First appearing on our screens in late 1979, Minder
was a vehicle for ex-Sweeney
sidekick Denis Waterman, but its lasting contribution to TV culture was rehabilitating George Cole, whose lovable but unscrupulous "entrepreneur" (an older version of the spiv he portrayed in the St Trinian's
films) mockingly reflected the values of 1980s Thatcherite Britain. The series is fondly set in a rough demimonde
of small-time gangsters and ageing dolly birds, and against a backdrop of seedy London pubs and dubious business dealings. Waterman plays Terry McCann, ex-boxer and ex-con trying to stick to the straight and narrow, but persuaded against his better judgement to become involved in murky capers set up by his employer, "Arfur", who regularly sublets him to dodgy associates of his. In this, the first series, Arthur Daley is more in control, not quite the figure of fun he would later become. In the opening episode, for instance, as Terry is held hostage by wannabe black militants in a launderette, Arthur is negotiating his "exclusive" story to a tabloid. Though aspects of these episodes are a little creaky and dated--Terry's flares especially--the interplay between the too softhearted hard man Terry and his dapper but slippery boss is both priceless and timeless.
This DVD has a scene selection feature and individual episode guides. --David Stubbs
All eleven episodes from the first series of the popular comedy-drama centring around dodgy London entrepreneur Arthur Daley (George Cole) and his 'minder', former boxer Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman). In 'Gunfight at the OK Laundrette', Terry becomes a hostage when an Italian wedding turns into a siege. 'Bury My Half at Waltham Green' sees Terry getting into more trouble when Arthur arranges for him to mind an ex-jail-bird, and in 'The Smaller They Are...', Arthur inadvertantly becomes involved with international crooks after changing a hundred dollar bill for his associate Big Stan. In 'A Tethered Goat', Terry is forced to mind an Arab banker with a proclivity for firearms. 'The Bounty Hunter' sees Terry helping widow Jo reclaim the savings which she has been conned out of. In 'Aces High - and Sometimes Very Low', Terry helps out his impoverished gambler chum Maurice by offering Terry's services as minder while he tries to recoup his losses at the tables. In 'The Bengal Tiger' Arthur gets Terry to keep an eye on Mr Mukerjee his local newsagent. In 'Come In T-64, Your Time Is Ticking Away', Terry is sent in to deal with a spot of bother at a minicab firm Arthur has a stake in. In 'Monday Night Fever', hard-headed Arthur falls for Sharon, an aspiring singer, and promises he can get her to the big time. In 'The Dessert Song', Terry lands himself and Arthur in the midst of an inter-restaurant feud after rescuing Greek Cypriot Charlie from a brawl. Finally 'You Gotta Have Friends' sees Arthur's attempt to do a good turn for an old friend having unpleasant repercussions for himself and Terry.