Episode 11. "Help"

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"Skip to the end..."

The one where Tim meets Damien Knox, Daisy does some exercise, Brian tells his mum he's an artist and Tyres comes back.


Lucy Akhurst as Sophie
('Every Seven Years' 'Monarch of the Glenn')

Mike Hayley as the Security Guard
('People Like Us')

Clive Russell as Damien Knox
('Ladies in Lavender' 'King Arthur' 'The Rocket Post' 'The 13th Warrior' 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' 'Coronation Street')

Olivia Williams as the cyclist
('Rushmore' 'The Sixth Sense')


Dark Horse comics David Gibbons Simon Bisley Jason Brashill Jim Murray 'Kilroy' 'Trisha' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' 'The X Files', the TV show 'A song for Europe' ('A thong for Europe'), 'The sixth sense' 'The Matrix' Bob Kane 'Taxi Driver' (Tyres telling the guard he admires him) 'Grange Hill' 'Terminator 2' (Damien Knox stepping out of the lift) Nescafe Tizer.

First appearance of...

Tim's art being appreciated Sophie Daisy exercising Marsha being an athlete.

"...thumping tunes, kicking bass..."

  • The theme tune from 'Grange Hill'
  • Tyres is listening to the same dance music that played in the club in episode 6, 'Let me show you' by Camisira
  • 'I'm Melting', 'Chomical Beats' and 'I've been shot' by the Sons of Silence.
  • 'Space Farm' by Mint Royale
  • 'Some Kind of Kink' by Red Snapper.
  • 'Spybreak' by the Propellerheads.

"...a super race of mice-spiders..."

Daisy and Tim imagine Mike and Marsha in bed together when they hear rhythmic noises from upstairs; in fact they are doing aerobics. Tim asks Mike if he has any ideas on how they might infiltrate the Dark Star comics building, big mistake. Mike goes into a trance in which he pictures himself, Tim and Tyres storming the building as per the legendary scene in 'The Matrix'.

And I quote...

Daisy: "Morning flatmate. Coffee and Kilroy? Tea and Trisha?"

Tyres: "Mine's a pint of the black stuff."
Mike: "You can't drink a pint of Bovril!"

Tim: "Ready to go Mike?"
Mike: "I was born ready!"
Tim: "Yeah but are you ready now?"
Mike: "Err, yeah."

Marsha: "Ready to go again soldier?"
Mike: "Cock locked and ready to rock!"

Tyres: "Oi Oi! You lucky people!" , "You know what it's like son it's all in front of you like a wheelbarrow." and "'Ave a banana!"

"What a bitch".

Twist and Brian are arguing about going out.
Twist: "I want you to see me as a whole Brian!"
Brian: "I do."
Twist: "'Whole'; with a 'w'."

Mike: "Don't worry Daisy, Tim's just really angry at you cos you've jeopardised his future."

Sophie tells Damien Knox (the head of Dark Star comics) that Tim has "... blond hair, small ears." Mr Knox then reminisces that he once laughed Tim out of the office because his work was "... all muscles and guns, most amusing."

Tyres and his mood swings

Tim asks Tyres to bike his portfolio to Dark Star comics. Tyres responds with a tirade of abuse: "Oh I see, you don't call me for weeks and all of a sudden you want a favour? That's nice that is. D'you know the last time I seen you you said you wished that I was your dad, and you hugged me for the entire length of the acid tweekin' funk mix of George Wink's higher state of consciousness; and now you want me to ferry around your 'art' for you?!"
Tim: "Yes please."
Tyres: "Okay."

Tyres to Daisy: "You wanna get up off your arse and get yourself a job Dizzy or whatever your name isn't."

Give that man a BAFTA

This episode has some wonderfull camerawork. In the pre-credit sequence, when Damien Knox discusses the potential of several aspiring comic book artists with Sophie, we keep cutting to Tim playing on his playstation blasting the crap out of all sorts of pixelated minions. As Damien agrees to see Tim's work, the young artist's screen flashes up 'Game over', Tim shoulders his gun and the camera zooms into the now ringing telephone. I also enjoyed Tim and Mike's interrogation of Daisy after she has put the 'I'm a massive wanker' picture (of Damien Knox) in Tim's portfolio. As Daisy reveals what she's done we get two crash zooms on to Tim:
Daisy: "I put the picture into a portfolio."
Crash zoom on Tim: "What!"
Daisy: "I put the picture into your portfolio."
Crash zoom on Tim: "What!"
Mike then chips in like the nerdy kid standing behind the bully: "Did she say what I think she said?"
Tim: "She put the picture in my portfolio."
Crash zoom on Mike "What!"

"Do you rent downstairs?"

Tim seems very coy when asking Daisy if Mike 'needs' or 'wants' him. Sophie asks Tim out on a date after she discovers him rifling through Damien Knox's stuff (it was Lucy Akhurst's delivery of the line "What the hell d'ya think you're doing?!" that convinced the casting staff to give her the part of Sophie). Tim is in obvious discomfort as Mike radios through to him on the walkie-talkie "Tim; the girl you fancy just walked into the office." ,Tim: "Thanks Mike." Sophie seems to enjoy toying with Tim's uneasiness as she keeps preventing him from leaving before asking what his plans for Friday are. Simon Pegg does a great "Err... yeah" response to Sophie asking him if he fancies a drink with her, kind of a mix of disbelief and not wanting to appear too eager.

When Tim and Daisy hear noises coming from upstairs they wonder what it is.
Daisy: "Maybe it's Mike."
Tim: "Maybe it's Marsha."
Daisy: "Maybe it's Mike and Marsha."

