Toy Stories (2009) s01e02 Episode Script


(soft guitar music)
- So you think computer
games are more exciting
then old fashioned toys?
Maybe you should think again.
(upbeat music)
With the help of the great British public,
it's time to liberate them
from the toy cupboard,
super size them and unleash
their true potential.
(car metal scraping)
(mechanical clicking)
This week, what will
happen when I liberate
the untapped creative prowess
of the British people?
That looks like it was made by
a man with a knife and fork.
That's absolutely fabulous.
- Is it?
- It's beautiful.
(sophisticated music)
And how will the great and the good
that the world most prestigious
horticultural event react
to a garden of nothing but plasticine?
- If I may say so, horticulturally dodgy.
- Well there's hundreds of flowers.
- They're not real ones.
- She doesn't like me.
- I think it's wonderful.
- Well, your approval is more
important to me, Miss Lumley.
If you were a child in Victorian Britain
and you weren't actually in the workhouse,
you may have been lucky
enough to play with this.
That is good old fashioned modeling clay
and it was available in the
following range of colors grey.
And that wasn't the only problem with it.
You see, if you left it
alone for the weekend
it went absolutely rock
hard, and that was tough.
They were the best of times,
they were the worst of times.
Largely, they were the worst.
Times improved in 1897,
when one William Harbutt,
a frustrated art teacher had a brainwave.
Would it be possible, he
wondered, as he tugged
at his enormous beard, to
develop a synthetic modeling clay
based on oil rather than water,
so it wouldn't keep drying out.
He tried it and it worked,
and he called his invention plasticine.
It was so successful
that over 100 years later
it still hasn't dried out.
It was absolutely brilliant.
(sophisticated music)
The Edwardians went mad for it.
It was the Nintendo of the 1900s.
It dragged model making
from the sepia hued doldrums
and onto a brightly colored
and reusable modern upland.
Its popularity didn't
peak until the 1950s.
But, by the '70s, after
thousands of tons of it had been
trodden into the nation's carpet,
it was beginning to look
well, a bit Edwardian.
Does this miraculous,
remouldable material still have
a role to play in today's Britain?
I decided to find out.
This is Liverpool Street railway
station in central London.
It's one of the busiest
stations in the country,
and I've come here with
a load of plasticine,
which is quite difficult to steer,
to see if people are still
interested in playing with it.
I'll set up a little
stall on the platform,
people coming past on
their way home can stop off
and make a penguin or something.
(soft dramatic music)
I was a commuter once and
I know how miserable it is.
How nice it would be for them
to be able to find solace,
just for a moment, in
unbridled creativity.
(soft fun music)
Bored, miserable?
You never really wanted
to be an accountant?
Come to the plasticine stand
near the underground entrance.
Roll up, roll up.
Plasticine stand, come
to the plasticine stand,
it's by the underground station.
It's free, it's fun.
It's educational and is therapeutic.
- [Man] What am I doing with it?
- Anything you like.
I'm looking for hidden plasticine talent.
What time is your husband arriving?
- [Woman] Five minutes ago.
- He's obviously left you.
You may as well come and
play with plasticine.
- Oh, yeah.
- Carry on.
Gradually, more and more
people turned up to stun me
with breathtaking sculptures.
- Okay. (laughing)
- Did you do that?
- Yes.
- That's very good, when
did you last do this?
- Oh, when I was in short trousers.
- I said I was expecting
a penguin, but look,
I got a dinosaur and some
fruit and this, and this thing,
it's heartwarming stuff.
Who made that strawberry then?
- I did.
- That's lovely.
You've even got the texture of it right.
Are you some sort of artists
or sculpture or model-maker?
- No.
- You're just naturally good at it.
Old school it may be, but as you can see,
there is a latent love of
plasticine deep in the soul
of the British people.
The question now is what to do with it?
My ambition is to create an epic project
that will establish
plasticine as the ever moist
modeling medium of choice.
So, I go to the pub to meet
William Harbutt's
great-grandson, Terry Harbutt.
- Thank you very much, all the best.
- And you.
Right, what have you got
from the family archive?
- Well I've delved around
and found a few bits
and pieces that might stimulate
your artistic leanings
and see what you think.
- Going to need a lot of that.
- Something that might interest you,
a 101 Uses of Harbutt's Plasticine.
- Artificial noses in amateur theatricals.
Ear plugs, mixed with cotton
wool, it is officially used
in the navy and army
during heavy gun fire.
In hand-grenades, hey?
Used as a looting to prevent
sparks from the cap firing
the charge before the burning of the fuse.
Gardening, hang on, grafting
fruit trees, shrubs et cetera.
So, very quickly, we've
narrowed it down to gardening
or trench warfare.
In a moment of rashness,
I go for gardening.
- Great-grandfather spent a
lot of time in the garden.
Many of the old photographs
I have in photo albums show
the family sitting in the garden.
