Classic sitcom. Fletcher plans to add a bit of Christmas spirit to the festive season at Slade Prison in the form of his very own homemade liquor.
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Norman Stanley Fletcher,
you have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court
and it is my duty to pass sentence.
An habitual criminal who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard,
you presumably accept imprisonment in the same casual manner.
We therefore commit you to the maximum term for these offences.
You will go to prison for five years.
I have two.
I've called you as representatives of your respective cell blocks.
-What's this all about?
-Just a minute.
-As we know, the festive season is upon us.
-All the high spirits that entails.
Jock, that's the wrong attitude going in.
What is the real meaning of Christmas?
Apart from the crib and all that swaddling. What springs to mind?
-Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
-Yeah. Very good.
Mr McKay roasting on an open fire.
No, that's Guy Fawkes night.
Crackers and holly.
Tree tops glistening. Children listening...
All right. Leave out the Perry Como for a minute.
But what to WE associate with Christmas - apart from robbing postmen?
That's what everyone does. They all get plastered, legless, elephant's trunk.
Brahms and Liszt as the proverbial newt.
I've never understood that remark. Are newts heavy drinkers?
There's a security risk here. Time is of the essence.
-I was just...
-What are we doing here?
Yep. Unbeknown to all, and purely out of charity to our fellow inmates,
Godber and me have been fermenting illicit liquor since last July.
We started then to reach perfection at this festive season.
Fletcher, you're a marvel!
-I helped him as well.
-Are you dishing this stuff out?
-I shouldn't have said "charity".
It's a business transaction.
You are here to receive a sample so you can place orders for your fellow felons.
Up the spout. ..We have two selections, gentlemen.
There you are.
We have two-star in the blue bottle
-and the five-star in the green bottle with the handle.
FLETCH WHISTLES "GOOD KING WENCESLAS"
Right. As I was saying, the two-star here -
the vin ordinaire, but not all that ordinaire.
And the five-star - the special reserve. That one first.
There we go.
Lovely! This should be sipped delicately, like a fine liqueur.
It should not be smashed down the throat by the mugful. Tulip.
I knew they'd like it, Len.
You might have washed the bottle out!
Are you sure that's fit for human consumption?
No, I'm not actually. That's why you're trying it out first.
-This stuff's evil.
-Remember, it's got another whole week to mature.
This is the two-star. This one isn't quite so smooth.
Go carefully, otherwise you'll lose the flavour, bouquet and your powers of speech, too.
-Don't spill it, it might burn the carpet.
-Smells like embrocation.
-There is a hint of embrocation.
-You could poison the whole prison.
It's not easy to get the ingredients.
The potato peelings and the orange pips no bother,
but normally we would never have had to use boot polish.
-Only a joke.
Of course! It's anti-freeze.
Come in. >
Good morning, um...
Keegan, sir. Oh, yes. Keegan... Thank you.
You're new here? I'm just a new trustee.
Mr McKay's Christmas box because I'm getting out soon. Good.
See you don't fall back into your old ways. No chance of that, sir.
- Not since the wife passed away. - When was this?
A few weeks before I came inside. Poor woman. What happened?
I murdered her.
Well... See that it doesn't happen again.
-Close the door, Mr McKay.
That new trustee. What's his name? Keegan?
-No complaints, sir?
-He's a murderer.
Yes, sir. But a crime of passion. Crime passionelle. French.
His sort of murderer makes a model prisoner.
Do their porridge. Full remission.
-According to HO figures, 75%...
-I'm not interested in statistics.
I do not want my morning coffee served by a wife murderer.
Very good, sir. I shall replace him, sir.
Now to the business in hand.
I always find Christmas a very difficult time.
Yes, sir. So open to abuse. Contraband, bartering, smuggling...
There isn't a Christmas cake here that isn't laced with marijuana.
-What are we doing about that?
-I've taken precautions.
-Mr Barraclough is sampling all the food parcels.
-Anything to report?
He's still too stoned to tell me, sir.
-What about drink?
-Always a problem, sir.
They're so ingenious at hiding it.
I remember once they concealed it in a fire extinguisher. We only discovered it when a fire broke out.
It was only a small fire, but after we used that extinguisher it became a raging inferno.
