Episode 9. "Change"

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"Skip to the end..."

The one where Tim and Daisy sign on after Tim loses his job.


Rowena Cooper as Brian's Mum
('Rumpole of the Bailey' 'Shooting Fish' 'Secret Friends' 'The New Statesman')

Derren Litton as the DSS bureaucrat
('Perfect World' 'Pie in the Sky' 'Sweet Medicine')

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

Martin Trenaman as Derek
('Lost Dog' Martin has written for several comedy TV series including 'Is it Bill baily?' '15 Storeys High' and 'Head on Comedy')

Gemma Padley as the woman at the temping agency
('Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets')


Bagpuss (theme tune) Buffy the Vampire Slayer 'Dawn of the Dead' (Tim's T-shirt) 'The Exorcist' (the rattling from Amber's room) 'E.T the Extra Terrestrial' 'Back to the Future' (spinning number-plate) Jar Jar Binks 'The Phantom Menace' Judge Dread, 2000AD comics 'Doctor Who' (Bilbo's TARDIS) Twiglets 'Hawk the Slayer' 'Krull' The Ewoks 'The A Team' (Marsha: ""I love it when a plan comes together."" ) 'Shaft' The TV series 'Is it Bill Bailey? ' ( ""wha-you doin'?"" ) 'Babylon 5'.

First appearance of...

Daisy having a job Mike living with Marsha Brian's relationship with Twist distracting him from his work Tim being unemployed

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

  • The theme tune from 'Bagpuss'
  • The theme tune from 'Terry and June'
  • The theme tune from 'Camberwick Green'
  • 'S'il vous plait' by the Fantastic Plastic Machine
  • 'Mudslide' by the Bluetones
  • 'The Mit Out Sound' by the Sons of Silence

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

Each of Tim, Brian, Mike and Daisy are awakened abruptly at the start of the episode as Amber crashes around upstairs (in a homage to 'The Exorcist'). As she is startled awake Daisy says "I'm sorry!" Mike says "I'm hit!" Brian says "I'm blind!" (he is wearing a blindfold) and Tim says "Buffy!" Daisy has a copy of 'Hedonism on a budget' on her chest, Mike has army boots and a compass, Brian has a doll with a hole drilled into its head while Tim has a mutated teddy bear. Read what you will from this into each of the character's personalities.

Daisy tries to convince Tim that "... the comic book industry is in need of a gigantic bear with special claws; ragh!" Tim tells her that he's scared and pictures a mysterious one-eyed character laughing at his drawings. This is later to be revealed as Damien Knox, head of Dark Star comics.

When Bilbo offers Tim his job back, he gets confused after Tim says "I'm already there!" Biblo seems to think Tim was implying he possessed an ability to inhabit multiple locations at once.

And I quote...

Marsha on Amber: "She's got three languages and a Dutch cap; she'll be fine."

Tim: "Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like ... fucking Shaft!"

DSS man: "No no no, this is the 'ab' form you need the 'aB' form. Capital B."

Mike on 'Mulan': "Eddie Murphy does the voice of the dragon, certainly to my mind his third best film."

Bilbo: "He should mount his collectors editions behind the counter in full view, not hide them away at the back of the shop. The man's insane."

"What a bitch".

Tim is talking down to a small boy in the comic book store about the relative merits of 'The Phantom Menace' in comparison to the old 'Star Wars' films: "You are so blind, you so do not understand, you weren't there at the beginning, you don't know how good it was, how important. This is it for you, this jumped up fireworks display of a toy advert. People like you make me sick, what's wrong with you?! I don't care if you've saved up all your little 50p's, take your money and GET OUT!" The kid runs off, Tim: "What a prick."

Daisy accuses Mike of stealing her money.

Brian: "Sorry about your job Tim."
Tim: "Sorry about your uncle Brian."

Give that man a BAFTA

There are some nice 'over the shoulder' camera shots as Daisy and Tim meet each of their DSS bureaucrats. The sweeping camera builds up the tension that such a meeting always carries; will I get any money this week?

