Look out for links with (Þ) next to them - click on them and you will hear some sound clips form the show (.wav format only at the moment.) On the other hand the ð symbol links to additional information relevant to the episode (strictly for the trivia minded).
WRITTEN BY - Johnny Byrne
DIRECTOR - A.J. Quinn
THIS WEEK'S GUESTS
|Alf Chivington - Philip Whitchurch|
|Ted Danno - Tony Scannell|
|Mr Blackstone - George Sweeney|
(For more information on this week's cast, see Cast Notes .)
|You want me to be objective?||The team at work||I am not the enemy|
Several of the lighter threads from last weeks episode have proved to be on-going. Noah is still engaged in a battle of wills with Winston, the cat who doesn't want to go back home ('No one ever won a battle of wills with a cat.' Angela Thorne (Þ)) and another with his wife over who is going to do the accounts. And Nicky and Cath Baldwin, the keepers of the peacocks, have moved on to Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs - who are causing almost as much trouble...
Noah attends a horse auction at which a palomino pony is bought for a little girl. At the auction, he talks to a dealer, Ted Danno (Tony Scannell), who has bought another palomino who is unbroken. They talk about how long it will take to break the pony to the saddle - Danno reckons to days to break the ponies will. Noah smiles and says he could do it in less than an hour.
Meanwhile, a sick lemur (ð) has been found by a local small-holder. It is carrying a serious infectious virus. When Clare is called, she tells them that another lemur was found in the same area - dead. It seems likely that someone in the area is involved in illegally smuggling wild animals. This lemur is treatable - but are there other dangerously ill animals out there?
Soon after, the father of the little girl who bought the pony calls to say the pony cannot move (ð). When Noah goes to examine it, he realises that the pony has advanced arthritis, and that he had been heavily dosed up with painkiller in order to be sold at auction. There really is little choice but to have the pony put down, and Noah and Tom have to break it to the little girl. Noah is extremely angry, and goes in search of the unscrupulous dealer.
The man who sold the pony at auction is Alf Chivington (Philip Whitchurch), who is totally unsympathetic to Noah's appeal on behalf of the little girl - his attitude is 'buyer beware'. But Noah notices that Chivington's dog has a problem with its eyes.(ð) Maybe this is a way through to his heart - and his conscience?
Clare and Tom are engaged in tracking down the wildlife smuggler. There is a farm in the right area that has only recently been occupied. The new tenant is a Mr Blackstone (George Sweeney). He's not telling Tom and Clare anything - but Noah remembers the name. He talks to a court reporter who remembers that he was fined for grossly mistreating quarantine animals. He now looks a very serious suspect.
(I have to bring the pot-bellied pig in here. The sow they bought comes into the house, tears up a sofa to make a nest, and farrows - with Tom and Noah's help - in the front hall. Cath has hysterics, and Noah is paid an 'obscene amount of money' to take the sow and her piglets of their hands.)
Out of the blue, Chivington turns up with his dog, who has fallen down some concrete steps that he could not properly see. Tom and Noah have one of their arguments over how to treat Chivington, but the dog is patched up. They tell Chivington that the dog has 'dry eye', and urgently needs an operation to save his sight. But Noah also tells him a few home truths, and Tom is convinced he will not bring the dog back.
Tom and Clare are still on the track of the dealer. They have not been able to find where the lemurs are being kept. They have a passionate discussion about how 'personally' involved one should get in one's work. ('I am not the enemy' Tom (Þ) tells her.)
Chivington does after all bring his dog back. And Noah tells Tom to operate. ('I am an above average surgeon - but I think you are exceptional.') Tom is reluctant - he has never done an operation like that before. Then Noah (Þ) shows Tom how his hands are shaking - a side effect of his diabetes. So Tom carries out the operation - successfully. And Chivington is grateful.
Tom and Clare at last track down where the lemurs are being kept - in an old pumping station. And Tom (Þ)is shocked to the core at the conditions under which they are being kept. ('Now do you understand?' Clare (Þ) demands.) That night, when Blackstone comes to the pumping station, Clare and Tom are waiting for him - with the police.
Meanwhile, Chivington has done a deal with Ted Danno and bought the other palomino for the little girl. And Noah decides to make good his word that he can break the pony in half an hour. Using ancient horse whispering techniques, and in front of a large crowd - who are running a book on him - Noah proves his point in twenty-eight minutes flat. And the little girl rides away with the pony.
Oh, and in case you were wondering - Noah loses the battle of wills with the cat, and the one with his wife...
Some of you may remember Philip Whitchurch as the downtrodden brother and chauffeur to Robert Lindsay in Alan Bleasedale's wonderful GBH. He also played Fredrickson in several episodes of Sharpe, and Corporal Dade in The English Patient. Tony Scannell has been a regular on the police seriesThe Bill for years. .
I had trouble placing George Sweeney. I know have seen him before, but the IMdB only places him either as a policeman in Our Friends in the North or as Speed in Citizen Smith. I am not even sure which of the two he is - if indeed they are two different people!
ð - The little girl's pony was suffering from coccytis (?), a form of arthritis in the hip. To cover the illness at the sale, he had been dosed up with phenylbutazone (?) (or 'bute') a powerful painkiller, which in large doses of over a long period can be fatal. As soon as the drug wore off, it bacame apparent that the pony was in great pain and had difficulty moving.
ð - Mr Blackstone was smuggling lemurs. Lemurs are primates (like monkeys and apes) and mostly come from Madagascar. The ones smuggled by Blackstone were part of a larger shipment already intercepted by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). They were infected by a virus which left them seriously dehydrated, and which Tom treated with sulphonamides. (Noah initially suspected a much more virulent virus, which would have been communicable to humans.)
ð - Alf Chivington's dog was suffering from 'dry eye', a serious condition in which the tear duct stops working, and the cornea is effectively sandpapered away. The operation that Tom carried out was essentially to make a saliva duct function as a tear duct. The dog had already lost some eyesight, and the operation would do nothing to restore what had been lost. But it would prevent further deterioration.
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Last updated 06/09/1997