This aerial shows just a small part of all the news media compounds near Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado, Wednesday, April 21, 1999. Media from all around the world poured into the area, just a day after the deadly shooting, leaving 15 people dead and 24 others seriously injured.
Where it’s quite true a surprising number of exciting things happen (mostly to Nicola) in a very short amount of time – like her discovering the dubious pleasure of having two men who otherwise loathe each other completely united in SHOUTING at her
or her receiving a private lesson from Malcolm on the acute distinction between a boring *fuck* and a fucking boring *boring* fuck and also why you should NEVER EVER bring up a cyclist in his presence
but before any of this happens – in fact, before Malcolm even leaves the surprisingly flower-filled corridors of Number 10 – he runs into Steve “Like a Limpet Up A Whale’s Arse” Fleming and thus we get the first onscreen face-to-face meeting between Malcolm and and his true arch-nemesis who just won’t fucking GO and where we get to see what Malcolm REALLY hating someone looks like.
(Although, frankly, I don’t know if Malcolm comparing Steve Fleming to The Moody Blues is MORE insulting or LESS insulting considering Malcolm’s own known propensity – going all the way back to the very first episode* – for randomly reciting the paraphrased lyrics of soft rock stalwart Billy Joel.)
*which if my overwrought timeline is correct took place in 2004 probably not that many months after Malcolm got rid of Steve Fleming the first time.
From the 307 dvd commentary on the scene where Malcolm gets sacked and then what happens after:
Armando: And I think this scene we recorded, we just did two takes of it, but we let it go. We primed the rest of the building as it were. We had all ready with people doing their stuff. And I just said to Peter, do the scene and then just wander around and we’ll follow you and we’ll see what happens. And after the first take of it, I knew he goes into his office at Number 10, so the second take, I asked people to be, you know, gathering around Sam, and her in tears. Knowing that Peter would go into the room, but not telling Peter that that’s what he’d see. Tony Roche: That moment’s really nice when he goes into the room and she’s in there. Because it’s again, it’s what you said earlier, just little things that are just imprinted over the series. You get that he, that he actually– Simon Blackwell: Sam’s the only person he has kind of a normal relationship with. Tony Roche: Exactly, yeah. Jesse Armstrong: Quite a few people said they suddenly found themselves feeling sorry for Malcolm at that point, I think, didn’t they.
What I love about this is that Armando didn’t have to script Malcolm having a heart, he just had to set up the scene because he knew Peter would do the rest.