As Time Goes By (1992) s04e03 Episode Script

403 - Getting Rid of Gwen

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # - I'm off now, Mum.
- Who's that chap with the croaky voice? Chap with the croaky voice? Louis Armstrong? No.
The chap who decorated our hall.
Oh.
Terry somebody.
Terry Sharp.
- Terry Sharp! Yes.
- Are you having more decorating done? - No.
- Then why do you want to know? I seem to forget names more easily these days.
Well, I'm your daughter, Judith.
And, as I said, I'm off.
- It's only 4:30.
- I asked you this morning about this.
Oh, yes, so you did.
I'd forgotten.
I used to have such a good memory.
Mum, you've never had a good memory.
Well, I've forgotten that too.
I'll put a label in your coat with our address in it.
See you later.
Very funny.
Going anywhere nice? To the theatre with some friends.
- Oh, is Alistair going? - I said friends.
- Goodbye, Sandy.
- Have a nice time.
Er, Nicky Parsons has got the flu and can't work tomorrow so I'll get Ann Wilson instead, OK? - Oh, right.
I know who they are.
- Who? Nicky Parsons and Ann Wilson.
Of course you do, they work for you.
What's so remarkable about remembering them? On current form, quite a lot.
Here, have Judy and Alistair had a row? Oh, you didn't know? She told him she was sick of being taken for granted.
Good for her! After David died I went out with a man who took me for granted.
- And you hated it? - No, I loved it.
For about three weeks, then I got tired of it and gave him the push.
- Did you and Lionel? - Take each other for granted? I expect so.
Only we were so much in love it didn't seem to matter.
- I think people must have been nicer then.
- No, just more innocent.
That's not what I heard.
What about that night in a country hotel? Perhaps not that innocent.
Funny, that's the scene Lionel's trying to rewrite in his script.
- With the aid of Mrs Flack.
- "Aid"? I thought she talked so much he couldn't do any rewrites? And I thought you were trying to sack her? How can you sack a woman who insists on turning up for work on crutches? True.
Still, one good thing about her being on crutches - it'll stop her tidying up the house.
Well, upstairs anyway.
You've moved the custard tarts again.
- Crumby things.
- I happen to like custard tarts.
No, I mean I thought it would be tidier to put all the crumby things in one cupboard.
You had them in with the saucepans.
- I keep them in with the saucepans.
- It's not very logical, is it? Logical or not, that's where I keep my custard tarts.
I was just trying to be helpful.
Yes, I know you were.
Erm, have a biscuit.
Thank you.
There's something troubling you, isn't there? - No.
- You've been out of sorts all day.
I think I know what it is.
- Do you? - Some things aren't easy to put into words.
Yes, there are, Mrs Flack, you're right.
- Like love.
- Pardon? Like love.
Here you are, trying to write a love scene and you're finding it hard to put into words.
- That's what's troubling you.
- Yes, that's what's troubling me.
It's funny because it's not as though you have to make anything up.
I mean, this is the first time that you and Miss Pargetter, well enjoined.
I know that.
You haven't forgotten, have you? Of course not, I just find it rather difficult to put it into words.
Well! There are plenty of words! Yes.
Go on, then.
Where were we up to? You'd, er, just closed the bedroom door.
Oh, yes.
Well? At the risk of sounding prurient, what happened next? I said, "Hello.
" But you just had dinner downstairs.
Why say hello? I don't know why, I just said it.
It doesn't sound very romantic, does it? What about - and I know I'm not a writer - but what about something like - "Oh, my darling, you look so lovely"? - I couldn't have said that.
- Too shy? - Jean was in the bathroom, out of sight.
Why did you say hello then? You can say hello to someone without being able to see them.
You cannot say, "You look lovely" to someone you can't see.
- Fair point.
- Thank you.
Now I don't want you to get ahead of yourself but did you undress? Well, I didn't jump into bed with all my clothes on.
Well, that brings us to the issue of socks.
- Does it? - Yes.