There's plenty of different
colors and forms in flowers
and it's a recurring theme in most,
a lot of their early booklets and things.
- Never really done flowers,
apart from on my shirts obviously.
- Looking through the booklets we've got
a daffodil in relief there.
- I have to say, actually
it's rather exquisite.
(upbeat sophisticated music)
There, look at that.
There is a flower made to the original
William Harbutt method,
and that's given me
a bit of an idea.
You see, I don't actually have a garden.
I've got a few pots out at the front
but they're the responsibility
of her outdoors.
So what if I made a whole garden
out of plasticine flowers?
But then the question is
where would I actually put it
because I want a lot of people to come
and see whatever it is we make.
I want it to be a
celebration of plasticine.
I want it to be the pinnacle
of plasticine-y greatness.
I want it to amaze the
world with what is possible
using this Victorian, dated plaything.
(triumphant music)
Now, this is a bit of a long shot,
but there is one obvious place for it.
It's a place where the cream
of gardening society gather,
from all over the world,
for one week in May to push
at the boundaries of the
horticulturally acceptable.
A place crying out for
a garden grown entirely
from plasticine that never needs weeding.
Chelsea's, Chelsea Flower Show.
I gave Chelsea a ring and suggested this
and amazingly wasn't told
to go away immediately.
Instead, I was summoned to the site
where in under two months' time,
I wanted to show the
first plasticine exhibit
in the shows long and illustrious history.
Manager, Alex Borkwell, had a stern word.
- This is where we have
to get quite serious
because Chelsea Flower
Show is the pinnacle
of the gardening world, okay,
and this project could seriously backfire
on both you and the RHS.
If we feel that the design is right
and we go ahead with it
then the actual logistics
of putting it in and
making sure it's right,
it's built to time and to
the right spec is critical.
- So you're telling me not to muck about?
- Not to muck about, serious business.
- You can't simply turn up at Chelsea
with a bunch of tulips.
You have to submit a
proposal for approval.
So, taking my inspiration
from the wine rack,
I got to work on my concept.
I really can't improve on this any more.
I'm just meddling with it.
Here is my garden design.
It's called Paradise in Plasticine.
So it has, well it has a pond
so it can have some lilies
on it and maybe a toad on one of them,
a little waterfall-y bit there
that makes the little tinkle,
tinkle sound of falling water,
people like that sorta thing,
divided it up into flower
types roses, cacti, grasses,
daffs, pansies, flowers,
more grasses, frogs.
And then there's this
winding path that enters
the mystical garden here,
allows you to walk around it,
viewing all this stuff,
and then you emerge
over here back into the real world,
wondering if it was
maybe all just a dream.
(sophisticated music)
At the RHS Headquarters,
the Flower Show Committee
deliberated over my submission,
but not for long.
- We're running an international
premier flower show
and you have an exhibit
that's a pile of plasticine.
How does that fit?
- The plasticine is not so
much of a worry, I would say.
It's because I don't really
see a very strong design,
which was not what I was
expecting to see really.
- Has it got neighbors on the site?
- Yes, it's got two
neighbors and of course,
there are boundary walls et cetera.
- So, they're gonna be
pleased aren't they?
- I think that either the
brief has to be re-written
or the design has to be re-designed.
- [Woman] It's almost
a disappointment then?
- [Man] It's a big disappointment.
- So we're asking him
to re-submit I think.
- Yeah.
(mellow music)
- I've just had the letter from Alex,
that quite posh girl at the
Royal Horticultural Society,
who until now I actually
thought was rather nice,
but she's rejected my
garden design on the basis
that it's not properly annotated,
there's no detail of what
materials it's made from.
Well, that's plasticine,
and I need to do a complete
new design with a
perspective view by Friday.
It's Wednesday today by the way,
which I think is preposterous.
I can't honestly, I mean I
know this isn't brilliant
because I'm not very arty,
but in terms of information
which is what this is
about, what is missing?
What else do you put on a garden design?
Individual buttercups?
Position of bumblebees?
(upbeat rock music)
So, I enlisted sculptor, Jane McAdam Freud
to unlock whatever it was that lay dormant
in my artistic bones.
She has excellent credentials.
She's the great-granddaughter
of Sigmund Freud,
the daughter of painter Lucian Freud,
and she trained in
plasticine sculpting in Rome.
- Come through.
First, we've gotta get
you to be uninhibited.
We're gonna put a
paintbrush in your mouth,
then you will grunt.
- [James] She also turns
out to be a bit bonkers.
- Now try and shift your
weight backwards slowly.
Ah, careful.
- [James] I came here
expecting to be tutored
in the art of plasticine.
Instead, Jane wants to free up my mind
using some S&M Equipment.
- [Jane] Where's, you're grunting.
- I begin to wonder if my
body would ever be found.
More importantly, I couldn't quite see
the point of all this.
Mm, mm, mm.
Perhaps, Jane's next exercise
would make a bit more sense.
