WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS
6 x 30 Minute Television Sitcom
Request the Pilot Episode Screenplay HERE
When The Whistle Blows is an historical period sitcom set at the end of 1990. We follow the adventures and misadventures of the workers of Bigtracks: The world’s leading manufacturers of large open-cast-mining earth moving trucks.
This is a time when the Gulf war was in full swing and before Thatcher was deposed, where a group of factory workers and their boss try to make sense of the world around them. From being accused of selling their giant earth movers as scud missile launchers and troop carriers to Saddam Hussain's regime; fighting off an invasion of ants in the factory; dealing with Scotland's own brand of terrorist animal-rights activists; the possible closure of the plant by the American owner and leaving thousands out of work, they negotiate the day to day running of the plant as the union (the Amalgamated Rally of Shopfloor Emplyees - A.R.S.E.) tries to disrupt the running of the plant, to no avail, the workers constantly trying to keep their little scams on the go with the impending doom of closure on the horizon.
Pilot Synopsis - "To The Unknown Worky"
On the morning after the day of the laying of special extra-hard-drying concrete was laid, for the new ‘robot’ that punches out panels that make up the giant earth moving trucks that Bigtracks manufacture, the plant's general manager, John Finlay, is trying to juggle various problems that are taking up his usual nap time, 1. the upcoming and inevitable interview with the reporter that broke the story that they had allegedly sold their huge trucks to Saddam Hussain as troupe carriers; 2. that the plant’s owner, Mr. Harris, is considering moving the manufacturing facilities to Mexico (making everyone redundant); 3. his wife is heavily pregnant and is about to give birth to twins; 4. and to top it all the American owner of Bigtracks, is visiting with a potential new customer.
In the spirit of worker's solidarity, our cast of characters have created a memorial in the quick drying concrete, mainly to upset and annoy Finlay: a pair of upturned work boots ticking out of the concrete with the inscription “REST IN PEACE THE UNKNOWN WORKY” and all before the visit from Mr. Harris. Finlay must try and hide all of this from his esteemed leader (no, not Thatcher, Mr. Harris) while also trying to sort out some refreshments for the visit, but the Hilda, the canteen manager, is having none of it and offers whatever is left from the canteen after lunch. Finlay reluctantly agrees.
The whirlwind visit goes smoothly, the memorial to the unknown worky is hidden and Harris leaves in happy. All's well at Bigtracks once again. or is it?
At the same time his pregnant wife taken into hospital for the imminent birth of their twins - but unknown to Finlay it was a false alarm. He flirts with the TV interviewer, coming over as a dirty old man. He is still on the phone to her, still trying to convince her to have dinner with him, he doesn't see his wife coming into his office. She stands with her arms folded, face as rigid as stone, and as he turns his swivel chair round to see her he panics and makes out he was talking to a colleague and makes it out as a joke.
He comes off the phone and smiles at his wife saying that he thought that she was in hospital, She unfolds her arms and with tight fists she storms towards him saying that someone is going to hospital.
Ep3 Synopsis - "You Alright Jack?"
More To Come
Ep5 Synopsis - "Browndog Day"
More To Come
Ep2 Synopsis - "Someone To Watch Over"
More To Come
Ep4 Synopsis - "Funeral In Bellshill"
More To Come
Ep6 Synopsis - "A Christmas Tail"
More To Come
Cast of Characters
John Finlay, 55, General Manager.
Sheila Finlay, 40, heavily pregnant wife of John. She is about to give birth to twins.
Margaret Herriot, 32, John's secretary. She is very insecure and constantly changing her looks, trying out new hair-dos and clothing styles.
Alf Fisher, 60, the plant's floor manager, he has heard the rumour that the owner is thinking relocating the factory to Mexico.
Hilda Frost, staff canteen manager. She runs the canteen with an iron fist.
Alec Nisbet, 37 but looks much younger, he's the most sane and normal person in the factory.
Malcy Gibson, 30, he’s the shop steward and Union Man of Amalgamated Rally of Shopfloor Employees (A.R.S.E.). He is bullied at home by his overbearing, big, wife and takes it out on everyone at work, especially the apprentice Billy.
Jack McGraw, 55, his wife has left him and he's trying to cope with that.
Lenny Watson, 32, is constantly on the scam, making BBQ's for the local garden centre from off cut sheet metal, for example.
Billy McPhee, 18, the apprentice. He's a geek into plane-spotting, astronomy and comic books. He knows more than he looks like he knows.
Charlie in the Toilet, 60', is a worker who has found a way not to work; he hides in the toilet all day, and dishes out 'words of wisdom', sage like, to everyone. And everyone accepts that Charlie is in the toilet.
Mary, 30, staff canteen worker, vivacious, larger lady looking for love.
Rita Gibson, 28, Malcy's wife. She is a big woman that bullies Malcy.