So, Minder returned to British TV last night. The original cast is long gone, to be replaced by some members of the Frat Pack or ex-cast members of Skins… well, by Shane Richie and another chap, anyway.
The thing is, Richie doesn’t play Arthur Daley, the character memorably ‘minded’ by two different bodyguards in the original run of the series, he plays Archie Daley, Arthur’s nephew. Fair enough, but back in the tail-end of the original series, when Arthur’s minder Terry left for Australia, his new bodyguard was his nephew, Ray Daley.
So Arthur’s got two nephews, both surnamed Daley. Presumably they’re both sons of the same father – Arthur’s brother, who asked him to take Ray on as his replacement minder. But if we’re to assume that both Ray and Archie are about the same age as the actors portraying them, they’re both the same age, as both Gary Webster and Shane Richie were born in 1964. And if they have the same father, they may well be twins (or perhaps have a very tired mother).
So why would Arthur’s brother ask him to take on one son as his minder, but not the other? Archie, it seems, takes after his uncle, so perhaps it was felt that he would be best kept away from him lest he should become too much of a sheepskin-wearing wideboy of the playground, but if Arthur was frowned upon as a potential bad influence upon Archie, that wouldn’t sit well with him being asked to take on Ray, would it ? And if they’re brothers, perhaps twins but even if not raised in the same environment, they’re bewilderingly different in demeanour.
If they’re not brothers, of course, that would explain how different they are in temperament, but having two brothers suggests a fairly extensive family background for Arthur, and this was something which wasn’t exploited to much effect in the original series, as far as I recall. There was, I seem to remember, a book recounting Arthur’s life (ah, here it is) – does anyone know if there was any reference to his family tree in it?
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t watch the opening episode of ‘New Minder’ last night, as I wasn’t a huge fan of the original series, and the trailers made it look a bit too much like the Lock, Stock And… TV series* for my tastes.
But as one who takes a keen interest in narrative continuity and internal consistency, if any of you good folks watched it, can you let me know if they did anything at all to deal with this issue? To diehard followers of the show in the past, the continuity errors could be deeply troubling, and distract from their enjoyment of the show, and it’d be nice if there’d been a little throwaway reference to the family background as a sort of tip of the hat to the fans.
On the other hand, the above might just be a sarcastic dig at the exhumation of a once-popular show in a form which bears only scant similarity to its namesake, as opposed to, well, coming up with something original.
*Oh yes, I still remember that. Mr Ritchie (another one!), and its sponsors The Sun would rather it was dust and forgot, but I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday…