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Ariane DeVere
Cabin Pressure recording: The P, the Q and the DVD Extra (The Wedding Day Special) 
30th-Apr-2011 12:56 am
CP - Captain dons cap
As with my write-up for Rotterdam, there’ll be no specific spoilers for what happens in the episodes which were recorded at this session on the 29th of April, although I’ll drop a few vague hints about particular moments to look forward to.

So, having only realised a few days ago that Cabin Pressure episodes are named in alphabetical order (it’s OK, I’ll wait for you to go and google “Cabin Pressure episodes” ... Right, now do you believe me?!), I had learned that Newcastle, Ottery St. Mary, Rotterdam and St Petersburg had already been recorded and so we would be getting the P and the Q episodes.

As the audience were filing shoving their way in (please, for God’s sake, theatres, before someone gets killed you need to learn that fangirls are bloody dangerous in their determination to get seats near the front), John Finnemore scampered out into the audience and handed out some pieces of paper which asked everyone to help play a practical joke on producer David Tyler. At the beginning of each recording session while he’s warming up the audience, David asks how many members of the audience got their tickets through the BBC website and how many through the advert in Time Out magazine. As there actually wasn’t an advert in Time Out, which is all part of the joke, he was a little surprised when, on asking people to raise their hands if they got their ticket via the magazine, pretty much the entire audience raised their hands! However, he coped brilliantly with the surprise.

He didn’t cope quite so well with the gasp of slightly appalled horror that came when he went a little too far with a joke about the Royal Wedding that was taking place that day. But never mind; you can’t win ’em all.

The recording was just about to start when Benedict suddenly scampered offstage, causing some consternation until they realised that he had come on with the script for the other episode they were recording today. Or, as either David or John pointed out, he’d left the stage with the red script, which was the colour his face was going to be when he came back out again. Of course, because it was Ben, he got a huge cheer and round of applause on his return.

John Finnemore is a genius. Truly, he really is. I will keep this vague, but I just can’t not talk about it at all. Part of this script reduced the entire audience to tears of laughter when certain ... Holmesian dialogue began to be uttered by none other than Martin Crieff. Seriously, it went on for so long and got funnier and funnier as it went along, and I thought I was going to rupture something I was laughing so hard, and you can just imagine the massive round of applause that happened at the end. Almost unfortunately, Ben had to re-record the first line – the one that had the biggest impact – quite possibly because the audience was shrieking so much with laughter, and I wonder if some of the glorious spontaneity of that first time will be lost a little. But I’ll say it again: that was just pure brilliance from John – and all kudos to Benedict for playing along so superbly.

Benedict looked tired and was a little bit hoarse (though not as much as in the Rotterdam recording), but he genuinely seemed to be having a good time rather than seeing this as a chore in the middle of his current manic life, and there was much giggling between him and his fellow cast members.

John wasn’t happy with his delivery of his final line of the episode and went into a huddle with Roger as David came back down and said a few words to the audience, then John turned around and proudly announced that he had just been having some dialogue coaching from a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

So, a quick loo break for everyone and then they recorded the next episode.

All right, so anyone who predicted in advance that the Q episode would be entitled Qikiqtarjuaq deserves every plaudit going. Google must be wondering why the heck there’s so much interest in that place all of a sudden! John spent a couple of minutes teaching the audience how to say it (Ki-kik-tarj-uak, if I remember correctly), though I suspect he was also dinning it one last time into the cast so that they would remember too!

As the four main actors and the new supporting cast came back out, they suddenly discovered that there weren’t enough chairs for everyone. This was a sad sign of BBC cuts, lamented David.

As Ben stood up to do the opening credits, David joked from the gallery that this recording was going out live on BBC Four Extra. Ben gulped mock-nervously, then rather unwisely said in front of an audience of fangirls, “Oh dear, my broken flies will go down well, then.”

Benedict seemed to be doing a lot more visual and facial acting this time around, which was great for the audience but did produce some laughter in places that may seem a little strange in the broadcast.

Roger managed to mispronounce “Miami” at one point, accidentally saying, “Mee-ami” instead. As he paused and everyone laughed and then collected themselves, Stephanie brilliantly quipped, “My my.”

Again, I’ll keep this vague, but for crying out loud you just have to listen to this episode to hear Benedict’s fantastically perfect mangling of a foreign accent.

There’s also a revelation about Martin’s life that actually produced whimpers from some members of the audience.

And can I say that there is probably nothing more adorable in this world than the sight of Benedict Cumberbatch trying to silently giggle at the hilarity of John’s script.

He then totally cocked up the end credits, getting several of the words or names wrong and eventually ending, “... The show was a Pozzitive production and I’ll do that again.” And I think that everyone who was in the audience will agree that we’re all so glad that he did get it wrong, because his second and final version – and I assume that it was spontaneous and not pre-planned * – will have you falling off your chair laughing.