I know I can't speak for the whole of womankind but a man taking his socks off last is a dead turn-off.
Well, you'll be thrilled to hear that I never take my socks off last.
- Oh, good.
- Anyway After I said hello Jean came out of the bathroom and I said "Ah, there you are.
" The late Mr Flack was rather keen on, well, that side of things.
And surprisingly enough, he was quite good at it.
I mean, for a short man.
And Jean said, "Yes, here I am.
" But he did develop this habit of taking his socks off last and it didn't do a lot for getting me in the mood, as you might say.
- We've established that I didn't - Strange things, socks I know they serve a purpose but when it comes to that side of things they're best disposed of as quickly as possible.
I find that cardigans come under the same category.
A nice enough garment in their own right but somehow just not conducive.
Would you excuse me for a moment, Mrs Flack? Yes, of course.
Rubbish.
Rubbish.
No, I didn't.
- Didn't what? - Have a good day.
- Everybody says that.
"Have a good day?" - There's not much point me saying it then.
Not really.
Where are the others? Judith's out and Jean's popped down to the corner shop.
- What for? - To buy some corners, I suppose.
Well, you can't be Mr Sunshine all the time.
I'm going to have a shower and change.
- What, now? - Did you want to use the bathroom? No, I'd I'd just sooner you waited until Jean gets in, that's all.
Why? - Because there's only us in the house.
- You find that significant? Yes, I do.
I'll be down here and you'll be up there with no clothes on.
Well, as long as it stays that way everything will be all right.
I'd just sooner you waited.
You are funny.
How was Mrs Flack today? - You going out as well? - Yes, I'm going to look at a flat later.
You didn't answer my question.
I can't.
I've used up my entire vocabulary on Mrs Flack.
- Hello! - Ah, that'll be Jean.
Hello, Lionel.
Had a good day? - Oh, dear.
- Right, I'll have that shower now you're in.
- Why wait till I'm in? - Lionel.
He was getting ideas about soaping my back.
I thought it was best to wait until you were in the house.
- You are sweet.
- Hmph.
Sandy said I was funny.
Well, sweetly funny then.
No progress at all? We've established that Mrs Flack doesn't like men wearing nothing but socks.
- Nobody does, do they? - I've never thought about it.
- I've had an idea about Mrs Flack.
- Yes, I've had some ideas about Mrs Flack.
I'm sure.
But this one doesn't involve murder.
We can't bring ourselves to sack her but what if she left of her own accord? Go on.
- Well, it's a bit complicated.
- Oh, dear.
It's worth a try though.
I'll explain over dinner.
Oh.
There's a snag about dinner.
I was going to do us a Chinese.
- Lost your nerve? - No, the wok.
Mrs Flack's been tidying again! - Good fish and chip shop, that.
- Yes.
Excellent chips.
I like a good chip.
A very rare thing these days, a really good chip.
What do you think of my plan? - It's bizarre.
- Well, I think it's simple.
Tell Mrs Flack you've got to go to Los Angeles for two weeks and you need a secretary there.
- And ask her? - Convincingly.
- She says she can't come.
- Yes, because of Herriot.
We know how she loves that dog.
She'd never leave him for two weeks.
Your master plan rests on a Yorkshire terrier.
A plan's got to rest on something.
It will work.
It really will.
Does this call to Los Angeles come in the night? No, we'll do it live.
It's more convincing.
I'll come in and say there's a message from Los Angeles.
- Why didn't they ask to speak to me? - They were in a hurry.
Why didn't the phone ring in the living room? - Well, it's out of order.
- But this one's working? - Why's that? - Well, I don't know! I'm not a telecommunications expert.
- Oh! I know! - Yes? Oh, no, don't say yes like that.
No, I'll get Sandy to ring from the office so Mrs Flack will hear it ring in here.
She'll hear it ring in the sitting room too.
We'll disconnect it.
And then I run up and down all day to answer it? Oh Oh! I know! I'll make the noise of a phone in here.
