What Makes Shamy Run is easily my favorite Minder episode. It is the second episode from the fifth series. It has a rather sizable role for Det. Sgt. Chisholm and features a lot of comedy, including a nice scene with Robbie Coltrane.
Shamy (Art Malik) is a young man of Indian descent. He is well known for being a bit of a liar and petty criminal but is not a bad guy. Actually, he is very likeable and irrepressibly charming. He owes Arthur Daley £500. Unfortunately, he pays him back with £20 counterfeit notes. When Arthur tries to spend one of the notes at the Winchester, Chisholm notices Dave the barman giving it a hard look and setting it beside the till rather than inside. Chisholm demands to look at it at and sees it as “phony as a glass eye”.
Unbeknownst to Chisholm, Arthur palms the wad of cash to Terry who in turn passes it to a bizarre man in a very bad toupee. The toupee wearer goes under the nickname of The Syrup (slang for toupee). He pockets the money and scarpers. Chisholm spends a little bit of time interrogating Daley on where he got the money but gets nowhere.
Later he and Jones are called to a wig shop where The Syrup passed the notes on to the salesman (Robbie Coltrane) for a waterproof Roger Moore wig. The scene is so funny. Coltrane cannot describe the man as he only really paid attention to his scalp. The Syrup did, however, leave his old wig behind so Chisholm forces a very reluctant Jones to try it on. He recognizes the piece as belonging to The Syrup. After complimenting Chisholm on his powers of deduction, Coltrane spoils his moment of glory by suggesting he buy a hairpiece. “We are receding a little, sir.” He suggests a Burt Reynolds or a Starsky but, thankfully, Chisholm is having none of it. The clip below features that scene.
Meanwhile, Shamy has convinced Terry and Arthur to loan him the money to get to Bombay. He has stolen a master copy of a Bollywood film and plans to sell it to someone who will make copies to sell to different villages in India. The film theft leads to an Indian businessman and some flunkies attempting to turnover Arthur’s lockup. Chisholm also goes to the lockup hoping to find a printing press but instead finds the businessman. Luckily for Arthur, the businessman beats a hasty retreat. Unluckily for him, Chisholm turns the place over instead.
The story does end happily for Shamy who falls in love with India and decides to stay. His wife, before leaving for India herself, gives Terry and Arthur all the money they are owed. Chisholm never does figure out where the money comes from, but by then it doesn’t really matter much.