As Time Goes By (1992) s04e02 Episode Script

402 - Rewrites

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # Nasty cough.
I'm trying to find out if anyone's in the bathroom.
- Well, I'm not.
- I know you're not.
I meant Judith or Sandy.
Anyone in there? There's no one in there.
I wasn't to know that, was I? Well, I should have thought the silence spoke for itself.
Why stand there coughing? Why not just call out "Is anyone in there?" I wouldn't like anyone saying that to me.
There's nothing worse than someone calling that.
It inhibits whatever you're doing.
This happens to you a lot, does it? Not a lot, no, but I don't like it.
That's why I was coughing.
From inside, it could have sounded like somebody coughing as they passed.
No, it couldn't.
I was coughing at the door.
I've never heard of anyone aiming a cough before.
- Why are we having a peculiar conversation? - You're peculiar.
Is not wanting to burst in on a lot of naked women peculiar? Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you? There's no chance of you bursting in on anyone.
If I hadn't come along, you'd still be standing there at lunchtime.
With a very sore throat.
It's all these women in the house, you see.
It's Sandy.
Just one extra till she and Judy find a flat.
Sandy does not suddenly make it "all these women".
All I wanted was a shower.
Well, I'd go and have one now.
The bathroom's free.
- Anyone in there? - Go away! I do not have a suspicious nature.
I just asked why the two of you got up so early.
- Sheer enthusiasm for work.
- I just wanted to leave the bathroom clear.
- I'm living with a pair of little angels.
- Oh, you are, you are.
Plus we wanted to get to the paper early.
If there are any decent flats, we want to be at the estate agent's before he opens.
I told you.
You don't have to rush.
We're perfectly OK till you find somewhere you like.
And Lionel? You weren't to know he has a thing about cooking his own sprouts.
I was just trying to help.
"Hard as cannonballs," he said.
You cooked them properly.
He likes his sprouts the consistency of porridge.
Be grateful you didn't pinch a custard tart.
That's practically a capital offence.
Look, I don't want you two pussyfooting around.
- He's not the lord of the manor.
- He does live here.
- Well, so do you.
- Oh.
We'd better go to work.
Now you make him sound like the giant coming down the beanstalk.
No.
We're a bit much for him in the mornings.
- Morning.
- Morning.
Why do women always get papers in such a mess? - Cheerio, then.
- See you later.
Are we going to say goodbye? Goodbye.
- Is that some form of statement? - Yes, it is.
I've never heard anyone make such a fuss over a few sprouts.
It's not the sprouts.
I told you.
It's all these women.
Well, we're going to work.
When do the next lot arrive? Mrs Flack.
I know she's not a lot, but she seems like it sometimes.
You've never really come to terms with Mrs Flack, have you? You can't come to terms with Mrs Flack.
She never listens.
She just talks and talks and talks.
- Do you want me to have a word? - Oh, no, I don't think that's right.
After all, it's me she's working for so when all's said and done Would you? - Mrs Flack.
- Good morning.
I'm sorry I'm early but there was a bus strike.
- Oh, I see.
- Is it all right if I go through? Yes, of course.
Yes, only the bus strike was in New York, you see.
You live in Chiswick.
But I didn't realise it was in New York when I heard it on the radio last night.
You know how it is when you're on your own.
You listen to the radio in bed and sometimes you doze off and don't get things right.
I just got it into my head that the bus strike was here so I set off early to walk here.
You didn't walk when you found the buses were running.
Oh, no.
When I realised my mistake, I hopped on one.
- Which is why - I'm early.
Yes, of course.
I did feel a fool.
I wouldn't worry.
It's the kind of thing that can happen to anyone.
Mrs Flack, now that you are here, I'd like a word regarding you and Mr Hardcastle.
- You've been to New York.
- Once or twice, yes.
Yes.
Were you mugged? Most people are, apparently.
No.
I must have been the exception.
About you and Mr Hardcastle He's been to New York to talk with the American people about the script he's writing.
Los Angeles, actually.
Regarding Mr Hardcastle's work Oh, he's doing ever so well, except for sometimes when he loses track of what he's saying.
Yes, well, perhaps something makes him lose track of what he's saying.
- You went with him.
- Where? To Los Angeles.
