As Time Goes By (1992) s08e05 Episode Script

805 - Future Imperfect

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # Damn and blast.
- Damn and blast! - Do you want a hand, Lionel? - I can manage, thank you.
- Fine.
- Will you come out? - Is she the sister? No, she can't be.
The sister went to Australia.
Well, she looks like her.
Unless there's a third sister we don't know about.
- That's not very likely, is it? - None of it's likely.
Look, I know you're in there.
Will you come out? I've just got comfortable.
- What's the matter, Lionel? - Who said anything was the matter? Fair enough.
- She could have come back.
- She only went last week.
All right, it's this stupid printer.
Oh, what's the matter with the printer? It won't print.
It keeps saying it's not connected.
A bit like you at the moment.
- You've got to click onto the print icon.
- Where's that? Oh, come here! There you go.
- Nothing's happening.
- Well, give it a minute.
- It is the sister.
- How do you know? She's denying it.
A dead giveaway.
It's working! Why is she standing in the shadows? You can't see her face clearly at all.
- She's had plastic surgery.
- In a week? It's working! Of course it's working.
You really must come to grips with modern technology.
I used to be able to strip a Bren gun in 45 seconds, you know.
That's not really relevant, is it? Absolute rubbish! - Good, though.
- Yeah, it was.
Almost as good as watching Lionel wrestle with modern technology.
Well, we didn't have to in my day.
- Of course you did.
- Well, it didn't seem so modern then.
Why are you wrestling with technology? I'm just putting down some figures.
You could have saved the apoplexy and just jotted them down.
But printed figures always look more formal, more definite somehow.
- I'm going up to bed.
- Where's Sandy, by the way? Oh, Alistair's taken her to some glitzy do.
Sandy needs a bit of pampering.
Alistair is the arch pamperer.
It's all fine by me.
Good night, Mum.
Good night, Judy.
- Night, Lionel, you old Bren gunner! - Night.
- I'm about ready for bed myself.
- Yes, me too.
Is it all right? What, us sleeping together? Yes, we are married.
This business of Sandy going out with Alistair.
I know Judy keeps saying it's fine.
Or is saying it's fine really a way of saying, "I'm saying it isn't fine at all"? I'm much too tired to work out what that sentence means.
- Well, they're funny things, women.
- Yes, aren't they? I wouldn't want you to feel uncomfortable about staying.
I'm not.
We had an awful lot to drink.
These guild dinners are like that.
- They were vintners.
- You should see the haberdashers! Last time I went to their do, I ended up in Arbroath.
It was a nice evening.
Thanks, Alistair.
Thank you.
I mean, you in that dress.
Talk about vintners' corks popping! Oh, I should have hung it up.
I could say, "Go ahead".
But basically I'm one of the white hat guys.
- Can't I lend you a pair of pyjamas? - No, I'm fine.
I'm surprised you don't have a wardrobe full of guest nighties.
Since when did guests of mine need nighties? You've just offered to lend me a pair of pyjamas.
Ah, that's different.
You're Sandy.
Oh.
Does that make me a pyjama sort of girl? Absolutely not.
You could drive a guy wild wearing a dustbin liner.
I trust you mean a designer dustbin liner.
Naturally.
- So - So? Are you tired? - Fairly.
- Right.
OK.
Point taken.
Understood.
- Sleep tight.
- Night, Alistair.
- Just one thing.
- What is it? Tea or coffee in the morning? Oh, coffee, please.
- Coffee it is, then.
Good night.
- Night.
Hmm.
You're not abusing that machine again, are you? I'm just checking my figures again.
I'm hardly earning anything.
This is about everyone in the world but you having a pension plan, isn't it? Lionel, we've been through this.
It doesn't matter.
We're all right.
- Has Sandy gone out? - She hasn't come in yet.
Oh? She probably spent the night with friends.
That won't work if you don't switch it on.
I don't want it to work.
I'm just looking at some figures.
