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Nine and a Half Minutes
Season Four, Episode One
Air date 10 May, 2004
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Martin Dennis
Episode guide
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

Nine and a Half Minutes is the first episode of the fourth season of Coupling. It aired on the 10 May, 2004.


One bar, three different points of view, the same nine and a half minutes. Susan and Steve are now pregnant (well, mostly Susan); Patrick and Sally are discussing commitment (well, mostly Sally) and there's this guy called Oliver who has a blind date with Jane. But is his job going to be a problem?

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Main cast[]

Supporting and guest cast[]

  • Robin Kermode as Dr Reynolds
  • Amanda Abbington as Nicola
  • Pandora Colin as Emma


(Talking to Oliver thinking he's a gynecologist)
Oliver: So why are you asking about John Hurt?
Steve: Well...
Susan: Maybe I should explain. I'm in a John Hurt way at the moment. (making the sign and a noise of an alien erupting out of her)
Oliver: Right...
Steve: She means... She's incubating an alien life form and one day it's going to climb out and destroy our world.

Susan: Can we please talk about this pregnancy without bringing up John Hurt?
Steve: No man can do that!

Sally: So why a dating agency?
Jane: Because I'm tired of wasting my time on people who aren't desperate... which thinking about it was probably the wrong thing to say on my video message.

Susan: Is there a noise coming from your bag?
Jane: Oh. It's my phone, it's on vibrate. But it's no substitute, is it?!

Jane: You know, for a minute there I thought I was having a date with my gynecologist.
Oliver: Oh christ! I'm sorry it's just such a short skirt.

(on finding out that Patrick is leaving in 4 minutes)
Sally: There are a lot of things that I want to say, but given our time restraints, I'll summerise the first ten pages. (she slaps him)
Patrick: (grabs his face where Sally hit him) I think I get the gist of that, yeah.


Steve likens childbirth to the Alien, from Alien, bursting from John Hurt's character's chest.

Oliver's fantasy, science fiction, horror bookshop is called "Hell-mouths", which is a reference to the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which a hell-mouth is a prominent plot device.

Jeff travelling to the island Lesbos is not completely in error since the word "lesbian" is actually derived from the islands name.

The title refers to the fact that this episode consists of three parts, each depicting the same time-interval of exactly 9 1/2 minutes from a different point of view. It is also a nod to the Kim Basinger-Mickey Roarke movie, 9 1/2 Weeks and frames the fourth season with the last episode "9 1/2 months".