As Time Goes By (1992) s06e06 Episode Script

606 - The House Next Door

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # Jack never did fix that old rocking chair.
Don't cry, Mary-Beth.
I'm not crying for myself, Billy-Joe.
I'm crying for Kitty.
She's back! Kitty's come home.
There's nothing like a good laugh, is there? I knew he wouldn't come back.
I knew it.
- At least the kitten was all right.
- Which is why I had no alternative.
- What? - What? No alternative to what? What are you talking about? You just said, "Which is why I had no alternative.
" - Are you sure? - Well, we all heard you.
- Just as you woke up.
- Oh.
- No alternative to what? - I haven't the faintest idea.
- I must have been dreaming.
- What about? - I can't remember.
- It was only seconds ago.
- No.
- Don't you care? - Not really, no.
- Gosh, I would.
If I woke up and said something that dramatic, I'd want to know why.
If it ever comes to me, I'll let you know.
How did the film end? - Sadly.
- He didn't come back.
- Who didn't? - The carpenter.
I didn't know he'd gone.
- The kitten was all right.
- He'll say, "What kitten?" - There wasn't a kitten in the bit I saw.
- No, no! You weren't awake for more than five minutes.
I'm going to make coffee.
Does anyone want one? - Please.
- Oh, no, I'm tired.
I want to go to bed.
- Just two, then? - No, three.
I'm not tired at all.
- I'll make the coffee.
- Oh.
Did you and Mum used to go to the pictures? It was called the bioscope, then.
- Did you go, though? - Everybody used to go in those days.
I bet you used to snog in the back row.
It was very uncomfortable.
The arm of the seat got in the way.
Did everybody spring apart when the film ended and the lights came on? Except the really committed ones.
They even braved it when the ice-cream lady came.
- They don't do that now.
- Sell ice cream or snog in the back row? - Who snogs in the back row? - Lionel did.
When the world was young.
We saw about six films before I even got my arm round Jean's shoulder.
- What did she do? - I think she said, "About time, too.
" Hussy! - What was that? - Something going bump in the night.
Next door's empty.
The Carters moved out last week.
So they did.
I suppose it could have been something falling over.
- Like what? - Well, I don't know.
A box.
- Why would a box fall over? - Lionel? - What? - What do you think it was? Perhaps it's Mr Carter come back to check on the body.
- I heard a thump! - Weren't you tired? That doesn't impair my hearing.
The point is, it came from an empty house.
- Judy thinks it was a box falling over.
- A box? - People leave boxes behind.
- Would it fall in the middle of the night? - That's what I said.
- It's not the middle of the night.
- The coffee? - I'll go and get it.
Bring me a mug.
I might as well have one now I'm up.
- Right.
- What if it's burglars? They're out of luck.
The house is empty.
- Shh! Shh! - What? - I thought I heard something.
- It might be Shh.
- Right.
- Don't go round there.
I'm going to phone the police.
Phone from the kitchen.
So that we can listen.
- All right.
- I'll tell you what it could be.
- A box? - No, not a box.
It could be a prospective buyer looking over the house.
- At this time of night? - I've got the Carters' number.
If they've left the phone on, I could phone.
Assuming you get an answer, what are you going to say? - I'll just say I've got the wrong number.
- What good would that do? It will establish that somebody's in there.
The police are sending somebody.
A policeman, presumably.
They did say as soon as possible.
Why are we all answering the door? - Just in case.
- In case of what? - I don't know.
- Tch! - Good evening! - Mr Carter.
- You're in Aylesbury.
- Not strictly speaking.
- No, I meant - I know.
You see, I had to pop back to pick up a couple of boxes we left behind.
Then it occurred to me that if you heard noises from an empty house, you might become alarmed.
- So I just called by to allay any fears.
- Oh, that's very kind.
We were watching television.
We didn't hear a thing.
Oh.
Well, that's all right, then.
Would you like to come in for a drink? No, thanks all the same.
I'd better fizz back to Bucks.
Right.
- Fizz back to Bucks.
- Yes.
It's a sort of joke we have in Aylesbury.
Fizz back to Bucks.
It's a play on words, you see.
Fizz, Bucks.
Buck's fizz! - That's very good! - Oh, yes, isn't that good? - Yes.
Fizz, Bucks, buck's fizz.
- I must remember that one.
- Yes.
- I'd better hit the road.
- Don't forget, if you're in Aylesbury - Absolutely.
Goodbye.
Goodbye.
- I'd forgotten how dreadfully dull he is.