Lionel, what is this sudden obsession with money? - Who mentioned money? - We do talk, you know.
I'm not just some woman over the garden fence.
- We're family.
- Come and have your coffee.
If I'd stayed in Kenya, planting coffee, we'd be quite well off.
I didn't even know you were in Kenya.
Oh, no.
I just wish you'd stop going on about it.
I'll be a kept man in a couple of years.
You can do all the housework if it makes you feel any better.
- Is there any more coffee in the pot? - Yes, plenty.
You don't like me doing housework.
The mood you're in, I'd sooner you were doing it in someone else's house! - Good morning.
- Oh, hello, Judy.
- Hey, hey.
- Erm I'd better get changed.
If you need any help with zips It's just something I say.
Yes, I know.
- How's Harry? - Harry? Sandy said he took you to the pictures.
- Oh, yeah, yeah, he did.
- So, how is he? Are you enquiring about his health or if I've been out with him again? - Which do you think? - He's very well, thank you.
Sandy's home.
Am I being hauled before the head honchos? We are grown-ups here, Alistair.
And isn't that a wonderful thing? - Do you want coffee? - No, thanks.
I've got to go to Athens.
- Athens? - I'm hoping to meet Nana Mouskouri, to talk about a new book called Boys Do Make Passes.
But, erm while I'm here, Li, could I have a word? Fine.
Go on.
- Ah.
- Is that it? - How do I say this diplomatically? - Oh, "Clear off"? Is this what we discussed when Penny and Stephen were here? If so, it's in the public domain now.
This is the conversation with the CD in it, right? That was part of it.
I asked Alistair if he had any bright ideas about me earning some money.
- Where does the CD come in? - That's not important.
- Alistair - It's not important.
I had this wild idea that Lionel should do a CD entitled The Songs Of Kenya.
With Lionel singing the songs? - I said it was a wild idea.
- An insane idea.
Mind you, if you want to make the video as well What's going on? Lionel's going to make a CD called Songs Of Kenya.
I am not, I am not.
- Why say you are, then? - I didn't.
It cropped up in a conversation I'd like to renew, if you three would stop giggling.
Yes, come on, shh! Behave yourselves.
- Sorry.
- Thank you.
Alistair, I know it seems a long time ago now, but what were you saying? The old bull silences the herd, eh? - We are not the herd! - Can we please stick to the subject? Yes, Li.
Now, you figure you need a cash backup in your I'm not saying declining years.
- Just get on with it.
- The means is staring you in the face.
The house in Hampshire.
Sell it.
- I am open to hugs of congratulation.
- This needs talking about.
Not by me.
This is none of my business.
No, nor mine.
Oh, and hey, I've got to get to Athens.
Think about it, Li.
Yiasou.
Bye, Alistair.
Well, that's one way to clear a room.
- Yes.
I've got some washing to do.
- Oh, not you, as well? At least stay and tell me what you think.
Use me as a sounding board, but don't expect me to jump in with a quick opinion.
Fair enough.
Well It's a practical idea, isn't it? A big house in the country that we keep up for 365 days a year.
How often do we use it? Economically, that doesn't make sense.
Sell it.
I'm glad you didn't jump in with a quick opinion.
I still don't know why you need the money.
Because I need to be part of our economy.
You, the girls, the tiles on the roof.
What's wrong with the tiles on the roof? Nothing, it's just an example.
But I need to be part of it.
You are an old bull, aren't you? I'm not saying I go along with the herd bit, but you are.
- Call me old-fashioned.
- I do, frequently.
Do you know, I can't touch my toes any more? No.
I just pretend I can, but never try.
I think you've got the right idea.
- Well, don't try it now.
- No, I'm going to do that washing.
- Oh, dear! - Run out of soap powder again? - Selling the house! - Now, we've just agreed on that.
Yes, I know, and it's fine.
But you're going to have to tell Mrs Bale and Lol Ferris that they're out of a job.