Disgraceful. As you know, I'm a staunch teetotaller
and strictly against drinking - legal or illegal. So let us be particularly vigilant this year,
-and get through it with the minimum of incident.
-I'll drink to that, sir.
Hardly an appropriate remark. Carry on.
-You'll see about replacing, er...
Incidentally, how did he kill his poor wife?
Hang on, Lenny.
-I think we've got burglars.
-What's all this?
-You're not being singled out. We're doing the entire block.
Infringement of civil liberties.
-If we knew what you was after, we might be able to help.
Drink? As in "drink", you mean?
You mean alcohol, the Vera Lynn, the mother's ruin?
-That is what I mean.
-I am a strict teetotaller, Mr Barraclough.
-I am. I don't touch tea and never have.
-If think the state of the country is due more to tea than alcohol.
-The rot set in with the teabag.
-You can't point the finger. You've never done an honest day's work.
-Slander AND breaking and entering.
-They've been turning us over all week.
They came into the hobby shop where we were making toys -
for orphans - and I saw Mr Barraclough disembowel my panda.
Don't you think I felt bad about that?
-Just as I felt bad about sampling your food parcels.
-But you felt pretty good afterwards.
They found him standing in a sand bucket, singing The Desert Song.
Well, I suggest you tidy this cell up.
That's nice(!) Exit the Red Shadow.
It's all right for you, innit?
You didn't find nothing, but there's no apologies, is there?
It's a complete infringement of civil liberties, an unjustifiable act of mistrust and suspicion.
-Didn't find nothing, did they?
-We hid it too well!
Hey, push that door to.
Don't want the neighbours to see.
-Good evening, sir. And what will it be?
-Care for a drink first?
-Large one, sir?
Mind your own business.
-Have one yourself.
Prisoners 1. System 0.
Not necessarily, Fletcher.
Oh, my gawd. Time, gentlemen, please. Haven't you got no cells to go to?
Lead on , Godber. Left. Right. Left. Right.
Mark time in front. Halt. One. Two.
Face the front. Morning, Mrs Jamieson. Mr Barraclough.
-Good morning, Mr McKay.
-Morning, Mrs Jamieson.
-Is the Governor in?
-I'm waiting to see him. He's indisposed.
He's in the what?
He's not feeling too well ever since he sampled the Christmas pudding.
I made that! Nothing wrong with it.
That's what you said about your Hungarian gluelash.
The word is goulash.
I chose the word advisedly, Mr McKay,
seeing as how most of us were stuck in the bog afterwards.
-Good morning, Governor.
-Morning, Mr McKay.
Not too good I hear, sir? Sorry to hear it.
Not too good at all, Mr McKay.
That prisoner you replaced. Keegan.
-You didn't put him in the kitchens, did you?
I just wondered if he was extracting revenge.
I'd better have some more of that vile stuff, Mrs Jamieson.
You can come through, Barraclough, but I may not have long.
Now see what you've done. Stricken governor.
What sort of Christmas is he going to have?
What sort are YOU going to have?
-Chuffed, aren't you?
-It's your own fault. You know the penalties for brewing illicit hooch.
-It's not illicit hooch. It's a health drink.
No, it's not poppycock. Couldn't get the poppies.
-Mind you, in here there's no shortage of...
All I'm saying is it was a health drink.
We just got a thousand wine gums and we pressed them.
The result is a remedy for all known ills
and several unknown ones.
-You ought to give the governor some, Mrs Jamieson.
-He's sick enough.
Stop it, you two.
I've always been attracted to older women.
As a lad, I wanted to be seduced by my Auntie Pauline.
Very sophisticated, she was.
-Worked in a dress shop in Smethwick and wore Evening In Paris behind her ears.
-A sure sign.
-I nearly was once.
I went round one afternoon and the radio was playing and she said,
"Lenny, don't you think it's about time you learned how to foxtrot?"
Even at the naive age of 14 I though, "Foxtrot? Middle of the afternoon? Yum, yum."
I bet you did! Do you think you ought to go on in front of Mr McKay?
He's a strict Glasgow Presbyterian.
Sex is only allowed when Rangers beat Celtic.
I am not interested in Godber's carnal reminiscences.
Aren't ya? I am. What happened then, Godber?
She just held me very close and we danced round the living room, to the Northern Dance Orchestra.
