History Series / SteptoeAndSon

12th Aug '17 10:21:40 AM ClintEastwood
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* CatchPhrase: "You ''dirty'' old man!" Parodied with Brambell's appearance as Paul [=McCartney=]'s grandfather in ''Film/AHardDaysNight'', where people keep saying he's a ''clean'' old man.

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* CatchPhrase: "You ''dirty'' old man!" Parodied with Brambell's appearance as Paul [=McCartney=]'s Music/PaulMcCartney's grandfather in ''Film/AHardDaysNight'', where people keep saying he's a ''clean'' old man.
16th Apr '17 2:45:58 PM mlsmithca
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* DeadGuyJunior: "A Death in the Family" features an animal example. After the Steptoes' horse, Hercules, dies of a heart attack at the ripe old age of 39, Harold purchases a replacement whom he names Samson... unaware that the horse is a mare, and [[YourTomcatIsPregnant a pregnant mare]] at that. Albert delivers the newly renamed Delilah's foal, and, at Harold's invitation, names him Hercules II.



* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Albert takes Hercules the horse's death in "A Death in the Family" especially hard, losing all interest in even getting out of bed each morning. Harold tries to rouse him by suggesting they go to the cinema to see ''I Am Curious (Yellow)'', but when even the promise of seeing uncensored Swedish sexual intercourse does not snap Albert out of his funk, Harold realises just how serious his depression is. (Fortunately, when Albert delivers the new horse's foal and names him Hercules II, he is soon back to normal - and very keen to see ''I Am Curious (Yellow)''.)



* YourTomcatIsPregnant: After the Steptoes' horse, Hercules, dies of a heart attack at the age of 39 in "A Death in the Family", they buy a new horse whom they name Samson. Samson has to be re-named Delilah after ''her'' foal is delivered by the Steptoes.

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* YourTomcatIsPregnant: After the Steptoes' horse, Hercules, dies of a heart attack at the age of 39 in "A Death in the Family", they buy Harold buys a new horse whom they name he names Samson. Samson has to be re-named Delilah after ''her'' foal is delivered by Albert (who berates Harold for not noticing that the Steptoes.horse was female ''and'' heavily pregnant).
15th Apr '17 12:32:11 PM mlsmithca
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* OhCrap: Albert gets this look in "Porn Yesterday" when Harold notes that the scene in the ''What the Butler Saw'' machine he picked up on his rounds has changed to a woman in a bath, with the milkman at the door with a crate of milk and no clothes... as he knows it's only a matter of time before Harold realises that the milkman in the film is Albert himself.
15th Apr '17 11:59:19 AM mlsmithca
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** In "A Star is Born", Harold hopes that his landing the lead role in a local amateur dramatics production will be his ticket to stardom, but after Albert is drafted to replace an unavailable cast member, he shocks Harold by affecting a flawless RP accent.[[note]] Wilfrid Brambell achieved this by ''dropping'' the accent he used to play Albert and speaking in his normal voice.[[/note]] Judging from the audience and cast reactions on the night, Albert's performance was dazzling while Harold's was disastrous.

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** In "A Star is Born", Harold hopes that his landing the lead role in a local amateur dramatics production will be his ticket to stardom, but after Albert is drafted to replace an unavailable cast member, he shocks Harold by affecting a flawless RP accent.[[note]] accent[[note]] Wilfrid Brambell achieved this by ''dropping'' the accent he used to play Albert and speaking in his normal voice.[[/note]] and revealing that he made stage appearances during his service in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Judging from the audience and cast reactions on the night, Albert's performance was dazzling while Harold's was disastrous.


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* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Harold affects a very dodgy Received Pronunciation accent when he is putting on airs, whether to Albert or to someone whom he is trying to impress. When Albert inevitably gets on Harold's nerves during such scenes, Harold's anger causes him to revert to his normal accent.
15th Apr '17 11:55:36 AM mlsmithca
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** In "Loathe Story", Harold has spent considerable money on badminton equipment and joined a local tennis and badminton club as a means of socialising with the upwardly mobile. He plays a game against Albert in front of their house... and discovers the difficult way that Albert was champion of his regiment when he was in the Army, and can still play a mean game. To compound Harold's embarrassment at getting thrashed, Albert goes down to the tennis and badminton club and becomes a member - and even schedules a game against an attractive female member whom Harold was hoping to woo.
15th Apr '17 2:01:05 AM mlsmithca
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* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Harold's attempts at upward mobility.

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* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Harold's attempts at upward mobility.mobility are invariably doomed from the start, either because he isn't as clever or as savvy as he believes himself to be or because Albert sabotages his plans (usually deliberately).



