30 Jan
Posted in: Interest
By    38 Comments

Cabin Pressure Series 4 Episode 4 – Wokingham

Broadcast date: 30 January 2013 18:30 GMT, BBC Radio 4
For information on how you can listen from the UK and abroad, go to the how to listen to Cabin Pressure Series 4 page

Plot Teaser
Martin’s mother falls ill, leaving him to deal with a sister, a van and a moustache. Meanwhile, Carolyn and Douglas become locked in a game with no end.

Listen Again
BBC Show Site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q8qqc
iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01q8qqc/Cabin_Pressure_Series_4_Wokingham/

Cast / Crew
Carolyn Knapp-Shappey – Stephanie Cole
1st Officer Douglas Richardson – Roger Allam
Capt Martin Crieff – Benedict Cumberbatch
Arthur Shappey – John Finnemore
Wendy – Prunella Scales
Caitlin – Rosie Cavaliero
Dr White – Dan Tetsell
Simon – Justin Edwards

Producer – David Tyler
Writer – John Finnemore

What did you think?
What did you think of this episode? What was your favourite moment? Your favourite line? If you have any thoughts about the episode, please share them in the comments below!


  • That was such a lovely insight into Martin’s life. His mum is amazing. This episode was a little light on the laughs for me (I chuckled very heartily throughout tho). But I think I need to listen again. The iplayer stalled a couple of times. This series is looking great :)

    We’re almost done tho :( What’s next? Does anyone know the title?

    • The next episode is called Xinzhou. Sounds Asian.

      • Ooh. China. That should be interesting. Especially Arthur in China. I’m really looking fwd to Arthur in China now.

  • It was amazing!!! So much fun <3

  • I really liked this episode, I think so far it is my second-favourite of season 4! I was worried about meeting Martin’s family but it turned out quite funny and quite unpredictable. Lots of good things happening to Martin this season!

  • I liked it – it wasn’t as funny but it was very sweet and lovable – I like how the crew came to Martin’s rescue, so to speak, and how poor Martin’s insecurities has gotten the best of him for what seems like his whole life.

    They definitely seem to be going somewhere with all this this season – very curious.

    I thought it was just computer – but, now I guess the iplayer cut out for others as well. I wonder what I missed. I never want to miss a second of it.

    What an adorable bunch of characters.

  • A very lovely episode. Brilliant to see the MJN-family sticking together for Martin. Was so heartwarming and just lovely. Ugh. So many feelings for Martin.

  • Started slowly then excellent. THe rule is, don’t split the crew,, they work better when they’re together!

  • Arthur being in a helpful mood is maybe the sweetest part of the episode :)))

    So much fun!!! Brilliant as always!

  • Ah, Martin and his mum! Sweet!

  • I was at the preflight check for this episode. Sorry I missed the actual taping which was apparently hilarious and full of physical humor. Wish John had kept the original ending with Arthur saying Brilliant without the follow up comment.

  • This was great, and it’s nice learning more about Martin’s life. It made my mom laugh out loud at one point.

  • Lovely and sweet, not as rib-tickling as some, but another marvellous listen. Loved the interplay between Martin’s Mum and Arthur (… can he come and amuse my Mum too, please!)

    And Douglas did lose!

  • Yes, I too had three brief breaks (silences) during the broadcast. Hope they will not be on the replays.

    Great episode, I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

    Next episode is ‘Xinzhou.’ Description is “It’s cold, it’s dark and there’s no food on board. What better time for Gertie to decide to fall to bits? And what worse time for Arthur to try out his maths skills?” Sounds grim, I REALLY hope this isn’t leading into the end of the series.

    We don’t have a title yet for episode 6, but that description is “Love is in the air, as Douglas and Herc fight it out over the fruit tray, and hope springs eternal, as Martin has the interview of his life.”

    • That last one sounds a bit too final. Especially for Martin’s character. But it has been such a great run. This series is almost the best, though for me the last series had some unbeatable laughs.

      • I couldn’t pick a “best” series. Looking back over the collection, there are about three in each series that I classify among my favorites. I’ve got a tie for #1 between St. Petersburg and Douz, with Ottery St. Mary closing fast on the inside rail. St. Petersburg was exciting, dramatic and sort of a turning point, especially for Martin, but you can’t beat Douz for sheer fun: an off the wall situation, an even more off the wall solution, and everybody contributed to it.

        • If I really get down to it, all these episodes are really streets better than so much comedy out there. Last series just stays with me because of St. Petersburg, Ottery St. Mary and Paris. I loved those episodes so much. But you’re right. Douz was a lot of fun and actually Limerick is one of my all time favorites!

