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What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:25 pm
by BLAKESCREWE
That Harold had in the pilot, unless i`m stupid or missed something in the last few decades I don`t know so please tell me thanks! :lol: :lol:

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:40 pm
by bob
The Offer was an opportunity to work for another company, we assume another Totter. He was offered a position / job / opportunity ... call it what you will.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:49 pm
by Archie
Yes I watched The Offer again today, it's never explained but at one point Harold comments that he is planning to sell his belongings to buy into the offer / business :|

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:28 pm
by spikespark
I wondered if there ever even was an offer at all. It certainly seems to come up out of the blue. This is just my interpretation of course, but I think it is interesting to consider the mysterious 'offer' as merely an empty threat of Harold's. Then things escalate and his bluff is called.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:21 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
I've always preferred to believe Harold's "Offer" was as gigolo. After all, Harry was a puller 8).
Even with those mad 1970 sideburns. I sported those too but mine more closely resembled headphones :oops:.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:48 pm
by spikespark
Dirty Old Yank wrote:I've always preferred to believe Harold's "Offer" was as gigolo. After all, Harry was a puller 8).
Even with those mad 1970 sideburns. I sported those too but mine more closely resembled headphones :oops:.


Especially with the '70's sideburns! :D

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:28 pm
by PhilGlass
spikespark wrote:I wondered if there ever even was an offer at all. It certainly seems to come up out of the blue. This is just my interpretation of course, but I think it is interesting to consider the mysterious 'offer' as merely an empty threat of Harold's. Then things escalate and his bluff is called.


I love this theory. It gives it more depth, and also shows from the start that Harold and Albert were the same and as bad as each other.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:41 am
by spikespark
PhilGlass wrote:
spikespark wrote:I wondered if there ever even was an offer at all. It certainly seems to come up out of the blue. This is just my interpretation of course, but I think it is interesting to consider the mysterious 'offer' as merely an empty threat of Harold's. Then things escalate and his bluff is called.


I love this theory. It gives it more depth, and also shows from the start that Harold and Albert were the same and as bad as each other.


Thanks, Phil. I agree, if you take this interpretation it brings out a key factor of Steptoe's humour: that Harold and Albert are _both_ manipulative and play these sort of mind-games with each other. Albert just happens to generally be better at them. :roll:

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:59 am
by Dirty Old Yank
I couldn't disagree more. The notion that Albert & Harold are "as bad as each other" ignores a key Steptoe theme. Namely that Albert has guile, whereas Harold does not. Some may interpret that as naivete on Harold's part.
I prefer to believe he deliberately chose a path of innocence :).
A path clearly evident in the scripts and performances.
And his sideburns :wink:.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:49 pm
by spikespark
Dirty Old Yank wrote:I couldn't disagree more. The notion that Albert & Harold are "as bad as each other" ignores a key Steptoe theme. Namely that Albert has guile, whereas Harold does not. Some may interpret that as naivete on Harold's part.
I prefer to believe he deliberately chose a path of innocence :).
A path clearly evident in the scripts and performances.
And his sideburns :wink:.


I agree that Albert is definitely the craftier Steptoe, with Harold being the more naive one, as evidenced when Albert thinks Harold is gunning to be the Labour party rep so he can get demolition contracts and Harold is so affronted.

I think Harold is largely an innocent and an idealist, but he does also have his more base side. He isn't a saint, himself-- look at the smirk on his face when he mutters 'finders keepers' about that fridge that fell off the back of a lorry, for example.

When I say that Albert and Harold are each as bad as the other, I mean more in terms of their codependency and their emotional blackmail. Albert, for all his selfish, controlling, manipulative and devious behaviour, is shown to love Harold, too. Harold, for his sense of duty and his moments of tenderness for his dad, mixed with a big guilt complex, can also be passive-aggressive, threatening, violent, and vengeful. To me, the fact that they each are partners in the dysfunctional relationship is what makes Steptoe and Son a black comedy as opposed to a tragedy.

I do have to confess, Harold _is_ my favourite, but I have a massive soft spot for horrible old Albert, as well. And even Albert has sympathetic points to his character! --Unless they're all complete lies!

