|series 01, Episode 05|
|Air Date||July 30, 2008|
It's the annual Birling day and Martin's first experiencesof Mr. Birling and his ways. Martin resents Mr. Birling and is surprised to find Douglas and Carolyn at war over a bottle of expensive whisky. Arthur's heart is broken by Mr. Birling and his protection is broken by a sneaky first officer.
Supporting Cast Edit
Geoffrey Whitehead played Mr Birling in this episode. Birling was named after the over-bearing capitalist character of JB Priestly's play An Inspector Calls. An earlier version of the episode included an opposite character named 'Goole', after the eponymous Inspector.
Adam G Goodwin plays Philip, a member of the airport Fire Crew asked to search Douglas for whisky.
Cultural References Edit
Douglas's first stag night was attended (so he claims) by a number of anti-establishment figures popular in the late sixties and seventies. These include Jeffrey Bernard, a journalist associated with the bohemian movement, Peter Cook, an influential satirical comedian, and one of The Kinks, though he doesn't remember which one.
This episodes musical moments come courtesy of Arthur, who sings 'Hey Big Spender', with the alternative lyric of 'The miniature walked through the door'. Mr Birling also sings (in a manner of speaking) the chorus of 'Cwm Rhondda' and 'Ten Green Bottles'
The Six Nations Edit
The episode contains many inaccuracies regarding the Six Nations rugby tournament. Birling Day is apparently the day of the Six Nations final, though the tournament is actually a round-robin league with three games being played on the final Saturday. Though it is possible for a winner-takes-all fixture to occur on that day, this has only happened in the 2003 and 2013 tournaments. All matches in the tournament are hosted by one of the playing teams, so the Wales v France match would usually have been played in Cardiff or Paris, rather than Edinburgh (though due to no other stadium being available London did host Wales v France in 1998). Wales are also described as the 'Triple-Crown champions', following their victory over France. The Triple-Crown is a victory by a British or Irish team over the other three home nations, and so Wales would already have held that award before Birling Day. A victory over all the other teams in the championship is called a Grand Slam. Though it would still theoretically be possible for Wales to be described as Triple-Crown champions, it does suggest that they were in the unlikely position of having beaten all teams, except the historically weaker Italian team.
Reflecting on all of this, John Finnemore commented, "Arthur doesn't know much about rugby... Rugby fans may at this point be able to spot where Arthur gets it from."