As Time Goes By (1992) s06e01 Episode Script

601 - The Stalker

# 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 to bed.
- Yes.
I'll be up in a minute.
- What did you just hide? - Nothing.
Lionel, I saw you.
It's that jar of pickled onions, isn't it? - Damn thing.
- Give it to me.
If I can't get the top off, you can't.
I just want to take it away.
I'm not having our life taken over by pickled onions.
Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration? Half an hour we waited for supper while you struggled with it.
Now you creep in here and have another go at it.
- It's annoying.
What are you doing? - Well, you might have loosened it.
It's no good.
- You're glad, aren't you? - Yes, I am.
Might be old-fashioned but men are supposed to get lids off jars.
- Oh, Lionel.
- Well, they are.
Woman tries, says, "Can you open it?" Man says, "Yes.
" - Tries, opens it.
- Except you can't.
- Except I can't.
- Well, maybe it's a faulty lid.
Yes.
Don't really believe that, do you? I'm going to bed.
And this is going into the kitchen.
If I hear a cupboard door opening, you and I are going to have words.
Sandy? He's followed me home again.
Has he? No, Lionel, don't.
Lionel, will you come inside this minute? - No one to be seen.
- Lionel, please come in.
Please.
Well, I might as well.
I don't intend to roam the streets all night.
What did you ring the doorbell for? You probably frightened him off.
Come on, I'll put the kettle on.
Is Sandy all right? She's a bit shaken but she's all right.
- Why are you standing there? - Oh, just having a look.
- Not thinking of tearing out again? - In my pyjamas? That'd be even sillier, tearing out in your pyjamas.
What do you mean, "even sillier"? - Come to bed.
- Even sillier than what? Tearing out in the first place when Sandy came home.
Was I supposed to cower behind the door? Nobody said anything about cowering but you should've stayed inside.
- And sent Sandy back out? - No, of course not.
- Or called for you and sent you out? - Lionel! - Judith can be fierce when she's angry.
- Stop it.
I simply said that you should have acted more responsibly.
I thought I did.
Sandy was frightened and I felt responsible for her safety.
I feel responsible for all of you.
Ah, that's sweet.
It isn't "sweet", it's just right.
- I do love you, Lionel.
- I know.
All those years without you and now we've got each other I don't want to find your body in a ditch.
- There are no ditches in Holland Park.
- Well, in a gutter.
Why are you suddenly so concerned? He could have been armed.
This bloke who's been following Sandy? - Yes.
- It's not really likely, is it? Well, it's a possibility.
Well, almost anything's a possibility.
It's a possibility I could have been asleep when Sandy came home.
It's a possibility I could have tripped and broken my neck.
It's a possibility I could have been knocked down by a rogue pheasant.
I also might have got my hands on him.
Look, he could have been young.
I see.
- Lionel, I didn't mean - I know exactly what you mean.
We're back to that jar of pickled onions.
Oh, I do hope not.
Lionel, I'm not suggesting you become enfeebled but let's face facts, you're not a young man any more.
No.
- You're not old.
- No.
But you're just not young any more.
I think you've made your point.
Morning, Sandy.
How do you feel? - Bit foolish, to tell the truth.
- Oh? Why? Well, last night.
Perhaps I overreacted.
Perhaps he wasn't following me at all, perhaps he was just out for a walk.
So why did he stop every time you stopped? Oh, come on.
That creep was following you and you know it.
Wish I'd taken more karate lessons.
- How many did you take? - Only one.
I had a headache, couldn't stand all that shouting.
- If you'd have finished the course - I'd still have been frightened.
- You could have taken a taxi.
- It was a fine night.
It's a ten-minute walk.
Why take a taxi? You're right.
It's not fair, is it? No, it isn't.
Anyway, let's not talk about it.
It's not likely to happen again.
No.
So, where are the grown-ups? Acting like a couple of silly children.
Lionel's stuck his head in the newspaper and Jean's reading a cereal packet.
Talk about setting an example.
What have they rowed about? Wasn't the sort of atmosphere where you ask questions.
Anyway, Jean said she was going shopping and she slammed out.
And then Lionel said he was going for a walk and slammed out.
Sounds like one of them's just slammed back in.
- Good morning, Lionel.
- Good morning.
I'm gonna get dressed.
By the way, I thought you were very brave last night.
Did you? Thank you.
Bit foolhardy, though.
You didn't want me to go out of that front door, did you? - Well - Did you? - Not really, no.
- Why, Sandy? Because It was brave Yes? but at your age I think I'll go for another walk.
We can be talked to, you know.
