We’ve come to a point where there are people – millions of people – who are quite happy to trade a kidney in order to go on television. And to show people their knickers, and to show people their skid marks, and then complain to OK! Magazine about a breach of privacy. The exchange of private information – that is what drives our economy. But you come after me because you can’t – you can’t arrest a land mass can you? You can’t cuff a country.
This Week in TTOI History (
10th Anniversary edition
Malcolm is AWAY FOR A WALK!
And not just ANY walk, but a walk that takes him directly into the arms company of his favorite baldy nemesis, The Chief of the Nodes
Mr Julius Nicholson, Esq. where their briskly moving slightly drizzly outdoor discussion of what actually a surprising date even means
results in Malcolm setting off a chain of events that (among other things) almost ends with Malcolm being sacked that very same evening because of Julius, except he’s also saved by Julius from being sacked
which does to my mind at least rather suggest a certain ambivalent ambiguity on Julius’s part in re: Malcolm, (not that this is a new thing for me in any way).
Oh, one of the other things Malcolm sets off? Nothing major, just Malcolm mostly by accident, but kind of on purpose, but mostly by accident causing the PM to resign with no warning whatsoever the very next day which instantly throws his own political party into even more complete chaos than it’s usually in.
So all in all I’d say a pretty busy Wednesday, even by Malcolm’s standards.
Check out Peter’s Malcolm and Julius meta in the 105/202 commentary!
Peter: Now look, Alexander here is an awesome arguer. Armando: Right, yes. Peter: You see, that’s what happens: unlike the other people who sort of cave in under Malcolm’s assaults– Armando: That’s right. Yes, Malcolm finds it difficult to argue back with– And and– Peter: Yes. Armando: And he doesn’t swear does he? Peter: No, but– Armando: It’s a different sort of personality. Peter: Yes, but Julius also never stops. Armando: Yes. Peter: He never sleeps, he never gives up. He’s constantly, constantly putting forward his point of view. Simon Blackwell:
And also if there is ever a point where Malcolm is really swearing AT
him, he’ll just look away and wait for it to stop. And then they go back
to arguing. Armando: And will occasionally laugh, actually. Peter: But I always think Malcolm thinks it’s a victory if he gets him to swear.
By which measurement Malcolm is definitely victorious!
Yay, Malcolm! But really yay us! for one of the fastest, densest, most overlapping-dialogue scenes of the whole series.
the commentary transcription doesn’t really capture is 1) Peter’s absolute enthusiasm when
he talks about working with “Alexander” and how much he clearly enjoyed
the hell out of doing this scene with him* and 2) how Peter is pretty much laughing (while very much blurring the lines between himself and Malcolm)
when he revels how getting Julius to swear is always one of Malcolm’s goals regardless of what they’re actually arguing about.
*A scene that is already very long as aired – over three minutes – but even so, from the obvious edits I would guess a ton of stuff must have been cut out. I’m pretty sure once Malcolm and Julius (or should I say Peter and Alex) got rolling with the improv and the arguing and the wind-ups and the subtext they could have kept going FOREVER or at least until the cameras ran out of battery.
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.
When Malcolm walks into his house the evening after he’s arrested, he crumples against the door. He lays there, expressionless, until the dull buzzing in his head puts him to sleep. I’m finished, is his last thought.
Thank you to @pickledfingers for your incredible help months ago. I couldn’t have done this chapter without you. Also, thank you to @elloette for being my beta and for the lovely gif, which is part of this even lovelier set.
And I have to say that aside from the small matter of the week having
three Tuesdays (which I pretty sure is two more Tuesday than normal), I’m so happy that for this important
anniversary year that the days of the week AND the dates line up exactly.
SO MUCH happens in this week but however many posts I end up doing to commemorate the various events, I really feel I MUST open with Jamie and Malcolm starting the new year 2007 the way every new year should start i.e. by making fun of Ollie because it’s ALWAYS the right thing to do.
When I’m doing my various Today in TTOI History posts, I don’t usually refer to deleted scenes – since they by definition never aired – but I’m willing to make an exception when it’s Spinners & Losers.
Because to my mind, this (very probably more or less entirely improvised) scene with Jamie and Malcolm, the opening deleted scene where Malcolm defends his credibility re: gay rights to a suitably abashed Ollie,
and OF COURSE Tucker’s Law,
ARE canon and at this point nothing will convince me otherwise.
If you’ve ever wondered if Malcolm has seen Dirty Harry, the answer definitely seems to be YES.
If you’ve ever wondered if Malcolm thinks it is more fun to mess with Ben by lying to him or if it’s more fun to mess with Ben by telling him the truth, the answer to that definitely seems to be…YES.
(Also I’m sure some pedants would undoubtedly say undoubtably isn’t really a word. And I’m equally sure Malcolm would say they should undoubtably go and do something extremely rude to themselves. I may be paraphrasing him here.)
But since I find it impossible to let Ollie have the last word just because he’s actually, you know, MASSIVELY RIGHT about something (for once), here’s Malcolm being OUTRAGED! at Helen’s carelessness in the form of his old obsession with clowns
and an apparent new obsession with inferno Nicola in a Zumba class
while being as sarcastic as is humanly possible
which obviously is just a wee bit horribly mean and hypocritical of him since of course he did totally set Helen up in the first place with the visible notes and the swarming hack pack; but on the other hand, he was only able to do that
because she really IS *way* more clueless than an adult in politics in Westminster has any right to be in the age of powerful digital lenses.
Except actually I guess she isn’t since the exact same thing keeps happening to Real Life ministers and spads. And sure, a few are intentional (Hello Malcolm), most definitely aren’t which is a striking reminder how some lessons will clearly never EVER be learned – even if they’re repeated with an almost startling regularity.