- Lionel, come on! - I'm coming, I'm coming.
- There you are.
- Thanks, Judy.
Are you sure you don't want to come? Don't look so innocent.
No, I don't.
You do your own dirty work.
- Sandy - I'm not a hired gun.
Ready! Oh, for goodness' sake, we're not taking more stuff down there? They're empty.
We should start bringing stuff back.
- Oh.
- You're wearing the wrong clothes.
Breeches and crop.
That's what the squire wears to dismiss the peasants.
Not funny.
Stand with your back to the fireplace.
They do that.
This isn't going to be easy for Lionel.
He'll have you there.
Take some of the flak.
- Shall we go? - Bye, Mum.
Good hunting! Don't forget to throw in a bit of bodice ripping.
I hope you both have a thoroughly unpleasant day.
It's a wonderful idea, Mr Hardcastle.
Revive the old Christmas! I ought to have suggested it to the boy before.
Too many traditions going out of the window in this country, if you ask me.
Like hanging.
Not exactly what I had in mind, Lol.
Beheading, then.
I was thinking of Christmas traditions.
Yes, like proper carol singing.
Three full verses they used to give you.
Now it's a couple of lines and they're rattling tins.
How many people did we used to cram in here? I think 227 was the record.
Good Christmases then! I may be speaking out of turn, Mr Hardcastle, but I still regret the day you left.
Tosh, you silly old bat! Here they are now.
I'll lend a hand.
We can manage.
Let's hope they're in receptive mood.
- Is this the lot, then? - Yes, thanks, Lol.
- Apart from a few boxes.
- Boxes? When am I going to convince you that you need not bring supplies? This is not a log cabin in the Canadian Rockies.
It's all right, Mrs Bale.
They're empty.
Why should you bring empty cardboard boxes? Well, because You can never have too many empty cardboard boxes for storage, can you? - No Madge? - No, she sent her apologies.
She She's wrestling with the local operatic society at the moment.
Why is she wrestling with the operatic society? They're planning a production of Irma La Douce.
I'd have thought Madge would approve.
Oh, she does.
The trouble is, she wants to play Irma.
- This could be a long wrestle.
- Yes.
- I'll make a fresh pot.
- I'll give you a hand.
- I can manage.
Please, sit down.
- I'll be going.
I don't feel right.
- You're not ill, are you, Lol? - No.
I don't really belong indoors.
- Stuff and nonsense, man! - Besides, you are part of the task force.
Task force? We retook the Falklands some time ago, Mrs Bale.
The persuasion force, then.
Who's persuading who to do what? Well, we want you, my boy, and you, Jean Pargetter, to revive the old Christmases we used to have here.
They really were wonderful times, the house alive with people! I dragged a great tree up from the woods.
- I've kept the decorations.
- And one of Mrs Bale's banquets! My God, you couldn't move for two days afterwards! - What about that punch? - Dynamite! I can still see those torches bobbing up and down in the darkness, as people made their way up from the village to the house.
Lucky it were downhill all the way home! - Special times! - Wonderful times.
Come on, what do you say? It's your house now, so it's your decision.
Well, I - Well - Spit it out.
Well Quick decisions were never your strong point.
We'll give you time to think it over.
Thank you.
You have your tea, and I'll pop back this evening.
Lol, there are one or two things I want to talk about - I feel like Scrooge.
- They couldn't have known, could they? - Known what? - You were intending to sell the house.
Not unless they've got our house bugged.
Why do you ask? We walk in, ready to tell them you're selling the house We're selling.
Within seconds, they're asking us to keep up the old Christmas.
It's not fair.
When was anything ever fair? We could put the house up for sale after Christmas.
- What, soften the blow, you mean? - Something like that.
Swoop when they're still digesting their pudding and say, "You're out of a job"? - Not in so many words.
- No, it's not on.
If they want their merry Christmas, fine.
But they've got to be told now.
- Go on, then.