But, the Jackson Pollock
Spit Painting Tutorial
left me equally inept at garden design.
Has this got anything to
do with making flowers
out of plasticine?
- Yeah, yeah, a bit of variety.
- Orange.
But, maybe she had a point.
I sort of started to enjoy myself.
- Perfect, oh that superb.
- Is there a red that I haven't used?
- [Jane] Yes, yes.
- I even made a tenuous connection.
That looks like, now that's
what I want the garden
to look like, that bit, do you see
all those different colors?
- Yes.
Are you quite impressed with that?
- [James] Yeah, I like that,
that's going on the wall.
- Fantastic.
- People'll come round and say,
oh I didn't know you had children.
(soft music)
Feeling massively free
inside and with a renewed
appreciation of the world around me born
of conceptual anarchy,
I returned to Chelsea
with a new and improved
proposal to present
to the RHS Committee.
Now, I would like to present
to you here exclusively
at the Royal Horticultural Society,
Paradise in Plasticine, mark II.
This time I included much more detail,
including a tree in the center
and a raised pot terrace at the back.
More importantly, I secretly
paid a graphic designer
to do the drawing for me.
We want it to be animated.
The small daisies we make
will move in the breeze
and their heads will bob as they should.
It's not going to be a
stiff, dead structure.
It will have movement in it.
Would this be enough?
I hoped so.
The graphic designer was quite expensive.
- I think fundamentally the
design, Andrew, she's your call.
- Well I think much more
convinced and convincing really.
I think it, it does what was needed.
- So does that mean I can do it?
- [Man] You definitely can, yeah,
but now the real work starts.
- Feel free to join in.
(triumphant music)
Unbelievable, the biggest
horticultural event
on the planet will bear
witness to a garden made
entirely of plasticine.
Pitty I only have five weeks to build it.
But, I have a plan of course.
I rope in nearby Stockwell Park School.
I leave some plasticine with
their year nine students
to see if they could put
down their Playstations
long enough to make me some flowers.
Here we go then.
Right, most importantly,
do you like plasticine?
- [Students] Yes.
- Good, 'cause you might have
to do quite a lot more of it.
Right, go on then.
- [Student] Ta da, wow!
- [James] Wow.
That's terrific.
Hey, that's not bad at all.
So, it's a cactus.
- Yeah, just to show like
how I keep everything
inside like the water in the cactus.
- That is, that is pretty deep.
Have you been to see my mate
who makes you hang upside down?
(fun music)
Ha, ha.
You see, children
disciplined and controlled
and managed can make plasticine flowers
to a pretty good standard.
I thought they looked very
convincing all together.
The question is though
can they make enough
of them before getting bored in time
for the Chelsea Flower Show?
At the rate they're working,
a dozen or so flowers
in half an hour, they do
half an hour each lunch time,
they'll fill about one square meter
of the garden in 100 days I've worked out.
But it's a start.
So, more flower makers
were urgently required,
and I knew just the place to find them.
Some strange and perverse conspiracy
by the fates has brought my life to this,
The Ideal Home Exhibition,
something I wouldn't normally attend,
and me trying to persuade
the great British shopper
to make flowers, something
I know very little about,
out of plasticine.
A material I can't use.
(fun music)
Ideal Home is the largest
show of its kind in the UK,
with over 11,000 visitors every day.
This is the final day
when people come to bag
a bargain plasma TV or a fridge.
But, I am offering them
the chance to become a part
of history or at leased
the history of plasticine
at one my plasticine
flower making workshops.
Fortunately, the Stockwell
Park Gang have come along
to make plasticine
flower making look cool.
We have plasticine on the table,
we have tools on the table,
we have mirror here as they mass produce
flowers out of plasticine.
This has never been done before.
It's very exciting.
(soft guitar music)
Nobody turns up.
Sadly, the lure of a cut
price toaster is greater
than the call of art,
which is its own reward.
One of the organizers who
runs Earl's Court just came up
to me and said, oh this
good, that means we might get
somebody over this side of the
exhibition center for once.
Desperate times call
for desperate measures.
It's time for a stint of good
old unashamed pamphleteering.
Giving out these leaflets now.
They say that I need help
to make plasticine flowers.
It's a fantastic picture of me.
Doing a good deal, make a flower instead,
it's just more interesting.
Sir, can I talk to you about God?
Good, I wanna talk to
you about plasticine.
There's the leaflet.
Excuse me, madam, like a leaflet?
- Thank you very much.
- Thank you, do come along, please.
(playful music)
This paid off.
People actually came and made flowers.
This is our flower-o-meter,
we're hoping to make thousands today.
It's currently on nought,
but if you can bring
each table's completed flowers
up to our storage area,
we can count them up and you can start
the ball rolling on the counter.
(upbeat guitar music)
I couldn't believe it when
even more people turned up.
Enjoying yourself?
- Yes.
- Better than shopping isn't it?
- Not quiet.
- You didn't really want
a reduced price plasma
screen television did you?