- I told you it was boxes.
- I wonder what was in them.
- His joke collection, I expect.
Not that they were ever any trouble as neighbours.
We might miss him, if a pop group bought the house.
His wife used to paint soldiers.
Did what? Toy soldiers.
Oh, that can't be him back.
- Oh, dear.
- What? The police aren't very keen on false alarms.
I'll go.
No, no, no.
We'd better send Sandy.
Why? - Oh, I see.
- This is exploitation.
You know that? Yes.
If it's a policewoman, come back and we'll send Lionel out.
Good evening, madam.
It's a man.
I can only say how very, very sorry we are, dragging you out on a wild-goose chase.
Oh, that's all right.
Quiet night, anyway.
Actually, I was glad to get out.
I was heading for financial disaster at Monopoly.
I always try to buy all the railway stations in Monopoly.
I don't know why.
- I do that as well.
- Well.
- I had two houses on Mayfair once.
- That's not bad on police pay.
Of course, no one landed on them.
They just skipped through, passed Go and collected their L200.
Life's like that sometimes.
- Well.
- I'm not very lucky at cards either.
- I don't like cards.
- No.
I don't like cards.
- Probably cos you're not lucky at them.
- Probably.
Well.
- I have seen you before.
- I'm not on file, am I? No.
No, no.
No, going to work.
- Oh.
- You're going to say "Well" again.
Well yes, I was, actually.
- It is late.
- Yeah.
- Sorry.
- That's all right.
- Thanks again.
- Oh, it's my pleasure.
- Good night, then.
- Good night.
Do you like ice-skating? - I've never tried it.
- Only, I'm off tomorrow.
If you were free in the afternoon - Oh.
- Harry.
- My name's Harry.
- Sandy.
Right.
So l'll pick you up about one, then? Yes.
All right.
OK.
See you tomorrow, then.
Yes.
I'm glad you opened the door.
The bloke who phoned the station sounded a right old grump.
- Good night.
- Bye.
- Was he all right? - Very all right.
We're going skating tomorrow.
- That was a bit quick, wasn't it? - I don't know, I wasn't timing it.
- That policeman getting off with Sandy.
- Getting off? Well, whatever it's called these days.
- You never took me ice-skating.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm not blaming you, it's just an observation.
- Can you skate? - No.
Can you? No.
Well, we won't be making up a foursome tomorrow afternoon, will we? - Ow! - Oh, what is it? Cramp? No, it's your hot-water bottle.
It's scalding.
It's just right.
Here, kick it over my side.
- Ow, that's me.
- Sorry.
- Oof.
- It's right down the bottom now.
Look, just lie still and I'll hook it over my side.
- Your feet must be like leather.
- I'm wearing bedsocks.
A hot-water bottle and bedsocks? I thought love was meant to keep you warm.
Not all night.
Oh.
I shall miss the Carters.
You said you'd forgotten how boring he was.
- Yes, I know.
- And let's face it, a wife who paints toy soldiers hardly qualifies as a vibrant personality.
No, I know he's boring, but they were safe neighbours, you see.
- Safe neighbours.
- You mean the next lot might be unsafe? It's a possibility.
A couple looked at the house the other day.
- When? - Oh, you were out.
What did they look like? Don't say a man and a woman.
No, they looked ordinary enough.
Quite tall.
About nine feet, with eight fingers on each hand.
You'll be laughing on the other side of your face when we're living next to a bunch of all-night ravers.
That is now a certainty, is it? - Well, you never know.
- No, we don't.
So let's wait and see, shall we? Well, that's not a very dynamic thing to say.
How can I say anything dynamic about who'll move in? You could at least express an opinion.
We don't even know who they'll be yet.
- Well, nor do they, of course.
- Who? The people next door.
They don't know who we'll be, do they? I think I'll go to sleep now.
But it's interesting, isn't it? Two sets of strangers, both wondering what the other set will be like.
I think you should go to sleep too.
Oh, all right.
- Good night.
- Good night.
I wonder if they'll like us.
Good night.
After you with the iron.
You know what we need? An au pair boy.
I don't think Lionel would approve.
So, you looking forward to this afternoon? I think so.
What do you wear to go skating? - Cushions.
- Ha, ha.
- Helpful.
- Well, I don't know, do I? Something warm.
Layers.
I don't want to look like Humpty Dumpty.
If you will accept invitations to glamorous places like ice rinks I'll get it.
- Surprise! - Hello, Aunt Penny.
