I am not sure if Sergei Eisenstein ever visited Watford. Given that he chose to use the Odessa Steps as a backdrop for his now famous ‘pram-drop’ scene in the 1925 movie Battleship Potemkin, I am inclined to think that he did not. Otherwise, he might have reconsidered his choice of location, and been tempted to use the steps outside Watford Town Hall instead.
Since Eisenstein’s movie, ‘pram’ and ‘steps’ have become a regular celluloid trope. The two words are almost as ubiquitous as ‘fish’ and ‘chips’, or ‘Hall’ and ‘Oates’. There are a pram and steps in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables; pram and steps in George Ratliff’s Joshua; pram and steps in Peter Segal’s The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. Not one of them thought to use the steps outside Watford Town Hall.
Thankfully, all of these oversights have been rectified in series 4, episode 3 of Man Down, The Dad’s Club. I have been quick to get on the trail of the action.
Daniel Davies and his… let’s call it ‘posse’ for want of a better word, are approaching the Watford Town Hall steps from the direction of The Horns pub, along a pedestrian thoroughfare, slightly to the northwest; at the top of the steps are positioned Brian and Jo who, by a series of misfortunes, contribute to set a pram in motion, down the steps. The red oval marks the point of intersection of the two parties. What I like to think of as the dramatic nexus.
Eisenstein: missed a trick, I think.
© Stephanie Snifter
Celebrity scout Steph Snifter suffers her own moment of temporary imbalance.