BRITTAS EMPIRE

EPISODE GUIDE

 


 Series One to Seven

Gordon Brittas
Helen Brittas
Colin Wetherby
Carole Parkinson
Julie Porter
Gavin Featherley 
Tim Whistler 
Linda Perkin
 - Chris Barrie
 - Pippa Haywood
 - Michael Burns
 - Harriet Thorpe
 - Judy Flynn
 - Tim Marriott
 - Russell Porter
 - Jill Greenacre




 

 

Brittas Empire

Here is a breakdown of all the Brittas Empire Episodes

SERIES ONE.

1-1 3 Jan 1991 "The New Manager"

Gordon Brittas has been appointed as the new manager of the Whitbury Newtown Leisure Centre, and his first day, before the centre is even open, manages to provoke the builders to strike and annoy most of his new staff - one wires himself into the emergency lighting system, while another attacks Brittas ninja-style with sharpened table-tennis bats.

1-2 10 Jan 1991 "Opening Day"

It's opening day, and the doors keep jamming open, the heating isn't working and the pool's leaking. Brittas intervenes. Now the doors won't open and the place is like a hothouse thanks the the loony stoker and his flooding boiler room. Will the entire staff faint before they can escape? And is there any way to stop Colin from shaking hands with the Duchess of Kent?

1-3 17 Jan 1991 "Carole's Husband"

Brittas finally finds out about Carole keeping her baby in the desk drawers, and in the subsequent removal of Carole and the baby, the baby goes missing. Carole thinks Brittas has taken it and goes berserk with an axe. Brittas also manages to bank up dozens of customers in the foyer and destroy a relaxation lecturer while he's at it.1-4 24 Jan 1991 "Happy & Fufilled" An underwater wedding in the main pool with the best man stuck on the bottom; a drunkard in a electric wheelchair speeding through the corridors; Gavin gets shot through the arm with a harpoon; and the centre is filled with poison gas. It's just a normal day, really.

1-5 7 Feb 1991 "Staff Pilfering"

The centre is closed, as Brittas is intent on finding out which of the staff is a petty pilferer. So it's out with the questionnaires, the UV sensitive powder in Brittas' wallet, and the ultimate solution, hiding Colin in a locker to spy on the staff room.

1-6 14 Feb 1991 "The Merger"

Brittas has designed some overly-complicated special offers to help lift attendance (from 43 in the previous weekend). But he may not be in attendance himself much longer, as someone is out there trying to kill him. Now who would want to do a thing like that?

SERIES TWO.

2-1 2 Jan 1992 Back From The Dead

The leisure centre is deserted, until rumours begin to circulate that Brittas is dead. Bookings pick up dramatically. However, certain rumours have exaggerated - Brittas is back! Colin thinks it's a ghost trying to take over someone's body so as to return to the physical plane, and Carole goes berserk thinking that the target is her baby.

2-2 9 Jan 1992 Temple Of The Body

The centre is closed - again - to try and stop the staff using it for sexual purposes after hours. Brittas finds a den of iniquity in a cupboard, and drills a hole on his office floor to try and catch the offenders. Brittas thinks Gavin may be the Casanova, which causes a rift between Gavin and Tim.

2-3 16 Jan 1992 An Inspector Calls

The centre is due for an inspection by the most feared inspector in the Southern area. Despite Brittas' meticulous preparations, there's an incontinent pigeon in the gym, and Brittas has been berated about the head with a dead Eagle. It's also Helen's birthday, and she's rather upset as Gordon has given her a moped. She's thinking of leaving him, and it looks like he'll lose his job as well.

2-4 23 Jan 1992 Set In Concrete

Brittas is stuck in his office, as his feet have been set in concrete by some irate masons. This and other similar occurances have convined Brittas that the centre is suffering from Sick Building Syndrome. Brittas calls in a specialist, but strangely enough he can't find anything wrong with the building...