Hello, Uncle Stephen.
Do come in.
- Hello, Judith.
Don't you look pretty? - Thank you.
I think you look rather drawn.
May I use the little girls' room? - We're unisex here.
Go on.
- Right.
So, Uncle Stephen.
Why the surprise? Ooh, mustn't spoil it for old Pen or she'll go into one of her sulks.
- Oh, right.
Well, we're in the kitchen.
- Good-oh.
- Look who's here.
- Oh, hello, Stephen.
Oh, sorry.
All I said was hello.
Uncle Stephen, why are you waiting out there? Well, it's the ironing.
Might be unmentionables.
I'm not ironing anything unmentionable, I promise.
Oh.
That's all right, then.
Sorry, I didn't say hello.
Hello! You look very pretty.
- He's good for morale, this man.
- Yes, he is.
- Old Pen's in the loo.
- Oh.
Which is why I can't tell you the surprise.
- Right.
- Otherwise I would, of course.
- Understood.
- If you've told, Stephen, there will be serious repercussions.
We can't get a word out of him.
- Just as well.
Hello, dear.
- Hello.
Are you putting on weight? Not till this afternoon.
So, where are poor Jean and Lionel? - Out.
Struggling with the shopping.
- Oh, that's quite spoiled things.
How can you know you're going to put on weight this afternoon? - It's a woman thing.
- Oh, right.
Really.
I do wish you wouldn't go off at tangents, Stephen.
Never mind.
We'll pop back when we've looked round.
- The shops? - No.
House next door.
That's the surprise! We're thinking of buying it.
Come on, Stephen.
- Singles or doubles? - Doubles.
Trebles.
I thought it best to tell you as soon as you got back.
- Yes, of course.
- Get it over with.
Penny and Stephen.
Living next door.
Makes those all-night ravers you were worried about look positively attractive.
- There you go.
- Oh, thanks.
Oh, thanks, love.
Well.
Cheer No.
Oh, God! They've made up their minds already.
Well, they can't have.
- Why? - As in what did we do to deserve this? No, why do they want to move to London, let alone next to us? It's the opposite of divine intervention.
- Oh.
Hello, Alistair.
- Hello, Alistair.
I won't say hi, it sounds too cheerful.
Alistair's taking me to lunch.
Why don't we all go? Ace idea.
Nothing ever looks so bad after a good lunch.
- I may never eat again.
- Thanks all the same.
Whatever happened to the big O, hm? Optimism! A, they may not like the house, B, they may not be able to afford it and C, could it really be that awful to have them as neighbours? I should have left out C, shouldn't I? - Still, there's still A and B.
- Right.
- I can think of an F.
- So can I.
You two go off and enjoy your lunch.
We'll sit and wait for Penny and Stephen's verdict.
If Stephen has a square of black material on his head, we'll know the worst.
- All right.
What - No, you tell me over lunch.
- All right.
- Oh, Judy, where's Sandy? She hasn't run away, has she? No.
She's upstairs trying not to look like Humpty Dumpty.
- Humpty Dumpty? - Don't ask me.
Oh, Lionel, we're not bad people, are we? Penny and Stephen aren't bad people.
No, but every time I put my head out of the door, she'll be there saying, "Oh, you look thin, or fat, or short, or tall.
" "You look manic-depressive.
" - Stephen will want chaps' chats.
- At least he's not always finding fault.
No.
He just keeps dripping on your head like Chinese water torture.
This is all the Carters' fault.
What did they want to move to Aylesbury for? So they could do the joke about buck's fizz, presumably.
You must tell that to Stephen in one of your chaps' chats.
- He'll think it's hysterical.
- You smiled then.
Slip of the lip.
Ah.
Judy's told you, then.
We're contemplating a suicide pact.
Look, it might not be that bad.
Change of subject.
I don't look like Humpty Dumpty, do I? If PC Plod thinks that, his eyes aren't good enough for him to be in the police.
Don't call him that.
I bet he hates police jokes.
- I shan't say it to his face.
- Actually, I won't bring him in, if you don't mind.
If Penny and Stephen are back - You don't want to be living them down.
- That sort of thing.
Ooh, that'll be him.
Bye.
- Have a nice time.
- Thanks.
Tell him to take his helmet off when he's skating.
Lionel, what are we going to do? Let's just try and look on the bright side.
They're coming now.
I'm off.
Bye! - Hello, Sandy.
- Hello.
Must dash.
- Right, then.
- Right, then.
- Who's that man with Sandy? - A policeman.
