Saved By The Bell was a terrible TV show we always steered well clear of when we were whippersnappers in the 1990s. It’s one of those shows we saw turn up on TV, so we’d rush off in a pretentious huff to get on with something moderately interesting (picking our nostrils, yodelling, growing our eyebrows etc.) – you can’t buy memories like that, nor can you store them in a well.
With that segue in mind, we’ve come up with Saved By The Well. This well heavy TV series is about a modern town. This modern town was in some peril. But then “they” built a well and “they” were all saved. Fabulous! With an all star cast, inventive cinematography, and a standout performance from the world’s most talented well, this one was one for the ages, it was.
Saved By The Well
With Gary Oldman starring as the well (in an uncredited role), you know this is a special project. The modern town is in Bolton of Greater Manchester, a location famous for its pies, beer, belligerent locals, 50 mile long alien landing strip as designated by the Queen of England (as yet unused by any alien spacecraft), and football hooligans.
Bolted on to Bolton is, in this incredibly moving TV show, a well. It’s created right in the town centre, of a size being 10ft by 10ft, with the dedication being a public lavatory for drunken chavs, an opportunity of solace for weirdoes, a drinking area for drunken revellers, and a swimming pool for all of the population.
Gary Oldman’s performance as the steadfast, emotionless well is quite extraordinary. Not content with having his contents filled with water, he’s a stoic, brave, heroic, and stoic well that nary flinches (even when a drunken 19 year old lady in a short skirt vomits copiously into his open mouth of wellness).
Of course, the show is about much more than a well. It’s about the impact of the well on Bolton life. For instance, 80 year old Dave, unused to stretched of open water, can’t comprehend the bloody thing and begins a “back in my day” Old Fart Syndrome campaign to have it eradicate with an atom bomb. Such exciting episodes mark this out as the North West of England’s finest cultural offering since The Lord of the Rings (actually filmed in New Zealand, but that’s a technicality).
Well Good Episodes
But it’s all about them episodes… were they well good, or well bad? Well, the show’s writers soon found creating a 30 episode season based about a well a tad difficult. There’s not too much you can do with this scenario, you know? But, with canny intelligence (and heavy bouts of drug taking), they were able to cobble together some award-losing bad ones.
- Wellingtons: Some well meaning parents take their kids for a paddle in the well, only to find the children sink straight to the bottom. Also, there’s a load of gunk in there – bits of pie, vomit, and gob (i.e. spit) from Northerners whom believe gobbing everywhere is somehow commonplace behaviour.
- Smell: Oh dear! The Tory government budget cuts mean the well hasn’t had a clean. Now, after three months, the putrid stench of old nappies (deposited by confused mothers) is polluting Bolton and leading to a stench far greater than Bolton has ever enjoyed. Here’s the chance to bag Worst Smelling Town of the Year Award!
- Swell: Bolton folk meet to decide whether the well is well or not. There’s a 50/50 split on votes – this leads to a violent riot, with well fans beating well haters with water bottles, whilst well haters beat well lovers with bricks. There are no survivors (other than local journalist filming it all and not intervening).
- Spell: A local witch turns up to cast a spell on the well – what are the mysterious powers that govern the well? As she attempts to study and manipulate the well, several chavs arrive in their tracksuit bottoms, belching exuberantly due to consuming cheap cider and Red Bull, and attempt to chat her up with comments such as: “****in ‘ell what a ****in’ ‘ey ‘ey, darlin’!” There are no survivors.
- Swimming Pool: It’s the height of summer! Half naked, BO reeking chavs turn the well into Bondi Beach (minus the sand and overall loveliness) as they drink three litre bottles of cider and punch each other. Meanwhile, the Bolton Evening News reports on the event as Gary Oldman attempts to abandon his contract due to “creative differences” and escape the country.