Hammer House of Horror (1980) s01e02 Episode Script

The Thirteenth Reunion

What's the damage? Contusions on the chest and arms.
Slight bruising on the lower abdomen.
Otherwise, there's not a mark.
Splendid.
Morning, Ruth.
Hey, stop! Turn round.
You're overweight.
So, what's new? How would you like to fight the flab? So long as it doesn't involve any exercise | or cutting down on any of my food.
All it involves is a large dose of masochism.
Listen to this.
"Dear Gwen, l've just completed a ten-week course with a new | weight-reducing organisation called Think Thin.
Physically, it was a success.
l lost nearly a stone and a half, | but at what a price! destroys all you seIf-confidence and l'm sure it could turn someone with a mental or psychological problem into a nervous wreck.
Why don't you get one of your reporters | to take the course? It'd make an interesting article and you'd be doing a public service.
" - Well? | - Oh, geat The assignment of the year! And what made you think of little old me? Not so little.
| That's why l'm offering you a world exclusive.
Why don't you get one of the fellas to go? They're more overweight than l am.
readers are not interested in overweight men.
They're interested in themselves, and new ways | of keeping slim, young and beautiful.
Well, l don't know why we have | a Womens Page.
We don't have a men's page.
How are we going to get rid | of sexism in this country if even Fleet Street think that women are | self-centred morons with no minds of their own? Ours not to reason why, ours just to increase | the female readership of the paper.
Yes, well, l'd like to write | about the real world for a change.
The real heartaches, | the shocks that flesh is heir to.
Oh, it's just that l am fed up with fashion shows | and potted plants and perfect kitchens.
Ruth! You can't go walking about | with Epping Forest on your shoulder.
lf you want to be independent, | then resign and write a bestseller.
Well, do you have any background stuff | on this place? Not much.
lt's based at the Chesterton Clinic.
it's funded by the same foundation.
Chesterton Do you know who runs it? A man called Willis.
Willis.
at a south London comprehensive.
Six months after he resigned, | he emerged as the director of Think Thin.
How long do l have to stick with this? As long as you can Do some short interim reports | and we'll do a big spread at the end.
- All right? | - OK.
Oh, and, Ruth? Get Roland to get a shot of you each week | so that the readers can follow your progress.
Progress? Why do you skeletons assume | that cutting everybody down to your size is progress? l'm with Caesar.
| "Let me have men that are fat.
" Just taken a call.
There's another big one coming in soon.
Clean bill of health? Of course.
How old? Late 20s.
Shame.
Those whom the gods love, eh? Shh.
Door.
Look at her, everybody.
Isn't she fat? Isn't she ugly? Isn't she repulsive? You ought to be ashamed | to be seen in public, Joyce.
You should bury yourself up to the neck in sand.
Look! You weren't always like that.
A slim young girl | without an ounce of surplus fat.
through sheer self-indulgence Do you like looking so unattractive, Joyce? Do you enjoy making men turn away in disgust? No.
Then what makes you so greedy? with starchy foods all day? Don't know Boredom, l suppose.
Boredom?! | What have you got to be bored about, Joyce? You say you love your husband, you love your children.
Yes, butthey're always away.
l'm lonely! Well, do something about it, you stupid cow! Start a creche a political party.
Anything to take your mind off your guts! Have you looked in the mirror lately? Yeah.
That is why your husband stays out late at the office.
to come back to a quivering mountain of fat! lt's all right, Joyce.
lt's all right.
Here.
l think you've got the message.
| Off you go.
Right.
Ben, stand up and be counted.
Well, what do you think, folks? A slight improvement.
of the slim inner male there.
How much have you lost, Ben? l haven't.
Matter of fact, | l've gained a couple of pounds.
Well, doesn't show.
You're thinking thin.
Now that's important Congratulations, Ben Right, we've got a first-time fatty with us tonight.
| lf you'd like to come forward, Ruth.
Have you got that photograph? Yes.
As l thought.
Nothing congenital about your condition, - is there? | - No.
pull youself together.