Big room, was it?
Your stories have a habit of tailing off like that.
You are the master of the anti-climax.
I can't half foxtrot, though.
-KNOCK AT DOOR
-Hello, Reg. It's Reg.
Got a bad arm?
-I see! You're a trustee now, are you?
-I replaced Keegan. Thanks to Mr McKay.
Oh, yes. When a man keeps his nose clean, I don't forget.
-I'll come back later.
-Take in the Governor's coffee. Chop, chop!
Your coffee, sir.
Thank you... Urwin, sir. With a "U".
- I'm the new trustee. - A privileged position.
I know, sir. That's why I've been well behaved these last few months, so I could get on with my plan.
I'm afraid your plan will have to wait, Urwin.
- Mr Venables, have you got time...? - No!
I'll take it with me.
Pity it wasn't in triplicate, eh?
- Where's he gone? - He's got an upset tummy.
But he was instrumental in my plan. What plan, Urwin?
I suppose a screw would do just as well.
- Yeah. Don't see why not. - What is your plan?
I-I want to get out of here. That's what we all want.
But you don't want me to get out as soon as I do.
That's why I'm taking you hostage.
It's a gun...and it works... and it's loaded.
Now just a minute, er...
- Urwin. With a "U". - U-U-Urwin. Why not put that down?
So you can pick it up?
You ought to think carefully about what you're doing.
I 'ave done. First, I want you to shut that blind.
Second, I want you to get me a helicopter.
Look, the Governor's obviously got things on his mind to say the least.
Why don't we come back in the new year - about April?
I've got plenty of time, Fletcher. I've waited long enough for this.
-We might as well sit down. Take the weight off.
Don't you come it with me.
I don't mind waiting.
-It's worth getting busted to see Mrs Jamieson's...
-I apologise for these two.
-That's all right. I've learned to turn the other cheek.
And a very attractive cheek, too.
Mrs Jamieson? I want to get in touch with the nearest RAF station.
I don't know where that is.
Well...the Fleet Air Arm, or Air Sea Rescue...
Anyone... Anyone who can get me a helicopter.
You're being a bit lavish with your Christmas presents this year.
You'll need a lot of crinkly paper to wrap that up.
All right, Fletcher! Is there a problem?
Yes, Mr McKay. Something has c-come up.
-Y-Yes. I'm being held at gunpoint by Urwin here.
-It's true. Aaaaah!
-Don't panic. Get on the blower.
-Are you off your rocker?
-Anything you say.
All right, Urwin. Give me that gun.
Make a move and Barraclough gets it.
Urwin, I said give me that gun.
Shut up, McKay. This is no time for stupid heroics.
We can't let these people intimidate us.
It's fine for you. He's pointing the gun at my head.
Naff off, MacKay. I'm taking two hostages - him and her. So put the word out.
Well, do as he says, man.
Very well. I'll soon have you out of this. And don't YOU panic, Mr Barraclough.
-Can we panic?
-You two, come along with me.
I can use them. Naff off, McKay.
I've found the number f-for RAF Topcliff.
You'd better get 'em.
Reg, you don't want us here. You don't need us.
We're only littering up the place. We'll go back to our cell. We've got a busy day...
Lock that door. Put the filing cabinet against the door.
I have them on the line.
Shall I talk to them in there?
I-I-Is this all you wanted us for - to put this filing cabinet up?
-We'll be getting off.
-Help us shift this. It's in the way.
Do you think I'm crackers, or something?
Possibly, Reg. I mean, it ain't the behaviour of a rational man, is it?
I know what I'm doing. Give me that key.
Now, we'll just sit tight and wait.
I have a dental appointment in half an hour.
You'll have to bleedin' cancel it.
Yes, Prison Officer Barraclough of Slade Prison.
Don't you think I ought to talk to your commanding officer?
Yes, I know there's only two shopping days till Christmas, but...
This is Reg Urwin. I'm in charge.
I don't care how, but I want a chopper here in half an hour.
Hang on. I also want 10,000 quid in used notes, otherwise I won't be responsible for my actions.
That's the way you talk to these people.
If they ring back and still stall, I'll shoot you.
Yes. I'll remember that.
-Under the strain.
-Yes, yes. I'm keeping myself busy...
doing some of those jobs one's always putting off.
