Douglas tells the story of his first stag night:
MARTIN: And the other two?
MARTIN: You went to the same island for two successive stag nights?
DOUGLAS: Same island. Same club. Same year.