2-5 30 Jan 1992 Mums And Dads

Brittas' father has come to drop off an old upright piano for Gordon; this is but the first of two pianos, the other being a concert grand for use by Vladimir Petrov (from Leningrad) in a recital that evening. Can Vlad keep his fingers intact until the evening? And can anyone stop Brittas from playing the piano?

2-6 13 Feb 1992 Safety First

The centre is having a fire drill, Brittas style. And since they suffered 82% casualities, they're doing it again. Helen is trying to give up her pills, hoping to replace them with a loving relationship (with Brittas?). So she's prepared a picnic lunch to have in the office, but she starts to boil over as Brittas gets delayed dealing with other things, not the least of which is trying to pursuade Councillor Dapping to install a better fire escape. She refuses, but when a fire breaks out, she thinks otherwise.

2-7 20 Feb 1992 "Generations"

A farmer has stopped in the leisure centre car park to change a tire, and his heavily pregnant prize-winning cow manages to snack on some labour-inducing figwort, actually meant for the heavily pregnant Carole. The cows begins to give birth in a squash court (and how did it get up the spiral staircase?), aided by a gynaecologist. Carole follows suit in the sauna helped by a vet.

SERIES THREE

3-1 7 Jan 1993 The Trial

Brittas is on trial for mass murder, possession of drugs and GBH. Could he really be guilty? A tale unfolds of a phantom super gluer, Carole's visions of blood, toilet inspections, mafia men parading as Bolivian squash players and an out of control chain saw.

3-2 14 Jan 1993 That Creeping Feeling

Brittas has received a parcel from a Lord Milbanks in South America - a person from whom he parted on less than ideal terms - but it appears to contain only leaves, as the venomous spider it contained has escaped and is roaming the centre. But will Brittas even find out? The staff are giving him the silent treatment after he gave them less than flattering physical fitness programmes.

3-3 21 Jan 1993 Laura's Leaving

"Gordon Brittas is about to host a conference for leisure centre managers, and hopes to use the occasion to spread his dream of universal brotherhood. Laura has applied for a job elsewhere, and Helen Brittas is convinced disaster will befall the centre. She's not far wrong." - from Radio Times.

3-4 28 Jan 1993 Two Little Boys

Celebrations for the leisure centre's second birthday are under way, although the pool is a bit cold, due to a leak in the oil tank supplying the heater. The oil is drained off into buckets and bottles and old margarine containers and stored in the old weights room; the perfect place, no-one ever uses it for anything. Except for somewhere for the fire-eater to practice, or to put the birthday cake with candles ablaze, or to store the fireworks.Meanwhile, Gordon's twin brother Horatio is having a lack of faith in himself and his ability to spread the dream, and has turned to his brother for help in keeping the dream alive.

3-5 4 Feb 1993 Sex, Lies And Red Tape

It's Laura's birthday, and her estranged American husband Michael T. Farrell III has come to visit and take her back so he can get a son and heir and inherit millions. She's not so keen on him, unlike the other staff members. After all, he wants to get Carole's novel published, and he's donated 2500 pounds to the fundraising effort, which is more than Brittas will raise with his sponsored silence (no matter how much it relieves the staff).

3-6 11 Feb 1993 The Stuff Of Dreams

Brittas has been having a dream - a sleeping type dream - that he has a heavy burden (the running of the centre) to pass on before he himself passes on. Helen is close to giving birth, and wants Laura to drive her to the hospital. She thinks relying on Gordon is far too dangerous - she doesn't want to give birth in the high street. She wants to have her babies in a hospital bed with doctors and nurses present; and she gets her wish, in a sense.

SERIES FOUR

4-1 10 Jan 1994 Not A Good Day...

Sebastian Coe (OBE MP) is at the leisure centre to help promote Life Cycle Week ("I piddled for a medal"), and ends up chained to a railing accidentally. The real object of the chaining up is a small boy wandering the centre, the son of one of the Classical War Society members, who are staging a recreation of a battle in the playing fields. When the member discovers Brittas has placed his son under citizen's arrest, the Society attacks the centre. But despite all the chaos, at least two people had a nice day.