Start counting the calories.
Because if you don't you will be as big as a house | by the time you're 40.
One more, please.
What is this?! | Are you striking a blow for fatties' lib? - Willis's orders.
| - You're joking? lt's true.
He told me after the class | to have a big blowout tonight.
That's carrying the snobbery a bit far.
He says l'm a special case.
l've been on a protein and citrus fruit diet | for two week s now, and l've hardly lost any weight at all.
So Willis suggested l take in some extra fat to give the citrus juice something to work on.
Oh, and he's given me a pill to take afterwards.
| To speed up my metabolism.
Sounds crazy to me.
But then half these diets are so far out, they sound as if they were thought up | on April Fools' Day.
You know, some freak wrote to us and said that | she'd lost two stone on potatoes and ice cream! - Do you get many freak letters at the paper? | - Mm.
Sackfuls.
Mainly about sex.
Today is the age of anxiety | with just about everyone feeling inadequate.
Yes.
And l'm no exception.
Why? Because your marriage failed? Partly.
And partly because l seem to bore people.
l'm expecting your eyes to glaze over | long before we come to the coffee.
Do you want me to wear dark glasses? Wouldn't do any good.
l'd be imagining the boredom | even if it wasn't there.
You're something in the City, right? l'm a merchant banker.
Have l struck gold? - How about a loan? | - Certainly.
There's just one proviso.
What's that? lt'd have to be at least half a million, otherwise it's not worth the paperwork.
And l thought the country | was supposed to be on its uppers.
- Tell me something, Ruth.
| - Mm? ls your um coast clear, men-wise? My coast is so clear, | you can see right down to the sea bed, - and there's only a couple of wreck s down there.
| - Good.
And how about your coast? Woman-wise? Hasn't been a vessel in sight for over a year.
Sounds idyllic.
l just love uninhabited islands.
Thank s, Ruth.
What for? Not glazing over.
Don't knock yourself.
You're more special than you think.
l'll walk you to your car.
l hope Willis knows what he's doing.
l feel absolutely bloated.
Do you know what he asked me at my interview? He asked whether l'd ever suffered | from food poisoning.
Yes, he asked me that, too.
- lt was rather odd, l thought.
| - Mm.
Perhaps it's dangerous for somebody | who's suffered from salmonella.
Might bring it on again.
Perhaps.
Well Well.
Well, that wasn't boring at all.
May l phone you? Give me your hand.
What's that? My phone number.
Bye.
Aargh! Hello? Miss Cairns? | - Speaking.
This is the Hertfordshire police, miss.
Are you acquainted with a Mr Ben Faraday? Yes, l am.
Why? ls something the matter? Mr Faraday has had an accident.
and crashed into a tree.
Crashed?! Well, is he badly hurt? He's dead, miss.
He must have died instantly.
Oh How did you get my number? It was written on his hand.
with his next of kin? No.
No, l'm sorry, l don't.
- Excuse me.
Are you a reporter? | - Yes.
Could l have a word with you? What about? Er, l don't mean here.
Later.
| Somewhere private.
Now, listen, Andrew, | before you say another word, l write for the Womens Page and, frankly, stories about funeral directors | don't make ladies' hearts go pitapat.
lt doesn't matter.
| l've just got to talk to somebody.
OK.
That man who died | was he a friend or a relation? A friend.
Was he big? On the plump side? Well, you handled his funeral.
| You must have seen him.
No.
They wouldn't let me.
Who wouldn't? The bosses.
- Mr Basil and Mr Cedric | - Why not? They just said they wanted to dress | this particular corpse themselves.
But that is usually your job? One of them, yes.
There used to be another man | but he retired.
Now there's just me.
Now, wait a minute.
Let me get this straight.
- You say you didn't see the body.
| - No.
How did you know | that he was on the plump side? Sorry.
l heard them talking.
Mr Cedric told Mr Basil | that there was another big one coming in.
Yes That started me thinking.
You see, the same thing happened | about six months ago.
There was a body they wouldn't let you see? Yes.
