Crooked House (2008) s01e02 Episode Script

Something Old

There was a house near here.
It had an interesting reputation.
Ghosts? Little room to swing a cat in here.
And no system.
That's the problem with little places like us.
Collections of all just odds and sods, Cromwellian musket balls, stuffed giraffe's heads and the odd fossil.
That's me, by the way.
Are you sure? Oh, why not? Two sugars, please.
Sir Roger's tenancy did seem to leave the place with a sort of unhappy atmosphere, an affinity with evil, if you like.
Curious things continued to happen over the years.
There was a surgeon who brought home a stained souvenir of the Napoleonic Wars.
What happened to him? He met his Waterloo.
And there was a Victorian menagerist who found something unexpected hiding in his collection.
Let me think.
Something choice.
We have to move forward quite a little way.
The Manor passed into the hands of the de Momery family.
Indecently rich.
They had their ups and downs like anyone.
And then in1927, the son, Felix, decided to throw a party.
CHARLESTON MUSIC Let's tell everyone tonight! We can't! Why ever not? Because there'd be a terrific fuss, Felix, that's why not.
I imagine your parents would prefer to be present! A detail, my dear girl, a mere detail.
Anyway, thank the Lord they're not here this weekend, because I intend to be very badly behaved.
You do? I do.
And if they were here, I certainly shouldn't be able to do something like this.
God, I do love you an awful lot.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
Do it again.
Hm? Take the words right out of my mouth.
LAUGHTER Oh, Lor! Avert thine eyes, all! There's canoodling going on here.
Hello, Billy.
Silly Billy.
What are you doing up here? Sherbert run dry? Katherine sent me to fetch you, old thing.
She's demanding a dance.
Is she? Awful insistent.
You know how she gets.
Well, of course you do.
Coming, then? No.
Tell Katherine I'm rather preoccupied with my fiancee.
Your what? You chaps can be the first to know.
Gloriana! That's terrific.
I say, won't your parentals be a bit miffed? Have you told them? Grandmama's here.
She can give the thing her blessing.
Lady Constance is here? Tonight? Didn't you notice the flag flying? Oh, yes.
The old dear is in residence.
Nice to have people at the Manor again, your Ladyship.
It's been too long.
I'm sure we never made such a racket in our day.
Oh, if anything you were worse.
Don't be ridiculous, Adams.
Good for them, I reckon.
As my mother used to say, "You're looking at the lid for a very long time.
" "Lid"? Coffin lid, your Ladyship.
That's to say, life is short.
We did have some parties, didn't we, Adams? Wonderful parties.
None of this thrashing about that they get up to nowadays, like something from a monkey house.
Dancing was dancing in those days.
I remember when Miss Eleanor came back.
Still, we mustn't dwell on the past, must we, Adams? No, your Ladyship.
I don't envy them their youth.
I'm ready for my bed! KNOCKING Oh.
Well, really, Felix, what is this all about? Just a few moments, Grandmama.
I have a surprise.
Oh, don't keep us in suspense, Master Felix! This isn't one of your parlour games, is it? No, Constance.
It's rather serious, actually.
Very well.
And don't call me by my Christian name.
Whatever can it be? Something perfectly trivial, Adams.
Young people are so deplorably trivial these days.
Right! Everyone! Everyone.
EVERYONE! Friends Romans! Shut up, Niggs! Um Hello! It's so wonderful to have you all here at the Manor tonight, not only because we're having such a ripping time CHEERING But because I have an announcement to make.
Hello, Katherine, darling.
What's going on? I'm just so thrilled and happy to be able to tell you, and my dear grandmother, Lady Constance, and you too, Miss Adams, you dear old thing, that, after much effort and persuasion And Perrier Jouet! LAUGHTER After much effort and persuasion, Miss Ruth Sykes of The Laburnums, West Hampstead, has consented to become my wife! Oh, master Felix, that's wonderful! That's all! Ooh! Really, I don't know why I'm marrying you.
Now, back to the booze, the lot of you! GLASSES CLINK Well, Grandmama, what do you think of that? What's the matter? Constance? My warmest congratulations to you.
Now, if you'll excuse me She'll be fine, my love.
I'll I'll just You enjoy the party.
Well, I think it's justtopping.
Is that the word, dear? Topping? Yes.
It's just the word, Miss Adams.
I wonder Yes? You join the others, dear.
I'll be with you in a moment.
Grandmama? When When was all this decided? It seems rather sudden.
Sudden? For heaven's sake, what's the point in hanging around?! Why all this mania for rushing into everything? Ruth's awfully young, isn't she? What will your parents say? Poor old Jack would've swept up a lovely thing like Ruthie in double quick time, wouldn't he? Jack never got the chance.