[* Thanks to fifthviolet, who noted as follows: And yes, the hilarious re-record of the Qikiqtarjuak outro was definitely unplanned - I was nearish to the front, heard Benedict mumble something to David Tyler after he cocked up the first time, but he didn't hear properly - he asked Benedict to repeat but he just grinned and said something like "No don't worry, I'm just going to do it." And then he did.]

And then we got the delights of what David referred to as the DVD extra: as many of you will already know, Benedict lost his voice a few weeks ago and couldn’t record two episodes and his place was taken by Tom Goodman-Hill. However, they have apparently since decided that while they will leave Tom in as a substitute-Martin in Newcastle, they wanted to re-record Ben’s voice into Ottery St. Mary, and so they recorded those sections of the script today.

John, on goofing a particular line: “Shall I say the things I wrote for me to say?”

I would like to believe that “Jellybabies to manual,” will be a standard catch-phrase by this time next year.

And I also wish to predict that very soon, everyone will be playing Yellow Car. Just sayin’.

I can’t wait to hear this episode in full. Roger, Ben and even John himself kept dissolving into giggles at some of the completely hilarious dialogue in this. I was laughing so hard at times that I missed vast tracts of dialogue. If you can’t imagine a hundred, you will be able to after this.

As always, after recording all the sections, David then came out and asked for particular sections to be redone. Two particular re-records were a single word, presumably because someone had jumped in a little early at the beginning of a scene. David said to John that he wanted to record a simple, “Hey,” from Arthur, then pointed out which one he meant – the one on page 13. “Ah,” said John wisely, “the one with the hint of menace.”


And then after three hours of solid laughter, not to mention three hours of ogling the Pretty One (and his broken flies), I scampered off to the National to collect the Frankenstein tickets that I had miraculously bought on the website late the previous night (and when I told some of the Cabin Pressure queue that I had simply been fortuitous enough to click in at the right moment, I thought I was going to get lynched for a moment!). It was only when I got to my seat that I realised that I was in almost exactly the same position in relation to the stage as I had been that afternoon and – seeing as I’m probably the most recognisable person in any audience *, being the fattest person in the room, I was a bit concerned that Ben might look out and think that I was stalking him! But that’s OK, because I pretty much was. Now, how much are train tickets to Cardiff ...?

* (well, maybe the second most recognisable person ...)

[Waves to Lucy (hey, I’ve hugged the girl who’s been hugged by Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch!) and her posse, all of whose names I’ve forgotten (apologies), as well as Marie, Jules and Vicky.]

(Deleted comment)
30th-Apr-2011 12:28 am (UTC)

Seriously, my memory is one of those that will remember bits over the next few weeks, whilst completely forgetting huge chunks of the event, so I cannot thank you enough for this write-up - it's perfect for prompting the memory :D Though I wish to speculate that Mr Finnemore may in fact be, not just a genius, but an evil genius - it is entirely possible that he may be trying to kill us all with laughter ... (and the way he looked when Benedict's er, Holmesian and mangled accent sections came up, was just priceless).

You are in for a treat with the full episode of Ottery-St.-Mary! That was the episode in which Arthur became very firmly my favourite character :)

*goes off in search of your Rotterdam write-up*
30th-Apr-2011 12:56 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for this writeup! I'm really, really looking forward to the episode now.

and, yeah.. I totally never noticed the alphabetical order thing before! I passionately hope there's enough episodes to go through the whole alphabet several times over.
30th-Apr-2011 12:58 am (UTC)
Great review, so much more detailed than mine. Hahaha!
30th-Apr-2011 01:53 am (UTC)
Terrific review and synopsis! Thanks for sharing!
30th-Apr-2011 01:53 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you SO much for writing this up! I love reading the recaps. So excited for this season, it sounds brilliant! :)
30th-Apr-2011 04:08 am (UTC)
What a fabulous write-up! I'm so looking forward to the new series.
30th-Apr-2011 06:10 am (UTC)
Wow, what an amazing write-up... I can't believe you had the energy and coherence to do this after the day you've had - I'm assuming you're still running on a Ben-induced high (the very best kind!)

I will be sure to listen to Cabin Pressure before I come down in the Summer, then we've got even more common ground to drool/squeal over :D

30th-Apr-2011 06:18 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say I'm very glad you had a great time and thank you for giving us the report, sounds like some very amazing next episodes, I can't wait to listen to them!
And I know what you mean with the last minute ticket; I was in a similar position once, for a Radiohead concert, and got an amazing seat, and when you tell other fans, they look at you with venom almost dripping out of their eyes.