Only that time l did see it.
- l sneaked into refrigeration while they were out.
| - Why? l don't know.
l suppose l thought | it might be somebody famous.
- Somebody who wasn't supposed to be dead.
| - And was it? No.
But he was fat.
| And it looked as if he'd been in a car accident.
So two fat men are killed on the road | in six months.
l don't see that it's anything | to get so screwed up about.
OK, OK, listen.
Do you know why we handled | your friend's funeral? Because Mr Cedric just happened to be driving | along the same road after he crashed.
And the other man lt was Mr Basil | who found the body after his crash.
Coincidence.
lt must be.
No.
l think there's something funny going on.
You think they're trying to increase their turnover by faking accidents? Look, if that's what you suspect, | why don't you go to the police? l've no proof.
Anyway, they'd think l was a nutter.
| Just like you do.
No, Andrew, l don't think that.
lt's just l don't know how l can help.
You can be a witness.
Witness? That coffin's not been buried, you know.
lt's been taken to a family vault | about two miles away.
l plan to break in tonight and open it.
You can tell me if it's your friend.
You mean you think it won't be? l'm not sure.
All l know is l won't be able to rest | until l know that everything's OK.
You realise you'd be committing a crime? Of course.
l know the law.
And that l'd be an accessory? Please yourself.
l'll do it on my own if l have to.
l'll bring some garlic.
Dracula might try and turn us into the undead.
Come on! Shh.
What? l thought l heard someone.
Outside Maybe it's Dracula.
That doesn't sound so funny in here.
Why is he bandaged up like that? Search me.
We usually dress them | in their best clothes.
What are you doing? We came here to make a check, didn't we? No, Andrew, please! lt's only a body.
Your mate's got no further use | for it.
l don't think he'd care.
l care! lt's desecration! lf you don't fancy it, don't look.
How are you going to get in? Oh, l've got a set of keys.
l had some duplicates made | when l started to get suspicious.
- You'll want to wait here, yeah? | - No! No, no, l'll come with you.
Are you sure? | Some people, they can't take it in there.
No, l'm sure they can't.
Shh.
Oh OK, so now we can go to the police.
What are we going to tell them? That the governor's been mutilating corpses.
| lt's a very serious offence.
So is breaking into private vaults | and opening coffins.
We'll only get ourselves into trouble.
Besides it may be my chance to get off | the Womens Page.
Show that Big White Chief exactly what l can do.
What, play detective, do you mean? Mm.
lf we can discover what they're up to, l can give that paper a real exclusive.
I know where we can start.
Where? That other time, six months ago.
The following morning, l saw Mr Cedric | and Mr Basil loading a coffin onto a hearse.
- What does that prove? | - That's usually the pallbearers' job.
They'd nothing on that day.
| l checked the diary.
Maybe the coffin was empty | or they were going to fetch a corpse.
No.
From the way they were struggling, there | was obviously something inside the coffin.
Maybe it was a private funeral.
Too private to be in the diaries.
l checked the limousines as well.
They were all in the garage.
Have you ever heard of a funeral | with no cars for mourners? may happen tomorrow? you'd find out, wouldn't you? - Are you looking for me, Miss Cairns? | - No.
Er, yes.
- Yes, l wanted a word with you.
| - What about? - l hope you're not going to give up your classes.
| - l don't know yet.
ls there somewhere we could talk? - Well? | - Listenl may be being stupid, but What? Ben Faraday Yes.
Why did you encourage him | to go on stuffing himself with food? - Well, it's part of his prescribed treatment.
| - Well, who prescribed it? You? - The doctors.
| - And the pill that you gave him? To speed up his metabolism, | l believe you told him.
Well, that's what they told me.
l'm no scientist, Miss Cairns.
l couldn't tell you | what was in the pill or how it worked.
Even if l could, l don't think l should tell you.
l'm really sorry about Ben, | but these secrets belong to the clinic.
The clinic pays my wages.
l'm just a PE instructor.
lt's perfectly in order.
The usual amount.