"Do you rent downstairs?"

Whether Marsha coming on to Brian is genuine or merely her helping him out with his creative block is uncertain. She does get a great line though, she tells him that "... you cannot have your cake and eat her [Twist] Brian..." She then becomes even more scary and lecherous when she sticks her tongue out. Marsha then comes on to Mike after she persuades him to move in upstairs, she tells him that "... I like to think that I'm an approachable landlady..." "That's great." says Mike rather nervously, he then asks for a key to the lock on his room after she tells him he can ask her for anything. When Twist calls Brian to invite herself over to his house she tells him "... don't forget to wash your sheets. And your penis!" Daisy later comments that she often hears the pair of them having sex.

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

It is no co-incidence that the young woman working in the temping agency looks at least half Daisy's age. As well as being a rather entertaining idea it also serves as a rather literal metaphor for the way that Daisy's life is passing her by while people younger than her are becoming more successful.

Tim and Daisy sitting in a tree...

They hug quite a bit in the episode, once after Daisy fails at the DSS and again when they agree to find new jobs.

"Ooh Mamma!"

The first thing Tim does after he gets fired is to come home and neck some wine. After Amber leaves home, Daisy offers Marsha a drink "Bit early for that don't you think?" says Marsha. Daisy replies "I was thinking more of a cup of tea." In the next cut we see a cork popping.

"Fuck off Twist!"

Tim describes 'Babylon 5' as "... a big pile of shit!" and swears quite a bit while defending his opinions on 'The Phantom Menace'. Daisy can't cope with customers asking her for service in a bar; "Fuck you!" she tells a man. She also calls the DSS guy a bastard.

"Timmy: fetch me my tools!"

"Get off your arse!"

Daisy's biggest worry about being unemployed is that she wont be able "... to afford aspirational magazines." Tim, on the other hand, tells Daisy that he likes working. Daisy says that he has no need to work as he's just successfully signed on. She says that writing articles aren't that easy and that "I can't just pull another 'winter skin care: do's and don'ts' out of the air." In a classic moment of outlandish over-exaggeration, Daisy talks the talk about being a writer and how she is going to take lots of unrelated jobs to gain experience; she starts telling Tim about a 'really funny guy' called Tony. Except that she can't remember anything funny he ever did, she just sits there laughing to herself.

"...pull my finger..."

"Let's play!"

Mike has a job as a Lollipop man. He is seen ushering kids across a zebra crossing by shouting "MOVE MOVE!! Don't look at me; MOVE!"

When Daisy asks Mike what he does he replies, "I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you."
"Is it a secret then?" Daisy enquires,
"No." says Mike.

There are LARP (live action role play) weapons visible on one of the shelves in Tim and Daisy's flat.

How's that for some Fried Gold?

The letter from Brian's Mum tells him how his Uncle died, "... he died in his sleep last week; whilst driving to Staines on the M4."

Daisy is thwarted in her attempts to sign on to the dole by a bureaucratic Nazi with a chip on his shoulder. Derren Litten does a great job of playing the inept bureaucrat (except when trying to cause a hindrance) with a scary steely gaze that could probably sink ships. He has it in for Daisy the moment she walks in the door, shrugging his shoulders at her complaints and telling her that "Sorry I don't understand." when she tells him she's been there for over an hour. He then takes exquisite delight in denying her any dole money by working out that she's been in Asia for 3 months instead of working. Daisy can't really complain, her excuses are really lame:
Diasy: "I've been ill."
Man: "Have you got a doctor's note?"
Daisy: "No; I lost it. Look, you've always given me money before."
Oh dear.

"Hawk the Slayer's rubbish!"