* HiddenDepths: A constant source of frustration for Harold is Albert's tendency to reveal himself as being skilled at something Harold himself aspires to do.
** In "The Diploma", Harold is studying to be a TV engineer but struggles to make sense of the engineering schematics he is using to practice assembling a set; Albert looks over Harold's work and calmly explains that he has several pieces in the wrong place, and gets the set working within seconds.
** In "A Star is Born", Harold hopes that his landing the lead role in a local amateur dramatics production will be his ticket to stardom, but after Albert is drafted to replace an unavailable cast member, he shocks Harold by affecting a flawless RP accent.[[note]] Wilfrid Brambell achieved this by ''dropping'' the accent he used to play Albert and speaking in his normal voice.[[/note]] Judging from the audience and cast reactions on the night, Albert's performance was dazzling while Harold's was disastrous.



* SlobsVersusSnobs: "Without Prejudice" sees Harold and Albert looking to buy a suburban semi-detached house. However, the local residents are horrified at the effect rag and bone men setting up shop in their neighbourhood might have on their property prices, and try bribing them not to buy the house.

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* SlobsVersusSnobs: SlobsVersusSnobs:
** One of the main conflicts of the series pits Harold's snobbish aspirations of upward mobility against Albert's slobbish acceptance of the life of dirt and poverty they already lead. Albert usually emerges victorious when the two philosophies clash.
**
"Without Prejudice" sees Harold and Albert looking to buy a suburban semi-detached house. However, the local residents are horrified at the effect rag and bone men setting up shop in their neighbourhood might have on their property prices, and try bribing them not to buy the house.
13th Apr '17 5:54:24 PM mlsmithca
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* SirSwearsAlot: At the rate of 10p per swear, the contents of the swear—box, amounting to the sum of ₤80·³⁰ᵖ, the vast majority of which were contributed by Albert. More than eight times what they have in they have in their bank & building society accounts combined!
* SlobsVersusSnobs

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* SirSwearsAlot: SirSwearsALot: At the rate of 10p per swear, the contents of the swear—box, amounting to the sum of ₤80·³⁰ᵖ, the vast majority of which were contributed by Albert. More than eight times what they have in they have in their bank & building society accounts combined!
* SlobsVersusSnobsSlobsVersusSnobs: "Without Prejudice" sees Harold and Albert looking to buy a suburban semi-detached house. However, the local residents are horrified at the effect rag and bone men setting up shop in their neighbourhood might have on their property prices, and try bribing them not to buy the house.
13th Apr '17 5:45:23 PM mlsmithca
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** The father/son equivalent; for all the bitterness and bickering, it was sometimes hinted that Harold and Albert really did care about each other. It's worth noting that Corbett and Brambell did not get along at all in real life, particularly later in their lives; much like their characters, the actors found themselves stuck with each other and having to make the best of things.[[note]] Just how much they disliked each other depends on who is telling the story. The 2002 documentary ''When Steptoe Met Son'' and the 2008 docu-drama ''The Curse of Steptoe'' between them implied that Corbett and Brambell absolutely loathed each other and the series. However, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson (who claimed their interviews for the documentary were {{Quote Mine}}d) denied this, and Corbett's daughter Susannah published a biography of her father at least partly to counter the notion that he hated Brambell and/or ''Steptoe and Son''. Brambell said after Corbett's death that while they were on cordial terms, they were never close friends as they led very different lives, and while Corbett admitted that he regretted being typecast as a comic actor later in his career, he claimed not to resent ''Steptoe and Son'' for this.[[/note]]

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** The father/son equivalent; for all the bitterness and bickering, it was sometimes hinted that Harold and Albert really did care about each other. It's worth noting that Corbett and Brambell did not get along at all in real life, particularly later in their lives; much like their characters, the actors found themselves stuck with each other and having to make the best of things.[[note]] Just how much they disliked each other depends on who is telling the story. The 2002 documentary ''When Steptoe Met Son'' and the 2008 docu-drama ''The Curse of Steptoe'' between them implied that Corbett and Brambell absolutely loathed each other and the series. However, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson (who claimed their interviews for the documentary were {{Quote Mine}}d) denied this, and Corbett's daughter Susannah published a biography of her father at least partly to counter the notion that he hated Brambell and/or ''Steptoe and Son''. Brambell said after Corbett's death that while they were on cordial terms, they were never close friends as they led very different lives, they generally liked each other enough to work together, and while Corbett admitted that he regretted being typecast as a comic actor later in his career, he claimed not to resent ''Steptoe and Son'' for this.[[/note]]
13th Apr '17 5:43:57 PM mlsmithca
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** The father/son equivalent; for all the bitterness and bickering, it was sometimes hinted that Harold and Albert really did care about each other. It's worth noting that Corbett and Brambell did not get along at all in real life, particularly later in their lives; much like their characters, the actors found themselves stuck with each other and having to make the best of things.[[note]] Just how much they disliked each other depends on who is telling the story. The documentary ''When Steptoe Met Son'', which features interviews with some of the production staff for their 1977 stage tour of Australia, implies that they absolutely loathed each other, but Ray Galton and Alan Simpson said that they never saw that level of antipathy between Corbett and Brambell, an account confirmed by Corbett's daughter Susannah. Certainly they were not close friends (Brambell was an alcoholic, conflicted homosexual; Corbett was part lothario, part family man), but they were at least on cordial enough terms to work together.[[/note]]