Otherwise I...I might go to pieces.
No, Mrs Jamieson. You've always struck me as typically British -
stiff upper lip, calm under crisis.
That's very sweet of you to say.
It doesn't surprise me. I've always admired you from afar.
You remind me of my Auntie Pauline.
Oh, yeah? Do I really?
-I was just...
-I know what you were "just"...
Horny little beast.
He was trying to keep my spirits up. KNOCK AT DOOR
Come in. Oh, you can't.
-Wait! Who is it?
-Wait! Who is it?
-Mr McKay. I've got the coffee.
-Mr McKay with the coffee.
-Let him come in, but watch it!
-Come in, but watch it.
-Everything all right?
-Everything's all right. Naff off, McKay.
I can't believe this is happening in my prison. And at Christmastide.
It's all right for you. It's us who's suffering.
That'll do, Fletch. Lock the door and put that cabinet back.
Mr McKay? Could you do me a favour?
I left a pair of socks soaking. Would you wring 'em out?
Ah! Here we are, then.
Mrs Jamieson. Thank you.
Fletcher. Help yourselves to sugar.
This is all very nice, isn't it?
-Never thought I'd be served coffee by a screw.
-In the Governor's office.
-Barriers come down in these situations.
-Mind if I sit?
BOTH: That's all right.
-Thank you, Reg.
Well, here's to you, Reg... Wherever you end up.
-Where are you thinking of going?
-Somewhere they don't ask too many questions
and they don't mind who I am.
Somewhere they turn a blind eye if you grease their palm?
What? Isle of Wight?
South America or Mexico.
Oh, yeah? Mexico.
Funny people, Mexicans. They're sort of...Mexican, I suppose.
All the dogs limp there, you know?
-I didn't know that.
-That's well known.
-It's to do with the food.
A man wakes up in the morning, thinks about his breakfast, and kicks the dog.
Really? And I always fancied Mexico.
Well, contrary to popular travel-brochure myth, they're not a happy people.
I suppose anyone who has tequila as their national drink is bent on self-destruction.
-I appreciate your advice.
-Perhaps I'll think of somewhere else.
You won't be going anywhere else, Urwin.
We have a specially rehearsed procedure for times like this.
Don't worry, Mrs Jamieson. Neither of us will be going south of the border down Mexico way.
- What? - Weren't you puzzled I was so polite handing round the coffee?
One cup was laced with a tranquiliser.
It acts very swiftly and in a few moments...in a few moments you will be safely asleep in the land of nod.
-Any word yet?
-Not yet, sir.
But everything's under control. The rest of the prison is quiet. Tea?
No, thank you. They've no idea what's going on?
They probably think someone's gone over the wall.
Just so long as we can keep the lid on this thing.
It should have worked. I used enough to knock out a rhinoceros.
I can't believe this is happening. How did he get the gun?
Probably made it, sir. He's spent a lot of time in the machine shop.
-Now we know why.
Everything all right, Barraclough?
I see. Yes?
Right, Urwin. Right.
Yes, Urwin. Right. Oh. I'm sure I'll remember that.
Urwin says thank you for the coffee, it perked him up no end.
But Fletcher is sleeping like a rhinoceros.
Er, just one moment, please. Is that for me?
No. It's not.
It's your wife, Mr Barraclough.
How did she sound? The same as usual.
Be my guest. Perhaps she hasn't heard about this yet.
Hello, dear. What?
No, I-I-I hadn't forgotten, but I think I ought to tell you that there is a chance I might be late.
No... Just a minute, Alice. Just a minute.
No, if you'd only give me a minute to explain, I...
I know I've been late three times this week, but...
I'm being held at gunpoint as a hostage.
I know we're supposed to be going to Mrs Wainright's.
Yes, it is rude and inconsiderate, but...
I may be going abroad in a helicopter.
Alice, I don't think you've heard a word I've...
At gunpoint, yes.
As well as Mrs Jamieson and two prisoners.
What do you mean is that woman with you?
Of course. Neither of us has much option.
(Of course I'm not glad.)
Alice, this is pointless. I'll ring you back later. If I don't manage, watch the Six O'Clock News.
Here, Barra. Your old lady reckon you and Mrs Jamieson got a thing going?
