Angela Thorne is the new Consul-General in what’s referred to as an armpit of Latin America. She’s a stickler for the rules. John Quayle is the manic immigration officer Major Percival Willoughby-Gore described as raising idiocy to a high art. Joan Sims is Annie Begley, Harriet’s island of sanity at the Consul. Tony Haygarth is the chauffeur Fidel Sanchez. Good performances from everyone and Quayle makes you laugh at him and dislike him at the same time.
Opening episode: February 13,1986 – “Posted” – It’s 2 am and raining. Harriet knocks on the Consulate door only to be told by Sanchez it’s closed. He pretends not to know English but that changes in a hurry when she tells him she’s the new Consul-General. A lot of noise is coming from a room. It’s a wild party going on led by the Under Consul. He’ll have to look for work in the morning.
On her first day she meets Annie Begley who warns her about Willoughby-Gore. Harriet is looking through the files when Willoughby-Gore leaps over the desk and pretends he has a gun in his jacket pocket. He yells for Sanchez to come in and arrest her and take her to the basement. She straightens him out in a hurry. She also orders Sanchez to shave off his thick moustache because he looks too much like a bandit.
At the front desk people are coming in for visas. He asks one elderly couple if they’re going to London for business, pleasure or to sell drugs. He calls his uncle at the British Embassy to complain about Harriet.. He’s the Ambassador.
Into the office walks a woman in a bridal gown. She says she was left at the alter in England. A pen pal has been writing her steamy letters for two years and promised marriage. She says the letters are signed Fidel Sanchez. Annie notices something familiar about the handwriting. It’s Willoughby-Gore. He says he has pen pals all over the world and he reads the replies because there’s nothing else to do.
Without revealing his identity, Harriet orders him to reimburse the woman all her expenses for a return to England and take her to lunch. It’s only the beginning and Harrie realizes she has her work cut out for her if she wants to turn the Consulate around.