Analysis of a Scene XXXV Remembering Meic Povey

Chisholm Jones "A man's best friend is his Druid" memeRFodchuk and I were very saddened to hear that the lovely Meic Povey passed away December 5th. His portrayal of DC Jones was perfect, and his chemistry with Patrick Malahide’s DS Chisholm is always a joy to watch. After leaving Minder, Mr. Povey went on to a highly successful and acclaimed career as a playwright, often writing in his native Welsh language. He will be missed very, very much.

In honor of his contribution to Minder, we’ve decided to pick a couple of our favorite DC Jones moments. This is no easy task as Jones provided many excellent Minder moments with his guv DS Chisholm.

Admin’s choice: The Return of the Invincible Man

Chisholm and Jones doing a little stakeout behind a white van.

Admin: My choice is their closing scene in “Return of the Invincible Man” (recapped here). Chisholm is determined to nab Arthur for a robbery at tailor Solly Solomon’s business but nothing is coming together. After main witness/suspect Scotch Harry (who managed to get himself injured while blowing up Solly’s safe) has escaped from the hospital our intrepid duo are left with very little to go on.

[A white van is parked outside Solly’s. Chisholm and Jones can be seen through its windows standing on the other side.]

Admin:  I love the set up which is funny from the get go.  The sight of Chisholm and Jones loitering around that squalid place in miserable weather immediately lets you know how seriously Chisholm is taking this.  But is Jones taking it quite as seriously?

RF:  What makes it even better is knowing that Chisholm is suffering from a crashing hangover at the time (having gotten completely snockered in the Winchester the night before) and is miserably freezing his butt off, while Jones appears impervious to the weather.  I also love that Chisholm’s feet are so plainly visible behind the van.  Perhaps he needs a little help with the “hiding” thing.

Admin:  That is sweet the way the feet are showing there. 🙂

Jones: “No sign of the invisible man, hey guv?

Jones: No sign of the invisible man, hey guv?
Chisholm: Well, they’ve had him away.
Jones: We’ve got no proof, though, have we?
Chisholm: Then we’ll have to find some if you take my meaning.
Jones: Sighs
[They both start pacing about.]

Admin:  OK.  It is pretty obvious that Jones is sick and tired of this.  He tries to be the voice of reason by pointing out that Scotch Harry is nowhere around, and (worse) they still have no concrete proof of anyone’s involvement in anything.  Chisholm for his part remains determined.  He demands (almost to the point that it seems like he is trying to convince Jones) that they keep going.  But, poor Jones is really over it as evidenced by his annoyed sigh.

RF:  Jones has a point.  You can see from their breath in the air that it’s chilly, and there are probably lots of things he’d rather be doing than loitering around in the cold behind a van with his guv.  He’s probably been on a few stake-outs like this, too, and he knows his guv is like a stubborn terrier with his teeth sunk into some prey he won’t let go of.  Chisholm has a tendency to become obsessed, Jones doesn’t.

Admin:  The obviously cold weather really adds to his air of determination.  It is like it is freezing the sneer onto his face.

They segue into a brief conversation about Burke and Hare.

Chisholm: Patient disappears from a well known hospital. Can’t tolerate that. Whatever next? Body-snatching? Had Burke and Hare, now we got Daley and McCann.
Jones: I read somewhere that there’s a thriving business in spare parts for surgeons. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Chisholm: Anything that makes you think, Jones, I’m all for that.

Admin: I love it when they get a bit esoteric.  The sudden divergence to Burke and Hare is a great example of that.  Jones’ contribution about the surgeons however is met with little more than an eye-roll and a sarcastic comment.  Awww, that’s not very nice Chisholm.  I’d have liked to have heard more conversations on historical and unusual crimes between those two.

RF:  I like how Jones is more philosophical, while Chisholm still has his mind squarely on nabbing Arthur and Terry for something – which might even be body-snatching.  Mind you, he accused them of something similar in “Dead Men Do Tell Tales“.  😉  But yeah, not very fair of Chisholm to snipe at Jones, since he’s the one who brought up body snatching in the first place.  Jones doesn’t seem to take offense, though.

[A larger van approaches, driven by one of Solly’s employees who had earlier been on strike.]
Chisholm: Well, well, well. [Chisholm peers around the van as Jones rises above his shoulder]
Jones: What do you reckon then, guv?
Chisholm: Well they’re at it…obvious. In cahoots.

They are like a couple of secret agents.

