Blake's Muckers

by "Iain J. Coleman"

For four years, Blake's Muckers roamed the streets of Glasgow (Scotland). From Dennistoun to Partick, they fought the evil Polis with tonic wine and prescription tranquilizers. Famous for its sharp dialogue and complex interpersonal relationships, "Blake's Muckers" brought a new sense of social realism and dramatic subversion to the TV scum fiction genre. Although it has never been repeated on terrestrial television, it retains a small but dedicated fanbase who harbour fond memories of Avon's trademark whine, Servalan's shell suits and Vila's hilarious smack habit. The final scene - in which Avon, surrounded by polis, raises his Buckfast bottle and grins, then the end credits roll with sounds of heavy baton blows and cries of "stitch this ya bam!" - is perhaps responsible for the show's continuing popularity.

Sales to the American market were disappointing. Fearing that an American audience would find the earthy Glaswegian patois impenetrable, subtitles were hastily commisioned from the team responsible for succesful costume drama exports. Despite this, "Blake's Muckers" - now retitled "Roj Blake and Chums" - failed to reproduce its domestic success overseas.

A "Blake's Muckers" film project - provisionally entitled "Blake's Muckers: The Weans" - has been in pre-production for several years.

Here are some typical lines of dialogue from this classic series, with the subtitles:

BLAKE Travis! Ah thought the cunt wiz broon breid, but here'n'ah only fucking mars barred the prick!

[Travis! I was under the impression he was dead, but now it transpires I only scarred the old chap!]

-- From "Blake's Muckers" episode 6: "Find These Pricks Sharpish An' Gie Them Laldy"

["Roj Blake and Chums" episode 6: "Do please locate these fellows with all due alacrity, and show them the error of their ways"]

VILA Gauny no dae that!

[Refrain from this action, I implore you!]

BEK Whit?

[I beg your pardon, would you mind clarifying that request?]

VILA Jist, gauny no.

[I implore you once more, desist!]

BEK Haud on wee man, that there hing did ma fucking sister in an'at. Ah'm gauny gie it a fucking tanking, so ah am.

[Please allow me to point out, my dear little friend, that the object of my aggression is responsible for my sister's untimely demise. Therefore I fully intend to destroy it, I assure you.]

-- From "Blake's Muckers" episode 15: "Jellies"

["Roj Blake and Chums" episode 15: "Mother's Ruin"]

ARLEN Right, pit the guns doon! Yer tea's oot!

[I say, drop your weapons at once! You are quite undone!]

TARRANT You wi' the polis?

[Are you an officer of the law?]

ARLEN Aye ah am, right enough.

[I assure you, young man, I most certainly am.]

VILA Aw, c'moan! Ah'm no wi' these cunts! Ye canny shoot me, so ye canny, ah'm jist a mucker n'at, no?

[Now look here, I wish to entirely disassociate myself from these ruffians. Surely you do not intend to open fire on me; I am merely a gentleman of independent means, I assure you.]

-- From "Blake's Muckers" episode 52: "Awright, Big Man"

["Roj Blake and Chums" episode 52: "Greetings, my impressively burly friend!"]

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Last changed on 17th of December 2000