Lionel and I had words.
- Not at breakfast you didn't.
- No, last night.
I was worried about him rushing out into the street and it went on from there.
He saw it as some sort of slight to his masculinity and he got huffy and then I got huffy, and - Where is he? - He went for a walk, he came back, - then he went for another walk.
- Why? I'm afraid we voiced reservations that weren't a million miles from yours - and he got huffy again.
- Oh, dear.
Oh! Quick, quick.
I thought these looked rather lonely.
Oh, Lionel! Oh, I'm sorry I hurt you.
I was worried about you.
I love you.
- We all love you.
- We do.
I should go for a walk more often.
- Are you all right now? - Yes.
Slightly dented pride, that's all.
I would like to say one thing.
I may not be at my physical peak but I'm not Tweetie Pie either.
If something like that happened again, I'd do the same.
- But Lionel - It won't happen again.
It was just a one-off.
Just some waste of space with nothing to do.
- Yes, you - Sandy's right, Mum.
Well, the flowers are lovely.
- They're not from me.
- Oh? No.
I found them on the doorstep.
- Whose doorstep? - Ours, of course.
- Who'd leave flowers on the doorstep? - How should I know? You could try reading the card.
Well, if you want to be conventional.
- There isn't one.
- There's always a card.
No, there isn't.
Just left on the doorstep? No ring at the door.
Someone's been in all morning.
Obviously one of you has got a secret admirer.
Oh.
Oh, not that again.
- I'm going to run it under cold water.
- You run it under hot water.
But I don't think we need a pickled onion just at the moment.
I'll make coffee.
Would the girls like some? - No, they've gone out.
- When? - Just a few moments ago.
- Why wasn't I told? Well, it's broad daylight and they're together.
- Where've they gone? - I think Sandy said the market.
Right.
Oh, Lionel.
Where are you going? Lionel? Oh Oi! Where do you think you're going with that? Oh! Ha! - Sorry, I don't want it.
- You wouldn't now you've got to pay.
- Why should I want a bugle? - You're the one walking away with it.
- Ten quid.
- I don't want the thing.
Right, we'll see what lily law has to say about this.
Look, I didn't mean to, erm All right.
- Ten pounds.
- Oh.
Ta.
- Durham Light Infantry.
- What? The bugle.
Durham Light Infantry.
I'll bet that instrument could tell a story or two.
I'll ask it when I get a moment.
What? I've got the strangest feeling that we're being followed.
Am I being hysterical? - You're not given to being hysterical.
- Don't look round! All right.
I'll tell you what, we'll look round together.
Count of three.
One, two, three.
Someone ducked back.
Oh, good morning.
Shh! - What do you want? Who are you? - Easy up, lady.
Big Al sent me.
Big Al? - Oh, Alistair? - Right.
Isn't he with you? Best not to know.
Know what I mean? Yes, of course.
- Would you like to come through? - Ta.
Oh.
Could I get you a drink or something? A cup of herbal tea would be nice.
Herbal tea? Oh.
Right.
- I've had enough of this.
- Yeah, so have I.
Let's go home.
No, I'm starting to feel like a victim, you're starting to feel like a victim.
I've had enough of it.
This is a London market, not some souk in North Africa.
What is he, anyway? Just some gutless wonder who enjoys following women.
- Right.
- So let's go back the way we came.
- See how he likes it.
- I'm with you.
Good.
Cos I wouldn't try it on my own.
I never claimed it worked.
- Pardon? - The bugle.
- Sold as seen, no money back.
- I don't want my money back.
What do you want? Here, how about a trombone? I'm just trying to hide.
There are two girls following me.
You? Yes, me.
- Why? - Because - It's too complicated to explain.
- Yeah.
- It's those two, I suppose.
- It is, as a matter of fact.
You're living in a fantasy world, mate.
Two crackers like that? - Can I help you, girls? - I don't think so.
- We're looking for some weirdo.
- Really? He wasn't carrying a bugle, was he? A bugle? - Another macaroon, Neil? - No, thank you very much.
And it's not Neil, it's Nails.
- Nails? - Yeah.
As in six-inch.
You weren't actually christened Nails? No, it's a nickname.
Something that happened in Poplar.
- Involving six-inch nails? - You got it.
Oh! - That'll be Big Al.
- Oh.
Right.
Excuse me.
Hey.
- Big Al, I presume.
- He's here, then? Alistair, he's terrifying.
He's supposed to be.
Listen.
You rang me to ask for help and Nails is the man.
It's better than old Li playing vigilante.
- Well, yes, I suppose so.
- Right.