You wanted to make
flowers out of plasticine.
- I did, I did.
- [James] Are you an art student?
- No, I'm not I'm afraid.
- You should be.
It's never too late.
They might even give you a grant.
- And I'm a keen gardener,
so I'm hoping this'll be
the first time I'll have been able
to exhibit anything at Chelsea you see.
- I expected to be bored out of my mind,
looking at furniture, house
things I very nearly didn't come
but now I'm very pleased I did.
- [James] Not only was there willingness,
there was real talent.
- I haven't quite got the stem right.
- Oh you have.
- Have I?
- Yeah, that's absolutely fabulous.
- Is it?
- That's beautiful.
With only an hour to go,
yet more people boarded
by the ephemera of carpet
and I needed kitchen unit
came to make flowers.
Ladies and gentlemen, I
thought you might like to know,
and you can congratulate
yourselves for this,
in four hours of continuous
flower production
you have made 1,061
flowers towards my garden.
Thank you very much.
(crowd applauding)
By the time it was over, the
British public had bestowed
on me a wonderful gift.
More plasticine flowers then
I would have thought possible.
2,000 perfectly made plasticine flowers.
I personally have never
been involved in any project
which has yielded such a
huge volume of simply aching
beauty and it all came out of this stuff.
I'm actually quite moved.
(electric guitar music)
The next morning, I came
to a small warehouse
in South West London where
paradise and plasticine
would be assembled by model maker,
Paul Baker, and his team of helpers.
Those are fantastic.
How many bunches of those do we need?
- We need at least 12 bunches.
- How many grapes on a bunch?
- I would say about 50.
- [James] Okay, so you
need about 1,000 grapes?
- [Woman] Yeah.
- These art students are an
absolutely fantastic find
and very cheap actually 'cause
they're doing it for nothing,
but what I haven't got
the heart to tell them is
that this is actually the workhouse.
It's that Victorian ethic thing again.
I don't just need a few, I need hundreds,
well thousands actually.
Downstairs, Paul and I marked
out the 35 square meter
plot given to us by the RHS.
It suddenly seemed quite big.
(upbeat guitar music)
How many flowers on there?
- There's a hundred on that piece.
- That's half a square meter.
200 flowers per square meter.
We made 2,000, so we've got
enough for 10 square meters.
The garden's 35 square meters.
I think we've done mass production.
The British people who
are great have proved
that as usual in an hour
of need they can rise
to the challenge but we
need to think of something,
who else makes flowers?
(electric guitar music)
With the Chelsea Flower Show
now just three weeks away,
we needed these people fast.
So with my panniers
stuffed with plasticine
I selflessly made my way across London
in the rain to meet the lovely
Jane Asher in her cake shop.
(mellow music)
- [Jane] Good morning.
- How are you?
- I'm fine.
- I wondered if you
could do some plasticine.
- Yes.
- It's quite heavy.
- We don't usually work in plasticine but.
- But you can make flowers?
- Anything's possible.
- [James] Jane's team can
make virtually anything out
of icing sugar, and I
discover that you can buy
incredibly convincing icing
sugar flowers off the shelf.
- They're relatively crude,
the petals are a little thicker
than we would make them,
but they're very effective,
particularly if you use them in bulk.
- [James] And that's marzipan?
- It's icing.
- Icing.
- Icing.
- But it looks fabulous to me.
Could you make something
that good in plasticine?
- Oh yes, easily.
- [James] May I eat this?
- Yes, of course, just bite it.
Oh my god, you put the whole thing in!
(soft rock music)
- My next stop is a Japanese
restaurant, Sakenohana,
where they can work magic with fish,
which is a bit like plasticine.
(speaking foreign language)
May I talk to you about plasticine?
- Yes.
- You can make very beautiful
flowers out of sushi,
sashimi, can you try it with plasticine?
Thank you very much.
It's all yours.
(speaking foreign language)
(soft rock music)
I begin to enjoy my new
role as vigilante motorcycle
plasticine flower man.
My next stop is just up the road
and these blokes know a
thing or two about Poppies.
- That comes in copy from Texas.
- Gentlemen.
- Hello.
- Good afternoon.
- Good afternoon to you.
- Good afternoon to you all.
Your mission, men, should
you choose to accept it,
is remembrance Poppy, in plasticine.
- How many do you want us to make?
- [James] As many as you can do.
- We'll do our humble best.
- We'll do our best.
- That's the spirit.
(soft rock music)
So I was off to my final appointment
with the ladies of the Neasden
Hindu Temple in North London.
Good evening.
- [Ladies] Good evening.
- Sorry I'm late, I come bringing
you a gift of plasticine.
I hope I'm not offending
some ancient Hindu custom
by bringing a blade into a temple.
A green bit to play with.
- Do you have any
instructions or can we use
just our own creativity
to make the flowers?
- [James] I want your creativity.
- That's fine, okay.
- That's why I'm here, please.