The plot of the episode, as it concerns Tim, revolves heavily around the fact that, when it comes to cult television and film, people have very strong opinions and are prepared to defend them. Bilbo explains to Tim how he punched his own father once after he was told that 'Hawk the Slayer' was rubbish (this also happens to the guy that Bilbo hires to replace Tim). Tim thinks this is quite normal, but even Bilbo understands that "... I was defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity, what I should have said is 'Dad you're right; but let's give 'Krull' a try'." One of the best moments of the episode is when it is revealed that Tim isn't the only one with a seething hatred of 'Episode 1', the woman at the DSS seems to represent some kind of underground circle of Lucas nay-sayers. After Tim tells her that it was a difference of opinion that lost him his job, she knowingly taps her nose "Phantom Menace? Why; didn't you like it?" Tim muses this for a moment "... no." he says rather uncertainly. "Don't worry Mr Bisley, I'll get you some money out by the end of the week." Tim also reels back physically ill when someone calls the comic book shop asking for information on Jar Jar Binks merchandise. Tim easily gets sacked from his new job by telling his boss that "... Babylon 5's a big pile of shit!"

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

Daisy puts her foot in it when she tries to convince Marsha that she met a young girl who had to go to war when she was out in the Far East. She's in the middle of comparing Amber to this girl when Mike suggests Daisy might be talking about 'Mulan'
"Do you know her?" Daisy asks,
"No, it's a Disney film." Mike replies.

At the temping agency Daisy is asked what she does;
Daisy: ""I'm creative ... at home in an office environment and equally at home in the hustle and bustle of an eatery.""
Woman: "So that's anything then?"
Daisy: "Yes, I'm desperate."

Mike displays a level of pretentiousness when he leaves the flat in the morning. As he opens the door Brian is just about to knock (that classic plot device that allows characters to move in and out of scenes smoothly) with his clenched fist raised, Mike mis-interprets this as some kind of military salute or 'power to the people' signal. Mike gives a Woolfie Smith style fist pump in return. Brian then explains to Daisy how he's been "... approaching the canvas in different ways."

"That was kind of unbelievable."

Tim seems to be able to bend forks Uri Geller style. A DSS zombie taking such delight in failing someone's application seems a little harsh. It also seems rather unlikely that they train people in Vietnamese languages in order to weed out fraudulent claimants. Bilbo carries his answer phone to play for Tim at his new job.

"Big's in this year."

Daisy is, of course, rather stupidly wearing her 'Saigon' T shirt to the DSS office. When they wake up in the morning Daisy is wearing one of her shinny happy sunshine holiday T shirts, Tim has a 'Dawn of the Dead' shirt on to accompany his boxers, Brian sleeps in the buff while Mike wears his combats. Marsha emerges wearing a purple dressing gown, both her and Daisy have rubbish hair. Bilbo tells Tim that he has "... blond hair, scraggly beard, childlike ears ..." and that he's "... full of beans" . They're both wearing fantasy genre T-shirts in 'Fantasy Bazaar'.

Finally, a word from your author.

So just what are Eddie Murphy's best and second best films? Daisy gets everything wrong in this episode, from pretending that she actually met 'Mulan' to being miles older than the girl running the temping agency, from accusing Mike of stealing her money to failing to get past the DSS's finest Nazi. This is the continuing story of Daisy's life, she simply cannot get along with having to work. Brian, on the other hand, has a genuine artist's block. His contentment prevents him from being creative, this is in distinct opposition to Daisy's virtual destitution failing to inspire her at all. While these two artists each struggle with their creative impulses, Tim is content to criticise the work of others by complaining about 'The Phantom Menace' and "defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity." This is Daisy's episode though; she's having one of those days that anyone who has ever been unemployed will tell you about. She can't seem to work out if she's creative and unchallenged or just plain lazy. And then there's Bill Bailey, bringing his brilliant brand of understated comedy to every scene he's in. 'Change' is a great episode because of these reasons, and the fact that it has two of the funniest lines that the Pegg/Stevenson axis ever wrote. "I punched a bloke once for saying 'Hawk the Slayer' was rubbish" and "You can't have your cake and eat her ..."

Just one last point to clear up; for anyone hasn't seen it, 'Hawk the Slayer' is rubbish. Check out my review.