He told me.
Did you see any film stars? Er No.
Well, no, not really.
You see, when you're working, when you're trying to concentrate, it isn't good to have too many distractions.
- Oh, I see.
- Good.
So you didn't look for any.
What? Film stars.
I mean, if you'd gone looking for film stars, that would have been a distraction, wouldn't it? Well Oh, will you excuse me? I used to like Warner Baxter but I suppose he was before your time.
Oh.
Yes.
- Did you have a word? - Sort of.
I had a sort of word.
- And? - I got sidetracked.
That's what she does to me.
But I've laid down foundations for a sensible discussion.
- Which you're going to have.
- I've got to go to work.
Thanks very much.
Incidentally, why is she so early? Do you remember Warner Baxter, Mr Hardcastle? Warner Baxter? See you later.
Mrs Flack will explain why she's so early.
You won't believe this but it was because of a bus strike in New York.
She did say a bus strike in New York, didn't she? Bye.
Yes, Mr Milner, that'll be absolutely fine.
Thank you.
Bye-bye.
So why didn't she check to see if there was a bus strike? Oh, I didn't get round to asking that.
She'd moved the conversation on by then.
Once Mrs Flack moves the conversation on, it's very difficult to get it back to where it was.
- Poor old Lionel.
- He'll just have to be firm with her, that's all.
Like you were? Well, it was the thought of her lying in bed listening to the radio all on her own.
Daisy's here.
Can she see you? - Daisy? - Mm.
Yes, of course.
- Lionel's dream secretary.
- You can see why, can't you? - Hello.
- Come in, Daisy.
Sit down.
Thank you.
I feel silly.
Oh, well, I wouldn't worry.
I've felt silly all morning.
What is it? Well, may I come off your branch's books and onto yours, please? - Why? - Sally Curtis.
- I was asking Daisy.
- Sally Curtis.
I don't want to sound disloyal.
You may have to but we'll call it being frank.
Go on.
It's the jobs she gives me.
They're all Well, it's always working for a man.
And when I turn up, I always find she's described me as bright and attractive.
It's the attractive bit that doesn't seem necessary.
I don't see that it's relevant, do you? Well I mean, you wouldn't describe a secretary as bright and plain, would you? I wouldn't do that.
I just get the feeling Sally Curtis is using me as some showpiece.
Honestly, I'm fed up with it.
You know, Daisy, when I was a nurse, the male patients use to flirt with me.
- I used to get offended when they didn't.
- That was a long time ago, though.
I wasn't in the Crimea with Florence Nightingale, you know.
- Sorry.
- But you're right.
Times have changed.
All right.
I'll put you down on our books and only describe you as "bright".
I'm ever so grateful.
What does "Give her to Lionel" mean? Er Lionel.
Mum's Lionel.
You worked with him once.
You got on really well.
Yes, well, I thought so.
I only lasted a day, then I was told I was unsuitable.
Yes, well, that was a mix-up.
Anyway, Lionel's already got a secretary.
Driving him up the wall.
Anyway, Daisy, I should point out that Lionel found you very attractive.
I don't mind being found attractive.
I don't like being pre-sold as attractive.
I think I see what you mean.
- Well, that's all fixed up, then.
- No, it isn't.
Mrs Flack may be talkative, but you can't just replace her for that.
- No, of course you can't.
- Good.
Sandy? Well, I thought it was a great idea.
I would describe Sandy as bright with exceptional hearing.
Will you look and see if there's anything for Daisy? Right.
Come on, Daisy.
Let's see if we can find you a harmless old man.
Lionel's a harmless old man.
He's not old and he's certainly not harmless.
In case you've forgotten, he tried to seduce you when he met you.
He didn't try very hard, and he didn't know I was your daughter.
Well, he still tried.
Anyway, Mrs Flack is perfectly efficient.
If Lionel can't just quieten her down a bit, then it's his affair.
- You're the boss.
- Yes, I am.
You know, it's a good job Lionel didn't seduce me.
If things had gone on from there, he might have ended up calling you Mum.
Come in, Alistair.
Hi, Li.
I'll leave you two to chat, then.
I'll find something to do.
I'll finish telling you about my cousin with the inflamed tendon later, Mr Hardcastle.
