One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001)
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The Beast in the Cage 

Margaret and Victor get stuck in the Bank Holiday traffic.


Susan Belbin


David Renwick, David Renwick (by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Richard Wilson ... Victor Meldrew
Annette Crosbie ... Margaret Meldrew
Doreen Mantle ... Mrs Warboys
Trevor Byfield Trevor Byfield ... Salmon
Louise Duprey Louise Duprey ... Lisa
Tish Allen Tish Allen ... Carol
Eric Idle ... The voice of (voice)
John Du Prez John Du Prez ... The voice of (voice)


The Meldrews are stuck in the mother of all traffic jams - there's even time for Mrs Warboys to go to the pub and forget to buy them all crisps. When Victor jumps out of the car to relieve himself, the traffic moves on. There's a horse box in front of Victor, giving him an unbridled view of the animal's rear end, and the salesman in the car on one side of him is using Victor's airspace to chat up the two girls on the other side. And when Victor decides to play a tape of soothing music, it's the final straw. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 February 1992 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 11 mins) The traffic jam is only a few cars long - there's a white car with open road in front of it at the top right hand side of the screen. See more »


[first lines]
Victor Meldrew: Oh, God Al-mighty!
Margaret Meldrew: Want a sucky sweet?
Victor Meldrew: Sucky sweet! I'll be sucking on that exhaust pipe in a minute, much more of this.
See more »


Victor Meldrew
Performed by Eric Idle and John Du Prez
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User Reviews

Stuck in a traffic jam with Hondacondria ...and Mrs Warboys.
10 October 2015 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Series 3's claustrophobic gem sees Victor and Margaret stuck in a motorway queue with Mrs Warboys sat in the back. The episode sees Victor become even more erasable and irritated with his ever increasing boredom, Margaret as ever remains as calm as possible. Mrs Warboys as usual does her fair share of gossipping.

Some hilarious lines, Victor 'I wish I was dead,' Margaret's response 'I wish you were dead.' Side splitting. Victor's reactions to the story Mrs Warboys is telling Margaret is hilarious, his facial expressions are unbelievable. It is impossible to watch that scene and not watch Victor, the story is so crazy too. I can understand why for many the 'Victor Meldrew' song would be the highlight, seemed like everyone was singing back then. That line Mrs Warboys delivery wrecks me, 'they, erm...hold a note quite well, don't they?'

Not dark, nor as somber toned as some, the last line he delivers was sweet 'Mirror image of your life really isn't it, car journey on a bank holiday. First 50 miles on the go all the way, sense of direction, bowling along, get past 60 everything slows down to a sudden crawl. You realise you're not going anywhere anymore. All the things you thought you would do that never came to anything. And you can't turn the clock back, one way traffic....' it's hugely poignant, beautifully delivered, it's a wonderful moment.

These single location episodes work so well, it's all about the dialogue and the acting chemistry between the characters. The interplay between the three is magical, surely the moment when Mrs Warboys turns up and gets in the back must be one of the most random moments in any show.

Comic brilliance, one of the show's best. 10/10

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