Season 7 Episode 4

Episode 296

 

Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 19th October 2003

 

Directed by

Riita Leena-Lynn

 

GS: Mei Lee (Crystal Yu)  Mr Lau (Stuart Ong)  Baby Louis (Max & Harrison Wooley)

 

 

Pilar meets Mr Lau who works for Dream Inc in China, and he offers her a proposition in the form of left-midfielder Zhao Quiang coming to Harchester for free. This would boost Dream Inc.’s publicity in China and in return help Harchester’s financial worries following Pilar’s outrageous purchasing of Luke. Pilar brings Zhao and his interpreter Mei back to England, and then informs Stuart of the deal, who is understandably uncomfortable with her bringing in players without his or the teams’ prior knowledge. When he is taken to meet the team, Stuart has trouble pronouncing Zhao’s name, and following Clyde’s quick wit Zhao asks to be referred to as “Bruce”.

 

 

Ryan is not happy about another left-midfielder joining the team, and during training Bruce’s ability is shown to be very weak against the other players. Because of this, Stuart tells Bruce that he will let him train with the reserves until he catches up. Sussing that there is more to Bruce’s coming to Harchester than he has been told, Stuart asks Pilar what she isn’t telling him. She admits that Bruce has it written into his contract that he must play 45 minutes of each game so that the Chinese fans will actually watch Harchester and not another Premiership team.

 

Stuart then questions Pilar about whether Bruce even knows about this, to which she admits that she doesn’t know. After modelling the season’s new Harchester strip for the press, Stuart tells Bruce and Mei of the deal in his contract. After Bruce has a disastrous first game, and Mei, annoyed at how Zhao has been treated, lets the truth out about Bruce’s contract at the post-match press conference, the team threaten Pilar that they will go on strike as long as Bruce continues to be contracted to the club.

 

And when the potential owners, Clyde, Matt and the Boyles threaten to band together and freeze the club’s assets, Pilar works to get them all on her side; favouring Clyde to be the front runner, whilst moving the Boyles into the Barrons at the same time. Mei tells Bruce she has to leave after the whole press conference outburst, but first he has her translate for him as he explains to the team that without the money that came with him, Harchester would be bankrupt. The team come to understand, but Bruce is still hesitant about playing again, until Marcel comes up with the idea that if Bruce faked an injury at the following match, it would allow him time to improve his game.

 

Notes:

 

·         First appearance for new regular character Zhao “Bruce” Quiang (Jon Yang) [#12, Left Defence/Midfield]. Also making his first appearance is recurring team character O.B, played by Alex O’Brien. We also see the new 03/04 Harchester strip for the first time, with a Chinese inspired design.

 

Best Known For: Whilst continuing to act, Jon Yang has also moved behind the camera and worked as a second assistant on “M.I.High”. Crystal Yu plays the regular role of Dr. Lily Chao in "Casualty" arriving in August 2013. In an impressive career stretched from his native Hong Kong to the US Box Office, Stuart Ong (also credited as Sai-Kit Yung) has over 70 credits including appearances in “Die Another Day” (2002), “Gangs of New York” (2002) and “Batman Begins” (2005). 

 

The Best: The large amount of air-time dedicated to the Chinese language in this episode. Ryan’s impersonation of badly-dubbed Chinese movies. Luke’s obvious jealousy of Bruce stealing his limelight as the new signing. Stuart’s smugness at Pilar being told by the players that they will strike. Pilar calling Nikki "Nichola" (as she was credited as when she first arrived in the show). Pilar with her hair down, seems to be a part of her vulnerable side as we see again in 298: The Usual Suspects. Mei (Crystal Yu), who is unfortunately only around for this episode.

 

·          Quotes: Nikki to Stuart (on Pilar): “My Lord and master wants to see you.”  Clyde to Ryan (on Mei): “She can interpret me anytime she likes mate.”  And then Mei turning to Bruce and saying (in Chinese): “All they know about is Kung Fu, Bruce Lee and Super Noodles.”

 

Continuity: Clyde’s asking of Stuart about whether he has a bet on the club going down is a nice reference to last seasons’ story arc involving Patrick and Jamie.

 

·          Additional Info: This is writer Rachel Flowerday’s first episode, of 20 she writes on between now and 365: He Was Robbed in Season 9. After rising to co-producer during her time on DT, she becomes a writer on “Casualty” under Ellen Taylor before scriptwriting on some of “EastEnders”’ biggest stories from 2007 onwards. Bruce has twelve caps for China. According to Kevin Keatings (and what the media have been told), Bruce has come to Harchester on an undisclosed fee. After being removed from the Grange in the previous episode, Donna is now back living with the Boyles, who move into the house at the Barrons previously occupied by Phil and Jacqui.

 

What Was The Score?: What started so well with both goals from Luke: Harchester United 2 – 2 Spurs. Result from St. James’ Park and Newcastle unknown but we hear Harchester score at the episode’s end.

 

·          Soundtrack: Barenaked Ladies: “One Week”,  Blur: “We’ve got a file on you”,  BRMC: “I’m Not Inlove”,  Daft Punk: “Aerodynamic”,  Fat Boy Slim: “Right Here, Right Now”,  Kings of Leon: “Genius”,  Mighty: “Seven Days & One Week”,  Stereophonics: “Rainbows & Pots of Gold”,  The Adicts: “Chinese Takeaway.”

 

Screencaps from Season 7’s last repeat broadcast on Sky One in autumn 2006.

Bruce and Mei arrive in England

 Showing off the new kit

 

 

Owners all together?

 A vunerable side to Pilar?

 

 

The lads learn the truth

 

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