- Can you do that? - Anyone can make the noise of a phone.
Hm.
Go on then.
- What, now? - Yes, if it's that simple, yes.
Well, all right.
Brrr! Brrr! Didn't sound anything like a telephone.
You're just making difficulties.
I'll do a short "Brrrr!" and say I was standing by the phone.
This is bordering on the infantile and deeply dishonest.
- It's a minor deception.
- And it's flawed.
What if Mrs Flack says, "I'd love to go to Los Angeles"? - Well, she won't.
- What if she does? - We'll cancel the trip.
- You've got a contingency plan as well? No, I've just thought of it.
- Look, this minor deception - Lie.
This minor lie I know it's flawed but what's the alternative? This way we let Mrs Flack down lightly.
I don't know.
She talks all the time so that I can never get any work done, she wanders around rearranging things and we're jumping through hoops so that she gets let down lightly.
It's arriving to work on crutches that did it.
Thank goodness she didn't come on a stretcher, God knows what you'd have done then.
Er excuse me.
Just a minute.
- Well, hi.
- How did you know I was here? Would you believe sheer intuition? - No.
- OK.
I phoned Jean and she told me.
Can we talk? That's what Joan Rivers says.
I know - she stole it from me.
Can we? - I don't think we've got much to talk about.
- That's where you're wrong with a capital R.
- Jump in, I'll give you a lift.
- I'm with friends.
I'm not going to give them a lift.
Please, Judy.
Sorry, I'm being hijacked.
I'll call you soon.
This had better be worth it.
You'll find out when we get there.
Get where? Paris? Hong Kong? Name it.
Home.
Dull but probably best.
- I was half-watching that film.
- You weren't, you were fast asleep.
I do nod off these days.
I shouldn't worry - I'm losing my memory.
I couldn't remember the name of the decorator.
- Why did you want to? - I can't remember that either.
If we go on like this we shall need a nurse.
- Oh, hello, you two.
- Hi, lovely lady.
Hi, Li.
No, low Li.
I'm tired.
'Night.
Mum, why did you tell Alistair where I was? - Because he asked and I'm a truthful person.
- Ha! - He wants to talk.
- Oh! Yes, all right.
Good night.
- Come on, nosey! - Shh! - Would you like a drink? - No, thanks.
Let's just sit.
- Not very warm.
- It's not supposed to be.
Oh.
Don't look surprised.
Our last conversation wasn't exactly lovely-dovey, was it? Not from you, no.
There was even a reference to my, er, near-perfect body.
I actually said your not-so-perfect body.
Oh.
That was below the belt.
Whichever way you want to look at it.
Let's move away from my body, hm? The fact is that you got very hostile, and all I said was You didn't like me sharing a flat with Sandy because it might inconvenience you.
Now don't give me a hard time, Judy.
I mean, we are talking.
- You're not saying anything new.
- All right, try this.
Judy, I want you in my life.
I need you in my life and I mean "in".
- l-Is there more? - A bit more, yes.
Judy, don't move in with Sandy.
Will you move in with me? That's the front door.
- What? - The front door's just closed.
Then I suppose someone's just come in or gone out.
- Obviously.
- Why wake me up to tell me? They didn't talk for long, did they? I don't know, I was in the twilight zone till you dug me in the ribs.
- I didn't.
What do you think went on? - How can I tell from up here? - Why did Alistair leave so quickly? - Perhaps they left together.
No, I hadn't.
Shh! Shh! - What? - Someone's coming up the stairs.
I'd like to think it was the Sandman.
Mum? Are you asleep? No, no! Just reading.
Come in, love.
Alistair's just asked me to move in with him.
Oh, I see.
Where are you going? Well, you're obviously going to talk.
I'll just wander about downstairs.
There's no need for that, you're family now.
- I am? - You're like a dad, really.
Oh, Lord.
Lionel, stop chattering.
So what did you say? I said no.
I was tempted.
Well, you know Alistair, he can be very - Tempting.
- Yeah.
Oh, he's fun, he's generous.
