Series 1 Episodes

Warning! If you have not seen the series, these episode guides will contain spoilers.

1. "Plough Your Own Furrow" 2. "Say Little Hen..." 3. "The Weaker Sex"
4. "Pig's Lib" 5. "The Thing in the Cellar" 6. "The Pagan Rite"
7. "Backs to the Wall"

1. "Plough Your Own Furrow" (originally telecast 04/04/75)
       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: Martin Neil.
  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 ever seen.

2. "Say Little Hen..." (originally telecast 04/11/75)
       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 called "Geraldine."
      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 the series.
      Mr. Carter is the chairman of the Residents' Association.
      Notice Tom's "Shakespearean turn"--Briers is an accomplished Shakespearean actor and has appeared in all of Kenneth Brannagh's films.
      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 05/02/75)
       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 thereafter.

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 05/16/75)
       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 "Money, Jerry!"


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