Patrick Malahide as DS Chisholm in A Number of Old Wives Tales, Minder S05E03

“OI!” Wives might confuse him, but he can always handle Terry.

The basic plot to this episode revolves around a casual business acquaintance of Arthur Daley’s, Clive “Confident” Cosgrove (Patrick Mower).  Confident is a bigamist!  Neither Arthur nor Terry have any idea of this, but they find themselves deeply involved after being photographed in the paper during a fracas at Confident’s latest wedding to a lady called Angie (Vivienne Ritchie).  Chisholm is on the case and seems completely out of his depth dealing with Confident’s five (!) wives.


Stealthy Entrance

Making his usual stoat-like entrance into the Winchester.

Making his usual stoat-like entrance into the Winchester.

Chisholm (with Jones in tow) makes his trademark stealthy stoat-like entrance into the Winchester as Arthur is having a moan about the embarrassment of being in the newspaper.  The wedding at the registry office went horribly wrong when Angie’s ex showed up drunk.  Arthur has taken a lot of stick because of this and ‘Er Indoors is being blanked by the neighbors.  “And the laugh we all down in the station, Arthur,” says Chisholm as he sneaks up.

Arthur offers them a drink, but Chisholm refuses in case Arthur misconstrues it as an “overture of friendship.”  Good thinking.  Dave foolishly interrupts asking why Chisholm is honoring the Winchester with his presence.  Honoring is right.  Chisholm always adds a touch of beauty and class to that gross, dingy place.  Chisholm does not like being questioned though.  “Just making the rounds of low-life establishments, observing who is mingling with whom.”  Chisholm says that with a nice intense stare and tight jaw.

Chisholm orders “a pint of bitter for Mr. Jones and a bottle of light ale down at the other end of the bar if you wouldn’t mind, please.”  See?  I said he adds class.  He has nice manners.

OI! the arrival of one of Confident Cosgrove's wives - so of course Jones is sent in first, with a wordless head twitch. the arrival of one of Confident Cosgrove’s wives – so of course Jones is sent in first, with a wordless head twitch.

So, Confident is a bigamist.  He marries unwitting women and sets them up running  his many business establishments.  He doesn’t appear to be doing it out of malice or anything.  He actually seems to have some of sort of weird addiction to getting married.  But, after the story in the newspaper the other four wives are going to find out.  The first is Mary who runs their cafe.  She storms into the Winchester, “Clive Cosgrove you bastard.”  “Mary, darling.”  Mary isn’t feeling very darling and attacks him (and anyone who happens to be in her way).  Chisholm nods at Jones towards the action and they intervene.

They pull her away from Confident, but she is in a total struggle.  Chisholm warns her to calm down or he’ll have to restrain her with handcuffs.  Jones:  “I left them in the motor, guv.”  Oh, Jones.  Chisholm gives him a steely look, but Mary has calmed down and they get her into a chair.  “Now madame, pull yourself together and let us know what this is all about.”  She reveals Confident’s bigamy.

Confident manages to sneak out, but Daley isn’t quite so lucky as Chisholm tells him to stay put.  Just at that moment Terry and Arnie (Ray Winstone) come down the stairs.  Arnie has some subplot where he is towing seemingly abandoned cars to the scrappers for a bit of profit.  It is a pretty good subplot (I actually really like Arnie) but isn’t relevant to Chisholm, so I won’t go into details.

And in this case, it stops Arnie dead in his tracks, which is... just what he expected to happen. Yeah, that's right

One hard stare.

Anyway, seeing trouble, the two blonds turn to leave, but Chisholm stops them with his best “OI!” yet.  He follows that up with a very hard stare indeed.  Paddington Bear (master of the hard stare) would be so impressed.  He’s so commanding.  Chisholm, that is, not Paddington.  So, now Daley, Terry and poor Arnie are in danger of being charged with accessory to bigamy.

Overworked, Underpaid, and Cold

Daley arrives at his car lot where Chisholm and Jones are waiting for him.  It is really frigid there and poor Chisholm is shivering in his thin mac.  He really ought to invest in something warmer.  Daley asks how he is doing.  “As you ask, overworked, underpaid, cold,  suffering from a great deal of irritation.”

Arthur [cheerfully]: "Mr. Chisholm! How are you today?" Chisholm: "As you ask... Overworked... Underpaid... Cold... Suffering from a great deal of irritation."