The Christening

Brittas is arranging the christening of his twins - with his staff doubling for about four people each in rehearsals. Horatio Brittas, who is conducting the ceremony, has brought along the girl he wishes to marry: Phillipa, a woman more irritating than both Brittases put together. She even goes so far as to accuse Helen Brittas of being a bad mother, which is perhaps only slightly true; after all, she did lose the twins on the way to the centre.

4-3 24 Jan 1994 Biggles Tells A Lie

Colin is looking surprisingly nice - and clean. He's posing as manager to impress his long-lost daughter Stephanie, who is visiting from Australia, and he has to live up to the image he's created in his letters. Of course, this charade can only be maintained as long as Brittas is still away on his sailing holiday. But that's not the only reason to panic when he returns, for Carole has been keeping a kitten without permission, and Helen discovers to her horror that a naughty photo of her has been printed in Plaything magazine, and it must be destroyed before Brittas sees it. Can Gavin get it to the boiler and burn it before it's too late?

4-4 31 Jan 1994 Mr Brittas Changes Trains

 Brittas is applying for a new job - the British Representative on the European Leisure Industry Standards Committee. It's all down to being impressive at dinner, but can Helen be cool, calm and relaxed? Well, no, not with her jaw locked shut from stress, with the rest of her body following. Brittas needs to find a replacement, and the lucky winner is Laura.Some of the staff members are suffering from the effects of being used in a stage hypotist's act, and whilst he's there to deprogramme them, he tries to relax Helen. He fails at this, but does manage to put Brittas under, and alters his personality until after the dinner. But once it wears off...

4-5 7 Feb 1994 Playing With Fire

Gavin's fiancee Jenny has turned up after an absence of five years; she's been in a mental hospital and has supposedly been cured of her habit of setting fire to things. Gavin isn't particularly pleased to see her, and Tim even less so, despite Brittas' "helpful" councilling. But it appears that Jenny is not as cured as might have been hoped; and Colin's methane generator built for Energy Conservation Week is just the kind of flammable target she's looking for.

4-6 14 Feb 1994 Shall We Dance?

The Southern Area Leisure Centre Gala Dance is rapidly approaching, and it seems as though no-one can get a suitable partner. Colin has asked his (transvestite) milklady, Linda is inviting an old "school friend", and Tim and Gavin want to know why they can't just go together. Carole has put her name in the paper to advertise her availability, and her ad is answered by her first boyfriend, who has become rich over the years. As opposed to Michael T Farrell III, who has become poor and wants to return to Laura. But Laura is supposedly going to the dance with Brittas, fueling rumours that there is some form of dalliance going on whilst Helen is in Cornwall. Is it all as innocent as it seems?

4-7 21 Feb 1994 The Chop

Councillor Drugget has been looking at the income and expenditure figues, and as the latter is three hundred times greater than the former, decides to sack Brittas. All he need do is find a reason, and going through the accounts, finds one. Three hundred pounds is missing from petty cash; Helen has borrowed it to buy an ex-cabaret dog. But Drugget threatens to charge Helen with theft, and with her record she could well go to jail. It's Brittas' choice: either resign or see his wife imprisoned.

4-8 7 Mar 1994 High Noon

Brittas finds another job pumping petrol, until he applies his methods to the job. He visits the centre to give a cuckoo clock to the staff as a going-away present, and manages to cause a gas leak while he's there. The new manager is down at the pub as the staff try to evacuate the building, and comes out just in time to see the centre go up in a fireball. Then it's discovered that Brittas was in the basement. Is this the end for the man who survived Aldershot?

SERIES FIVE

5-1 31 Oct 1994 The Old, Old Story

Gordon, now a national celebrity, prepares to welcome the Songs of Praise film crew to the newly refurbished Whitbury Leisure Centre.