After revealing he is an artist, Brian's Mum tells him "We don't mind what you are, as long as you're not gay."

"Today's youth... okay young adults."

Daisy and Tim are terrified at the idea that Mike and Marsha might be having sex. Although this idea terrifies me too, I'm happy to admit that it's nothing more than rampant ageism.

Tim and Daisy sitting in a tree...

Daisy asks Tim if he got what he wanted from the Dark Star comics office. "That's not all he got" replies Mike, causing Tim great anxiety. Tim seems very eager to cover up the fact that he has a date with Sophie.

"Ooh Mamma!"

Marsha immediately lights up a fag after jogging, "I'm really beginning to feel the benefit of it now."

Mike is eating coffee straight out of the jar in the Dark Star offices.

"Fuck off Twist!"

After exercising Marsha says to Daisy "Come one, let's fuck off home!" There are also 5 exclaimed uses of 'shit' when Mike and Tim exasperatedly chase after the 'I'm a massive wanker' drawing. Is 'wanker' a swear word?

"Timmy: fetch me my tools!"

Mike's bright idea for an 'infiltration tactic' involves "...draining a man of his blood and replacing it with Tizer."

"Get off your arse!"

Daisy claims she is allergic to endorphins, she then goes on to describe an incident that occurred during her school days in a netball match in the style of the 'Grange Hill' title sequence (see 'Let's Play').

Daisy tells Tim "I'm gonna be as inactive as I can in order to get into the psyche of someone unemployed, vocationally and cerebrally to see if enforced passivity exacerbates itself. Does inactivity breed laziness?"
Tim: "Are you gonna write an article about it?"
Daisy: "No I can't be bothered."

Daisy claims that all the exercise has made her teeth hurt. She becomes out of breath at the front garden to the house and gets quite violent (as she said she would) when running with Marsha. She suddenly becomes all competitive, first chasing to get in front of her landlady before feigning injury to trip her up and finally trying to set Colin on her.

"...pull my finger..."

Daisy's behaviour at the netball game (see below) is rather tomboyish.

"Let's play!"

Daisy describes herself playing netball at school. Obviously she remembers events as if they were from 'Grange Hill', she recalls a game in which she punched a girl out in order to prevent her scoring. She says "We won the game, but I lost a lot of friends." Tim leaps dramatically over a trolley and lands on his back when chasing Tyres outside the Dark Star comics building. Mike suggests using a ventilation shaft to get into Damien Knox's office "Simple and classic" .

How's that for some Fried Gold?

Tyres is back! When Tyres rings at the door, Tim answers it only to discover that no one is there and Tyres has magically teleported his way into the flat. Everything that Tyres does at Meteor Street is pure fried gold. The episode's best scene; Mike and Tim interrogating Daisy as to the whereabouts of the picture of Damien Know bearing the legend 'I'm a massive wanker'. The 'Sixth Sense' parody is great. Mike 'channels' behind the wheel "There's been an accident, somebody got hurt, a lady..." Tim asks him how he knows this; Mike: "'Cos we hit her." Cut to the window of Mike's van... it's Olivia Williams, the actress who played Bruce Willis' wife in 'The Sixth Sense'.

"Hawk the Slayer's rubbish!"

Tim feels the need to say a prayer before taking his art portfolio to Damien Knox, so he prays to his poster of Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy).

"I just think he's a bit pretentious".

Brian's lawyer outfit is horrendously pretentious, with the tight jacket, the well-manicured beard and the tiny little yellow mobile on which he keeps saying "suuure..." To convince his Mum he's really a lawyer he makes some ridiculously exaggerated comment on the phone about "... he's just a small fish in a big pond and I'm a big shark..." In the café he orders a "... large half caff' frapuccino with whipped cream and marsh mellow dunkers." , something which impresses his Mum no end.

"That was kind of unbelievable."

How exactly has Brian been able to convince his parents for so long that he is a lawyer? To be a lawyer you have to study at university, go to bar school and do several apprenticeships. All of this would cost a lot of money and take a considerable amount of time to do.

"Big's in this year."

Marsha wears a terrible outfit while she's doing her exercises, she has a rainbow coloured headband and a lime green lycra jump suit. Daisy wears some blue and white stripy jim-jams and flowery gown before putting on her jogging gear for the big run with Marsha. Once again Tim has nothing else in his wardrobe but a brown beanie and t-shirt. Brian is wearing a suit. Sophie sports a slightly 'goth-chick' look, along with her all black outfit she just needs more eye-liner and she'd fit in at any heavy metal club. Mike's outfit is the best though, his Maradona look (blue and white stripy shirt and headband) steals the show.

Finally, a word from your author.

An enjoyable episode which applies the now tried-and-tested 'Spaced' formula, pitting our 20-something heroes against their worst fears, throwing in some post-modern cultural references and seeing how the characters react. Daisy has to exercise, Brian opens up to his Mum and Tim has his art scrutinised, all very frightening experiences. Look closely at the way Daisy reacts when Tim tells her he is taking his portfolio to Dark Star comics "Wow what a break!" . She says this with a level of forced enthusiasm that makes me think she's actually upset that Tim is getting a break while she isn't. This feeds into the series' dark subtext (see 'Art' and 'Leaves') in which Daisy and Tim are always disrupting each other's attempts to 'get a break' in their careers. Daisy is being slightly two-faced here; perhaps placing the errant 'massive wanker' poster in Tim's portfolio was a subconscious act of sabotage?