The sex is great.
I think I will have that walk.
For goodness' sake! This is a grown-up conversation.
- But I'm a man.
- We know that! You have a role to play.
Lionel, I don't want your advice, I just want to tell you both.
It isn't enough, is it? - No, it's not.
- What isn't? I think you better have that wander round.
Alistair asking me to move in with him, it's not enough.
- I'm not young any more.
- You're a child! Yeah, to you I might be.
You know Alistair, it's just a temporary solution to the problem, it's not a real commitment.
Well, I think you're right.
Yeah, so do I.
Anyway, we'll see.
I just wanted to keep you up to date.
- Good night.
- Are you all right? Strangely enough - yes, I am.
Good night.
- Good night, Judy.
Good night, love.
She's getting stronger.
She has to be, turning down someone with his money.
Nobody else is coming in, are they? Who had you in mind? The Band of the Grenadier Guards? - Sandy.
- No, Sandy's all right.
I don't mind being confided in but I don't like being confided in when I'm in my pyjamas.
- I'll remember that.
- You're exempt.
- Oh, thanks - Get some sleep for Operation Flack tomorrow.
It'll work.
I hope so.
- I'll see you later, Mum.
- Yes, see you later.
What about that flat you went to see? Gone.
I got a late edition of the paper.
I need to start grabbing them off the presses.
Sandy, what do you think this noise is? - What noise? - I haven't done it yet.
Brrr! Brrr! A train? No! Listen.
- Brrr! Brrr! - Some kind of bird.
- It's a telephone.
- Oh.
- Why? - That's a bit complicated.
- Sandy, you coming? - Yes! I think I'd better.
Bye.
"Some kind of bird"? - Oh, good morning, Mrs Flack.
- Good morning! I'll leave the door open for you.
Mrs Flack is hobbling up! Action stations! - I still have doubts about this.
- You have doubts about everything.
Just get her in here and I'll be in the kitchen waiting.
What if someone actually phones and this phone, which is supposed to be broken, rings? Disconnect it! Morning! Oh, good morning, Mrs Flack.
I'm getting quite used to these now.
- I'm becoming quite adept.
- Good.
Well, come in.
If it's all the same, I'd like a word with Miss Pargetter first.
Is she in the kitchen? Yes.
Why are you making that noise? Oh.
Whistling.
Well, practising.
I'm not very good.
No.
No offence intended but it really sounded more like a pigeon.
Oh, did it? How can I help you, Mrs Flack? Oh, well, I'd like to talk to you on a matter of some delicacy.
Oh.
Well, you'd better sit down.
By the way, the living room phone is out of order.
- I see.
- I thought I'd just tell you.
- What did you want to talk about? - Ohh I wish I was Winston Churchill.
- Oh, do you? - Cos he he'd know how to put it.
Oh.
Still, I shall come straight to the point.
I know I do go on a bit sometimes but I can come straight to the point when I want to.
I'm sure you can.
What is the point? Well I'm afraid I'm going to have to terminate my employment with Mr Hardcastle.
And indeed your agency.
Oh I see.
Well, that's very bad news.
I know.
But my cousin with the inflamed tendon has made me, as they say, an offer I can't refuse.
She wants me to go and live with her in Dorset and help run her little shop.
She's ever so sweet, Fay.
She's on her own, like me.
We'd be company, you see.
Oh, Mrs Flack, I couldn't be more pleased for you.
- What about Herriot? - Oh, that falls into place as well because Fay has a West Highland White called Flora.
Who knows, there might be a little canine romance there.
But why are you telling me this and not, er, Lionel? Oh, well, because I wouldn't know how to break it to him.
- I know how upset he'll be.
- Yes, he will.
We've formed such a lovely working relationship, Mr Hardcastle and I.
Yes, he often talks about it.
Often.
I've just had some extraordinary news.
I just had a call from Los Angeles.
I thought you said the phone was out of order? Er, this phone.
I meant this phone.