- What's she done? - They're going skating.
- Did you like the house? - We loved it.
There's a strange thing in that house.
I had a very strong feeling that I'd been in it before.
Probably because you've been in this house, and they're identical.
Ah, that'll be it, then.
Pleased? Well, of course I'm pleased, but why do you want to move to London? You have a lovely house in the country.
So do you but you don't spend much time in it.
- Lionel's father gave it to us.
- Yes, well, we're not so lucky.
We can afford only one house.
We shall break the bank if we buy this one.
- You don't want to do that.
- Well We're stagnating, that's what we're doing.
You make us sound like some old pond.
Well, it's true.
We need a complete change.
- Well, have a holiday.
- No, a permanent change.
What about Stephen's teeth? - Stephen's teeth? - Not his personal teeth.
- His dental practice.
- Yes.
They're ten a penny in London, dentists.
No problem.
A chum in Kilburn's been asking me to go in with him for years.
Oh.
That's handy.
I nearly fainted when I saw it advertised, didn't I, Stephen? I don't remember you nearly fainting.
Metaphorically.
I mean, there it was.
In a lovely part of London, and right next door to poor Jean and Lionel.
- Dear Jean and Lionel.
- It is expensive.
- Anyone like a cup of tea? - Lovely.
- I'll make it.
- No, I will.
- I'm there, I'm there.
- Stephen, give Lionel a hand.
- Oh, right.
- No, I can manage.
You three chat.
- What shall we chat about? - They bounce off you, don't they, hints? - Girl chat.
- Oh, I see.
Jean.
I'm going to be brutally honest.
You don't seem very thrilled about our idea.
Well, I'll be brutally honest, then.
- I'm not.
- Oh.
We're very fond of you, but living next door, I mean Well, you know what they say about familiarity.
- No? - It breeds contempt.
Why? I don't know, it's a saying.
Then it's a silly saying.
I mean, we won't be living in each other's pockets.
- Shan't we? - No, no.
We shall be seeing a lot of each other, naturally.
- Then there are trips.
- Trips? Yeah, little jollies.
Little jaunts, little lunches.
Oh, it's going to be such fun.
Was it Stanley Holloway who had that little flap in his shed? - Stanley Holloway? - Yes.
- How should I know? - I'm not talking about in real life.
In a film, set in the war.
He had a little flap in his garden shed.
When he lifted it up, it led straight into his neighbour's shed.
The sheds were back-to-back, you see.
Yeah, I suppose they'd have to be.
- Erm - Oh, sorry.
What are you talking about? Well, when Stanley Hollo I think it was Stanley Holloway, and his neighbour, I can't remember his name, wanted to get away from their womenfolk, they went to their sheds, opened the flaps and had a bottle of beer and a jolly good chinwag.
If we move in, I thought we might do the same.
I don't have a garden shed.
Ah.
We could have had some very decent chinwags.
- Well, never mind.
- No.
Course, there's always the local.
Mind you, I shall miss my old local.
Tell me honestly, Stephen.
Do you really want to move to London? - You heard Penny.
- Yes, I heard Penny, but I'm asking you.
Well, at the end of the day, I'm not that keen.
I prefer the country.
Life always seems a bit of a blur up here.
- Well, then? - Ah, you know Pen.
Once she gets an idea in her head like a steamroller.
Flattens everything in her path.
- Don't we ought to take the tea in? - Yes, I suppose so.
There.
- This Happy Breed.
- Who? Us? No, that was the film where Stanley Holloway had that flap in his shed.
Little jollies! I know what Penny's idea of a little jolly is.
Spending three hours buying a pair of shoes.
- Then taking them back the next day.
- You've got it.
You could always chat to Stephen through the flap in the shed.
Don't be such a pig.
Tell me.
I want to tell everyone.
Is this a knockout idea or is this a knockout idea? - Well, I don't know, do I? - Well, it is.
I promise.
- Hi, guys.
- Hi, Alistair.
You are looking at a guy who has had a knockout idea.
- If you say that once more - All right, all right.
Listen and wonder.
Am I shrinking or what? - Cushions.
- Oh, the skating! - I've found it isn't one of my talents.
- I thought you might go on afterwards.
- I couldn't go on afterwards.
- Listen.
Interested as I am in female anatomy, can we get back to my knockout idea? - Sorry.
- Right.
Where are we at? Stephen and Penny want the house next door - and are about to put in a bid, right? - Horribly right.
And you really don't want this to happen.
