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The Bonds That Bind Us

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  First Broadcast : 11 February 1964  

The episode opens with a rather fit looking Harold "working out"

Albert arrives and conducts his usual review of the days totting to find that Harold has purchased a job lot of torture instruments including a straightjacket. Informing Harold that its "the first of the month" and he wants him to help him check his Premium Bond numbers.

First point to note is that the still from the cover of the BBC Series 3 box is from this scene although Harold is wearing a vest rather than the t-shirt he wears in the show.

Harold's ridicule at Albert's hopes of winning , soon turns to excitement as they discover that the old man has won £1000. Excitement turns to dismay as we discover that the winnings belong solely to Albert after Harold had sold his share of the bonds to Albert so that he could join the tennis club.

Steptoe and Son in The Bonds That Bind Us

Albert heads to the West End for "a bit of a spend up". We see him in a Tailors, the dentist (for a new set of choppers) and rather surprisingly a beauty salon. The results are there to see as a "Dapper Albert" returns home unrecognisable to Harold "Cor Blimey ole Reilly Dad what have they done to you" Disappointed at Harold's annoyed response the old man heads "back up town" for a couple of days.

Five days later we find Harold living on his own in disarray. Albert returns with his friend Madge played by a young June Whitfield who makes a stunning entrance to Harold's disgust. Harold smells a scam and on hearing Madge's pet name for his father is "Albie" responds with "I could think of a more apt name".


Unrepentant in his behavior, Harold then proceeds to offer Madge a suitable bottle of brown ale when Albert asks that he give her a drink. Madge is suitably unimpressed (June Whitfield is wonderful here) We then discover that the new couple are engaged and planning a holiday in Monte Carlo.

Now shocked Harold is forced to act quickly to save his father from losing all his winnings. he has to prove that Madge is just after the money. Seeing his chance in the kitchen he gags then wraps Albert in the straight jacket. Then after covering Albert's mouth in shaving foam proceeds to create a scene whereby Madge runs to the kitchen.

Second point to note is the great bit of improvisation at 20:48 where Harold opens the door and promptly pulls the door handle off to then subtly place the handle in his pocket. No retakes here!

Harold now pretends that the old man has gone mad and stolen the money as he always does. Horrified at the mention of the police being called Madge confesses the whole thing was a scam gives the ring back and saying "He was the fifth one this year" before making a quick escape.

  A seemingly heartbroken Albert has the last laugh explaining the ring was a paste imitation that he paid "seven and a tanner for" Harold's response knowing the old man has been having his ... ahem....... fun ........"you crafty old devil ha ha ha"  
  Review Posted by : Simon Hopewell

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The Bonds That Bind Us

The Steptoe's have had a win on the Premium Bonds. Harold sold his share a year ago

Surely Albert will share the winnings or will the Steptoe's finally go their own way ? Buy the DVD to find out.


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