- The usual amount.
| - Thank you.
Another satisfactory transaction.
On both sides.
l'll be in touch when we need furthersupplies.
We may be forced to increase our prices, | Mr Rothwell, if the frequency goes on increasing.
Oh? Cost of living.
You understand.
ln a manner of speaking, sir.
And the risk s involved.
Very well.
Shall we say an extra five per cent? Of course, if we knew the exact purpose | you require them for Ten per cent.
Thank you, Mr Rothwell.
As long as you're satisfied | with the service we provide.
Thank you.
We have no complaints.
l shall be in touch.
Good.
Good.
Goodbye, Mr Rothwell.
Until the next time.
Rothwell.
We may have a problem.
"Since the series of successful | heart transplant operations, which first brought the Chesterton | into the public eye, a team of surgeons and technicians into the replacement of damaged limbs.
And a spokesman announced recently that he believed it would not be long | before the Bionic Man became a reality.
" Limb transplants.
So, Doctor, what do you think? 20th-century body snatchers.
| Shades of Burke and Hare? l'm sure Andrew's right.
There is something funny going on.
l would like to follow it up.
But it isn't our territory.
Even if you do come up with a story, | the Big White Chief will take it away from you.
Well, l shall resign.
And l shall write the bestseller.
OK.
- l think you deserve a shot at it.
| - Thank you.
Doctor, l shall need a referral letter.
Oh, yes.
Um lntermittent claudication of the left leg.
- Huh? | - That's your trouble.
Oh.
The condition has been deteriorating | considerably during the last six months.
l shall recommend a vein transplant.
Chesterton Clinic? No, never heard of it.
Are you sure? Was there nothing in the diaries? No, l'm quite sure.
Well, there obviously is a connection.
lt look s to me | as if the Chesterton Trust has come to some kind of secret deal with your bosses.
What, to supply them with arms and legs, | do you mean? lt's quite creepy.
lt's a nasty racket.
l think it ought to be exposed.
You plan to suss it out, then, this this clinic? Mm.
l'm going to try and get myself admitted | as a patient.
lf l discover any concrete evidence, | l'm not going to hang around there.
l'll check myself out and l'll come and find you, and then we can go to the police together.
OK? OK.
l've got three jobs on tomorrow, | so l'll be working late tonight.
l should be here till about 11 o'clock, | if you need me.
Right.
Right.
l'd be careful if l were you.
| lf they fixed those accidents, they wouldn't think twice about fixing yours.
Well, if they do, Andrew, | l expect you to give me a royal sendoff.
How old are you, Miss Cairns? - l'm 29.
| - How far can you walk without pain? Er not very far.
By the time l get home in the evenings, | the leg is throbbing away like mad.
Your doctor think s aa vein transplant | might be appropriate.
Did he explain what that involves? l believe it means replacing the defective artery with a vein from the other leg.
That's right.
lf you've a blockage | which is causing circulatory problems, it can be very serious.
Not long ago, we'd have had to amputate.
But nowadays we can offer | a less drastic alternative.
Good for you! Lie on the couch and let's have a look at you.
Right.
Dr Bradley.
l don't believe he's referred | a patient to us before.
Well, he certainly seemed to know all about you.
He said you were way ahead | of the rest of the field.
Your GP, is he? Yes.
He's also medical correspondent | on thenewspaper that l work for.
Diagnosis by proxy? l'm not sure l approve.
Oh, he doesn't give instant answers.
| lf somebody has a specific problem, - he tells them to go to their own doctor.
| - Sensible fellow.
Could you stand up, please? Yes.
That hurt? Yes.
- What about that? | - Ouch! We'll have to take some tests, Miss Cairns.
How soon could you come in? How soon could you take me? Tonight? Unexpected guest, eh? What are you after, my dear? The silver? No.
No, l l was just driving past | and l happened to see the house.
l have this thing about English country houses.
So you thought you'd pay us a visit? How nice.
Are you hungry? Crenshaw, - set another place for dinner.
| - Yes, sir.
May I know your name? Cairns.
