A form to go in the bin

The careful listener will have noticed something rather peculiar in last night’s episod*. Brian, having identified a reassuringly expensive rehab outfit, told JD the next step would be to get Alice to sign ‘an authority for us to act on her behalf’. What would that be, I wondered. What legal standing have it? Where were the independent witnesses to Alice’s signature about to pop up from? What the hell are St Keri of Davies and the prod team drinking? Because something like that wouldn’t be open to abuse at all, would it?
*not a typo

But it turns out I needn’t have worried. Quoted elsewhere, from Twitter:

"Stephen Bowden
The form presumably just authorises clinics to discuss Alice’s situation with Brian and Jenny. It won’t allow them to sign her up to treatment or anything like that. #TheArchers

Just so. It’s certainly not an LPA or anything like that"

Then, o long-standing and well respected SW, why in the name of the wee man were the words that were broadcast, and voiced by Brian, who may know frod-all about rehab but who knows quite a bit about law, ‘an authority for us to act on her behalf’?


The answer is probably that Davies, knowing frod-all about the actual process of persuading an unwilling person into rehab, threw in this frill to try to lend verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative, and in order to have an easy, shorthand way to demonstrate that Alice, by the end of the episode, had for some unknown reason Seen The Error Of Her Ways and was now prepared to do what Mummy and Daddy wanted her to.

Brian may know a bit about law (though if he does, I cannot imagine what in hell’s name got him to set up something which allowed Kate to dictate what his farm – HIS FARM! – could and could not do, though I didn’t notice her offering to pay anything towards the bill which would have come not out of Brian’s pocket but out of the Home Farm Limited funds since they now appear to be the owners of the land and do whatever they want with it, and are thus responsible in law for the chemical pollution caused before they owned it) but I doubt Charles Collingwood knows all that much, and even if he did it is not the business of the actors to stop in mid-recording and ask awkward questions about the script, alas.


I didn’t mean to suggest it was. And fair point about the Kate nonsense. But I still think Brian knows what words mean.

I find it difficult to regard this as a trivial mistake on the prod team’s part. I wonder which they would prefer to be seen as: incompetent or dishonest? I suppose if a later plot development hinges on 'acting on Alice’s behalf ', we will draw our own conclusions.


The fault was quite a usual one, really,. Having Brian talk bollocks about something he might be expected to know about is no worse than having Shula repeatedly talk bollocks about the care and riding of horses, after all.

We learned recently that even when there has been an Inquiry and their names are collectively Mud*, the BBC does not admit to fault. I’d say though that whether they prefer one or the other, both would be appropriate.

*or Bashir.


Shula talking what she spends much of her time shovelling is unlikely to deter anyone from equestrianism. The implication that ‘concerned’ family members can obtain authority regarding treatment for one’s condition might very well deter an addict or two from considering residential rehab. So I do see it as being worse. (And yes, I do know addicts tend to look for excuses/reasons not to address the issue anyway.)

Meanwhile, how long before Alice sells Banjo and spends the proceeds on drink?


I blame the Zeitgeist.

Ditto forms going in bins.


Or, like any of the several alcoholics I’ve known, was falling back on the standard thing of saying whatever she thought her audience wanted to hear. If that reversal were to be presented as genuine, it would also set a very poor precedent.