- I didn't mean this minute.
What are you going to say? I haven't the faintest idea.
Poor old squire.
After we've broken the news, we could always set fire to a few cottages.
Drive off some cattle while we're at it.
- You said "we".
- What's strange about that? We are we.
Not when it comes to breaking the news.
It's "you".
- Well, it's your house.
- Our house.
Our house.
Don't worry.
I won't leave you to do it alone.
That way, if they rush us, we won't be so badly outnumbered.
- What did you do in the army? - You know what I did.
I served in Korea and got kicked by a mule.
- You had to sack someone? - You don't sack people in the army.
Well, when you had to break bad news? Well, the only bad news I ever had to break was that we were advancing.
But as I was advancing with them, I didn't really feel that guilty.
So, what are you going to say? - I still haven't the faintest idea.
- Don't be long.
- I'm not going anywhere.
- No, long-winded, I mean.
Keep it short.
It's quicker.
Obviously.
Ohh! - What are you doing? - Well, I'm having a nap.
Having a nap isn't going to solve anything.
It delays the inevitable.
- I know.
- Shift over.
Where's Lol, Mrs Bale? Burning leaves.
Do you want him? Yes.
Lionel and I have something to say to you both.
No need to look for him.
I'll get him on his mobile.
- Lol has a mobile? - Oh, we move with the times.
Ah, Lol.
This is Mrs Bale.
Over.
Yes, I know who you are.
Mr and Mrs Hardcastle wish to speak to us.
Over.
Very well.
Goodbye.
Over and out.
Lol will be here directly.
- Why do you say "Over"? - We thought you were supposed to.
Oh.
- Lol's on his way.
- Oh, jolly good.
- I think so, don't you? - Definitely.
Excuse me.
- Hello? - Oh, this is Mrs Bale speaking.
Oh, hello, Lol.
Over.
Yes, I see.
Over.
Then we'll see you in a minute.
Over and out.
Over and out.
I'm trying to persuade my mother to get one but she's got a fear of blowing up.
- Sit down, Lol.
- No, no, no.
I erm Sit down, Lol.
Oh.
- I thought we could use a drink.
- Isn't it a little early? Think of it as moving with the times.
Not too much for me.
I'm all right with stout but wine makes me go peculiar.
- Well Cheers.
- Chin chin.
- Good health! - Cheers.
I'll make this brief and to the point.
You've reached a decision about restoring the Christmas party? - What? - You were going to think about it.
- Was I? - We did say.
Oh, yes, so we did.
Yes, We will go ahead with this year's Christmas party.
- Oh, what a very kind thing to do! - Well, that's wonderful! I'd better book Mother in early at the hairdressers.
They'll be jam packed when word gets out.
I'll cook for 150, to be on the safe side.
- 150? - Oh, why not? I hope your daughter and her friend watch my brothers under the mistletoe.
- I'll warn them.
- You'd better.
If a girl's standing under the mistletoe, looking for a kiss, they'll get one! - They're a bit forward, aren't they? - Everyone is, after a glass of punch.
- Why, last time, Mrs Bale herself - Please, don't! Don't concern yourself with the catering.
I'll order everything locally.
It'd take a lorry to get it from London.
Anyway, the party apart - Wine on the table! - Oh, Father.
- I've come to a decision.
- I can see that.
Well, let's drink to it.
To my boy, Lionel, and his child bride, Jean.
They may be townies, but they have good hearts and a sense of tradition.
To Lionel and Jean.
- To Mr and Mrs Hardcastle.
- Junior.
Thank you.
Erm No need for a speech, Lionel.
Your speeches tend to go on a bit.
Well, this one won't, I promise.
I've decided to sell the house.
I think we're right not to stay the night.
We could have got a poisoned breakfast.
That's the trouble.
Mrs Bale and Lol took it so well.
I wish he hadn't kept sniffing into that big, red handkerchief.
There's something touching about a man with a big handkerchief.