I bet she don't believe all them lates you've been working.
People are bound to get on top of each other working here.
Nonsense, Godber! Our relationship is purely professional.
Should I, er, clear those cups up, Mr Barraclough?
There's no need to be so formal.
We all know about you and him.
Oh, Henry! How could you?!
Dorothy, I never said a word.
It never came from my lips. SNORE!
Oh. Ugh. Aah.
-Where am I?
-In the Governor's office. Remember?
Sir, Godber and me weren't drunk. Sometimes we chew the occasional sock...
The Governor's not here. Don't you remember?
-Are you the new governor? Why are you there?
-I'm hijacking Barraclough.
God, how could I fall asleep in the middle of this lot?
-The coffee you drank was drugged.
-It was for Reg, but Mr Baraclough messed it up.
-I feel most peculiar.
You want to be careful. Them drugs on top of all that booze we had.
-Godber, I'll remember that.
-Yes, so will I.
We're on World At One.
-'Details are still confused.
'The Governor's secretary and a prison officer are being held by three desperate prisoners.'
'They are demanding transportation and a large sum of money.
'In the City today...'
-What's all this about "three desperate men"?
-They said details were confused.
But our names will be named.
-What'll my family think?
-I hope she's more considerate than mine.
Never mind your naffin' families, what about me?
Everyone knows about it. Why am I still here?
-Where's my helicopter?
-I don't think you should build up your hopes.
-What do you mean?
-Get it into your head they might not play ball.
They've got to convince the public they're not going to bow to a nutter with a gun
and fly him off to sunnier climes.
-I'm no nutter.
-I'm just using the establishment viewpoint. It's not personal.
-And ten thou's a lot of money.
-It doesn't seem excessive for an officer with 23 years unblemished service.
Let me get this straight.
You're saying they're calling my bluff. They haven't been taking me seriously.
And there's nothing you can do.
I could do one thing. What? I could shoot you.
I suppose you could always do that.
I wouldn't advise it.
Any wave of public sympathy you might have built up would fly out the window.
Fletcher's right. Just keep cool.
I've been through this before.
First nick I was in, a bloke called Popplewell. He was a trustee.
That's how he got onto a working party to paint the outside of the governor's house.
-Before anyone knew, he was INSIDE the house with Mrs Bailey.
She was the wife of Governor Bailey.
The governor's name was Bailey and she married Governor Bailey,
so that made her Mrs Bailey.
Oh, dear, dear.
I suppose you called him "Old Bailey".
Do YOU want to tell the story?
-I was just...
-Just then, well...
-Please, go on.
-I'm losing the thread now.
-Get on with it.
-All right. It's coming back.
Before you could say Jack Robinson, screws surrounded the place, the law, the press was there,
I think even Fyfe Robertson turned up.
But he soon got fed up and went back to the pub.
Anyway, for three days they appealed to Popplewell through megaphones -
the chaplain, psychiatrist, governor, but never a word from him or Mrs Bailey.
-On the fourth day, Mrs Bailey let him go.
-SHE was holding HIM?
To use a phrase that was prevalent at the time, she'd never had it so good.
-All right, Mrs Jamieson?
-We've won a victory. He's extended his deadline till five.
-I'll have time to finish before he shoots us.
-Must I expect a fate worse than death?
-Is there one?
No, I...I don't suppose there is.
That's the girl.
Are those prisoners' files in there?
-Fish out Urwin's, would you?
I dunno. It might help. Have a shufty, Len.
I'm getting angry. When do we get action?
I'm still waiting for the Governor.
-I can't wait much longer.
I've got to get out of here.
-- That's how
-feel. - After ONE day. I've been inside half my life.
But you're coming up for parole.
Parole? They'll never give it to me.
I've just got to get out of here.
-But why this way?
-Cos I'll top myself.
Suicide? You wouldn't do that?
-I tried before.
-Did ya? How did you get on?
-I failed, didn't I?
-Oh, did you?
Typical. I was in a supermarket, trying to steal a tin of luncheon meat,
when I thought, "Is this what my life is - trying to steal luncheon meat?"
So you tried suicide in a supermarket? How?
-I put me head down and charged the glass doors.
-What went wrong?
They was electric.
I went straight through, bumped into a policeman who booked me for nicking the luncheon meat.