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:03 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
spikespark wrote:I agree that Albert is definitely the craftier Steptoe, with Harold being the more naive one, as evidenced when Albert thinks Harold is gunning to be the Labour party rep so he can get demolition contracts and Harold is so affronted. I think Harold is largely an innocent and an idealist, but he does also have his more base side. He isn't a saint, himself-- look at the smirk on his face when he mutters 'finders keepers' about that fridge that fell off the back of a lorry, for example. When I say that Albert and Harold are each as bad as the other, I mean more in terms of their codependency and their emotional blackmail. Albert, for all his selfish, controlling, manipulative and devious behaviour, is shown to love Harold, too. Harold, for his sense of duty and his moments of tenderness for his dad, mixed with a big guilt complex, can also be passive-aggressive, threatening, violent, and vengeful. To me, the fact that they each are partners in the dysfunctional relationship is what makes Steptoe and Son a black comedy as opposed to a tragedy. I do have to confess, Harold _is_ my favourite, but I have a massive soft spot for horrible old Albert, as well. And even Albert has sympathetic points to his character! --Unless they're all complete lies!

There’s no arguing that Albert is dependent upon Harold but what I’d hoped to point out is the degree of their “codependency” isn’t something Ray & Alan left to the imagination. I didn’t mean to suggest Harold isn’t capable of being manipulative but it’s a technique he learned slowly, over many years, from Albert. That Harold never truly boasted Albert’s eager facility for guile finally comes to those delightful denouements, those hilarious reversal of roles in episodes like.....the shower scene in A Winter’s Tale, Upstairs Downstairs Upstairs Downstairs, and especially the second crimbo special, “Bognor, here we come!!” (Harold deserved a Bafta for that performance.) Moments embraced by audiences not just with thunderous laughter...but a huge sigh of relief as well. That’s how I perceived it anyway, but I was fortunate enough to watch all the episodes for the first time in sequence when the boxset arrived, a Steptoe marathon weekend. And yes we all love Albert, that has never been in question! Reviewing some posts, I can’t help but think that maybe too much is being read into it. That father/son ambivalence is quite common and not so complex that it requires psychoanalysis, least of all by a physician who compulsively scribbles naughty illustrations of big bristols, “It’s alright, remember we’re none of us normal!” Better that than his blithely writing a shopping list; coffee, tea, whisky.....all the psychoanalyst food groups (see: The Bob Newhart Show) :o.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:59 pm
by spikespark
DirtyOldYank: I think I misunderstood a point of semantics originally-- your last post cleared it up for me, thanks! If I'm wrong, then I apologise, but I think your objection originally was to the concept that Albert and Harold are 'each as bad as the other'.

In your last post, I think I understand your point-- Albert is more fundamentally crafty and devious and a more natural cynical mindset, as we have seen illustrated again and again. Harold's passive-aggressive tendencies, as you point out, have been learned over time. He is fundamentally a more innocent-natured person. I completely agree with this!

This is why Harold is generally more sympathetic, imo-- although of course, my sympathy for Harold is also just subjective. Other people could put forth a compelling argument why Albert, being more vulnerable, is more sympathetic. But Albert has the more tenacious spirit. He is a survivor and realist. Harold is a dreamer and idealist.

Sorry to be a bore if I overanalyse, but literary and film/television analysis is something I really delight in and Steptoe and Son is a programme that offers so many layers of things to talk about, from sex, politics, codependency, the changing mores of Britain at the time, and just terrific comedy moments!

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:06 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
spikespark wrote:Sorry to be a bore if I overanalyse...

I didn't mean to suggest you do or that you're being dull, far from it! Sorry, I should've been clearer :). And my comments regarding psychoanalysis were of course a reference to the "Loathe Story" episode. Not one of my favorite episodes per se, but badminton in the yard and Harold sleepwalking with a cleaver is a shrieker :o. Peculiar that he wandered into the front room, not the kitchen, to get the cleaver for that Hammer horror moment.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:40 am
by Ivor Biggun
There was no offer. Harold was bluffing to frighten Albert into thinking he would be left alone. I'm sure Harold probably would have been able to find some sort of work despite his lack of education, but Albert would have had a much harder time surviving without him. He would have had difficulty going out on the horse and cart and who would hire him for anything else at his age? It was all a bluff.

Re: What was THE OFFER?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:52 am
by bob
It was all a bluff.


No No No !!! - I'm sure there was an Offer - Harlold wanted to fly, it was the Old Man who did everything to stop it.

There was no benefit for Harold to stay, he didn't get a pay rise or bigger diner or anything - He just couldn't get away !!!

Mind you - I could be wrong :?