(soft upbeat music)
I'm expecting great things from the temple
on the strength of these Garland's
which are used in religious ceremonies.
And, are actually made from silk by hand.
I'm hoping the same skill
can be applied to plastics.
Time is running out.
(triumphant music)
(machine roaring)
Over at Chelsea, the gate
have opened and contractors
for the exhibitors have moved in to start
ground works on site.
In just one week, all the
gardens must be finished.
(victorious music)
Back at the workshop,
the student have wised up
to my no pay ethic and
have stand out a bit.
So, I muck in with the design of the tree.
I like the idea of four branches
'cause I was imagining we could
have one branch per season,
even though there are no
seasons in plasticine,
but, you know, you could
have one with blossom,
one with leaves, one with fruit
and one completely de-nuded
as if it's the dead of winter.
Now finally, it's time
for some proper work.
And so far you've seen me frankly
mincing around quite a lot
with little bits of plasticine and going,
'pinch the edge, pinch the edge,
'cause that makes it very thin and gives
the impression of fragility.
Well just in case you
chaps at home were thinking
that was all a bit girly,
we're now going to do some welding.
I learnt to weld as a teenage
and it's a skill you never forget.
Here's a little bit that
I started earlier to make.
(metal banging)
)I didn't do that bit
though, that was done
by the other person who's here.
(fun music)
While I repair my metal
tree, the real gardeners
at Chelsea are already putting
the finishing touches to their work.
They even find time to
polish the odd leave.
While back at the warehouse,
I have more problems.
This project has many detractors.
There are all those slightly sniffy people
at the Royal Horticultural Society,
there's the gardening community,
time itself, and now Basil Brush.
Out of the back of the
workshop we have an urban fox,
he lives down by the railway line
which is where he should be, obviously,
but somehow or other he
comes into the building
during the day and hides somewhere.
We think, then after we've
gone home and locked up
he comes out and poos
everywhere for one thing,
and also tries to eat plasticine flowers.
Look what he's done to these.
This is all the work of foxy.
But I think in one way it's a measure
of just how convincing our
plasticine garden is if,
out of all the wonderful
gardens that there are round
this urban area, foxy chooses this one.
(soft mellow music)
Also, and I didn't predict this,
we've chosen a building
that overheats in the sun,
and this is melting our plants.
- [Woman] We've had some hot days lately,
and some of the heavier flower
heads have actually melted.
- [James] So did that just fall off?
- [Woman] Yeah, and
some of them are melting
and actually the flower
heads sinking down the stem.
- Oh crikey.
We should point out that
in here we're working
under these sky lights like that,
so they're, I mean this is a
bit like a greenhouse isn't it.
And to some extent that's
magnifying the heat.
But even so, I'm wondering
if I need to do a bit
of a laboratory type
experiment to work out
the critical ambient temperature
at which plasticine goes floppy.
Off to the lab, which is my
kitchen but I wasn't using it.
So what I'm going to do just to reassure
myself is a very scientific experiment.
This is an oven, I'm going to put it on,
I'm going to put in some test flowers.
Here's a tulip made by my
very thin delicate method,
here is one made exactly the same way
but with the thicker sort
of mass production methods
that we used at the Ideal Home.
I'm going to put them in the
oven, leave them in there
for a bit and see what
effect the heat has.
So I'm going to mount my two
test pieces in the potato.
(quirky music)
Two test pieces, thin one, thick one.
Going to place this in
the bottom of the oven.
Now, the lowest temperature
at which I can set my oven
is 50 degrees Celsius, which in Fahrenheit
is actually somewhere around
120, so that's Egypt really.
Now it's never, ever going
to be that hot at Chelsea.
I don't think it's ever
been that hot in Britain,
so if it can withstand this
then we know we're fine.
I reckon that if the flowers
can last half an hour
at these heat without wilting,
then sunshine at Chelsea
will not be a problem.
(unhappy music)
God, I think I have ruined both potatoes.
Let's hope it rains.
(upbeat bouncy music)
I thought I'd check in
on the Chelsea pensioners
to see if they'd actually
made any Poppies.
Look at that.
Do you know, I didn't actually
think you were gonna do
it when I met you last time.
I thought, you'll go off and
forget about it, but you have.
I'm very impressed.
The Chelsea flower show was
now just four days away,
but well, would you tell them to hurry up?
Three days to the end feeling of my garden
and finally good news.
(fun guitar music)
The plasticine plants are
finished and ready to go.
All I have to do is drive them to Chelsea.
(fast upbeat music)
On this one journey which is
only about six or seven miles,
I can redress the balance of
all the terrible van driving
that's ever gone on in the world
because this van journey will be saintly.
Very gentle acceleration and.
(engine revving)
I tell you what this is
like, this is exactly
like driving along in the
car with a takeaway curry
on the passenger seat.
The curry becomes the most important thing
in the world and if a
man walks out in the road
in front of you it's
tough, he gets run over.