Exactly! He's lying in some wretched Belgian field, God rest his soul.
Felix, don't.
I know he'd be very happy for us.
Can't you be? Of course.
Of course I can.
She's a lovely girl.
I hope you'll be very happy.
You are a love.
I'd I'd better get back.
Oh, yes.
Good night, Grandmama.
Good night, my boy.
Something old I've never heard anything so ridiculous.
The star-crossed lovers, you mean? Should've been you, precious.
Nearly was me, precious.
Did he ever give you a reason for breaking off? Oh, something perfectly ludicrous like he didn't love me or some such.
I said, "Really, darling, that hardly matters.
" But Ruth! Aren't her people fishmongers or something? They're certainly in fish.
In fish! How frightful! In fish.
Certainly explains how wet she is! I've never met anyone quite so Have you seen Felix? Darling! What a wonderful surprise! Congratulations! Thanks.
Ruthie! Oh, Felix.
Felix! You old sly boots Congratulations.
Thanks, Katherine.
We are rather thrilled.
Of course you are! We must get rather drastically sloshed, must we not? I've never needed an excuse for a party.
Show Katherine the ring, Ruthie.
The ring! There's a ring already? He must be serious, darling! Oh, isn't that just divine? So sweet.
I always say it's better to choose quality over quantity.
The one he bought me was such a large affair.
Quite dazzled me.
What's that? A Chinese surprise? All right, sweet? Oh, Lord.
I almost forgot, Ruthie.
Adams was hunting you out.
Oh? Girls' talk, I expect.
Can I come, too? Don't be an ass, Billy.
She's up at the house.
I shan't be long.
I'll make sure he behaves.
Must say, she took it awful well.
What? Katherine.
I fear I'd be less magnanimous if an old flame flaunted their new conquest quite so boldly.
You're different.
Oh? You don't have any old flames.
Oh, ha-ha.
Or do you? I've never quite worked you out, Silly-Billy.
Really, my love, you have no idea.
I fancy I shall loot daddy's Montrachet.
Coming? I rarely soil my hands unless in the pursuit of very bad deeds.
I'll find you once the corks are popped.
I say Hm? You are sure about this, old love? Sure about what? Marriage.
Of course I am! You were sure about Katherine once.
That was different.
It was a silly infatuation.
We are going to miss you, Felix.
Miss me? What do you mean? We'll all still be friends, you duffer! Yes.
But it'll never be the same, will it? Do forgive me, old thing.
Suddenly remembered I have an appointment.
A bientot.
There you are, dear! Felix said you were looking for me.
Yes, miss.
Just a little something for your wedding day.
You really don't have to go to any Oh, how lovely.
"Something old", miss! It could be your "something old"! If you care to have it.
It's beautiful.
A fair few years old it is, too.
It's not No, of course not.
MISS Adams.
It belonged to a very special lady.
I'm sure she'd have been very glad to know it had gone to someone such as you.
That's very kind of you.
I'd be honoured to wear it.
I'm glad.
Now, I'd better get back to Lady Constance.
She likes a chapter of Berry before bed.
SPEAKS INCOHERENTLY How did he pop the question? Ruthie? Oh, you silly goose! Give me some more! Felix! Oh, I'm so sorry.
I thought Oh, God.
It's the fish-wife.
Hello! I'm sorry, Katherine.
I didn't mean to intrude.
Just keeping up the party spirit, darling.
If you're looking for Felix, I'm afraid I haven't seen him.
Don't say he's straying already! But then you'll have to get used to that, won't you, Ruthie, darling? They're all alike, aren't you, Geraldo? Geraldo.
From the Argentine.
Isn't he a dish? No? Probably a little too spicy for your tastes.
I should run along if I were you, Ruthie.
This is the grown-ups' corner.
LAUGHING ECHOES Dear me, you are a jumpy little thing.
You should see someone about that.
I have the most darling nerve-man.
No, Billy.
I'm a little tired.
Hush, hush! It's time for Sardines! What? Any moment now! No.
I don't want to.
Niggs Johnson is it.
It? Hiding.
Come on, don't be such a wet blanket.
Good hunting! Ruthie Felix? Ruthie CREAKING Ruthie Felix? Come on in! It's such fun.
Niggs is it.
I found him and now we have to squash up like herrings.
Sardines, you nit.
Don't call me names, you beast.
Oh, for Pete's sake.
You shoved me! I did not shove you! You absolutely shoved me! That was a shove! SHE CRIES CRYING CONTINUES HUMMING Dear me.
Up the wooden hill for you, old thing.
KNOCKING Whowho is it? Are you all right, my child? Please, just leave me alone.
It's Lady Constance, Ruth.
Oh! What is it? What's happened? Nothing.