The only thing wrong with the one up there is you can't hear it in here.
Well, I can't think it was anything very special.
Oh, it was, yes! They want me to go over there and work for a couple of weeks.
I shall need to take a secretary with me - and your name springs to mind.
Oh! I'd love to! What? What about Herriot? Oh, no.
Oh, l-I'll let Miss Pargetter tell you.
Well, I'm afraid it's bad news, Lionel.
Herriot's dead? No, Mrs Flack's given in her notice.
Oh, dear.
She's going to live with her cousin Fay.
The one with the inflamed tendon in Dorset with the West Highland White called Flora? Yes.
Did I tell you about her? Yes.
Well, you'll require two weeks' notice of course, Miss Pargetter.
- Will you? - Will I? No No, this is a special case.
You must have so much to do, you should start now.
Thank you very much.
It may be better this way, less of a wrench for Mr Hardcastle.
Absolutely.
I'll just pop into the other room, gather up any bits and bobs I may have left here.
Don't worry, Mr Hardcastle.
I'm sure Miss Pargetter will get you a good replacement.
But there'll never be another you, Mrs Flack.
That's one of the nicest things that anyone's ever said to me.
- Come in, Alistair.
Good to see you.
- You're very cheerful, Li.
Well, I feel wonderful.
Mrs Flack has left and from tomorrow Daisy is my secretary.
Hey, hey.
Oh, that "hey, hey" lacked conviction.
- Sorry, my turbo's not charging today.
- Judith? Can we have a sort of locker room talk? I don't actually have a locker room but you're perfectly welcome to talk.
- She turned me down, Li.
- It happens to everybody.
Not to me.
I mean, I like the girl.
I must do - I asked her to move in with me! Alistair, you've got to face facts - it wasn't enough.
What more could I do? There's this thing called marriage.
- Big word, Li.
- Not if you say it quickly.
Quite honestly, mate, I don't know that I'm ready.
- You're not Peter Pan.
- That was shooting from the hip.
I assumed a locker room talk involved listening to someone else's opinion.
- Judith has had two broken marriages.
- Then why look for another one? Maybe she's an optimist.
Maybe she needs that commitment.
- You're getting heavy.
- I'm just saying what I think.
Then you agree with her? Yes, I do.
Not to put too fine a point on it, mate, when it comes to commitment, isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? - I'll lay out your new suit for the morning.
- Why? - Daisy starts.
You want to look your best.
- You're running this joke into the ground.
Sorry.
Unless you want the Noel Coward look, and swan around in a dressing gown all day? Burying the joke might be a better expression.
- Did you get any work done this afternoon? - No, Alistair came for a "locker room talk".
- You're becoming an agony aunt.
- I know and I don't like it.
- How was he? - He says his turbo isn't charging.
Does that translate as down in the dumps? - Something like that, yes.
- Too used to getting his own way.
I keep thinking of all that money.
- Why? - Because he's got such a lot of it.
Well, you move in with him, then.
I couldn't have offered you money like that in 1954.
I mean, a second lieutenant's wages - you'd have had to go barefoot.
I could always have worn your second-best boots.
Anyway, if we hadn't lost touch you wouldn't have asked me to live in sin.
I'd have made an honest woman of you and asked you to live in penury.
That sounds like a village in Cornwall, penury.
I suppose people did live together then.
Oh, yes, of course.
Just more hush-hush, that's all.
We didn't say, "This is my partner," then.
What did we say? "This is my friend," or in some cases, "This is my lodger".
But Judy wants more, and it's nothing to do with money.
- Commitment.
- Yes.
It isn't wrong for a woman to ask for it.
No.
Of course it isn't.
- Do you want a custard tart? - No, I've had three today.
Let's take it up.
There's a programme about diesel engines.
- Do you like diesel engines? - No, but I like the presenter.
- You coming? - Yes.
I am, you know.
- What? - Committed.
- Oh.
- I mean, I'm here, aren't I? Yes, you're here.
Which proves it.
Which proves it.
# 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 #