          It’ all just good stuff. :)

  • Sorry but that was the weakest episode in a long time.

    • OK, we all look at things differently, that’s what makes it interesting. Would you perhaps care to elaborate?

  • I’m in Australia and woke up at 5.20 am and realised Cabin Pressure! It was so lovely to listen to live. Prunella Scales voice drove me batty because I could place it! Arthur as always makes me want to propose. And Doug and Car fighting it out reminded me of Johannesburg. Loved the Ottery St Mary reference. Very lovely to see things going well for Martin.

  • It’s rather nice to have a plot driven episode (much as I adore the silliness of Uskerty and Vaduz) this episode shows John’s skills as a writer or drama as well as comedy. I think we are seeing the plot moving towards a well flagged end. I don’t mind though as the characters are developing beautifully – I’d love to see the script for the one syllable words sections. That’s an incredibly tight discipline for any writer and for it to sound as natural as it did. Amazing! Or brilliant (obviously!)

  • Everything, from the writing to the performances are just so brilliant – to create such emotional depth and to feel it all as a listener without visuals, is truly a gift. He is a treasurer of a writer.

  • Cute but miss the laughs. Feel the last three eps have not been up to par with previous series. Missing something. Does feel as is we are heading to the end of the show. Hope the last 2 are hilarious.

  • I’ll have to listen to this episode again on IPlayer because like with a lot of other people, it kept cutting.
    It’s the episode of the new season that had me laughing the less so far, but I still laughed nonetheless.
    I regret that the awesome idea of Arthur helping Martin’s mother wasn’t more used. More interaction between them would have been wonderful. There wasn’t enough Arthur anyway.
    Douglas and Caroline’s silly game had me in stitches, and I really like how Douglas and Martin interact now. You can really feel that they’ve known each other for several years and are now friends when you compare with the first season, for instance.
    I can’t shake the feeling that it’s the beginning of the end for Martin, though. I don’t know if his eventual departure from the series is for sure or if John Finnemore half-opened a door in the event of Benedict Cumberbatch not being able to play him next year. I like Martin so much I have to say I’d prefer the character staying, even if played by someone else.

    • I’m with you. I think Martin’s departure, even if replaced by Herc as has been suggested, would change the whole dynamic of the crew. Douglas, Carolyn and Herc are all very strong-willed characters. Arthur is a sweetheart, but more like a pillow–he just absorbs their slings and arrows with a shrug and a smile. Whereas Martin has the brains to fight back, which is where the fun comes in. He’s also something of a buffer between Arthur and the Douglas-Carolyn set.
      Douglas, Carolyn and Herc are too much alike to make for interesting conflict for very long, IMHO. Yes, the words of one syllable game was delightful, but I’m not sure that sort of thing would stay interesting for the long run–they’re too evenly matched.

      I’d be happy to see Martin’s role taken by Tom Goodman-Hill, who played the part in Newcastle, assuming that Mr. Cumberbatch would be no longer available. Just my two cents’ worth, I’ll be interested to continue reading others’ takes on the matter. To say nothing of, John Finnemore has already written Episode 6, so all this discussion and speculation is really beside the point. One way or another, it’s already a done deal.

      • I was just thinking about how sad it would be to lose Martin, just because Benedict might not be able to give his time. But I do think John Finnemore knows best and the end is written, so I just have to give in to his wisdom. He’s a clever writer and he hinted in a Radio Times interview about how the audience is a little lulled into believing that all will always go right with MJN Air. And he needed to play with that. He also talks about the fact that Martin needs resolution as a character, since he can’t perpetually be broke and unpaid. So am trusting Finnemore to know how to treat this lovely character he’s created. He’s already given Martin such a character arc. From pompous, fussy man to a more subdued, confident and lovable person!

  • I personally was fine with not being in stiches as I was last week which is, so far this season, my favorite. There was something so wonderful in this window into Martin’s world that I am really happy to have had and am glad it was more him and his crazy family than it was Arthur and Martin’s mom. It was really satisfying to have this glimpse at Martin’s perception of his family and life as we have listened to him struggle for respect for three years.

    I do know absolutely nothing but can’t help but think it is nearing the end of the series and a four year series like this to me is very satisfying as I can listen over and over again to all the previous episodes and never not find them funny.

    Carolyn and Herc coming to some possible decision about a future life together or not, Martin maybe moving on – maybe even devoting himself solely to his “own business” – I guess it can still go on but something about the stories, tone, etc seem to be building up to a swan song.