No matter how carefully I drove,
I knew there would be some casualties.
(tires squealing)
I was in sight of the
showground, but unfortunately,
getting into Chelsea has
never been straightforward.
- You need to go to
Battersea first, I'm afraid.
- [James] What?
- I'm sorry.
Pull over here, we'll sort it out for you.
- Oh, Battersea's bloody miles away.
- It's only there, it's across the bridge.
- Because there are so
many vans trying to get
in there is a queue that stretches back
over a mile from the gate.
So, I'm left in limbo
while the officials decide
if I can jump to the front or not.
- I'll just tuck you at
the side of the lorry here
and we'll sort you out.
I'll get security to
come and escort you in.
- So does that mean I don't
have to go to Battersea?
- I'll try and avoid it for you if I can.
- Give you a million pounds.
- Thank you very much.
- It's a deal.
- You definitely don't
have to go to Battersea.
- Right, just edit that out afterwards.
(soft orchestra music)
Look at all this stuff!
I can't believe how advanced
the other gardeners are
when we haven't even started ours yet.
And, I still have to check if anything
in the bag has survived.
Well I've been putting this moment off,
but I can't any longer.
Oh, rose, thou art sick.
(quirky music)
My project manager, Sim
Oakley, has been on site
early to put the plinth
and the walls in place,
but already there's a
problem with the design.
That cut-out's in the wrong place.
Those of you who are paying
attention will notice
that this is actually wrong,
'casue if you remember
the original artwork, the
cut-out where the wall goes
lower is over there and now
all of a sudden it appears
to be there, and the
reason for this apparently
is that it has to be there
because you have to have something called
an uninterrupted sight line
that way, but not that way.
So actually the person who
commissioned this drawing,
which was me, got that wrong,
and the worrying thing
is you can be marked down
if your garden does not
match your illustration,
up to 20% of the marks
can be lost for that.
So we can either redo the
garden the other way round,
or I could lose this drawing.
(triumphant music)
These are real.
These are plasticine.
It's time to plant the flowers,
the result of thousands
of hours of work by thousands of people.
Now, the garden is starting to come alive,
which is pretty impressive for plasticine.
My old friends, the Chelsea Pensioners,
have also arrived bearing
the fruits of their labor.
- Most impressed.
Didn't expect to see
anything like that at all
when we started on the project.
It's terrific isn't it?
- It was a couple of
weeks before we realized
it was not for eating.
(soft upbeat music)
- The garden was
definitely coming together,
but something about it
didn't look quite right.
So, I went and looked at
some of the competition
and noticed something interesting
about the use of color.
I've suddenly realized
that my garden is vulgar
and there's just far
too much going on in it,
so I need to go and
sort that out, I think.
Excuse me.
Can we have a team meeting?
- [Man] Team meeting?
- People, team meeting,
team meeting, please?
You won't like this but
I want you to listen
very carefully before you
murder me or anything.
I've been round and looked
at some of the gardens
that are tipped for
medals and they're very,
very elegant and very, very classy,
and the key to it is, and
this has always troubled me,
the key is they limit
the number of colors.
They use in any one area.
I think some of our pre-planted beds need
to be re-organized, and I'm not talking
about a total re-design,
but I mean we need to group
the flowers so that there are two colors,
or sometimes only one, in each cluster,
with a bit of green,
with a bit of foliage.
I'm sorry.
It's my fault to be honest
because I didn't make
the effort to learn about garden design.
I just looked at picture of flowers
and thought they're nice, they're nice,
we could have those, we could have those,
and it's plasticine and we
could have them in any color
we want em, we could just mix it all up.
Whose idea was it to have a tree
with four different seasons on it?
- Yours.
- Yours.
- Was it?
- Yeah.
- That was a good idea.
They were only laughing
at my joke out of pity,
obviously, they didn't
like the change of plan.
- James has obviously taken some advice
from some professionals
who do this for a living,
obviously, and he's made a lot of changes
which actually is for the better.
It's just a bit late in the day,
obviously, it's a bit late
in the day 'cause it's,
you know, 24 hours until we
open and it's a bit rubbish.
- They're never gonna say it
because they're all far too polite,
but that lot absolutely hate me now.
I can feel hate radiating
from Paradise in Plasticine.
I was actually gonna go
home early and go to the pub
and leave them to it, but
as we've only got one day
to go and I've given them three
hours at least extra work,
and I'd quite like to win a
medal now, I think I'll stay.
(thunder rumbling)
And then it rained.
And the weatherman brings the rain ♪
I had to find my way for it ♪
- I pointed out to the team
that this didn't matter
because plasticine is waterproof.
We cannot broadcast the next bit.
And there wasn't just
the rain to contend with.
Neighboring gardeners had
noticed what we were up to
and they weren't all impressed.
As an object to look at and
have a bit of a laugh with,
do you like my plasticine garden?
- No.
- It is, you don't?
I knew you didn't, that's fine.
