Saturday, 20 December 2014

Farewell Bear Facts - Vaduz

More on Vaduz here.

Princess Theresa was a real risk. Introducing a new romantic interest for a main character, only four episodes from the end, and expecting the audience to care, and to want them to get together, was quite a tall order; and giving her such a high-concept identity as a foreign Princess even more so. I felt there was a definite risk of shark-jumping. 'Oh, right, so Martin's going out with a Princess now? Fine…'

In the end, though, I haven't heard many complaints about Theresa, and I have heard quite a lot of enthusiasm, which I think is largely down to Matilda Ziegler's fantastic, warm, intelligent, amused performance. The other thing that helps, though, is that though the character is new; the situation is set up in Newcastle - Theresa is quite a lot like Linda Fairburn, but with the crucial differences that a) Theresa quite fancies Martin and b) Martin has changed between N and V. He's still going to make a stammering fool of himself, of course, but… well, he truly does earn that medal for teasing recognition. Speaking of which, here is a Deleted Medal:

THERESA                  Super, that gets you the Holy Cross of St Luzius. Have you been to Triesenberg?
MARTIN                       I… I don’t think so.
THERESA                   Do you want to go to Triesenberg? Basically, we have this whole medal foreigners can get for going to Triesenberg. I think it was some kind of eighteenth century tourism thing. I tell you what, you can have it for now, if you don’t go to Triesenberg in ten years, send it back.

And here's another deleted scene, in which Martin gives Maxi some advice:

MARTIN                       Maxi… what does the Sheik of Qatar do, exactly?
MAXI                             (SULLEN) It’s not just him. It’s all the boys. They laugh at me all the time. And they call me Serena. 
MARTIN                       Why do they do that?
MAXI                            I don’t know.
MARTIN                       Was it after you told them to call your Your Serene Majesty?
MAXI                              …I can’t remember.
MARTIN                       Look, can I give you some advice?
MAXI                            You? But you’re a commoner!
MARTIN                       Even so. Look, I used to be in the air cadets. Well, you know that. And I was the first in my flight to become a Junior Corporal. And, and it’s just good military discipline to address people by rank, rather than name, or… anything else.
MAXI                           Of course.
MARTIN                       Yes. But, looking back, even though I was technically right, I sort of wish I hadn’t insisted.
MAXI                            Wouldn’t they call you it?
MARTIN                       No, no they would. They wouldn’t stop calling me it. I mean… there are people I see when I go back home who still call me Junior Corporal. What I mean is, the thing to remember about bullies-
MAXI                            I know, I know, ‘they’re cowards really, you’ve just got to stand up to them.’
MARTIN                       No, no. Some of them are cowards, but some of them really aren’t. No, the thing about bullies is, they do it for fun.
MAXI                            How does that help me?
MARTIN                       Well, it gives you a strategy. Be boring to bully.
MAXI                            How?
MARTIN                       Don’t react much. Don’t try really hard not to react, because that’s fun to watch. But otherwise… just sort wait for it to finish.
MAXI                             And that works?

MARTIN                       I don’t know… I never learnt to do it. But I think it might.


Dominic Collins said...

Yay! Enjoy your shows and your parties!

Jessica Marie said...

Is it bad that we are now looking forward to the placeholder?
Do not worry one bit about doing these right away. Break a leg on the show and have fun at the parties :)

BradyB66 said...

Break a leg, Mr. F. We'll be here when you get back and the facts will be worth the wait!

Pipit said...

Ah, Vaduz! This one is one of my absolute favorites. I just crack up listening to Maxie and his interaction with Arthur. Teresa is wonderful as well, especially when she saves Martin from the 'Dragon'.

Anonymous said...

Ah Vaduz - my favourite,

........ even though I live in Wokingham!

Unknown said...

Here's a question in advance of the St Petersburg episode, as I hope you might be able to answer it then... no wait... we've passed that letter. O.k. let's have a look.


Thank you ever so much for answering it for me (and the name check too: brilliant!)

Sorry I was unable to check your blog sooner to thank you in a more timely manner.

Anonymous said...

Two things to do:
Have fun and Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! Zurich trailer before the News Quiz - it's getting very close.