5-2 7 Nov 1994 Blind Devotion

Colin's run of bad fortune takes a further turn for the worse as Gordon the Leisure Centre's over-zealous manager decides on a staff shakeup.

5-3 14 Nov 1994 Brussels Calling

Gordon visits Brussels for a job interview - but his absence from the leisure centre causes unexpected trouble.

5-4 21 Nov 1994 The Lies Have It

Laura's wealthy husband mystifies everyone by applying for a job as junior pool attendant, and Helen is spotted in a restaurant with her lawyer.

5-5 28 Nov 1994 The Boss

Gordon decides to test his staff's capabilities by letting Gavin take over as temporary manager for the day.

5-6 5 Dec 1994 Pregnant!

Gordon insists all his staff take a compulsory drug test - but the results are soon called into question.

5-7 12 Dec 1994 UXB

As Brittas packs in preparation for his move to Brussels, Helen decides she would prefer to stay at home and look after the dog. Meanwhile, Colin discovers a bomb at work - something he feels should concern Mr Brittas.

5-8 19 Dec 1994 The Last Day

As Brittas prepares for his departure to Brusselsas European commissioner for sport, he decidesthat an emergency water tank should be installed as an extra fire precaution.

X94 27 Dec 1994 In The Beginning

It's New Year's Eve, 2019 and the former employees of Whitbury Newtown Leisure Centre are getting ready for a special annual event. Laura Farell tries to explain to her son Barney why they all meet every New Year's Eve to honour the man who made them what they are, Gordon Brittas!

*THE FOLLOWING SERIES HAVE NO DATES OR DESCRIPTIONS

SERIES SIX - 1996

BACK WITH A BANG

The staff are preparing for Gordon's return from the Swiss hospital where he was rebuilt after being crushed. The sauna/solarium has been privatised and there is a new character, Penny, who is in charge of it. Helen escapes from the clinic and tries to intercept an incriminating letter. Carole is back at reception after being dumped by Herr Von Trapp. Gordon arrives back a day early, surprising everyone, including himself when someone tells him that he died. He becomes faint and Helen takes him home. His luggage is in the boot of the car, but where was the croquet set?

BODY LANGUAGE

Gordon is conducting a number of seminars for the staff, this week it is about body language. Helen has sold the house to the American Air Force, as you do, and tries to move the furniture into the centre without Gordon noticing. Meanwhile there is a mysterious object in the roof space.

AT THE DOUBLE

The Ruthenian State Circus is in town and are expected at the centre for a display. One of the performers, Vladimir, is a dead ringer for Gordon. The staff and Helen get really confused because Vlad is quite different from Gordon. Meanwhile members of a religious sect want to baptize Gordon.

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

Gordon is compiling a series of walks around Whitbury. He discovers that there is a right-of-way through the centre. A meditation guru,from Scarborough, is expected, and Helen learns more than she expected. Meanwhile, the Face In The Crowd competition has a winner, but will he be able to collect his prize?

WE ALL FALL DOWN

It is Peace and Hunger Week in Whitbury and celebrations are underway but Colin is worried because the Eternal Flame keeps going out.Tim finds out that he is paid less than others and takes a hostage. Helen is depressed because her twins are rejected by an advertising agency and decides to take revenge. Meanwhile, Gordon prepares to tackle Saddam Hussein.

MR BRITTAS FALLS IN LOVE

Gordon arranges for a dolphin to be delivered to the centre for people to swim with it. Linda has a moral problem with this and organises a demo. There is a young girl at the centre for a work experience placement and Colin is showing her how to unblock toilets. Meanwhile, Tim has taken over running the canteen and has planned a special lunch, shark.

SLAP HAPPY

It is time for the annual team photo to be taken. A representative from British Heritage is inspecting the site with a view to making Whitbury Newtown Leisure Centre a listed building. While they wait for a gap in the clouds, Colin decides to tidy up the pool.Meanwhile, Helen has found a new hobby, parachuting.