- A garden is a little piece of paradise,
that's what a garden means.
If this is your personal
impression of paradise,
if this is where you would
like to spend eternity,
which is by definition what you're saying,
by calling it a garden, then,
I think you need some help.
- Plasticine does last forever.
- Yes, sadly.
- [James] And just when I'd had enough
of so-called gardening experts.
- You don't look as if you've got an awful
lot of confidence in what you're doing.
- Alan Titchmarsh.
- James May.
- Good lord.
- How are you?
- How are you?
You're a famous gardener.
- Well, you're a famous car driver.
- [James] Yes, exactly.
What am I doing here?
- Mm, I quite like the purple and yellow.
They're two colors that go
well together 'cause you've,
presumably you've studied
Gertrude Jekyll's color chart
and the opposition on the color wheel
and yellow is opposite purple
and so that's why they work together?
- Do you know, Alan, I haven't.
- Are you seriously hoping
to win a medal with this?
- Well I wasn't, to be
honest, until yesterday
and I went round and saw how competitive
everybody else was
being and then I thought
well at least we should try
rather than just making it
look as if somebody spilled
a packet of seeds in here.
- It'll make people smile when it rains,
but will you promise me one thing?
- Anything.
- Don't tell anybody I had
anything to do with this garden.
- Alan Titchmarsh is here everybody!
- I had nothing to do with it.
- In the plasticine garden.
Do you wanna make one?
He doesn't.
Luckily, Mr. Titchmarsh
has no say in the judging
of my garden.
And luckily, the real judges arrive early
for the first of two inspections
every garden must go through.
- [Man] They're here.
- Hello.
- Hello.
- You must be the assessors.
- We've come to asses, that's alright, no.
- Things went from the
sublime to the ridiculous
when the judges failed to grasp
the meaning of a plasticine garden.
Ignore the polystyrene, that's just.
- But, you're not using any real plants?
- [James] No, no, we didn't have to.
- Oh, but this is a flower show.
- Yes, I know, but I have special
dispensation from the committee.
- Oh, okay.
- They said, they said I didn't have to.
- But if, if you're entering
this into the flower
show we have to judge.
There are 30 points awarded for flowers.
- Well there's hundreds of flowers.
- They're not real ones.
- But where does it say real?
- Flowers generally real, yeah.
- As they went on to view the
garden, I was left mystified.
What a daft question,
where are the real flowers!
Of course it doesn't have
any real flowers in it.
All these are full of real
flowers, any idiot can do that.
Well I'm not entirely sure they get it.
- [Man] Okay, we're just
gonna go over there.
- Like it?
She doesn't like me, I can tell.
(soft sophisticated music)
Chances are, I'll lose points for changes
to the back wall cut out, but now it looks
like I'll also lose points
for not having any flowers.
But, there is a ray of hope
in the form of my art mentor,
Jane Mad Freud, because
she is ready to unveil
her special bust made of plasticine
of the man who made all of
this possible, William Harbutt.
That is excellent actually.
That's really, really terrific.
- I had to make it three weeks.
I've never made a bust
in three weeks before.
They normally take minimum three months.
So it was a labor of love.
But the spirit of William,
he came to the bust.
He was in the room with me basically.
The spirit of him made it much easier.
- With William presiding
over the final touches,
our garden was at last complete.
(mysterious music)
Standing here in Paradise,
I find myself suffused
with an unfamiliar emotion, pride.
Pride in a job well done, but also pride
in that magnificent institution
the great British people,
who as ever have been able
to put their differences
aside and come together
for the common good.
It strikes me though that you lot at home
really haven't seen this properly yet,
so now I'd like you to join
me in Paradise in Plasticine,
and here, because I
know you've been waiting
for it, is that tune.
Roll it, Tony.
(soft soothing music)
The poppies made by the
Chelsea pensioners surrounded
I majestic best of William Harbitt,
Sculpted by artist Jane McAdam Freud.
The stock will park gangs carnations
and roses are planted beside
the plasticine bridge.
The sunflowers on the
rise Terrace and a cake
for our picnic hamper were
made about the delightful
Jane Aschner and her staff.
And, then there's some sushi
from the Japanese restaurant.
I made that orange.
Hanging on our mystery
door, the floral Garland
made by the ladies of the Hindu temple.
And, the lush vegetable
garden was designed
by our very own model maker, Paul Baker.
And with thousands of details made
by the great British public,
this truly is the peoples garden.
(entertaining music)
The day of reckoning.
Today, all the gardens
are Enfield to the press
as well as invited celebrities and guest.
Paradise in Plasticine
was starting to catch
the attention of the great and good.
(suspicious music)
See them.
Is it art?
Sorry to burden you with
these tricky philosophical
questions at an otherwise
enjoyable flower show.
- Well it's completely useless
so it must be art mustn't it?
- Ah, yes.
The fish are real obviously.
- Yes, obviously, you can tell,
though they need, they need feeding.