Right? - Incredibly right.
- So.
What if I put in a higher bid? Why would you want to live next door to us? No offence, but I don't.
I'm happy with my little penthouse by the river.
- With the sunken bathtub.
- With the sunken bathtub.
- What would you do with next door? - Sell it on.
So it goes for sale and Penny and Stephen go after it.
No, they'd never know about it, cos it wouldn't be advertised.
- Private sale.
- Ah.
Now, did I say it was a knockout idea or what? So what do you think? Well, the heroine's a bit soppy, but it's not bad.
- Not your book.
Alistair's master plan.
- Oh.
Well, he wouldn't lose money over that, would he? Alistair, lose money? - No, of course.
- Huh.
It's not really an opinion, is it? I asked you what you thought of the scheme.
- Why scheme? - Well, plan, then.
Idea.
No, you said scheme.
You made it sound devious.
Well, let's face it, it's not exactly, erm - Exactly what? - Well, I'm looking for the word.
Squeaky-clean, it's not exactly squeaky-clean.
- It's not dishonest.
- No.
No, it's not.
It's not as if we're actually cheating anybody.
- No.
Hm.
- Hm.
Not actually cheating.
We are deceiving somebody.
- Alistair's buying the house, not us.
- And we don't know anything about it.
We could never look them in the eye if they knew we were in on that scheme.
- Now you're saying scheme.
- No, plan.
Plan.
What are you doing? Trying not to burn myself on your hot-water bottle.
It fell out of the bottom of the bed ten minutes ago.
Would you like me to get it for you? There was no enthusiasm in that question at all.
If we were young and having an affair, you'd have sprung out and got it.
If we were young and having an affair, it wouldn't have been there in the first place.
- Do you want me to get it or not? - No, I'm quite warm now, thank you.
How did Sandy get along with that policeman? Apart from the sore behind.
Well, she likes him, but he's a bit sporty.
He's asked her to go hiking next weekend.
I'd sooner snog in the back row of the cinema.
Me too.
We'd go mad.
Unless they've changed the design of cinema seats.
No, if Penny and Stephen moved in next door.
Oh! Yeah, it would certainly be a possibility.
Not that Stephen was really that keen on moving anyway.
- You said was.
- Well, it won't be happening now, will it? - Now that Alistair's got his plan.
- Oh, no.
It's wrong, isn't it? Yes.
It's wrong.
It's not for us to manipulate people's lives.
It's not for us to think that we have the right to decide who lives next door.
- You're a decent sort.
- So are you.
Hm.
I'll phone Alistair first thing in the morning and get him to abort the plan.
Yes.
And if Penny and Stephen get the house, they get the house, and welcome.
- I wouldn't go that far.
- No, perhaps not.
Good night.
Good night.
- Lionel? - Yes.
My feet are cold.
Will you get me the bottle? It's not going down.
I haven't unscrewed the whatsit.
Now, here here goes.
- Aaah! - Oh, you've done it.
- Brilliant.
- There's no call-out charge, either.
- Just look at the gunge in there.
- Ugh.
Did we do that? We must have done, unless someone sneaks in at night and uses the sink.
Stick it in there.
- Urgh! I'll get it.
- Yeah, I think you'd better.
Peas.
It's always peas.
Ugh! Yeuch! - It's Penny and Stephen.
- Good morning.
- I bet it's mostly peas.
- How do you know? Always is with us.
Stephen, we did not drive 40 miles to talk about peas.
No, I've got some bad news, and I felt it only right to tell you personally.
- It's not the cat, is it? - No, it's not the cat.
It's the house.
We won't be buying it, we've been gazumped.
Couldn't match the offer, you see.
- You phoned Alistair.
- I know I did.
What's Alistair got to do with it? He had a scheme.
A plan a friend, who was interested.
- Yes, that's it.
- Yes.
We knew how much you wanted it, so we asked him if he could persuade his friend to pull out.
- That's it.
- Yes.
What a very sweet thing to do.
Look, I must use the little girls' room.
It's Stephen's driving.
Excuse me.
- You're pleased, aren't you? - With myself, if the truth be told.
- Why? - I rang the estate agent.
Said I was a Mr Spiros.
Did a voice, of course.
And bid higher than Penny and I could possibly match.
You gazumped yourself? In a manner of speaking, yes.
Not bad for a dull-witted dentist, is it? Stephen, if Mr Spiros' offer is the highest that the estate agent gets what will you do? Oh, Lord.
I'll phone Alistair.
# 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 #