Series 1 Episodes
Warning! If you have not seen the series, these episode guides will contain
- 1. "Plough Your Own Furrow" (originally telecast
- Dissatisfied with the course of his
life on his 40th birthday, Tom Good decides to make some changes--ones that mean
an upheaval for his home life.
- Additional Cast: Charles: Norman Atkyns. Brian:
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: Anyone from adolescence to
twilight years who's been tired of their lot in life will sympathize with Tom's
comic soul-searching in this episode. His efforts to find the indefinable "It"
are serious as well as funny.
- Note the inevitable reference to
Doctor Who in a BBC series: Tom and Barbara are imitating Daleks when she
sees him off to work.
- Tom certainly does work with an idiot
lot: even I knew who Jack Hobbs was...
- Jerry and Tom began work at JJM Limited
at the same time, eight years earlier.
- When Barbara needs to think, she goes out
into the back garden and walks about; look at it carefully!--this will be the
last time in the series it looks so empty.
- Although we meet Jerry early in this
episode, we do not see Margo, only hear her voice. The conversation we overhear
between the Ledbetters, however, is pretty characteristic of how they will act
in the remainder of the series. Tom and Barbara, too, are well-delinated in this
first episode, which is one of the most engaging opening episodes of a series I've
- 2. "Say Little Hen..." (originally telecast
- Jerry and Margo try to "save" their
friends "from degradation and squalor," as Margo puts it, by inviting Tom's old boss and the Goods to the same dinner party so that
Sir can offer Tom his job back.
- Additional Cast: Sir: Reginald Marsh. Felicity: Moyra Fraser.
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: The Goods get their chickens in this
episode, and it's the first time they refer to their cockerel as being "queer."
Tom then amends his statement to say the bird is a Communist and dubs it "Lenin."
- Barbara refers to the goat's name as
"Margo" in this episode; it's never used again, and the animal is thereafter
- One wonders why Sir and Felicity
were ever married; she seems so relaxed and fun-loving where he is a
"fuddy-duddy." In fact she and Tom have a good deal of fun together!
- 3. "The Weaker Sex?" (originally telecast 04/18/75)
- Barbara may want to rethink
self-sufficiency when it looks like she's getting stuck with all the tough jobs
around the house.
- Additional Cast: Sam: Tony Selby. GPO Man: Paul McDowell.
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: Selby is delightfully charming as
Sam, the rag-and-bone man with a secret life, who sells the Goods their big
cast iron range.
- This is the first appearance of the
Goods' cat; we never learn its name, however, although Sam refers to the kitten
as Shere Khan (the tiger from The Jungle Book).
- 4. "Pig's Lib" (originally telecast 04/25/75)
- Margo puts her foot down when she
finds out Tom and Barbara's latest acquisition will be pigs, refusing to have the
"smelly creatures" living next door.
- Additional Cast: Window Washer: Jonathan Lynn. Mr. Carter: Robert Gillespie. Shopkeeper: Lionel Wheeler. Customer: John Lawrence.
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: Jonathan Lynn, the befuddled window
washer, already a veteran of comedy series like Doctor in the House, went
on to co-write (with Anthony Jay) the series Yes, Minister starring Paul
Eddington. The scene with Barbara and the window washer is one of the funniest in
- Mr. Carter is the chairman of the
- Notice Tom's "Shakespearean turn"--Briers
is an accomplished Shakespearean actor and has appeared in all of Kenneth
- The Goods' pigs are named Pinky and
Perky, after a pair of pig puppets famous on BBC childrens' television.
- The first appearance of the Goods' infamous
"peapod burgundy" wine--which packs quite a punch!
- 5. "The Thing in the Cellar" (originally telecast
- Margo and Jerry are up in arms
about a rates increase in electricity, but Tom goes around with a smirk: he's
built an electric generator that will burn animal waste.
- Additional Cast: Fisherman: Ray Mort.
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: Note Barbara's bread-making escapade,
which mirrors a scene in a classic I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy
also practices "self-sufficiency."
- There's a funny "seduction" scene between
Jerry and Margo in this episode.
- The power outage probably wouldn't have
hurt the Goods' fish. If the freezer is kept closed, food will keep fresh for
three days, enough time for Tom to get the generator fixed.
- Evidently Tom gets "the thing in
the cellar" fixed after this episode, because there's no electricity problem
- 6. "The Pagan Rite" (originally telecast 05/09/75)
- With the crops thriving but the
bills mounting, Tom is approached by Jerry to do a freelance job, a move Barbara
disapproves of. But Tom accepts the job behind Barbara's back.
- Additional Cast: Sir: Reginald Marsh. Felicity: Moyra Fraser. Headwaiter: John Scott Martin.
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: Much lovely repartee between Tom
and Barbara in this episode, including the scene by the stove (note: we see their
cat again) and the restaurant scene at the end. Jerry and Margo also have their
moments in the "what do we do this evening?" scene.
- Sir and Felicity's son is named Martin and
he is living with his girlfriend.
- When Sir cannot remember her name,
Barbara introduces herself as "Fatima." This became a running gag. Sir also
refers to Tom as "Tim."
- Margo hates Indian food (or at least the
odor of it).
- Note Barbara's "posh frock"; it shows up
again in third series.
- And of course literary fans will get a
kick out of the alias Barbara uses for Tom at the restaurant.
- 7. "Backs to the Wall" (originally telecast
- While the Ledbetters prepare for
their African vacation, the Goods prepare for their first harvest. But Barbara may have to do the entire job after Tom sprains his back--and a late-night storm suddenly makes the situation more desperate.
- Additional Cast: George: Billy Milton. Molly: Pamela Manson. Harry: Frank Lester. Doctor: June Jago. Barman: Harry Goodier.
- Landmarks/Notes/Observances: The scene with Tom's doctor's
examination is quite funny.
- The downside of the Goods' lifestyle is
quite evident in this episode, and one must admire Barbara's grit in trying to get
the entire harvest in by herself. Margo's gardening outfit is quite hysterical!
- The first mention of the infamous phrase
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