There's always one around when you don't want one.
You've just got to face it. You're just one of those blokes who doesn't get the breaks.
Today's typical, isn't it? You've been planning months ahead to hijack the Governor.
The very day you choose, he gets the runs.
What do you want?
Look at this.
-Would you Adam and Eve it?
-Urwin's been recommended for psychiatric treatment.
-He never got it.
The system done this to Reg.
I've got to talk to him. Mrs Jamieson, would you come into the other room?
Reg, could you just come through and have a word with Godber and me in the other room?
-I-I-I don't know.
-Go on, Reg. These two can't get up to nothing.
-Well, they can, but I don't think they will.
Have a look at that. You might find it interesting.
Sit down, Reg.
-Look, you trust me, don't ya?
-I've got to tell you you're not going to make it.
-I've got to - I'm a three-time loser.
I can assure you there ain't no way. All the arguments is on their side.
The worst thing that could happen is if they say, "OK."
You know you'd never make it to that helicopter. They got marksmen can shoot a fly's eyebrows at 400 yards.
And if flies had other things, they'd shoot them off an' all.
And suppose you got to Mexico. What then? Look at you.
You can't check into the Acapulco Hilton like that!
They'd not let you in without a tie.
Me and the lad could have jumped you over the past few hours very easy.
We didn't. Why? Because that would've dropped you further in it than you are already.
You've got to be seen to throw in the towel on your own.
They're going to throw the book at you.
But I've seen your file. You have a case if you give yourself up.
No. I'm going through with it.
-Come on. Think!
-No. I'm going the distance.
You don't give me much choice then, do you?
-I'm going to have to take that gun off you.
-Come on. Give me the gun.
-Stay where you are!
Look... You are not going to shoot me cos you're my mucker.
-Don't bank on it.
It's all right. He won't shoot me. We're mates.
Don't push it, mate.
-Now, now. Come on, Reg. On your feet. You've got to be in control.
-What's the point?
Barraclough mustn't think we overcame you. You've got to give yourself up voluntarily.
-He's right. It's your only chance.
-You'll back me up?
It's still Them and Us. I'm still on the side of Us.
You two could be heroes... for what you've just done. You could get a free pardon.
What do you think?
It IS Christmas.
Yeah. Good will to all men. All that swaddlin'.
Go on, on your way, son.
Maybe you're right.
But I'm still calling the shots, ain't I?
Of course. The main thing is you're not shooting the shot.
-You're a marvel.
-You mean the gun? Yeah...
-Don't denigrate that.
I've never see anything like it.
I did have one small advantage.
-I happened to know that this particular gun isn't loaded.
I've been working in the machine shop with Reg. It's only a toy.
-You knew all along?
I couldn't mention it, could I?
-Or it would've dropped him further in it.
-Are you sure it's a toy?
-Hello, Mr Barraclough.
This is nice, isn't it? Is Godber about?
He wanted to prove it wasn't his pudding that caused the Governor's illness. So he ate three helpings.
Where is he now then?
Still in the bog.
He's got two to go, now.
How are you feeling, Fletcher, after our terrible ordeal?
-Me and the lads are still concerned about Reg.
-I understand he'll be getting psychiatric treatment.
He will be not so much punished as helped.
Not before time.
I spoke to the Governor and... in consideration of your conduct,
the charges against you and Godber will be dropped.
Charges? Oh, you mean them unfounded allegations about illicit booze?
-Only right and proper an' all.
"Enough said" is all well and good, but we won't get our booze back, will we? Hold these.
In return, of course, I would like to think that you could forget certain things that may have been revealed
during those desperate hours.
-The rather delicate matter of Mrs Jamieson and myself.
-I'd like it to go no further.
-I don't know what you're talking about.
-That's the spirit.
Honestly. I don't know what you're talking about.
If you're saying you want me to forget something, I was asleep part of the time.
I never heard nothing.
You didn't know about myself and Mrs Jamieson?
No, sir. But don't worry...
I do now.
Classic sitcom. Fletcher plans to add a bit of Christmas spirit to the festive season at Slade Prison in the form of his very own homemade liquor. But when prison officers Mackay and Barraclough uncover the stash of 'Chateau Slade', Fletcher seems in danger of spending Christmas in solitary.