Alex G said...

Quite impressed that the Radio Times includes the umlaut on Zürich. I am terribly easy to impress.

Philippa Sidle said...

I loved Vaduz for the introduction of a love interest for Martin - my shippy soul is very easy to please like that! And not what you would expect either. Not some quiet, shy, nerdy girl, but a forceful, quirky (though still nerdy) princess! Completely out of left field, brilliant! Really looking forward to your comments on this one.

In the meantime, enjoy your parties!

Anonymous said...

I had a look at the Wokingham post again and, again, I wonder: where are Benedict's legs in that picture?

Enjoy your shows and have fun at the parties!

Anonymous said...

This is the episode Karl steals completely, right? I love Karl in this so much.

theoctopusisyellow said...

Hi John and CP fans! This is sort of unrelated to Vaduz, but I was wondering if you knew of a way I can listen to Cabin Pressure live via the Internet. I live in California and really wanna listen to the last episode as soon as possible. The Google Play app store won't let me download the 'BBC Radio 4' app as I don't live in the UK.

Thanks so much! Your show has always comforts me and brings a smile, no matter how many times I listen to the episodes.


Alex G said...

Hi, theoctopusisyellow (and other non-UK personages). As far as I know, you can simply stream directly from the BBC site, if not live then on demand for 30 days. You should be able to access the programme from here, once it's broadcast:

Anonymous said...

Vaduz is one of my favourite episodes. Princess Teresa is fabulous - Max and Arthur's Top Trumps game, wobbly-headed sticks, assassins who are driven inside in the winter months ... brilliant, all of it. Plus, Martin gets the girl and Douglas is actually impressed by it! It's a joy.

Anonymous said...

"You've got yourself a bobsled." is my vote for the best clincher!

Anonymous said...

Douglas's "we do in the Winter months" is, I think, my favourite line from the entire show. I've listened so many times I can hear it coming up and start laughing before he even says it now.

Rach Cherryade said...

A very funny episode with some great lines, though my favourite scenes involve Carolyn and Herc! It was a joy to hear the wonderful Matilda Ziegler taking on such a great role in this episode! For anyone unfamiliar with her excellent body of radio work outside of CP may I recommend the dark but very funny radio comedy 'Rigor Mortis' about the disfunctional staff of a hospital pathology lab which also stars the peerless Geoffrey Whitehead! I believe she also appears in an episode of 'Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off' (which is incredibly funny so worth a listen anyway!) but I can't remember which episode it is!

Jane Russ said...

Wokingham; my fave too. Nothing beats Martin making a cup of tea for his Mum...the first time I heard it I nearly cried, (laughing and crying if you know that feeling) was me and my Mum too. Mum is long dead but the total frustration of that scene lives on!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi theoctopusisyellow! Yes BBC iplayer is unfortunately geo-blocked but you can get an add on for your browser that allows you to stream content from another country. Just google "how do i use iplayer in the USA?" Don't sign up for anything you have to pay for! I managed to get my copy of the CP episodes as an audiobook on audible dot co dot uk. I just signed up for a free trial!

The Oldfields said...

We (I expect like many others) are listening to the entire A-Y before the big day on Tuesday.

We'd just like to say a massive thank you for the entire thing. It's really rather good.

Anonymous said...

You can listen online to Cabin Pressure or any other radio from anywhere in the world while it's airing live. I listen to BBC radio from Canada all the time.

Anonymous said...

theoctopusisyellow- iPlayer is not geoblocked for radio, only for TV. Try it out now here and let us know:

That link is for Radio 4 live streaming but here is the A-Z f you don't want to listen live:

Good luck!

Bedders said...

Vaduz is probably my favourite episode, which is like picking a favourite child :)

I particularly like the fact that the support characters get so many lines and it's still completely Cabin Pressure

theoctopusisyellow said...

Thanks guys! This link worked for live listening:

Thanks whoever posted it!

Anonymous said...

I have a question/activity for you. Could you create a rough sketch of the ground plan for G-ERTI? (Promptness obviously not required.)

Keith Irwin said...