So let's hold a war council.
- Hi, Nails.
- Big Al.
I have to ask, why "Big Al"? Because he done something.
- Alistair? - Just a little favour, that's all.
- I don't suppose I'm going to know what.
- No, not really.
You'd need to know Alfie Two-Buckets.
Well, as I don't know Mr Two-Buckets, I'll leave it at that.
Best.
What you don't know Can't harm you.
Oh.
Yes, that's Lionel.
Er, you're a double glazing salesman.
- They're all villains.
- Well, a vet, then.
- But you don't have any animals.
- Well, something.
- Manicurist.
- What? Nails.
- Mum - Oh.
- Er, hello, Alistair.
- Hello, Alistair.
- Hey, hey.
- Judy, Sandy, this is Mr Nails.
- Just Nails.
Pleased to meet ya.
- Hello.
Well, Nails is, erm is, er - Your guardian angel, courtesy of Big Al.
- Who? - Me! - Something he did for Mr Two-Buckets.
- Can we start again? - OK, look.
I get an SOS from Jean, mm? There's some nasty type out there on the prowl.
I call in Nails, end of prob.
What exactly are you going to be doing? Something.
No, I mean, before you catch him.
I'll be about.
But you won't see me till I see him.
Then, er Alistair, I don't think any of us want this to get out of hand.
Nails is a pro, hmm? Guys like this have got to be stopped.
They give us a bad reputation.
Right.
I offered to carry some old dear's shopping the other day.
She just looked frightened and hobbled off like I was some ruffian.
- Well, I don't want to feel like a victim.
- You're not any more.
He is.
Just relax.
I'll be around.
Yes, I'd better be on my way too.
I'm having lunch with a Zen poet.
- I'll be in touch.
OK? Ciao.
- Bye.
- Bye, Nails.
- Goodbye.
Bye.
- Well, it looks as if the cavalry's arrived.
- Where does Alistair get these people? In the same place that he meets Mr Two-Buckets, presumably.
I thought you'd be out all day.
Yeah, we didn't get far.
Somebody was following us.
Why on earth didn't you tell Nails? It would've been too late for him to do anything.
- Did you get a good look at this bloke? - We didn't.
We tried but all we think we know is that he was carrying a bugle.
- A bugle? - Odd, isn't it? It's eccentric.
Who'd carry a bugle? What kind of question's that to be asking on a Saturday afternoon? - He's got into our lives.
- I hope Nails is in a bad mood when he catches him.
That's Lionel.
Don't mention Nails, you know what Lionel is.
Oh, there you all are.
Anyone fancy a drink? - Drink? - Yes, please No, thank you.
Oh, yes, please.
Oh One of your decisive moods.
Why did you follow Judy and Sandy? - How do you know I did? - The bugle was a bit of a giveaway.
Oh.
- Well, why? - Well, I was hiding behind a music stall - No.
Why did you follow them? - Well, it's obvious.
- To keep an eye on them.
- All you did was frighten them.
I couldn't have done.
I kept my distance.
If this chap turned up, I could follow him following them.
It's just as well I didn't follow you.
Yes, you could've ended up following me following him following them.
- Except that there wasn't a him.
- Not on this occasion.
- Maybe next time.
- There won't be a next time.
How do you know that? I have a sort of feeling.
Not your best-structured argument.
- Intuition.
- Supposition.
Based on no evidence whatsoever.
Well? Why should he suddenly stop? Look, don't get aggressive with me.
You're the one that could've been thrown on a bric-a-brac stall.
First my body's in a ditch, then a gutter, now I'm thrown onto a bric-a-brac stall.
- You don't know what he's like.
- I'll find out when I catch him.
I'm just going to make some coffee Oh, you haven't had another row? What's it about this time? Ask the Lone Ranger.
Oh, I see.
Look, Lionel, you know how fond we all are of you I become suspicious when anyone starts a sentence like that.
Yes, all right.
Well, we are.
And there's no reason to put yourself in any kind of danger.
- That's just what I've been saying.
- I see.
So I sit with a rug over my knees and let Sandy turn into a nervous wreck? - Sandy? - Coming.
Being outnumbered does not make me wrong.
Sandy, tell Lionel that you are not becoming a nervous wreck.
Of course I'm not.
Anyway, everything's going to be all right now.
All right, what's going on? Absolutely nothing.
Look, I may have my off days but I'm not a fool.
I saw you when those flowers arrived.
I saw how jumpy you were in the market.
- We thought we were being followed.
- Which they were, by you.
Not that we knew that.
