“An Inspector Calls” is the second episode of the first season of Mind Your Language. It was first broadcast on the 6th of January 1978.
Juan is looking at the notice board in the corridor. Miss Courtney sees him and asks if he is in Mr. Brown’s class, but Juan is unable to understand her. When Miss Courtney sees Jamila, she asks her if she’s in Mr. Brown’s class, but Jamila doesn’t understand her either. Then, as Ranjeet passes by, Miss Courtney asks him if he’s in Mr. Brown’s class. Pleased that he can understand and speak English better than the last two students, she gives him a message to relay to Mr. Brown.
When Mr. Brown gets the message, he stops by Miss Courtney’s office to speak with her and learns that a new student from Africa will be joining his class. Mr. Brown then asks the class to tell him about their life in England so far. Roger Kenyon, an African man who works as an inspector for the local education authority, arrives at the school, sees Taro and Su-Lee arguing and follows them back to the EFL classroom. Mr. Brown doesn’t realise who Roger is, so he decides to pretend to be the new EFL student. Miss Courtney, however, forgot to tell Mr. Brown that the student is a female and comes to the classroom to correct her mistake. Roger is impressed by Mr. Brown’s teaching methods, but his wife is not impressed when Mr. Brown says what he thinks of her husband.
Miss Courtney: Are you in Mr. Brown’s class?
Ranjeet: No, I am in corridor.
Anna: Zen I had to prepare a meal for ze bitch.
Mr. Brown: Anna, she may be a hard taskmistress but I don’t think you ought to call her that.
Mr. Brown: Valker, I mean Walker.
Anna: I voz meaning ze dog bitch.
(Mr. Brown is calling the roll.)
Mr. Brown: Giovanni Cupello?
Giovanni: A si professore.
Mr. Brown: No Giovanni, not professore.
Giovanni: Not professore?
Mr. Brown: No, you should address me as sir.
Giovanni: Sir? Now I understand. (He bows.) You have been to get knotted.
Mr. Brown: Come again?
Giovanni: To become a sir, you got knotted by the Queen.
Mr. Brown: The word is knighted and I’m not that kind of sir.
Mr. Brown: Must be quite a change, coming from one of the underdeveloped countries to our more advanced way of life.
Roger Kenyon: Oh, yes.
Mr. Brown: Still, your people are doing remarkably well. D-Did you fly here?
Roger Kenyon: Fly? How do you mean, bwana?
Mr. Brown: Fly… in a big iron bird. Quite a change from riding an elephant. Unless you came by jumbo. (Laughs.) English joke.
Ali: Blimey, you are dropping a clinker!
Mr. Brown: You mean “clanger”.
(The African lady has just told Mr. Brown she is Roger Kenyon’s wife.)
Ali: Oh blimey yes, you have dropped another clinker!
(The students laugh.)
- This is the first episode in which Gladys appears.
- The African student that they were expecting never shows up and is never mentioned again.
- The other time Ali uses the line “You are dropping a clinker (clanger)” is in “The School Fete”.