Seachange: Playing With Fire

I didn’t particularly like this episode – the metaphors and innuendos were far too obvious and too many. There are some funny moments (Angus’ fantasies) and significant moments (Max/Laura’s dinner) though.

However, I have to admit – discussing this episode with my ESL student was rather awkward. Trying to explain sexual metaphors and relationships….?

Here’s my own outlined analysis (for students and tutors), but I won’t give too much away. Watch the episode, note their techniques and, most importantly, explain their effect/purpose!

Plot Lines:

This episode is just filled with metaphors about love/sex and fire/heat.  There’s (as usual) a few parallel plots to play off the ideas:

  • Max/Laura – growing sexual tension
  • Phrani/Kevin – their relationship matures as Kevin proposes, is rejected and learns more about Phrani’s culture
  • Miranda/Felix – flirt quite a bit
  • Heather/Bob and Harold/Meredith – have a family dinner that reveals the circumstances of Heather’s conception
  • Rupert/Trevor are making a rocket
  • Felix is in Court before Laura for allegedly blowing up the town hall
  • Angus has fantasy daydreams about Laura


  • Types of love and relationships.
  • The effect of culture/society on love.

Notable Techniques

  • Plethora of metaphors and innuendos! Fire, heat, curry, lust, sex
  • Irony – Max reading the book “Burn”
  • Scene of Max/Laura playing “Marco Polo” – full of film techniques
  • Scene of Laura walking along the beach as the town men stares at her
  • Cultural allusions – curry and dowry
  • Angus’ visions of Laura
  • Scene of Max/Laura at dinner – when he suggests that they “go to bed”.
  • Shot of the burning paper that Max was reading off.

1 comment for “Seachange: Playing With Fire

  1. Jenna
    October 23, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Re-watching some of my tapes recently, I found this episode particularly difficult to watch, it was just so uncomfortable. Could that have been an intentional decision by the writers and the director, to make us feel uncomfortable until the sheer relief of the cool change at the end of the episode? (although the game of Marco Polo was something of a relief in itself… *sigh*)

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