I didn't realise Mrs Bale had been here so long.
And she still only admits to being just over 40.
Lol's father worked here before him.
It's not as if you're throwing them onto the streets.
No, not exactly.
Father went very quiet.
Yes, and that takes some doing.
But look, Rocky said it.
"It's your house, my boy.
Yours to do as you think fit.
" - That's a killer, that is.
- No, he's an honest man.
He meant it.
And Lol says, "Well, life goes on.
" Blowing on his big, red hanky as he said it.
I wish he hadn't.
Mrs Bale didn't mention the shipping forecast once, and that's not natural.
She did say, "Que sera will be.
" Why didn't she say, "Que sera sera"? What, a whole sentence in a foreign tongue? I don't think so.
What does it all mean? Que sera will be, life goes on.
It's all platitudes.
No, it isn't.
It's decent people coping with bad news.
- So what do you think? - About what? - Oh, come on.
- Well, you're a kind man, Lionel.
Whatever you say, there's space in your life for other people.
But at the end of the day, you don't owe Mrs Bale and Lol a living.
You don't owe anybody outside your family a living.
You have a perfect right to do what you want with your own house.
- Our house.
- Our house, then.
- Come on.
We're ready.
- Yes.
Why do I feel like making a run for it? A dark past is all I can come up with.
Come on.
Are you watching this? Not really.
Carpentry has a very limited appeal for me.
About last night.
Oh, Sandy.
Look, I'm getting tired of saying this.
You and Alistair are your business, not mine.
I'm not asking you for any explanations.
I'm not offering an explanation.
I'm asking a question.
Oh.
go on, then.
Is Alistair gay? Gay? - No.
- Are you sure? - Sandy! - Sorry.
Why on earth would you ask if he was? Well, it's just, the other night I'd had a little too much to drink and it was late.
So not coming home seemed a good idea.
- And? - He slept in the spare bedroom.
- To start with.
- No.
The most seductive question he asked was tea or coffee in the morning.
He even offered to lend me a pair of pyjamas.
We are talking about Alistair "Hey Hey" Deacon? - Yeah.
- Well, perhaps he Perhaps No, not Alistair.
Are you sure? Not a move? Not a move.
But not that I wanted him to.
But pride dictates that you should get the chance of turning one down.
Well, yes.
You see, that's why I wondered whether all that talk was just a cover.
- It's weird.
- Mm.
- Why are you looking at me like that? - Nothing.
They said they weren't coming back till tomorrow.
- Look out, it's the wicked squire! - Boo! Sss! Bad timing.
- You actually went through with it? - That's what wicked squires do.
I never thought you'd do something so Despicable? No.
So economically sound.
Look, it had to be done, and Lionel was man enough to do it.
- How did Mrs Bale and Lol take it? - Stoically.
- Oh, dear.
- Have you two had anything to eat? How could we eat with Mrs Bale saying things like, "One can't expect things to stay the same forever"? And Lol sniffing into a big, red hanky.
Oh, not a big, red hanky? I didn't realise they had such a profound effect on women.
- I'm gonna make you something to eat.
- I'll give you a hand.
- Here, I think you need this.
- Thanks.
Well, at least I know what to give you for Christmas.
A box of big, red hankies.
Would you get that? Yes.
Probably the first abusive phone call from the village.
Hello? Oh, hello, Father.
How can you possibly have arranged that so quickly? - What's he done? - He's found a buyer for the house.
How? Jean says "How?" Yes.
Well, yes, you're right, of course.
It was staring us in the face all the time.
Well, that's wonderful.
All right, I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Thanks, bye.
- Who's buying the house? - He is.
Oh, that's perfect.
He and Madge belong there.
So do Mrs Bale and Lol.
I don't know why they left it in the first place.
- Oh, my God! - What? He gave me the house.
Now the old fool's trying to buy it back from me.
I'm rounding off a wonderful day by robbing my own father.
# 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 #