Arthur [cheerfully]: “Mr. Chisholm! How are you today?”
Chisholm: “As you ask… Overworked… Underpaid… Cold… Suffering from a great deal of irritation.”

Chisholm is looking for Daley’s “bigamist buddy, Clive Cosgrove.”  Daley says he doesn’t know where he is, but that Mary was only a common law wife so it didn’t matter anyway.  “Wrong.”  Chisholm almost sings that word.  He informs Daley that not only was Confident still married to Mary, but they just heard from a woman in Northampton who was also claiming to be his wife.  Chisholm has a slightly demented/delighted look when he’s telling Daley all about this.

Informing the Wives

Chisholm and Jones have to tell Confident’s newest wife, Angie, about the bigamy.    Chisholm is trying to be very tactful and gentle, but Jones messes that up by saying that Confident has a way of landing his wives “in the club” and hopes she’s “not up the duff.”  Of course she starts to cry.  Chisholm gives him a nasty look, “very tactful…very tactful, you Welsh cretin.” Despite that, Chisholm still maintains his impeccable manners by holding the door open for Jones as they leave.  🙂

Either he's still getting over how cold it was, or he just has *really* uptight body language.

Either he’s still getting over how cold it was, or he just has *really* uptight body language.

Back at the station, Chisholm is walking around with a well-earned cuppa.  He still looks incredibly cold and tense.  Jones tells him there is a total of five wives.  Chisholm can’t believe it.  “You think he just does it for the wedding presents?”

Chisholm talks to a wife who has sent her two brothers to track down Confident.  Chisholm doesn’t know about the brothers though.  She runs an outdoor market stall and seems really good at it, so I doubt she much needs Confident anyway.

 She already knows that Confident married someone else without divorcing her. Chisholm: "Ah. You didn't think to inform the authorities of this bigamous act?"

She already knows that Confident married someone else without divorcing her.
Chisholm: “Ah. You didn’t think to inform the authorities of this bigamous act?”

Chisholm absolutely looks like a policeman as he’s trying to tell her the bad news.  She hopefully wonders if Confident has been hurt in some sort of accident.  Chisholm picks up on that 🙂  “Not that I heard, no.  Should he have been?”  She tells Chisholm that she knows that Confident just got married without bothering to divorce her first.  Chisholm is annoyed with her now and tells her to come down to the station, “you and the other wives can swap notes.”  Well, she didn’t know “wives” were involved, so Chisholm got one over on her there.

Back at the Station

"Look, because of your particular, intimate knowledge of the man, you might be able to help us with our inquiries." If those eyelashes don't slay them, nothing will... wink emoticon

“Look, because of your particular, intimate knowledge of the man, you might be able to help us with our inquiries.”  —  If those eyelashes don’t slay them, nothing will… 

All the wives are gathered up at the station and Chisholm is trying very hard to maintain order.  But, they immediately begin fighting and he finds it a hopeless endeavor.  You can tell he had his little speech all planned and practiced because he is speaking so softly and patiently.  But, it all falls apart as he helplessly stands there asking the ladies to please contain themselves.  Awwww, poor Chisholm.

Eventually Arthur and Terry get Confident to go to the station and confess all rather than run the risk of being pounded by angry brothers.  But, soon as he gets there Confident is chased out by four of the wives (Angie stayed behind).

Chisholm [with a perfect look of polite inquiry]: "Daley...?"

Chisholm [with a perfect look of polite inquiry]: “Daley…?”

Chisholm demands to know what is going and Terry says, “Arthur can explain everything,” and leaves with Angie.  You can see a little smirk glide over Chisholm’s face when Terry says that.  He’s pretty happy to have Daley all on his own, it seems. 🙂


This is a very fun episode and Chisholm is absolutely delightful in it.  Patrick

Meanwhile, Terry and Arnie have shown up and Arnie makes a break for it. Chisholm: "*OY*!!" Love his "OYs!!" He didn't break them out nearly often enough.

Love his “OYs!!”
He didn’t break them out nearly often enough.

Malahide does a perfect job showing Chisholm’s vexation in trying to gently calm angry wives, dealing with the cold and miserable weather (not sure if that bit was acting though!), thoroughly enjoying being able to get some over on Daley, and getting in that wonderful “OI!”  And presuming he was eventually able to arrest and convict Confident (and it seems likely), Chisholm actually came out on top for a change.  Good for him!

Gallery, Courtesy of RFodchuk

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