She will, as well.
I have to say, Li, it's difficult to know where that lady's coming from.
I just wish she'd go back.
- Give her the big E.
- What? - The elbow.
- How do I do that? Simple.
Look her in the eye and say, "Hey, we don't mix.
Let's jump into different bowls.
" I can barely understand that.
I'm sure Mrs Flack won't.
OK.
Try something subtler.
Say, "You're sacked.
" I can't do that.
There's no harm in the woman.
- You're getting too cuddly, Li.
- I refute cuddly.
- It's just that she - I have to say, Lionel.
Staff problems are not a tolerant area for me.
- You never have any, of course.
- Correct.
They please or they leave.
- That's my motto.
- I shouldn't have asked.
- Can we move onto more interesting areas? - Like what? Sex.
- Sex? - Right.
I've been talking to Mike and Sol in La.
I know La is LA but I thought it was Mike and Cy we were dealing with.
We were, but Cy is off the team.
What, dropped for not scoring? - In a way, yes.
Cy is in therapy.
- He was when we met in Los Angeles.
I know, but when I say "in therapy" now, the emphasis is on "in".
- You mean he's gone crackers? - Let's just call it executive stress, hm? But that needn't rattle our rafters.
Sol, who's taken over from Cy, is even keener on your miniseries than Cy.
Sol's read the draft of your first episode and has gone crazy.
What, he's gonna join Cy in his padded cell? I mean, he loves it.
- But - Now why should there be a but? Because against my better judgment, I'm getting used to this weird business.
OK.
But it's a mini but.
Which brings us back to sex.
I mean, the part in the script where you and Jean hey, hey.
For the first time.
Yes? Sol found it How shall I put this? - As carefully as you can.
- Naturally.
The word, Li, is dull.
Then the man has no imagination.
It comes down to what you actually put on the page, hm? Sol found that it didn't leap out and hit him.
- Well, it should.
- But it doesn't.
- Then that's his hard luck.
- Wrong, Li.
It's yours.
Look.
I've re-read it myself.
And to be, like, super honest, it doesn't actually say what happened that night.
We slept together for the first time.
What do you think? - We're missing each other, aren't we? - We frequently do.
Look, mate.
It's a love scene, hmm? And the sexiest line you've got in it is, er, "Shall I ask for a morning wake-up call?" - Have another look at it, please.
- I refuse to be explicit.
Nobody's talking explicit.
Just X.
Try a little rewrite.
Just for me.
- You mean Sol.
- And Sol.
And the money.
Now you're appealing to my finer nature.
Well, good night, Mrs Flack.
What about something like "She trembled as he slowly unbuttoned her blouse.
"It slid unnoticed to the floor as his hands moved towards her" Mrs Flack, please.
- I'm not gonna write anything like that.
- It's on the right lines.
- Don't you start.
- Are you sure you don't like my idea of putting lots of gasps in? I'm not enamoured, no.
I'll think of something.
I'm sure you will.
It's something to look forward to tomorrow, isn't it? - Absolutely.
- That's what the late Mr Flack used to say.
"There's always tomorrow," he used to say.
- Did he really? - Then one day there wasn't a tomorrow.
- Not for him.
Well, see you tomorrow.
- Yes, good night, Mrs Flack.
I never did finish telling you about my cousin's inflamed tendon, did I? No.
How we got on to talking about steam engines I don't know.
It's funny the turns conversation takes, isn't it? Yes, isn't it? Good night, Mrs Flack.
Good night.
I'll bring you up to date on the inflamed tendon tomorrow, shall I? Thank you.
Ah, Mrs Flack.
Hello, Miss Pargetter.
Just off.
- Would you like our cab? - Oh, no.
I can't run to taxis.
I shall get the bus, take Herriot for a walk and get our tea.
- You're fond of Herriot, aren't you? - Of course I am.
He's my best friend.
Good night.
Good night.
Good night.
There's something indomitable about Mrs Flack.
Her best friend is a Yorkshire terrier.
She's lonely.
Do you still think Daisy's a good idea? - Woo-hoo-hoo! Stay right there.
- Why? Because framed in that doorway, you don't look a day over 30.
I'd up the age.
I've got two children with me.
- Hey, this is too much.
