Saturday, October 24, 2015



In October of 1986, Jessica Fletcher attended a concert recital in Washington, DC, which led to political defections and, of course, to murder.  The Prime Minister of Great Britain was also in attendance at the concert but was never seen nor mentioned by name. 

Here are the snippets of dialogue from the episode which concerned the Prime Minister.

Jessica Fletcher:  Well, it won't be much of a stay, but when Geoffrey told me about my invitation to the party tonight, I couldn't resist.
Andrew Wyckham:  Party?
Jessica:  Followed by a reception at the estate of Senator Constable with none other than the Prime Minister as the guest of honor.

First Secretary:  After that assassination attempt in Australia last week, most of our security is elsewhere this evening protecting the Prime Minister.

First Secretary:  I am operating under the direct orders of the Ambassador who will be here shortly as soon as he is certain the Prime Minister is secure for the evening.

Andrew:  I'm going to have a word with the Ambassador about him.   Well, it's after 2:00.   Should've returned by now.
Jessica:  He's on his way, Andrew.
First Secretary:  They just put the prime minister on a plane back to England.
Andrew:  Did they? Well, I thought the P.M. wasn't supposed to leave until Tuesday.

Gender was never addressed either when discussing the Prime Minister.  So I think it's fair to say we're not discussing a fictional Prime Minister of Great Britain.  Instead, it has to be the televersion of Margaret Thatcher who was in attendance at the concert hall that October evening in 1986.  And that's a good thing, since it means we don't have to silly walk the run of 'Murder, She Wrote' to some other TV dimension if they tried to pass off anybody else, especially a man, as the Prime Minister in 1986.  After all, she was such a commanding figure in on the world stage, that most TV shows of that time would have made reference to her as the resident of Number Ten Downing Street rather than some fictional character.  (It wouldn't be until 'The West Wing' came along for TV shows to create fictional presidents and other world leaders to involve in their plotlines.)

Here are some examples that Thatcher did exist as the P.M. in the main Toobworld.

Doctor Who
Episode: Tooth and Claw (2006)
"'The Muppet Movie'", *love* that film. Margaret Thatcher, urgh."

Last Tango in Halifax
Episode: Episode #1.3
"You're going to tell me next you voted for Margaret Thatcher."

Stargate: Atlantis
"Margaret Thatcher wasn't creepy. OK - well, maybe a little. In fact, she was like an aunt of mine - same hairstyle, facial structure, only my aunt was much taller, and remarkably hirsute. Oddest thing: she had to shave twice a day."

Waiting for God
Episode: Diana's Diet
Tom: "Oh, for goodness sake, he was also the man who said that Margaret Thatcher would be prime minister!"
Diana: "Margaret Thatcher *was* prime minister."

Drop the Dead Donkey
Episode: A New Dawn
(1990)"A teensy bit? This bear's visited more disaster scenes than Margaret Thatcher."

[Information thanks to IMDb]

Mrs. Thatcher was portrayed on TV countless times and we could almost invariably accept any one of those actresses to have been the P.M. had she appeared in the episode.  In the end, it doesn't really matter as historical figures are given a pass in the main Toobworld as to the differences in their appearances due to recasting.  We at Toobworld Central chalk it up to the point of view perspectives of the fictional characters who observe them.


1 comment:

Hugh said...

Two somewhat different series that also "almost" feature the Iron Lady:
on Are You Being Served?, the Grace Bros. crew end up at No. 10 Downing St., and Mr. Humphries helps her pick out an outfit for "Question Time." I think her hand is shown waving.

on Doctor Who in "Terror of the Zygons," the Brigadier talks to the PM by phone and ends the call with "Yes, ma'am." (This episode was filmed five years before Thatcher was Prime Minister but came from the era when the UNIT stories were all supposed to be the near future.)