Incidentally, where did you get that bugle from? Never mind the bugle, the point I'm making is this - we have a situation which is quite frightening.
But suddenly everyone seems perfectly confident that the problem's solved.
When I ask what's going on, I get three guilty looks and three half-hearted "Oh, nothings".
Well? I'm gonna go and make some coffee.
I'll make some tea.
What are you gonna make? A cake? Lionel I phoned Alistair.
I see.
And he Well, you know how many people he knows.
He's found us a sort of private detective.
I see.
And he's going to keep an eye on things.
Don't say "I see" again.
Is he young? - Ish.
- Fit? - Oh, very.
- Good.
- What? - It's common sense, call a professional.
I should have thought of it myself.
Oh.
Don't look so surprised, I'm not an unreasonable man.
Now I shall have a custard tart with either a cup of tea or a cup of coffee.
I thought we'd given that up.
Judy and Sandy are walking back from the tube tonight.
- Good grief.
- What? "Don't worry," you said.
"It's all taken care of," you said.
Alistair's private detective is out there watching them every step of the way.
And if this whoever-he-is gets within ten feet of them, he'll nab him.
- Yes, I know.
- So, they're in safe hands.
Now why don't you come to bed? Oh Oh, Lionel.
What if he does nab him? I don't know.
He's a private detective, he'll know.
Well, he's not actually a private detective.
Is there such a thing as a public detective? I mean, Nails is Well, he's sort of freelance, I suppose.
- Nails? - That's his name.
- Nails? - Yes.
He drinks herb tea.
Is that relevant? - No, I don't suppose so.
- What does he do for a living? - I'm not sure I really want to know.
- He's a gangster, isn't he? Something in that area.
He said if he caught this bloke, he'd do "something".
- What exactly? - No, that was it, exactly.
"Something.
" Well, good.
A man who frightens women like that deserves a damn good hiding.
But what has he actually done? Followed Sandy a few times and left flowers on the doorstep.
- He hasn't threatened her.
- Not strictly speaking, no.
- Supposing he has a limp.
- Why should he have a limp? - Or a lisp.
- A lisp? Perhaps he's shy, perhaps he doesn't know how to talk to girls.
- We've all been through that stage.
- Some men never do get through it.
Oh, the loneliness must be awful.
One night he sees a beautiful girl like Sandy, and he follows her.
Just to talk to her, say hello, but he doesn't know how.
She goes inside so he leaves her flowers on the doorstep.
- Oh, it's so sad.
- It's a fiction you've just created.
- Yes, but it could be true.
- I suppose it could.
And supposing he follows Sandy tonight and Nails looms up out of the darkness? I mean, this "something" might involve tearing bits off him.
All this assumes that, instead of a lecher, he has now become a lonely, love-struck man with a limp and a lisp.
- Not necessarily both.
- It's amazing, isn't it? When I wanted to go out and find him, he was a psychopath, probably armed.
Now your friend Nails is out there, suddenly he's a figure of pathos.
I'm frightened we overreacted.
- We? - Me, then, me.
I mean, what have we let loose out there? Well, phone him, call him off.
I can't.
"You won't see me till I see him," that's what he said.
He'll bring his head back in a basket.
Don't! Where are you going? Probably to make a complete and utter fool of myself.
Will you go back to bed? I am coming with you and that's that.
- I don't want you with me.
- It's not your street.
Oh Well, come on, then.
- Should we have brought the bugle? - Why? I don't know.
That's just what we need, clear thinking.
What's that? I don't recognise it.
Nor do I.
I'm just whistling.
It worked in The King And I.
- Shh.
- What? I hear footsteps behind us.
Just keep walking.
Nails is around here somewhere.
I hope so.
Now what? - What are they doing? - I don't know.
- Good evening.
- Good evening.
Good evening.
Good evening.
Good evening? Right.
Lionel! - Hello, lowlife.
- Get off! Let me go! What are you doing? - Nails, hang on.
- Don't hurt him.
Hang on.
He's a child.
You know that dustman you're always having rows with? - That one who will call me chief? - Don't let me tell Alistair about him.
Sandy's feeling sorry for that boy now.
So am I.
What was he, 15? He's still at school.
He must have bought those flowers with his pocket money.
In retrospect, we should have just let Lionel take care of it.
I've been waiting for someone to say that.
- You're a bit of an old lion at heart.
- Taking care of your herd.
- Pride.
- It's a nice feeling, actually.
It is.
Anyone fancy a pickled onion? - Yes.
- No! - It's stiff.
- Yes, it is.
- Got it.
- Oh! - What? - What? Nothing.
Nothing at all.
# 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 #