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5 December 1989: Capital City: series 1, episode 11: Twelve Degrees Capricorn

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Dec. 5th, 1989 | 09:00 pm

“Capital City” was a show about the lives and loves of a group of city bond traders working at fictional company, Shane Longman. It was shown in the UK, The Netherlands, Canada and elsewhere.

From the DVD cover notes:

“Originally broadcast in 1989, “Capital City” was a huge success, giving a realistic insight into the fast-paced life at an international bank. Set in the offices of London-based Shane Longman, the charismatic team of bankers are hired for their blend of style, intelligence and verve. They take risks, and thrive on the pressure of closing the deal.”

Michael Gothard appeared in episode 11: “Twelve Degrees Capricorn”, which was first broadcast in the UK on 5 December 1989.

Michael Gothard’s role in “Twelve Degrees Capricorn.”

“… Sirkka [Joanna Kanska] finds her own ultimately dangerous way of relieving the feelings of frustration she is currently feeling regarding her inability to read the financial market. After a particularly difficult day she unwinds by stopping off at a nearby bar that sells her current favourite tipple, ‘lemon vodka’.

Whilst there she is propositioned by Stefan [Michael Gothard], a Swiss Trade Commission representative and – enjoying what she considers another way of relieving the tedium of her trading existence – she arranges to sleep with him for money.

… however this initial thrill of Sirkka’s one night stand then turns sinister when Stefan locates where she works and continues to phone her.

… she breezes onto the trading floor, attempting to put these dalliances behind her, to the strains of saxophone laced confident incidental music ready for the day ahead. However with cards, flowers and ultimately a personal visit … Stefan initially proves a difficult person to dissuade.”

Full review from series fan, Sarah Tarrant, on TV Gold


£500 £500 (2)

Swiss Trade Commission representative, Stefan (Michael Gothard), watches as Sirkka Nieminen (Joanna Kanska)
sits alone in her favourite bar, drinking lemon vodka.

£500 (3) £500 (7)

Stefan comes over and introduces himself. Finding Sirkka interesting, and beautiful, he invites her to dinner.

£500 (10) £500 (16)

Sirkka decides to add some excitement to her existence, tells Stefan she charges for her services – £500.
Though initially surprised, Stefan accepts her terms.

Calling Sirkka Calling Sirkka (2)

Sirkka thinks she has had a thrilling, no-strings experience – but Stefan phones her at work.

Calling Sirkka (3) Calling Sirkka (10)

He wants to see her again, but Sirkka refuses; they had a good time, but that’s the end of it.

Stalker Stalker (2)

Stefan persists in leaving messages; Sirkka scrunches them up.

Stalker (3) Stalker (5)

He sends her flowers; Sirkka becomes increasingly annoyed.

No relationships No relationships (5)

At last, he comes to her place of work to see her. He apologises for any embarrassment he has caused, and
for taking a card from her wallet.

No relationships (9) No relationships (18)

He likes her a lot and wants to keep seeing her, even though she lied about who she was when they first met.

No relationships (19) No relationships (22)

Though she says he is a nice guy, Sirkka will not be won over.

No relationships (24) No relationships (27)

She tells him that she does not do well in relationships.

Reviews of “Capital City.”

The Financial Times, perhaps unsurprisingly, called it “Highly enjoyable.”

The Observer called it “Amusing.”

The fans on IMDB are more enthusiastic:

aejm from the USA and Australia: “It was excellent - such strong and compelling characters, stylish and sexy ... and so different to everything else on offer at the time - and now ...”

basilhalworth from Canada: “Capital City showed ‘The City’ of London (the financial district) in the heady days after ‘big bang’ (deregulation) and had some great plot lines, characters and typically English take on life there. The mix of Americans, Europeans, etc... added to a great and colourful cast.”

covergirlie1 from Canada: “Following the lives and exploits of a group of city bond traders, everything about the show was fantastic from the writing to the performances, and especially the production values. It was also the first TV appearance of many many now famous faces … Unfortunately in-spite of all this talent the show's popularity suffered as a result of a sudden downturn in the British economy. Since it's plot lines and characters were inextricably identified with the excesses of the *loads-a-money* 1980's, the advent of a new decade, (and public attitude to money) saw its demise.”

matt-akers from England: “If you want to see a TV series that sums up the feel and look of late eighties "loadsamoney" me me me London, you really can't do much better than Capital City. As a portrait of a brief, mad period in Britain it was superb.”

Watch clips featuring Michael Gothard as Stefan on Youtube.

IMDB entry

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