- [Man] Now I bet they don't smell.
- [James] They do of plasticine.
- They do the plasticine flats.
- This is just fabulous.
It gets my vote.
- It's so joyful making.
- [Man] It is absolutely brilliant.
- [James] Thank you, sir.
- I've never seen anything
like it in my life.
- Would you like to step into Paradise?
- Is one allowed?
- Yes, one is.
- Oh, I'd be honored.
Some of them look to me,
if I may say so, horticulturally dodgy.
Do they still do it in
corrugated strips, plasticine?
- Yes.
- That's still how you buy it?
- Would you like some?
- Oh, oh, it's been so long.
- I've got some in the van.
- I used to make sausages of course
because the insistence to
just make sausages out of it.
- [Woman] Plasticine
daisies, plasticine cake.
- Yes, Jane Asher made that cake.
- And a plasticine cameraman.
- Yes.
- Sweet!
- He's wooden.
- Slightly bendy but charming.
Do you know what this is?
It's a fritillary.
- Is it?
- Yeah.
- [James] How do you know this stuff?
- Because I'm a gardener.
- Oh, are you?
- Yeah.
- Oh, I didn't, I'm
not a gardener you see.
I don't have a garden.
- Why did I sense that?
- What, because my garden is plasticine?
- [Woman] It shows the spring,
summer, autumn, winter tree,
I love that.
Growing different fruits
on different branches.
- [James] But that can
happen in plasticine.
- Walk this way cos then the
camera can see your handsome,
slightly blushing face,
modest, looking modest
because he's created a garden here,
in some way like the first
Adam, he's become a gardener.
He's been given this.
You woke up here, his side
slightly opened, out came Eve.
This is the first gardener in plasticine.
Have I gone off track slightly here?
- No, no, I'm loving it.
- No, good, okay.
- Well your approval is
more important to me,
Miss Lumley, than any amount
of horticultural flim-flam.
- Thanks, James.
- I'm all excited.
(lively music)
And, I wans't the only
one who was overcome.
The children from Stockwell
Park School were thrilled
to se their work on display.
- It feels good that
celebrities are appreciating
our work cos normally we appreciate
them in like their TV shows.
- I don't mean to boast but
when ours is one of the best
and a lot of like famous
people and like people
who are respected and stuff are here,
so it's great, yeah, I feel proud.
- [James] Someone else feeling
proud is William Harbutt's
great-grandson, Terry Jarbutt.
- The garden is absolutely stupendous.
It is so much more than
what I thought it would be.
My great-grandfather
would be really rocking
in his grave now to see it all,
and thinking this is wonderful.
This is what plasticine's all about.
(soft upbeat music)
- It's Tuesday and the Chelsea Flower Show
is open to the public.
Over the next week
150,000 people will flock
to see Paradise in Plasticine,
as well as possibly
a couple of the other Gardens.
Tuesday is also the day when the judges
results are announced.
(upbeat music)
Obviously, I'm not really
interested in what medal I've won.
I'm just coming to see out of curiosity.
I have a letter.
From Robert J Sweet, on
behalf of the judges,
I've been instructed to
write to you by the judges
of the 2009 Chelsea Flower
Show to congratulate
you on an inspiring and
creative garden entirely
made from plasticine.
The lack of plants
resulted in a 30% handicap
and disappointingly the end result is
that the garden has failed to achieve
the minimum 45% required to make an award.
No flowers, my arse.
(mellow music)
it is very rare for the
judges not to award a medal
for a garden but I know that the public
like Paradise in Plasticine.
So, I decided to take
matters into my own hands.
(suspense music)
Brothers, sisters, I have
in my hand a piece of paper,
and what it says is that
our garden has failed
to win a medal at Chelsea.
- [Crowd] Oh.
- I think what we are seeing here is
the beginning of a revolution.
The first crack of a giant
fissure that will divide
society into them and us.
This, people, is our Winter Palace,
and when you are old
you will be able to tell
your children and your grandchildren
that you were there when it started,
you were there in the
people's plasticine garden.
(crowd cheering)
I've just had a message from
the RHS that they're sending
someone down to see me,
presumably to explain this,
or to throw me out.
- James.
- I'm looking at my shoes.
- James, you shouldn't
look at your shoes at all.
We're absolutely
delighted with your garden
and we've explained why we are delighted
with your garden at the RHS.
And the RHS, therefore, has a one-off
specially commissioned overnight medal.
Congratulations, you've inspired us all.
- You've made me feel really bad now.
- Why?
- Stop the revolution!
It's all over.
- [Crowd] Yeah.
- The RHS have made me a gold medal,
entirely out of plasticine.
(soft upbeat music)
How nice that there should
be a fairytale ending
for my fairytale garden.
Everyone lives happily ever after.
It's a victory for common sense,
it's a victory for horticulture,
but most importantly, it's
a victory for plasticine.
(upbeat rock music)
Previous EpisodeNext Episode