Arthur Daley (George Cole), a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman) to be his "minder", so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other small-time crooks. While ...
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Arthur is organizing the limousine for his niece Trina's wedding with Terry as the chauffeur. To Terry's annoyance Arthur decides they must use the car to get rid of a load of pornographic magazines ...
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Arthur Daley (George Cole), a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman) to be his "minder", so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other small-time crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to satisfy his employer's demands, and putting his own life at risk, Arthur is busy exploiting Terry for all he is worth. For when other people hire Terry's services, through Arthur, Arthur usually keeps most of Terry's share of the money for himself, by misleading the hard-working Terry as to the amount of money, he (as Terry's agent) is receiving on Terry's behalf.Written by
David McAnally <D.McAnally@uq.net.au>
The show was actually a slow burn success. Viewing figures for the first season were not very good, which wasn't helped by the show being delayed because of a nine week technicians strike which blacked out the ITV network, and Thames Television decided to axe the show. However, the management director felt positive about it and pressured them to commission one more season and to repeat the first. Both of them received much higher viewing figures, and by the third season, was a huge hit. It eventually attracted around 17.5 million viewers in the U.K. at its peak (when there were only 3 or 4 TV channels), and went on to be shown in seventy countries. See more »
In the opening titles for the Terry McCann episodes (Seasons 1-7) a sporty white Ford Escort with a blue stripe down the side is seen in the background. In a close-up shot of Terry looking at the Ford Capri he is about to buy, the Escort's window is up, but in a later shot where Arthur and Terry walk from the back of the Capri to admire it from a distance, the Escort's window is wound down. See more »
The title sequence originally had 'Euston Films presents' over the opening shot. Later prints of the same episodes did not have this. (Additionally, early episodes also began with the Thames Television ident sequence, which, particularly after Thames lost their broadcast franchise in 1992, have been dropped from most repeat runs). See more »
I was 8 years old when this started, and when I left home aged 18 it was still on. The theme tune followed me through the 80s - Bagpuss came and went, Dangermouse arrived, a raft of American programmes designed to sell toys (which was a brand new idea then) crashed onto UK shores, the Commodore 64 bleeped and caroused in the corner, acid house music chipped and blooped onto the radio..... and Arthur & Terry were still there. I saw a handful of episodes as child & teenager, and always found the on- screen chemistry pulled me in...... but I did feel that it had become a bit of a dinosaur by 1990. I left home and virtually forgot about it, until ITV4 started re-running it again.
The writing was, and is, simply superb. Secondary characters are strongly developed and given good lines, something non-existent nowadays (see Taggart, Waterloo Road, Monarch Of The Glen) and almost every episode hangs together as a complete thing, ends tied up, viewer satisfaction assured. That takes good writing and good acting. Another, unintentional but wonderful, boon for the programme was that due to 75% of each episode being filmed on location outdoors over 15 years, it captured London in a constant state of flux that is clear and visible, something no other show has. It's fascinating to see London in that era, changing from series to series. And there's that chemistry between Cole and Waterman, which really shines through. That was fairly rare in a TV series back then, but is now like hen's teeth.
Its success with 15-24 year olds today is surprising, yet gratifying. It says, perhaps, that things like story, good acting and love of craft do not age, or lose their brightness.
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