London's Burning Wiki
Episode 4 (series 2)
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Series 2
Episode 4
Airdate 12 November 1989
Audience Unknown
Writer Anita Bronson
Director Gerry Poulson
Producer Paul Knight
Previous episode Episode 3 (series 2)
Next episode Episode 5 (series 2)

Episode 4 (series 2) is the fourth episode of London's Burning's second series, first broadcast on ITV on 12 November 1989.

Episode Summary[]

Charisma's £1000 compensation from the brigade has come through and he invites all the lads out for a drink with Big Ron. Josie takes a junior officers course, the first woman to do so. In the mess, Vaseline reveals that the two Marions want to name his son Damien, which amuses everybody. Tate quips that he can't think of a more appropriate name for the fruit of Vaseline's loins.

It's Malcolm's day off and he visits his mother. However, his sister Felicity and her husband David are also there. Malcolm gets drunk, which loosens his tongue. He accuses his family of being obsessed with money and treating him as an outcast for joining the Fire Brigade instead of having a money-spinning career like David. He then suggests that David, a property developer, would be willing to cripple their mother in order to get his hands on her house. Malcolm provokes Felicity into a fight and she storms out.

The Watch are called to collapsed scaffolding on the banks of the River Thames, where two workmen are trapped. The tide is also quickly coming in. As the Watch move the debris, ADO Scase arrives and takes charge. He orders the crew to first secure the scaffolding before resuming the rescue. Tate tries to argue that the tide is moving in too fast, and the men will have drowned by the time the scaffolding has been secured, but Scase repeats his order. The workmen ignore Scase's orders and continue with the rescue. Blue Watch are desperate to resume the rescue too, and Tate orders them back to work. He brands Scase "inept" and "high and mighty" and declares that he is taking charge of the situation. Back at the station, an infuriated Scase reports Tate to Area Staff for insubordination.

The Watch join Charisma and Big Ron at the Swan and Sugarloaf for a drink, where they discover that Big Ron isn't actually that big. The watch are incredulous as Big Ron tells dubious tales about his life: killing a man over a "Shelia", working as a crocodile hunter and sheep shearer and having plastic surgery performed by a fugitive Nazi surgeon. He then performs his party piece, singing "Waltzing Matilda" whilst dancing on the tables, which results in him falling and fracturing his ribs.

Sicknote is raging with jealousy when Dominic is chosen ahead of him to be the male lead in POPS' production of The Student Prince. He accuses Dominic of bribing Paul the producer before melodramatically resigning from the society. Jean refuses to resign with him, so he tells her that unless she does, their marriage is over. He then walks out, alone.

Doreen informs Charisma that she and Big Ron will be returning to Australia next week. He suggests going to visit them, but is told that their flat is only a one bedroom flat, so there won't be any room for him. Charisma then asks her about his dad. Doreen doesn't know much about him, but says he was on National Service and his name was Dudley Phillips. Charisma resolves to find him. He tracks down a mechanic who knew his father, and is told to look for him at the Park Lane Hotel.

Josie is still training at Southwark, and participates in a staged shout. Vaseline goes to a posh woman's house to do her gardening and ends up sleeping with her. Charisma finds his father at the hotel, but to his disappointment discovers he is an ex-convict who cleans the kitchen floor for a living. Charisma doesn't even bother to approach him. He later tells Bayleaf that his father was killed in the Korean War and won the Victoria Cross.

Blue Watch attend baby Damien's christening where, at the last minute, Vaseline gives him another middle name, Sidney, in Tate's honour. At the party afterwards, Nancy wonders why Jean isn't there. Sicknote takes hold of the baby and sings "Sonny Boy", which sends Tate to sleep. The women talk in the kitchen and Josie suggests that Dorothy gets a job, however Dorothy replies that Tony wouldn't like it. As Josie leaves the room, Sandra opines how Josie will never get a second shot at marriage and that the Fire Brigade isn't a woman's job. During the night, Vaseline inadvertently wanders into Marion 1's bedroom, and through a combination of bribery and blackmail, she persuades him to stay.

Notable Quotes[]


  • Producer - Richard Syms
  • Miss Barratt - Anne Small
  • Harold - Geoffrey Drew
  • DO Simpson - Geoffrey Freshwater
  • Margaret - Barbara Bolton
  • Felicity - Christine Garner
  • David - Tim Myers
  • Gilbert's wife - Jill Johnson
  • Gilbert - Roger Ostime
  • Foreman - Tom Wright
  • Sub Officer Beattie - Malcolm Kaye
  • Woman in woolly hat - Bernadette Milnes
  • Man in hard hat - Sam James
  • Mrs. Van Kuyper - Fleur Chandler
  • 1st ITV Man - Robert Angell
  • Mullard - Frank Lee
  • Vicar - John Rapley
  • Pat - Des McAlleer
  • Steven - Ben Robb
  • Peter - Rory McNicholl
  • Driver - Terry Cade
  • Desk Officer - Arthur Blake
  • Landlord - Alf Joint


Big Ron and Doreen Last Appearances

Photo Galleries[]

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