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I’m currently watching Brittas Series 5, in preparation for my DVD review. (More for my own anal completist benefit than the thought that anyone might enjoy reading my bitching, it has to be said.) And something struck me whilst watching the episode The Lies Have It.

Now, you all know why I love the show – it’s just really really joyously unpleasant, in a way that I’ve never seen in any other sitcom. But despite all the unpleasantness, there’s usually talk of people being “injured” by Brittas. Often vast numbers of people, admittedly, and often seriously, but nonetheless – not actually dead. Now, with some instances people could easily have died that we’re just not told about – but that’s not a confirmation of their death. And yes, there’s been talk of him killing people – but always as throwaway lines about adventures that we never get to see, not anything that is part of that week’s episode. And admittedly, there is the odd onscreen death – the cyclist at the start of Not A Good Day, for instance – but nothing you can really blame on Brittas himself.

Until you get to The Lies Have It. Where, through a bizarre series of mishaps started by Brittas himself, a high-voltage electrical cable falls from the roof of the centre and electrocutes a vanful of workmen. Now ordinarily, I’d count this as “not confirmed”, even if they look lifeless and burnt to a crisp – but it’s Brittas’s line as he gestures to the van near the end of the episode that gets me:

BRITTAS: I had to call the contractors to complain about the builders. Have you seen them? They’ve been sitting in that van for three hours like statues now. Pretty depressing.

I think that qualifies them as most definitely dead.

Now, am I right? Are these workers the first actual onscreen deaths we can attribute to Brittas himself?

7 comments on ““unusual obsession with death and danger…”

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  • Can’t just about all the deaths be attributed to Brittas, though? It’s normally something he does that starts off a chain-reaction. Or have I missed something?

  • Well as far as I can tell, there’s actually very few *deaths* in the series itself. They get mentioned as part of previous adventures, but as part of that week’s particular adventure it’s *always* injuries. Remember the electric fire going into the swimming pool, for instance? The dialogue makes it quite clear that they’re not dead, just – for want of a better word – stunned.

    And I don’t think you can blame Brittas for the guy dying on the bike at the start of Not a Good Day. That was just a heart attack, and not Brittas’s fault. For once.

    This is what intrigues me. Everyone talks about the number of deaths in the programme… but I think this is the first case of Brittas actually killing someone *as part* of that week’s episode, not just a mention of a previous adventure.

  • What’s the episode with the chainsaw in.
    Doesnt he cut someone’s head off with that?
    (a difficult injury to survive for anyone except maybe Kryten)

    It’s not onscreen in that we see the otherside of the door If I remember rightly
    and not the gore, but isnt it confirmed in court as a decapitation and thats
    why he’s facing jail? Or do I need to go rewatch the dvd?

    I just seem to remember watching that episode and thinking a similar thing
    about that being the first time he had been seen to directly kill anyone in
    an episode.

    Jon

  • He was.

    But, actually, The Trial does deflate my theory somewhat – because a combination of Brittas’s interfering and lack of action *did* in the end cause the gunfight where lots of people died – albeit extremely indirectly. Although they were drug dealers. In fact, they brought it on themselves – it’s just Brittas could perhaps have stopped it. Is he guilty there?

    Maybe I should revise my theory to say that The Lies Have It contains the first innocent deaths we see…

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