 

SERIES SEVEN: 12/96 - 24/2/97

SURVIVING CHRISTMAS

Gordon has taken his staff on a 'survival training course' in Wales and 'survival' could be the key word for Brittas and Carole!. Brittas is being pursued by an irate Santa Claus who's upset because Brittas gave him the sack! Believing that Carole is having an affair with her husband, Helen is doing her best to make sure that this trip is Carole's last!

THE ELEPHANT'S CHILD

Helen decides that she wants to buy the lease for the centres sauna and solarium which is up for grabs, but how can she get the cash she needs? Carole comes back from her assertiveness course a changed woman taking no nonsense from anyone, including Brittas! Her new-found confidence is put to good use when circumstances dictate that she will have to deliver Julie's baby in Colin's basement office! And just what excuse does Colin have for the huge piles of elephant dung in the centres car park??

REVIEWING THE SITUATION

Brittas's new staff review policy is causing some friction between Gavin and Colin and its also causing trouble for Tim. Mr Brittas has discovered that according to Government sources, Timothy Whistler doesn't exist! Julie is a key witness for the prosecution in a criminal trial and after receiving threatening letters, she's been issued with a personal armed bodyguard who frisks everyone in sight!

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The Lottery Council has given the centre a substantial grant for IT and Gordon has computerised everything possible. So it's little wonder that the staff feel redundant and decide to try and sabotage the new system with the help of teenage computer genius, Danny!

WAKE UP THE LION WITHIN

Brittas has returned from his latest management course in America full of enthusiasm for a new "inner strength" technique which requires people to roar and release the lion within. Although most of the staff are their usual sceptical selves, Carole appears to be excellent at releasing her lion, in fact she gains so much inner strength that she pushes Brittas out of his job!

THE DISAPPEARING ACT

Councillor Druggett has introduced an 'Employee of the Month' competition with a trip to Paris as the first prize. Brittas is reluctant to choose a winner as he thinks that it will cause resentment and he could be right, as the staff are all desperately trying to sway his decision in their favour! Gavin's latest idea, the 'Birthday Party Package'is being trialed by Julie's niece and her friends. Things are fine until Uncle Colin's magic act makes more than just a rabbit disappear!

GAVIN FEATHERLY R.I.P

Gavin is worried. He's had a demand for 10,000 from a record company after Brittas made him write a letter confessing that he had 'made an illegal copy of a relaxation tape"!! Perhaps the anual staff weekend away in Burbidge-on-sea ("Oh no, not Burbidge again!") will take his mind off things. When Gavin's clothes are found on the deserted beach however, it appears things may have been too much for him after all...

Exposed

An investigative television reporter brings a little more than unwelcome publicity to Whitbury Leisure Centre when he takes a dip in the pool.

Roger Ferguson (Michael Fenton-Stevens) tells his team, "Weird place - the woman on reception looked as though she'd just been released into the community, the bloke dishing out towels looked like he had a flesh-eating disease ... I reckon if we get some filming done in there we could do a nice little health and smear job - besides it's just down the road so it'll be cheap to film."

Brittas (Chris Barrie) seizes the initiative, advising his staff on their television technique and hiring a double for Colin (Mike Burns) - but that's before he knows about Colin's swimming lessons for rats.

The Curse of The Tiger Women

Brittas (Chris Barrie) celebrates his fifth anniversary at the leisure centre by baking a cake, but his staff refuse to eat it. They are convinced that he has been cursed by gypsies, because people and birds have started dying all around him. "I think we've got a big problem, " announces Gavin (Tim Marriott) to Helen (Pippa Haywood). "It's Mr Brittas ... We may have to restrain him."

But Helen has enough on her mind. Brittas has finally accepted that he has fathered two children without her.

Meanwhile Colin (Mike Burns) launches his Noah's Ark in the pool, and a nasty build up of marsh gas in the main stink pipe forces an evacuation.

 The Brittas Empire Character Information