Admin:  Ah!  Are things starting to heat up now?  I love the way Jones pops up from behind Chisholm’s shoulder.  It is a lovely bit of comic timing.  Chisholm’s hopes are beginning to rise, but Jones seems far more nonchalant.

RF:  That is pretty cute, the way Jones pops up from behind Chisholm’s shoulder.  😀  Chisholm is eager for his conspiracy theory to be proved, which would justify hanging around the cold watching what Arthur and Terry are up to.

[The action moves inside Solly’s place where we learn the strikers are now going back to work. Everyone is getting on just fine, and Daley’s dodgy services are no longer required. It is as though nothing ever happened.]

[Terry loads up the larger van with a few very underwhelming bits of sewing equipment as the van Chisholm and Jones were hiding behind is suddenly driven off, exposing them for Terry’s amusement.]
Terry: Turned out nice again, innit.

Admin:  That is another well executed moment of comedy as Chisholm and Jones suddenly lose their secret stakeout position.  They are clearly embarrassed as they turn around to find Terry smiling at them.

RF:  Not very observant of the stoatlike Chisholm not to notice his cover is driving away.  It is a great bit of timing.  😀  I like the way they both have their backs turned at first, like that’s going to help.

Chisholm: Look at ’em! Blatant.

Chisholm: “Look at them. Blatant”

Admin:  Chisholm is furious as he censoriously regards his enemies.  Jones however looks bored and tired.

RF:  Chisholm seems to be working at keeping his seething resentment going; maybe that’s what’s keeping him warm.  Jones is likely already having wistful thoughts about large cups of hot tea and a slice or two of pie, in a nice, warm tea shop somewhere.

Admin: Yeah, it is like he clings to his disgust as though he finds it reassuring.

Jones: I’ve been thinking, guv.
Chisholm: Oh, not again.
Jones: What’s in it for us, hey? No money stolen, no circumstantial or forensic evidence, the prime witness has disappeared and the victim seems very friendly with the suspect.

[Arthur steps outside and spots them, tipping his trilby.]

Jones: “All I’m saying is this: Who bloody cares!”

Jones: All I’m saying is this: Who bloody cares!
Chisholm: Yeah. Sod it!
[With that they stomp off as Terry cheekily whistles “An Ordinary Copper” the tune to Dixon of Dock Green.]

Go get a nice cuppa, lads.

Admin:  And there you have it.  Jones finally gets through to Chisholm by directly laying out the fundamentals of the now non-existent case.  He says “who bloody cares” with a dramatic wave of his hand which is a very nice touch.  And Chisholm, with a series of sneers, shoulder hunches and lovely jaw flexes, finally agrees.  His determined and disgusted “sod it” as he storms off must have been music to Jones ears, making Terry’s cheeky musical interlude completely unnecessary.  🙂  Chisholm’s Quixotic quest to nab Daley will have to wait for a warmer day with better evidence.

RF:  I had no idea what that little tune was, so that was interesting to find out.  🙂   Once again, Jones is absolutely right.  He’s being very practical about the whole thing.  Of course Chisholm would love to bust Terry, Arthur, and Scotch Harry for something, but even his stubbornness can only last so long.  He really should give Jones credit for being very SMRT about this one.  You can tell from Mr. Malahide’s facial expressions (which are wonderful, by the way), that Chisholm hates relinquishing what he thinks is a genuine lead, but that he really has no other choice.   I hope they both went somewhere warm for that tea and pie afterwards.

Admin:  They’ve certainly earned it for going through all that, even if they did come up with nothing.  Poor dears.

RF’s Choice:  “Looking for Micky”

Telling Jones they have to go look for "Mad" Micky Dixon.

Telling Jones they have to go look for “Mad” Micky Dixon.

RF:  My choice is a scene in 1982’s “Looking for Micky” (recapped by Admin here), in which Chisholm and Jones are on the trail of “Mad” Micky Dixon (John Labanowski), a supposedly fearsome, freakishly big and strong crim (spoiler:  he’s neither) who has escaped from prison.  Chisholm actually has a very good understanding of what Micky’s like – he’s sympathetic, because Micky is a bit thick and easily led by other, smarter crims – but he also doesn’t want to get on Micky’s bad side because of his (apparently) hair-trigger bad temper.  So he and Jones are looking for Micky, poking around all the usual places while hoping they don’t run into him.

[Chisholm and Jones are checking out a housing project where Micky might be holed up, although they really hope he isn’t.]

