Steptoe and Son

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The Seige of Steptoe Street  
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First Broadcast : 25 October 1965  

I couldn't possibly choose a favorite Steptoe episode, they're all so good. But here we have an episode that could be described as quintessential. In addition to the exemplary script and performances audiences had come to expect, all departments were at the top of their game that evening and it's a marvel to watch: staging, photography, incidental music, video mixing, etc...all weave together like a delicious recipe to create a meal that transcends cultural, even language barriers.

More often than not the Steptoe's are skint, but this time they're in shtook. While Harold has been out on his rounds Albert has allowed the bills to accumulate unpaid, to the tune of £190.

As they mull over their debts Harold exclaims, "Dad, this is ridiculous! How can you spend £29 in a chemist in four months?"

Albert replies, "Well, there's the toilet rolls."

Harold says, "We don't go through that in a year, even the one in Leicester Square don't do that!"

Albert and Harold Steptoe Determined to keep the Bailiff's at bay
Albert points out, "Well it's not all mine, look at this! Newsagent: Financial Times, Economist, Stock Exchange Gazette, Investors Chronicle."

Harold calmly replies, "Anybody who is in business has to keep his finger on the financial pulse of the country."

Albert says, "You won't find the pulse where you keep your finger!"
My Dad Albert Steptoe - He's Mad ! - He thinks he's Napoleon

While the pair of them argue over who spent what, the fish monger is first to serve a summons which Albert refuses, "You can stick it up your kilt for all I care!"

No amount of slurs will stop the local businessmen though, who arrive en masse and crowd the yard, court orders in hand. Panicked, Harold bolts the front door and shoves a shotgun out the mailslot (as depicted on the front of Complete Steptoe boxset.) In a desperate attempt to prove his pater is barking mad and therefore not responsible for his debts, Harold puts a two cornered hat on his father, sticks his hand in his waistcoat and opens the door long enough for everyone to catch a glimpse of Albert as he sings La Marseillaise!

You'd think this image of a madman who thinks he's Napoleon would've worn out its comedy welcome long ago, but not in the capable hands of Steptoe cast and crew, as evidenced by the thunderous laughter and applause of the audience.

Now our heroes are trapped in their home, their growling stomachs greeted only by 2 particularly unappetizing tins and a packet of biscuits. Harold observes, "What good's that? One burp and you're empty!"


"The Siege of Steptoe Street" was almost certainly as fun to perform as it is to watch. It's rich with crisp dialog, classic comic imagery...and for anyone who has ever struggled to make ends meet, a bit of innocent wish fulfillment. A genuinely gratifying half hour!

Review Posted by : Dirty Old Yank  

The Seige of Steptoe Steet

Poverty knocks at the Stepote door in the form of local businessmen and Baiiffs.

Can our heros survive?

A true Steptoe Classic. Buy it now

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