- That's what Lionel says.
Only he doesn't mean quite the same thing.
- Where have you been lately? - You know.
Around.
- Did I say something? - No, you didn't.
That's the trouble.
- Excuse me.
I'm going to get changed.
- I would say, "Would you like any help" Yes, I thought you might.
I'm rather off the road here.
Have you moved in? - Only till I find a flat.
- My God.
Living with three gorgeous women and Lionel's still miserable.
I undercooked his sprouts.
I could live with undercooked sprouts if I was in your shoes, Li.
Yes, I'm sure you could.
Look what I've made you.
It looks revolting.
Are those the words of a man who'll try anything? - No, they're mine.
- Hello, Lionel.
Hello.
- Ah.
Have you depressed him? - Would I do that? Er, Mike and Sol want some rewrites for the first episode.
Oh, I see.
Shouldn't that be Mike and Cy? - Mm-mm.
Cy is yesterday.
- He's gone crackers.
Well, I can't say I'm surprised.
How many rewrites? Minimal.
Just one scene.
If Li wasn't so fazed by Mrs Flack, he'd have done them by now.
I'm not fazed by Mrs Flack.
I'm being driven to distraction by Mrs Flack.
- Oh, dear.
- Come on, mate.
Pick yourself up.
- Drink your Gigolo's Pardon.
- I don't even like the name of it.
What exactly is Gigolo's Pardon? Espresso coffee with warm amaretto which you drink through the cream on the top.
- That sounds nice.
- You drink it, then.
- Li.
- Oh, all right.
As I said, you drink it.
That's delicious.
You know, I might give an espresso machine to Judy and Sandy for a housewarming present.
Judy and Sandy? Yes.
They're getting a flat together.
- Eventually.
- Oh, right.
I see.
Er Would you excuse me for a moment? - His feathers are ruffled.
- Why? Look.
I'll pour you a nice large scotch and we'll call it Gigolo's Last Stand.
- Flat hunting? - Yes.
I'd have thought you'd prefer somewhere on your own.
I don't function very well on my own.
Well, you wouldn't be, some of the time.
- But if you move in with Sandy - Clear off.
- Come again.
- Clear off.
I'm fed up with you taking me for granted.
- Now when have I ever done that? - Come to think of it, most of the time.
- Now hold on, baby.
- No, you hold on, baby.
I'm just supposed to be available.
I don't get a peep out of you for weeks, and then it's "Oh, you know.
Around.
" On top of that, you don't want me to share a flat with Sandy because it might interfere with your life.
Well, I've got my life, Alistair.
And if leading it denies me the pleasures of your not-so-perfect body, tough.
Are you off? Positively rancid, apparently.
- Row? - Major.
Don't worry.
I'm not going to throw myself on the bed and cry.
Good.
Cos actually, I'd like you to take a look at your room.
- Why? - To see if you notice anything.
- Rewrites? - No, I'm writing to Mrs Flack.
Mrs Flack? She was here half an hour ago.
I told you.
She doesn't listen to a word I say.
I'm hoping the written word might prolong her attention span.
Oh, Lionel! You can't! Either she goes or I'm joining Cy on his Californian funny farm.
If I had a white feather, I'd stick it up your nose.
- I beg your pardon.
- You haven't the nerve to tell it to her face.
- You would have, I suppose.
- Yes.
- What would you say? - I'd say "See here, Mrs Flack.
" See here? We're not talking about me, we're talking about you.
You can't write her a letter.
Is this the man who played rugby against the Parachute Regiment? Who stood up to a hostile mule in Korea? - They were blokes.
- The mule wasn't.
Mules aren't one thing or another.
Mrs Flack is a woman, we can agree on that, can't we? - Cowardy custard.
- Now we're getting childish.
That from a man writing a letter to someone he'll see in the morning? That carries absolutely no weight.
Lionel, you can't sack her.
Working with her is like trying to swim in treacle.
- There's a way round it.
- What? - Well, I haven't worked it out yet.
- So why can't we just sack her? Because her best friend's a Yorkshire terrier.
That's hardly a sound commercial reason.
Well, I know it isn't.
Because she's a lonely woman who likes working for you.
She likes talking to you.
I don't want her to talk to me.