Jones:  You sure we’re going about this the right way, guv?
Chisholm:  How’d you mean?
Jones:  Dixon’s a well-established nutter, isn’t he?  Frankly, I’d feel a lot better if we had some armed back-up before going anywhere.  And what if he is in one of these buildings?
Chisholm:  Well, then we try to talk him into coming quietly.
Jones:  Oh, I feel better already.  Is that before he shoots us or after?
Chisholm:  Micky was never one to use shooters.  More like a club hammer… or an ‘atchet.
[Chisholm turns and goes up the stairs.  Jones nods and follows him.]

Jones:"...And what if he is in one of these buildings?"<br> Chisholm: "Well, then we try to talk him into coming quietly.".

Jones:”…And what if he is in one of these buildings?”
Chisholm: “Well, then we try to talk him into coming quietly.”.

RF:  I like how Chisholm simultaneously downplays how dangerous Micky is (“talk him into coming quietly”) while up-playing it at the same time (“a club hammer, or an ‘atchet”j.  He’s pooh-poohing Jones’ concerns like the old hand he is (and it’s obvious he’s well acquainted with Micky), while showing a bit of bravado.  Jones is showing an unusual amount of concern, since he and Chisholm rarely ever had armed back-up for anything.  Jones is obviously anxious, while Chisholm is far more nonchalant.

Admin:  His flippant reference to the club hammer and/or hatchet isn’t exactly the most reassuring comeback, is it?  And, yes, he is being very nonchalant about the whole thing.  I like the way he effortlessly dashes up the stairs with his hands in his pockets.  It  just adds to his overall sense of calm and confidence with the situation.  Well, he gets slowed down by a pack of kids who are descending the stairs, but they don’t faze him in the slightest.

Chisholm:  If he doesn’t want to come quietly, we don’t argue.  We simply let him do a toesie.  Of course, our report will say that we did our best to restrain him.  And it will question the fact that we failed.  Heroically, of course.
Jones:  Of course.
Chisholm:  And if asked why we didn’t request back-up, we were simply making routine inquiries when much to our surprise, etcetera, etcetera.

Chisholm: "If he doesn't want to come quietly, we don't argue.<br> We simply let him do a toesie."

Chisholm: “If he doesn’t want to come quietly, we don’t argue.
We simply let him do a toesie.”

RF:  Okay, I have to say that I just love the expression “do a toesie”.  😀  Chisholm is being incredibly practical here, although it goes somewhat against his usual image of being a stickler for the letter of the law.  He’s perfectly willing to only seem to be doing his duty where Micky is concerned, and he already has his excuses all planned out.  Jones is going along with it, but he does seem a bit confused, despite his guv’s patient explanation.

There were also a huge number of kids milling around the building in this scene.  I only just noticed that when he’s going up the stairs, Chisholm (Mr. Malahide) pats/leans on one of the kids’ heads in a way that reminded me of Mr. Jingle doing the same to an urchin in the first episode of “The Pickwick Papers“.  I wouldn’t have figured Chisholm for liking kids, but maybe he does.

Leaning on a kid's head as he makes his way up the stairs

Leaning on a kid’s head as he makes his way up the stairs

Admin:  He does have it all planned out.  He makes his various points by waving his finger about which gives him an officious tone.  But, he’s still quite flip about it all as shown with the lackadaisical “etcetera”.  He seems to have his report half-written in his head already.  I too liked the bit where he thoughtlessly shoved the kid’s head out of the way.  🙂

RF:  Yeah, Chisholm is very “been there, done that” about the whole thing, and is perhaps showing off (just a bit?) for Jones.

Jones [exasperated]:  What’s the point?
Chisholm:  The point, Jones, is that this way we’re seen to be doing our duty with a lot less chance of getting ‘urt.
Jones:  Don’t get you–
Chisholm:  He’s not going to feel unduly threatened with just the two of us frontin’ him because he knows he can walk right through us.  But if he feels threatened, like any other animal, he’s likely to get violent.  And personally, I don’t want to be around when he does. [Quietly]  And I know you don’t, right?
Jones:  Right.

Jones: " What's the point?"<br> Chisholm: "The point, Jones, is that this way we're seen to be doing our duty with a lot less chance of getting 'urt."

Jones: ” What’s the point?”
Chisholm: “The point, Jones, is that this way we’re seen to
be doing our duty with a lot less chance of getting ‘urt.”

