Minder (1979–1994)
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Gunfight at the O.K. Laundrette 

Terry McCann, an ex-boxer who has served a prison term is working for dodgy car salesman Arthur Daley. Alfie Cavallo, a friend of Arthur's, asks for the loan of Terry's services when he ... See full summary »


Peter Sasdy


Leon Griffiths, Leon Griffiths (deviser)




Episode complete credited cast:
Dennis Waterman ... Terry McCann
George Cole ... Arthur
Dave King ... Alfie
Trevor Thomas Trevor Thomas ... Stretch
Hilary Mason ... Mrs. Mayhew
William Vanderpuye William Vanderpuye ... Winston
Leroi Samuels Leroi Samuels ... Cosmo
Linda Regan ... Liz
Donald Burton ... Chief Superintendent
Glynn Edwards ... Dave
Tony Doyle ... Irishman
Patrick Malahide ... Chisholm
David Killick David Killick ... D.C. Harney
Arnold Diamond ... Bernie


Terry McCann, an ex-boxer who has served a prison term is working for dodgy car salesman Arthur Daley. Alfie Cavallo, a friend of Arthur's, asks for the loan of Terry's services when he goes to collect the takings from one of the laundrettes he owns. However, Alfie and Terry walk in on an armed robbery by a trio who claim to be the Independent Rastafarian Army. Alfie is shot and the two men are taken hostage along with elderly customer Mrs. Mayhew. An overnight siege takes place. Because of his form Terry is suspected by the police of being an accomplice but he proves himself to be the hero of the day with Mrs. Mayhew vouching for the fact that he defused a very dangerous situation. Arthur is hopeful that he can make money by selling Terry's story to the press and foresees the start of a beautiful friendship. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hostage | police | laundrette | gun | gang | See All (5) »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

29 October 1979 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Euston Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Terry (Dennis Waterman) breaks the fourth wall in this pilot episode when he hears the gang realise the irony of using the moniker of 'Independent Rastafarian Army' (IRA) - he laughs and looks at the camera/audience. See more »


In the closing scenes with Arthur and Terry in the back of a taxi, the view of the street through the rear window of the taxi changes between the wide shot, the close-up of Arthur and the close-up of Terry. See more »


Alfie: Did all my bird twenty years ago. That's when it was hard. Look at them now - all in the Open University. Big Bob Whitney. D'you know he's got a bleeding degree? Sociology. He's still at the thieving, but now he knows why he's doing it!
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Alternate Versions

This episode contains a scene where Terry is minding at a strip club. The original version includes a couple of topless shots of the stripper at the end of the routine; most later airings remove these shots and replace them with a shot of the stripper still undressing. See more »

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User Reviews

Gunfight at the O.K. Laundrette
24 June 2019 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

After his stint in The Sweeney. Dennis Waterman gets his own starring vehicle in Minder. They even let him sing the theme song.

Waterman is Terry McCann. A promising ex boxer and also a an ex jailbird. After doing his porridge, he now does odd jobs and provides the muscle for a dicey second hand car salesman Arthur Daley.

In the first episode Terry is minding Alfie Cavallo as he collects the takings from one of his laundrettes. Unfortunately three robbers want to take the taking and one of them has a sawn off shotgun.

They claim to be the Independent Rastafarian Army. With Alfie shot, Terry ends up being a hostage and needs to negotiate with the police and keep everyone safe.

Arthur Daley, he spots an opportunity to make money with the press. He gets the lady who was planning to go on a date with Terry to be anxious girlfriend.

A cracking first episode from creator Leon Griffith. It was a lot more grittier when first broadcast. The repeats tend to be edited for bad language and nudity. McCann is the hard man with a heart. Always a sop for a sad story and always a magnet for the babes.

It is George Cole as Arthur Daley who ends up being the scene stealer. Arthur was meant to be a secondary character but became more prominent as the series progressed.

Writer Leon Griffiths always had a good time with the vernacular such as 'er indoors' and playful with the episode titles. Although Minder was meant to be hard hitting, it also had a good mix of comedy. Here the robbers are just in over their heads. Their faces when the realise what the acronym for the Independent Rastafarian Army stands for is a picture.

The first episode has minor roles for Dave the barman and Inspector Chisholm the cop who thinks McCann will lapse back to his bad old ways and Arthur Daley is a rogue dealer. They too would have more prominent roles in future episodes.

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