TV: Bucket, Episode Two, BBC4

News: Complaints About Miriam Margolyes Last Leg Boris Johnson Comments

There seems to be a traffic jam of comedies featuring characters in vehicles at the moment. There is Peter Kay’s Car Share of course and then there is Bucket, in which Miriam Margolyes and Frog Stone play a mother and daughter attempting to reconnect on a road trip around the UK. What next, a remake of On The Buses?

In this week’s episode Mim (Margolyes) and Fran (Stone) visit Mim’s alma mater Cambridge and try to find an old time capsule which Mim buried during her wild undergraduate days. It’s another excuse for tension between them as Mim boasts about her youthful shenanigans and illustrious academic career while berating virginal Fran for barely getting into a “Lego Brick” university. Fran wonders whether it is too late to make up for lost time and considers going back to uni, only to be slapped down again by Mim.

There are all sorts of emotions at play here. Rivalry, envy, regret…but there are also laughs, even if they aren’t belly laughs. Margolyes does what she always does and is larger than life, stomping through very scene like a pocket typhoon, with Stone tiptoeing quietly in her wake. 

But things are not always as they seem, as it turns out when Mim bumps into an old contemporary Mary Tash (Maggie Steed). No relation, I’m sure, to Mary Beard…

The story ebbs and flows but with Mim suffering from a terminal illness – hence the Aldi budget bucket list journey, no swimming with dolphins off the Great Barrier Reef just yet – one can assume that this is building to a climax in the fourth and final episode. Presumably Mim will die a moving death in her daughter’s arms or something and we will all sob a bit - unless there are plans for a second series.

Thursdays, 10pm, BBC4.

Review of Episode One here.


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