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The Desperate Hours

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  First Broadcast : 3 April 1972  

This was possibly the best ensemble cast to appear in the Steptoe series, as well as the two main protagonists, the guest stars were Leonard (Rigsby) Rossiter and JG Devlin as a pair of escaped convicts….

The episode opens with Albert and Harold playing cards clothed head to toe in winter gear and arguing over the use of the small heater that seems the only warmth in the house. Harold complains bitterly that “it’s worse than the Russian Front” in the house and threatens the old man that he wants to “turn it in” due to the lack of money the business is making, things are so bad they have resorted to using foreign money in an effort to feed the electric coin meter….

The scene is broken up by the wireless finally working to inform the listeners that two convicts have escaped from the local Wormwood Scrubs Prison, it then promptly dies again when the music starts up. Much to the misfortune of Albert and Harold

(or should that be the convicts?) they decide to hide out in the junkyard and take them hostage in the hope of food and a fast car (neither of which is available….).

The pathos to me of the episode is seeing that Rossiter’s and Devlin’s relationship is exactly the same as Albert’s and Harold’s the only main difference being they are in a prison cell together instead….

Can Harold cadge some cigs and a shilling off “Johnny” for the meter?

Will Harold be able to talk “Johnny” into leaving the old man behind and escape or will his conscience get the better of him?



The Desperate Hours

Corbett and Rossiter at thier absoloute best.

If you want a masterclass in acting, comedy and performance you must buy this DVD


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  Review Posted by : Graham   To submit an Alternative Review Click Here  


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