It's nothing.
Now, come along, my dear.
It might help to talk.
It's F Felix.
Yes, I rather thought it might be.
Have you two had a little tiff? Hm? Not exactly.
Well, what? I know what everyone thinks that I'm not good enough for him cos my parents are .
are in trade.
And Katherine.
I mean, they were engaged and I should run along if I were you, Ruthie.
This is the grown-ups' corner.
Don't you worry about her.
But the way she is with him.
The things she implies.
What? That he'll stray? That he's got a wandering eye? It's balderdash! But I saw him, Lady Constance.
You saw him? Just now.
There was there was another woman.
Who? I'm sure it was just a bit of drunken tomfoolery.
I couldn't see her face, because of the veil.
Where did you get this? Miss Adams gave it to me.
Adams?! For my "something old".
Your? Oh, excuse me, my dear.
I must I have to go.
Sleep tight, old boy.
How could you?! How could you?! But it was such a long time ago! I'm so sorry, Lady Constance.
I didn't mean to upset you.
I just thought You thought? You didn't think at all! "Something old"? To bring the poor girl luck on her wedding day? After all that happened? Oh, for heaven's sake! Oh, forgive me, milady, but this has gone on for long enough.
Because of that day, that terrible day, this family, all of us, has been in a state of fear ever since.
Miss Ruth and Master Felix could change all that.
Don't you see? It could be a fresh start.
Would that be so bad? What did happen? Oh, it's nothing, Ruth.
You go back to bed.
I want to know.
But Please! Sometimes it seems as if it was only yesterday.
But it was a lifetime ago.
There was a wedding here.
My sister, Eleanor.
I didn't know you had a She's never spoken of.
Even Felix knows nothing of her.
We thought it Well, I thought it better that way.
She got married? Yes, Miss.
But She married a man called Roddy St Claire.
Bit of a scoundrel.
But everyone was fond of him.
Oh, yes.
We all loved Roddy.
On her wedding night, Eleanor lost sight of him.
She went along to their room and when she got there Yes? She found him with another girl.
Oh, God.
What did she do? There was a letter knife, Miss.
Sheused it to Eleanor couldn't bear what she was seeing.
So she stabbed and stabbed at her own eyes.
Her beautiful eyes.
She couldn't survive that, of course.
And with her dying breath, she laid a curse.
"Never another bride.
Never another bride" There will never be another bride at Geap Manor.
What's the matter? Stop it! Stop it! Oh, I should have known! I don't understand.
Both of you! Miss! You're worse than that awful Katherine.
Not good enough for your precious Felix, am I? But because he loves me, because he loves a simple little nothing me, you have to find a way of destroying everything! No! Ruth, please believe me.
I saw your face back there when Felix made the announcement.
You were appalled.
Disgusted! I was afraid! There's never been a new bride here since Eleanor.
They've all been sent away to marry.
Far away.
Just in case.
You're mad! But you saw her! You saw her! I saw a woman in a party costume! I'm afraid you're going to have to do rather better than this.
I intend to marry Felix.
Here or in Timbuktu or wherever he chooses! Oh, my Lady.
What have I done? It wasn't your doing, Adams.
Not yours.
Felix? No! For God's sake not again! Look! Look! Look.
It's me you want, Eleanor! I took him from you that night.
It was me.
Your own sister! SHE SCREAMS Ruth? Ruthie! Eleanor My Lady My Lady But they were all right, though? The ones who were going to get married? Oh, yes.
Once they got away from the place.
Lived happily ever after.
Perhaps you'd like to give it a good home.
KNOCKING In Darlington, in 2008, a team of enthusiasts is building the first brand-new British steam locomotive from scratch in nearly 50 years.
It's a multi-million pound endeavour that started nearly 20 years ago.
Though the project is unique, the enthusiasm is not.
Steam engines still have a huge and passionate following all over Britain.
When you're near a steam locomotive, there's an almost elemental force at work.
You can feel every single aspect of that machine is working.
It's passionate, it's theatrical, it's dirty, noisy, powerful.
It's heavy metal in motion.
It's a combination of noise, and atmosphere, vast, cranking engines and colour and coal and fire.
I just think it's the most wonderful thing on earth.
Most of us think of steam trains as museum pieces.
They were a Victorian technology, dirty, incredibly inefficient and dangerous.
But as late as 1968, scheduled steam services still ran on British railways.
After World War II, most European countries switched to diesel and electric powered trains.
Britain chose to stick with steam power.
Thousands of new steam locomotives were built.
A quixotic enterprise doomed to failure.
The steam engine had been around for 150 years, it had done its job, the world had moved on.
The day of the diesel and electric train had come, and steam had to die.
Other countries left steam behind long ago.