Some characters become a little softer over repeated appearances. That’s the case with Aunt Sally, who debuted, as I said a couple of months ago, as just about the most selfish and rude character in TV history, but evolved to become less abrasive. She’s mischievous and chaotic, and doesn’t have a splinter of empathy for anybody else, but she hasn’t been portrayed as downright cruel as she was in that first appearance. I wondered whether I was remembering her wrong. (I’m thinking in particular of one of the few episodes that I saw once upon a time in the tape trading days, “Dolly Clothes Peg,” which we will get to later in the summer, if I remember rightly.)
But this time… Aunt Sally is her usual mean self, planning to steal part of Worzel’s winnings from a talent competition and offering suggestions for their act like “saw the scarecrow in half,” and it’s all very funny until the end. In the end, she’s just a monster again, betraying Worzel and stomping his heart flat. It’s weird how I can laugh about her cheating him out of £2 as just part of her fun teevee villainy, but when Worzel entrusts her with his remaining £3, it’s stops being funny. She betrays that trust in the time it takes to cross the street.
The look on Jon Pertwee’s face is so devastatingly sad that I’m telling you, every other villain on TV sat down with the hero and said Aunt Sally was out of line. Even Lex Luthor handed over his kryptonite and said “I just can’t do it to you, man.” She’s that evil.