    I loved this episode – have listened twice now and hearing Martin be defensive with his family about his position is truly poignant and then finding it out they don’t view him the way he thinks they do is really very satisfying – to me anyway, with or without the laughs. But, really, do try to talking only in one syllable – ouch – not easy to do. They were great at it.


  • It was funny and touching, but somehow Carolyn and Douglas being so nice and wanting to build Martin up just felt a bit wrong. Like others have said, it feels like there’s something looming. Prunella Scales was excellent as the “oh, don’t make a fuss” mother.

    Agree about Tom Goodman-Hill being a fine alternative to Benedict, I didn’t know he wasn’t the real Martin the first time I heard Newcastle (and then found all the references to how well he looked hilarious the second time).

    Will we ever hear about Martin’s date at Duxford with Theresa?

  • I personally think that after them being together for a number of years makes the effort to bolster Martin very believable; I wouldn’t have bought it in the first and second seasons but by now, I definitely do.

  • I’m enjoying how John Finnemore is taking the characters beyond the quirks and tics that they’ve had for three seasons. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE them all dearly. But this being the last season (right?) I’m ready for change that would happen in “real life” when people work together as a team for so long. I thought this episode hit just the right tone, and was delighted by the excellent comic timing. It takes REAL pros to pull off a half hour of quick repartee like that. I laughed out loud in a couple of places, but mostly smiled. I’m going to miss this series desperately.

  • I don’t think that if the series ends it is necessarily because of Benedict. (After all he does so much I don’t think finding a few sundays to record this would be a real problem.)

    John might want to leave on a high having got to the end of the alphabet.

  • Caro and Colorado Jennie – I absolutely agree with you. I think John is trying to settle them in a way that we know they are alright and we can leave them alone. Arthur is happy anyway, Douglas and Carolyn are … well, sarcastic (although Carolyn may have to put up with a bit more of romantic Herc), but Martin needs some things before we can leave (i.e. more self-respect, being paid to be a pilot, and maybe a princess to fight dragons). So I think that’s what happening, and while I like the idea, it also makes me terribly sad. At the moment, Wednesday evenings are the highlights of my week.

    On the other hand, while I really love listening to season 4 and meeting the characters again, so far there has been none of these moments for me where I’m sitting in the bus listening to Cabin Pressure via iPod and people are staring at me cause I’m literally shaking with laughter and can’t stop. I guess there will be a point when all the stories are told and all the jokes are made and things would have to repeat themselves. So, yes, maybe it is best to leave on a high. Although – who can look into the brilliant brilliant mind of John Finnemore … maybe there are enough ideas for another alphabet run. But if there aren’t … maybe there will be some Christmas specials and such? (you know: Easter Specials and Happy Father’s Day Specials and Hey, Look, It’s National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day Specials)

    About the episode … yes, I was also wondering about Theresa. I expected her to appear again or at least some reference. And I cringed horribly at the Simon–Martin relationship. For me, that was a bit over the top.

  • (Colorado Jeannie, not “Jennie”. Sorry!)

  • Nice episode but I too missed the laughs!
    After the episode ended I kept smiling like an idiot for a long time but then slowly realised how the episode was oddly mostly about martin and how most of this series has been about him which means either the series is coming to an end & trying to tie loose ends or martin’s character’s going out!….;_;..& this made me so sad…! so this is my least favourite now…*sniff sniff*

  • We’ve been incredibly lucky to have the actors together for a 4th series. Stephanie, Roger & Anthony all have major TV commitments, as well as their stage & radio work. Geoffrey Whitehead and Timothy West are also much in demand (Timothy West & Benedict Cumberbatch together as “Rumpole of the Bailey” have been a joy too btw) With John writing for and appearing on radio (The Souvenir Programme, The Now Show, The Unbelievable Truth etc) I’m amazed he finds time for it all!

  • This was my second favourite this season, after Uskerty. I couldn’t stop smiling/laughing (in public!!!) during the “words of one sound” interchanges – no shortage of laughs this episode IMHO…also Martin’s brother picking him up and “flying” him through the air :-)) But I do prefer it when they’re all together, on board Gerti and off on a job!

  • New season announced by the Globe Theatre has Roger Allam as Prospero in The Tempest (also Colin Morgan from Merlin for Anthony Head & Merlin fans out there!) so Shakespeare lovers are in for a treat!

  • i love words of one sound!!!!!!!!

So, what do you think?