RF:  This is about as close to paternal as Chisholm gets.  He’s dangerously close to showing a bit of warmth and concern when he says “And I know you don’t, right?,” which is kind of refreshing.  He’s actually trying to give Jones a bit of an education which could help him, which is just what you’d expect a D.S. to do.  Granted, he’s advocating that neither of them put their safety on the line to bring in Micky, so this is one time when he’s not being a 100% dedicated copper,  but he’s still being very practical about it.  And again, you can see that Chisholm has some experience with  Micky and a very good idea of what to expect.  I suspect that if Rycott was in this situation, he’d send Jones in by himself and just wait down in the car.

Chisholm: "...But if he feels threatened, like any other animal, he's likely to get violent. And personally, I don't want to be around when he does. And I know you don't, right?"

Chisholm: “…But if he feels threatened, like any other
animal, he’s likely to get violent. And personally, I don’t
want to be around when he does. And I know you don’t, right?”

Admin:  It is like he is teaching Jones a trick or two here regarding policing technique.  Having seen Micky, I do think Chisholm is underselling himself and Jones as together they look fairly formidable to me, but his heart does seem to be in the right place even if it doesn’t qualify as the best policing ever.  At least he’s acting so as to keep all those kids out of danger, even if they aren’t the reason for his rational.  So he’ll let the wild animal “do a toesie” if he must. 🙂

RF:  Honestly, Micky turns out to be such a pussycat that I think Chisholm could easily persuade him to “come along quietly”, especially since Micky already knows him.

Chisholm: "Heroics are for mugs and wallies."

Chisholm: “Heroics are for mugs and wallies.”

Chisholm [knocks on a door]:  Heroics are for mugs and wallies.
[Chisholm is peering into an apartment window when something suddenly crashes through the door’s glass pane.  Both Chisholm and Jones duck.   The door opens.  A man runs out, followed closely by a very angry woman.]
Woman:  And don’t bother coming back, you good for nothing slag!!  Stay with your bloody whore, you bastard!!  [She turns to look at Chisholm and Jones]  [In disgusted tones]  Coppers as well   That’s all I bloody need.  [She goes back in and slams the door.]
[Chisholm strokes his hair in an effort to regain his composure.  Jones flinches as a last pane of glass falls.]



RF:  “Heroics are for mugs and wallies” is another great line.  😀  And completely ironic in light of what happens next.  Both Chisholm and Jones are completely startled by the glass breaking; Admin and I have often wondered if Mr. Malahide and Mr. Povey were warned first or not, because their reaction suggests they weren’t.  Their sudden startlement appears totally genuine.  I like how Chisholm strokes his hair in an effort to compose himself; he knows it wouldn’t do to look too frightened in front of Jones.  I also like how the woman instantly recognizes them as coppers, not that it’s too big of a stretch to make.

Woman: "And don't bother coming back, you good for nothing slag!! Stay with your bloody whore, you bastard!!"

Woman: “And don’t bother coming back, you good for
nothing slag!! Stay with your bloody whore, you bastard!!”

Admin:  The”mugs and wallies” line is a classic.  I notice his door knocking is very perfunctory and collected. Nor does he call out that they are police.  You can see how gently he is approaching the whole thing.  I like the way the goes on tippy-toe to peep through an open window though.  It shows that he is keeping alert even if he is completely shocked by the crashing glass which comes a second later.  It is really cute the way Chisholm strokes his hair.  Jones fixes his tie for his self-composure technique which is also really good.

RF:  They’re both trying to maintain an air of, “I’m cool, I’m fine.  Nothing to see here.”  😀

Jones:  Will you ask her if we can take a look around inside?  Or shall I?
[Chisholm wags a finger at Jones.]

Jones: "Will you ask her if we can take a look around inside, or shall I?"<br /> Chisholm: [Finger Wag of Doom]

Jones: “Will you ask her if we can take a look around inside? Or shall I?”
Chisholm: [Finger Wag of Doom]

RF:  And Jones gets in the last word.  😀  I’m not sure what Chisholm could’ve replied to that, or if he had to settle for merely wagging his finger.  They both deserved a nice, consoling, hot cup of tea (or something stronger) after that one, not that either would ever admit he was scared.  Anyway, I do love this scene for their chemistry.    You can see some of how Chisholm and Jones functioned as partners, without Chisholm being in a temper or Jones being so laid-back as to be unbelievable.  You could even picture them hanging around together for a pint after work.  I would’ve liked to have seen more of this Chisholm and Jones in the series.

Admin:  That was pretty cheeky of Jones. 🙂  At least they don’t have to bother with that report now.  I wish we could have heard what Chisholm was about to say.  He was tilting his head in a fierce manner, so I think he was going to make a comment.  Likely something about Jones’ Welsh wit 😉

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