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** The father/son equivalent; for all the bitterness and bickering, it was sometimes hinted that Harold and Albert really did care about each other. It's worth noting that Corbett and Brambell did not get along at all in real life, particularly later in their lives; much like their characters, the actors found themselves stuck with each other and having to make the best of things.[[note]] Just how much they disliked each other depends on who is telling the story. The 2002 documentary ''When Steptoe Met Son'', which features interviews with some of Son'' and the production staff for their 1977 stage tour 2008 docu-drama ''The Curse of Australia, implies Steptoe'' between them implied that they Corbett and Brambell absolutely loathed each other, but other and the series. However, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson said that they never saw that level of antipathy between Corbett (who claimed their interviews for the documentary were {{Quote Mine}}d) denied this, and Brambell, an account confirmed by Corbett's daughter Susannah. Certainly Susannah published a biography of her father at least partly to counter the notion that he hated Brambell and/or ''Steptoe and Son''. Brambell said after Corbett's death that while they were not on cordial terms, they were never close friends (Brambell was an alcoholic, conflicted homosexual; as they led very different lives, and while Corbett was part lothario, part family man), but they were at least on cordial enough terms admitted that he regretted being typecast as a comic actor later in his career, he claimed not to work together.resent ''Steptoe and Son'' for this.[[/note]]
13th Apr '17 11:49:32 AM mlsmithca
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* AmbulanceCut: At the climax of "Divided We Stand", as Albert and Harold are going to bed on their individual sides of the partition wall Harold has built, Harold empties the pot in which he is boiling his evening cocoa into a mug - forgetting the control for the burner he is using is on his father's side of the partition. Soon, the tea towel hanging over the burner catches fire, and the scene cuts to fire engines zooming down the road, sirens wailing.
* AnnoyingPatient: In "Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs", Albert is laid up with a bad back and Harold has to do everything for him (including, to his horror, carrying him to the outside toilet). He complains endlessly about the food Harold cooks for him, insists on the television and telephone being put in his bedroom, and throws aside the books Harold brings back from the library as he has already read them (except for one which he claims not to like the look of).


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* BottleEpisode: Many episodes were set entirely in the Steptoe house and just featured Harold and Albert. Examples include "The Diploma" (in which Harold is studying to become a TV engineer) and "Those Magnificent Men and Their Heating Machines" (in which Harold attempts to install a full system of radiators in the house).


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* CrosswordPuzzle: In "Men of Letters", Albert and Harold are invited to contribute to the local church's centenary edition of the parish magazine. Harold writes an article about the rag and bone trade, while Albert provides a crossword... almost every answer for which is obscene, leading the vicar to be arrested and the magazine to be impounded and burned by the police (the copies that escaped confiscation are changing hands at high prices).


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* DownInTheDumps: A lot of the castoffs Albert and Harold collect on their rounds end up "decorating" their house and forecourt on a permanent basis, creating a suitably down-and-out atmosphere for the series.
* DumpsterDive: The rag and bone trade involved going around residential areas with a horse and cart collecting old clothes and furniture for which the owners no longer had any use, the idea being that the rag and bone men could either clean, restore, and resell them or sell them to a scrap dealer. The "mechanics" of the trade seldom feature heavily in the episodes' plots, but Harold in particular is occasionally seen riding the family horse and cart through residential areas to collect junk.


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* FamilyBusiness: Albert was originally the "Son" in "Steptoe and Son", the business having been founded by his father. Now Harold is the "Son" in the business' name.
* FingerlessGloves: Albert is frequently seen wearing a ratty pair of woolen fingerless gloves to emphasise the poverty and squalour in which he has lived all his life.


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* NewscasterCameo: "The Desperate Hours" features a newscast delivered by (then retired) BBC newsreader Corbett Woodall.[[note]] Woodall was something of a go-to newsreader for 1970s British comedy; he also made cameo appearances on ''Series/TheGoodies'', ''Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?'' and Creator/SpikeMilligan's ''[=Q9=]''.[[/note]]


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* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Albert fully believes that his advanced age gives him the right to be rude and abrasive to almost everyone he meets. Harold gets the worst of it, but Albert is unafraid to speak his mind, however coarse it may be, in front of anyone.


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* YourTomcatIsPregnant: After the Steptoes' horse, Hercules, dies of a heart attack at the age of 39 in "A Death in the Family", they buy a new horse whom they name Samson. Samson has to be re-named Delilah after ''her'' foal is delivered by the Steptoes.
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