I most just wanted to record the placeholder here for posterity:

Oh, rats. Forgot the place holder. I mean, this is still a place holder, obviously, but it's holding the wrong place. Oh well. There is a Vaduz post here, while you're waiting. And, while we're at it, a Wokingham post here, because, I'll be honest with you, tomorrow I have two shows to do, and two parties to go to; so chances of a place holder are currently looking verrrry close to 100%...

Anonymous said...

OK, now this is not so much about the episode as about bullying, or rather about being bullied. Speaking as someone who was bullied to the point of very nearly suicidal at school in my early teens, the strategy given above in the deleted scene worked for me in the end, but reportedly it doesn't always work. Some bullies will just go further and further to get that reaction from you, because they must get one.

Re: the actual episode, I adore Theresa, although I guess we'll see whether that relationship will work out or not. ("Like a little Christmas tree" always has me giggling.) And I do like this episode, although I wonder about Carolyn not becoming suspicious about the hugely excessive purchase of fuel at some point, which she apparently didn't :-)

Anonymous said...

You needn't have worried about Theresa. Her personality, wit, warmth and, at times, fierceness have so impressed my family that my daughter wants to call our next cat "Her Serene Highness the Princess Theresa Gustava Bonaventura of Lichtenstein, Countess of Spondheim, Protecter Extraordinary of the Cantons of Nimes" or Nim for short.
Better not tell our current cat this.

Philippa Sidle said...

I think the very extravagance of the concept of Teresa is what makes her work! I mean, it's bold. Who gives one of their protagonists a Princess as a love interest outside of a Disney film? Especially one who has been shown to be utterly hopeless with women. It's so off the wall it's brilliant.

Linda? Pff, she was boring. Well no - but she demonstrably had no chemistry with Martin, even if she could identify plane models.

Anonymous said...

That deleted scene between Max and Martin shouldn't have been deleted. It has some really good content and it captures the sense of sometimes, the advice we give, is advice we are still working out ourselves. Plus, the bullying thing is so eloquently put.

Lothiriel said...

Princess Theresa is one of my favourite characters ever. I love everything about her, and the way she acts around Martin - especially the 'rescue him from dragons' bit.
I hope the two of them get the happy ending they deserve, or at least something close enough to it.

bigseach said...

i like the way she turned on "that sort of princess" when needed. just perfect.

AshtreeNZ said...

I just love the fact that Theresa fancies Martin. And Martin, being Martin, doesn't get it until the end.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:20 AM Re Plan of Gerti.

I believe this will be included in the complete A-Z set of episodes now available for pre-order. There was a small section (with annotations from Arthur) posted as a teaser earlier.

Tealin said...

Martin's right. It works.

Anonymous said...

Great, thanks for publishing the missing conversation between Martin and the King. Usually, you and your producer are the only ones who notice what you cut, but I noticed the lack of this conversation as it went to air. And it's the pivot point for the rest of the series. As written, it does much to explain why the Princess was interested. Martin showed empathy for a poor bullied child and showed his vulnerability as a previously bullied kid himself. That would work.

Have a good Christmas and write another series again soon.

Unknown said...

Not that I think you need any reassurance, but you can be assured that your introduction of the Princess did not cause the series to jump the shark, but the character is not a Scrappy Doo!

Excellent writing for a brilliant episode!

Teri said...

I think it would have been very disappointing to not give Martin a romantic interest. I love Teresa, and not just because we share a name. She's a wonderfully rounded out character. Thank you for creating a princess who saves a man from a "dragon."

Moony said...

I adore Theresa. For all that she is a princess, she is a most down-to-earth, sensible female character and that is hard to come by in storytelling as most people have a tendancy to go the stereotyped route.

Also, thank you for the sharing of that deleted scene between Martin and Maxi. So adorable. So true. Loved it.

Tumsh said...

Considering the risks with Theresa that John described in this blog entry, I think he managed to pitch the character perfectly. And the performance by Matilda... well, she was so much fun, it makes me want to find my own Alpine princess (just don't tell Mrs Tumsh!)

ckwebgrrl said...

I always wonder at what point did Carolyn and Herc decide to leave their holiday? One moment Carolyn is saying she'll stay and then they're on the plane going back.

Kirsty said...

One of my favourite episodes.

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