The BBC would like to apologize for the following summary: just for the halibut, Nathan and Ben fish through the episode’s many inside references and call-backs, floundering to find a unifying theme. They cod have found something better than this one, but you know what they say: hake it ’til you make it! Reach for the stars and bream big!
Sources and References:
Nathan and Ben speak a number of times about the captions that are burnt into the television image, which are virtually impossible to clip contextually in an audio format — we don’t have a good “Mystery Voice for the listeners at home” — so we wanted to show, specifically, what the “Satire” image of Eric standing in front of the burning model tower looked like, especially since the contemporary architectural scandals were so important to the episode.
The relationship between John Poulson and Home Secretary Reginald Maudling eventually lead to his resignation, despite having previously been tipped for future occupancy of No. 10, reported the New York Times in 1972. JSTOR (subscription required) has an interesting article about the long cultural ramifications of the Poulson affair, for anyone interested in placing it in fifty-year historical context. Of particular interest is also embedded tables of the vast number of architectural projects announced by Poulson’s firm, which makes it, in retrospect, feel like perhaps the claim by Chapman’s striking organza-clad minister the he would build “88 thousand million billion houses a year in the greater London area alone” might also have been a satirical reference to Poulson.
Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire still need assistance, and donations can me made here, as well as assisting continuing efforts to prevent similar disasters from occurring in the future.
The theme to “The Bishop”, as mentioned, is also the theme to The Informer, and a KPM stock library track called “Superperformance” by David Lindup. In An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References, Darl Larsen notes that the visual look to Gilliam’s title sequence might also owe a significant debt to the opening of the 1965 television show I Spy.
The audio clip of the introduction to BBC Radio 2’s “Semprini Serenade” came from The Radio Rewind website, and we beg their indulgence for the MP3. Full programs can sampled from Noel Tyrell’s MixCloud page, or perhaps they will eventually reappear on BBC iPlayer.