I'm not a ladies' companion.
You can't sack her, Lionel.
I honestly don't think you can do that.
Er Mum? Could we have a word? Yes, course.
Oh.
Do you mind, Lionel? No, I've finished working.
You carry on.
Oh, I see.
It's girlie talk.
- Girlie talk? - I don't mind.
I'll, er I'll go and have a custard tart.
Well, what is it? Well, it's a bit awkward.
And I don't believe it for a moment.
Oh, I don't believe it for a moment either.
It's just a bit awkward.
This conversation isn't exactly zooming along, is it? Someone's been going through my things.
My clothes.
And mine.
Oh, you're not suggesting Lionel? - No.
- No, we don't believe that for a moment.
- Then why did you want him out of the room? - We didn't do it and we know you didn't.
Well, nor would Lionel.
Of all things, I haven't got him down as a cross-dresser.
He's coughing again.
Come in, Lionel.
- Sorry to interrupt.
- It's all right.
You know trivial girlie talk is.
You've all got funny expressions on your faces.
- Why did you interrupt? - The kitchen has been rifled.
I couldn't find my custard tarts.
I'd hardly describe that as it being rifled.
I hadn't finished.
I looked in another cupboard for them and then another and then it struck me.
Everything's been moved.
It's all rearranged.
- I didn't do it.
- Of course you didn't.
None of you did.
Cos you've been out all day.
Which leaves Mrs Flack.
- Something I don't know about? - Somebody's been going through clothes.
- Mrs Flack? - But she was with you all day.
No, not all day.
Not when I was talking to Alistair.
Not when Alistair and I went to the pub to seek sanctuary.
I must say, I didn't think she pinched clothes on the side.
Oh, no, nothing was stolen.
Things were just rearranged.
It seems she's a compulsive tidier.
- Is this what you wanted to tell Jean? - Yes.
Why did you want me out of the room? - If I thought for one moment that you - Oh, don't be silly.
The conversation was just a bit personal, that's all.
Oh, I see.
Well, fair enough.
Well, that brings us back to Mrs Flack, doesn't it? - Well, she didn't actually do any harm.
- It is a bit weird though, isn't it? Mm.
Where will it end? I tell you this, I don't want her rearranging my pants.
Nor mine.
Well, that settles it.
She has to go.
- At last.
- Well, Lionel can tell her in the morning.
I mean, it is possible to read a paper without getting it into a state like this.
I'll tell them.
Well, I'll see you later then.
I've never known the house empty so quickly.
Now, you will talk to her.
You won't just write a letter.
No, I'll talk to her.
Goodness knows what I'm gonna say.
I should take the "professionally incompatible" line.
I shall have to.
I certainly don't intend to go into why she rearranges women's underwear.
- You could mention the custard tarts.
- No, better not.
It's in the same area, really, isn't it? Strange combination.
Why do something like that? What makes someone do something like that? It's not ill-intentioned.
It is loneliness, I suppose.
- We're back on the Yorkshire terrier, are we? - No.
Look, I'll leave it up to you.
- Oh, thanks very much.
- But let her down lightly.
More advice and I'll lock you in a cupboard till she arrives.
There is a reward for all this, you know.
- Daisy.
- Daisy? She's on my books now.
You did like her.
Yes, I did, I did.
And if she's pretty, she's pretty.
I can live with that.
Yes, so can I.
Yes.
And she's very bright, as well.
She's so helpful.
You'll be able to get on with your rewrites.
Mm.
Hopefully, yes.
Well, I forgot to ask.
What bit does this new chap want rewriting? - Oh, it's just a scene, really.
- Which scene? The bedroom scene.
- Oh, I see.
- Well, you did ask.
Yes, I did ask.
Well, I'll talk to Daisy today, then.
- Thank you.
- You're not to go soft on Mrs Flack.
Nothing Mrs Flack can say or do will make me go soft on her, I promise.
She can - Oh, lord - What? Look at me.
It's Herriot's fault, bless him.
His lead got twisted and I went over.
Broke an ankle.
Still, here I am, ready to go.
I've gone soft.
So have I.
Mrs Flack # You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # And when two lovers woo # They still say I love you # On that you can rely # The world will always welcome lovers # As time goes by #