Ruth Cairns.
l'm Humphrey Chesterton.
Come and meet the others.
Ruth Cairns, everyone.
An old friend who just happened to be passing.
This is Peter Atkins, Joan Hubbard, Luciano Rossi from Italy Angela Rook, Mr Lim from Hong Kong .
.
and Jack Rothwell.
Good evening, Miss Cairns.
That gammy leg of yours doesn't prevent you | from using the clutch pedal, l see.
She's staying to dinner? Why not? We've enough to go round.
But, Humphrey! She's staying, Luciano.
Of course.
Glass of champagne, my dear? lt's a particularly fine vintage.
Thank you.
Bit frightening, aren't they? When l first came, l was absolutely petrified.
But they're not a bad lot, really.
| Not when you get to know them.
Are you a friend of Sir Humphrey's? l know what you're thinking.
You're thinking, "What's that common-looking | woman doing in a posh 'ouse like this?" No, I wasnt, I assure you I was Of course you were.
lt's all right, love.
l still can't believe it myself after all this time.
Joan 'Ubbard from Bolton | 'obnobbing with the gentry.
Do you know, l still have to pinch myself | to make sure l'm not dreaming.
Here we are, my dear.
Your very good health.
Cheers.
Would you excuse me? Ooh, he's a good'ost, isn't he? Such perfect manners.
Oh, and attractive, too.
A rich, handsome widower.
Ooh, he'd make a grand catch, wouldn't he? - How long have you known him? | - Humphrey? Oh, just over a year.
- How did you meet? | - On a plane.
Well, that's how we all met.
Oh.
What, you mean | you were all on the same flight? Yes.
Yes.
From London to Marrakech.
Oh Marrakech You mean the one that Crashed in the Atlas mountains.
Yes.
We're the only survivors.
- So this is a sort of reunion? | - That's right, yes.
We meet once a month.
This is our 13th.
But why? l'd have thought it was an experience | that you'd rather forget.
We like to remember the others.
The passengers what died.
My 'usband, for one.
We were sitting rignt next to each other, and yet all l got were a couple of bruises.
You were lucky.
How long was it before they found you? | Two weeks? Two and a half.
Amazing.
Well, the papers said it was a miracle.
The search parties had given up hope | of finding anyone alive.
They shouldn't have done.
lt's extraordinary how canny people can be | when they're up against it.
Hm? The things they can bring themselves to do.
Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served.
Sorry to hear about your wife, Luciano.
Still, she went quickly.
| That must have been a blessing.
lt was.
She was in great pain.
lf she had lived, | it would only have prolonged the suffering.
Yes, when l lost my poor dear Penelope, it was some consolation | that her death was instantaneous.
What happened to her? A riding accident.
We have a great black mare | called Thundercloud.
Moody beast Unpredictable Penelope thought she could contol her Turned out she couldn't.
Have you thought of marrying again, Humphrey? l've thought of it.
You know how it is.
At my age one gets rather set in one's ways.
Difficult to find a woman | who's prepared to adapt.
How about you, Ruth? Are you married? No.
No, ll'm a workaholic.
Difficult to find a man who's prepared to adapt.
You and Humphrey should get together.
- l doubt if our tastes would coincide.
| - Why do you say that? Well, l-l mean, you don't even know me at all.
True.
But with such an age gap between us, l think there might also be a credibility gap.
I'm a creatue of habit, my dear, and you might find some of my habits | a little eccentric.
I'm sure she'd come to share them, Humphrey.
ln time.
l doubt it.
l doubt if anyone could share them who hasn't had to make a virtue of necessity.
Crenshaw.
l believe we're ready for the main course.
Yes, sir.
No! Something the matter, my dear? Er l know who's under there! Oh! l think you're all disgusting! ls it wise to let her run off? lf she doesn't want to stay, that's her funeral.
By the way, l hope you can all stay the night, because tomorrow l think l can promise you | a very special meal.
Andrew! Andrew! It's no use I'm afaid You! Yes.
l was on that plane as well.