Terry rates his latest minding job (a dog with a thirst for beer) as an all-time low. So when Arthur dangles what appears to be a cushy number – driving a chap called Mr Lily around for a few weeks – he’s interested, although he’s also waiting for the inevitable catch.
When Mr Lily turns out to be Rose Mellors (Ann Lynn) certain alarm bells should have started to ring for him. But it’s only when Rose’s car is stolen from under Terry’s nose that things really start to go awry. Rose explains that she uses the car to courier stolen diamonds and that a consignment (worth £100,000) was in the car at the time. The owner of the diamonds, Mr Tajvir (Zia Mohyeddin), gives Arthur, Terry and Rose a choice – the diamonds returned or they can expect their health to start deteriorating very quickly ….
Following her S1 appearance in Bury my Half At Waltham Green, Rose Mellors makes a welcome reappearance here. As previously seen, Rose is the wife of a major criminal (currently enjoying a long stretch inside) and has clearly picked up some tips from him over the years. For example, when Rose becomes the object of unwelcome attention from a hairy type at the local pool club, she’s quite prepared to give him a quick slap with his own cue to quieten him down.
For once, both Arthur and Terry are innocents – neither were aware that “Mr Lily” was actually Rose. But given that their previous encounter with her was slightly bruising, it’s possibly not too surprising that she used an alias to begin with. Arthur remains in the dark a little longer than Terry, which allows Terry to wind him up (telling him that Mr Lily enjoys dressing up in women’s clothes and also likes to give him a peck on the cheek).
The ever dependable John Ringham plays Harrison, an exasperated police officer who has to contend with Arthur (he’s come to the station to report Rose’s car as stolen and is insistent that the police do their duty). This was a point in the series where the comedy would have been ramped up a little had there been a regular police face for Arthur to interact with (Harrison never appears again).
George Cole still entertains in these scenes though, as Arthur’s clearly not impressed with the efficiency of the modern police force. “You’re not like the way you’re shown on the telly, I’ll tell you that. There it’s one phone call after another, grab your hat and off. Diving in and out of cars, bells ringing in all directions. Book him Dano, Murder One. Here, it’s like rest time at the old folks home”.
Ringham is equally as good. Harrison wonders why Arthur is so keen to assist Rose. “In all my years I’ve never known you so much as help an old lady across the street unless you were paid for it”. Lovely stuff, as is Arthur’s affronted reaction. And whilst Arthur’s at the police station, Terry’s in bed with Rose. He clearly believes in fiddling (as it were) whilst Rome burns ….
Tony Selby, as Rose’s hapless gofer Jack, also reappears from Bury My Half At Waltham Green, and his presence helps to inform the audience that Rose knows much more about this business than she’s letting on.
Not the most complex story that the series ever produced, but there’s plenty of entertaining dialogue along the way. Although not all of it is connected to the matter in hand – for example, the banter between Arthur and Dave at the start of the episode. Arthur is attempting to tell Dave a very funny story about a chimpanzee who goes into a pub, but finds his storytelling flow constantly interrupted by pointless questions from Dave (“was the chimp over eighteen?”). Arthur manfully presses on, but since Dave beats him to the punchline it was hardly worth the effort!