Lovely to hear Benedict had a great time too, he must be quite exhausted!
Also, why did you mention DVD? Does Cabin Pressure's recordings come in DVD's?
30th-Apr-2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
no, it was John Finnemore being funny. He called the bit where Benedict re-recorded his lines for another episode the "DVD extras".
30th-Apr-2011 07:29 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so very-very-very much! You've absolutely made my day!!! To hell with job and everything!

Hope you don't mind my posting at least some pieces of the story in the sherlock_series again?
30th-Apr-2011 08:29 am (UTC)
Sorry, I did it again.
30th-Apr-2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
No, that's fine! I'm honoured to be translated!
1st-May-2011 12:44 am (UTC) - Thank you!
More reports - more translating! Prepare for a treat! :-)))
30th-Apr-2011 07:46 am (UTC)
OOOoh this was such an amusing read! :D Also, like you, it wasn't until a week or two ago that I found out Cabin Pressure eps where alphabetic, it hadn't occurred to me at all lol! I can't wait to hear s. 3, I've been having so much fun listening to it on my mp3 player at work :P

Okay, someone needs to give Benny a copy of "What Not To Say in Front of Fangirls" XD

* (well, maybe the second most recognisable person ...)

Thanks for writing this up!
30th-Apr-2011 08:25 am (UTC)
"Cabin Pressure episodes are named in alphabetical order..."

30th-Apr-2011 09:47 am (UTC)
Oh gosh this sounds amazing!! Thanks so much for the writeup for those of us who weren't lucky enough to be there<3
30th-Apr-2011 11:01 am (UTC)
Excellent write up!

There’s also a revelation about Martin’s life that actually produced whimpers from some members of the audience.

I'll admit it, I did a little fangirl squee when I read that.
30th-Apr-2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
I am so glad I'm not the only one who didn't notice they were in alphabetical order lol - it was only when John said "This episode had to begin with a Q for some reason..." that it clicked XD
Thank you SO MUCH for this write up, I absolutely loved the recording and this helps jog the memories lol
30th-Apr-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the write-up!! I love Cabin Pressure so much, and I can't wait to hear the new series. Since I live on the other side of the Atlantic, I have to live vicariously through someone.
30th-Apr-2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
I shouldn't have read this...if I get any more excited about the new series, I may explode. Fair warning. So jealous of you!!
30th-Apr-2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the writeup, marvellously detailed! I'm still remembering bits and giggling madly. :D I was in the audience too, desperately trying not to make a sound at the Martin revelations you mentioned because I didn't want the microphones to pick up the sounds of my fangirly heart exploding . . .

And yes, the hilarious re-record of the Qikiqtarjuak outro was definitely unplanned - I was nearish to the front, heard Benedict mumble something to David Tyler after he cocked up the first time, but he didn't hear properly - he asked Benedict to repeat but he just grinned and said something like "No don't worry, I'm just going to do it." And then he did. And then I nearly died laughing.

(Yellow car!)
30th-Apr-2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
Awesome! (And I'm glad my aphabetic epiphany was useful to you!)
30th-Apr-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
This was excellent to read! Great how you managed to hint at certain things without giving away any real spoilers.
I'd love to witness one of these recordings, too, one day. Since it is extremely unlikely, though, it's marvellous reading about your experiences.
30th-Apr-2011 10:09 pm (UTC) - Cabin Pressure
Note: Only anonymous because I don't know how not to be!
I too was lucky enough to be at both Cabin Pressure and Frankenstein yesterday - and it was exhausting enough just watching!
LOVED LOVED LOVED Ottery St Mary and like every other parent in the place, almost wet myself laughing at Yellow Car! Also loved Ben's face when the stotic, sensible Stephanie Cole swore (albeit quietly) after fluffing one of her lines.
The queue outside was long in terms of both time and length but it was a wonderful opportunity to meet and chat to some other fans.
Many thanks for the write up.
30th-Apr-2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
I thought the recording was fantastic (or in the words of Arthur, "BRILLIANT!") It *was* quite ridiculous when everyone was trying to shove into the studio. There must be a better way of getting 300-odd rampant fangirls through a 6 foot door :/ I didn't appreciate being elbowed in the ribs just so some selfish girl could get a whole 3 foot closer to the stage. I do think the problem was half venue and half audience.

I still have his mangling of a foreign accent in my head and I though it was hilarious. By the end credits I had tears streaming down my face XD I do think Roger or Arthur have been my favourite throughout :)
1st-May-2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
hello hello hello hello!!
What an amazing day hey?!
I am still both Cabin Pressure days and a Q&A to write up - lol. I'm very glad you are so very on the ball for when I decide to document my life and memory needs poking.

4th-May-2011 12:42 am (UTC)
thank you for the write up. it was great to read. now i'm really looking forward to the new episodes.
16th-May-2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Hi! I'm just in the process of catching up on everyone's reports from the cabin pressure recordings and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this. :)
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