Bodyline (1984–…): Season 1, Episode 7 - Episode #1.7 - full transcript

We'll have to go. The train
leaves in 10 minutes.

Are we playing or not?
I'm not sure yet.

Well, here's Plum now.

I've, uh, spoken to the board.

They're sending a cable today.
The word will be withdrawn.

Well done, old chap. Come along, chaps.

What will be withdrawn?

What will be withdrawn?

The Australian board have collapsed.

They've retracted the
word 'unsportsmanlike'.

I don't believe it.

I got it from Warner himself.

I've got some bad news, fellas.

The board's withdrawn its accusations.

What?! They've reneged.

They've withdrawn the
word 'unsportsmanlike'.

- Oh, you're joking.
- Bastards.

Well, we're back to square one.

I'm sorry, fellas.

How could they be so stupid?

They've got a kangaroo loose in
the top paddock, that's how.

So have we.

Conned into going to Brisbane.

Why should we be target
practice for that madman?

And there's not a rule in
the book to protect us.

Time we made our own rules.

We've been that route before. I'm
saying this for the last time.

We won't dignify
bodyline by retaliation.

Well, what's the alternative?

Well, after all that's happened,
after the board... the lords...

Even our own government
have abandoned us.

After this outrage to cricket, I reckon
we're within our rights to resign.

You mean threaten to resign?

I mean we don't walk out
on that pitch tomorrow.

Are you sure about that, Bill?

Well, I can't let you walk out there
after all the hits you've taken.

Not with Bertie lying in
hospital with a cracked skull.

- There's no choice.
- Yes, there is, Bill.

There is a choice.

Same choice that all the
battlers have - cop it sweet.

Stan's right. That's
what built this country.

Going out against all the
odds and giving it your best.

Our families came out here as convicts,
settlers, with nowhere else to go.

They didn't shrink from the impossible.

They went to places where
no bastard had been before.

They forged a nation.

That's what took them to
the shores of Gallipoli.

Somewhere out there they
taught us about courage,

about loyalty to your mates
and about being Australian.

Bill, if we go out there, do
our best and play it straight,

we'll be the blokes who
stood up against bodyline.

But if we don't go out
on that pitch tomorrow,

we're going to be remembered
as the blokes who quit.

We're the only blokes that can
do anything about bodyline.

The place to do it is
out there on the pitch.

I say we bat like we've
never batted before.

Don's right. Let's give
them a run for their money.

Come on, skipper. Let's rip into them.

Alright, fellas.

For all the hits we've
taken, for all...

for all us battlers,

let's do it.

I'm speaking to you from Brisbane

for the broadcast of the fourth
Test between England and Australia.

England leads 2-1 in the series,

and this match, therefore,
could decide the Ashes.

It's very hot and humid
here in Brisbane.

The temperature now is in the high 90s.

The forecast maximum is 106 degrees.

It will be even hotter
out there in the middle.

Damn heat.

It is really going to test
the mettle of both sides

in this, the fourth match

in what is without doubt the most
controversial Test series ever.

Should England win, they'll
have taken an unbeatable lead

in the best-of-five series.

For Australia, the situation
is quite simple -

no matter how hot it is, no matter
what tactics are adopted by Jardine,

they must win this match.


No speeches.

I know it's hot, but it's just as
bad for the Australian batsmen.

- Good luck.
- Same to you, sir.

Good luck, everyone.

Are you alright, Eddie?

Still sore.

Have you told the skipper?

And get dropped?

If we're going to win the
Ashes, I want to be out there.

I wouldn't worry about that.

He'd make you play even if
you lost an arm and leg.

This one's for Bertie.

Your diary notice of the
day, Prime Minister.

Have really turned against
Jardine and England.

And now a hush, as Woodfull
about to take strike

for the first ball of the fourth Test,

the Ashes in the balance.

Larwood moving in to bowl.

And that's pulled away
nicely by Woodfull.

Heading down towards the boundary.
They're running quickly between wickets.

Looking for runs. They've
taken the second.

They'll take one on the throw.
That's three off the first ball.

Now, Larwood to Richardson.

Short, and hooked by Richardson.

Great shot. That's getting
out towards the boundary.

No leg-side field at the moment,

but that's going to be the
first four of the innings.

A good, aggressive start by
the Australian opening pair.

Both batsmen are scoring freely. And
now it's Woodfull to take strike.

And that's skewed right of the gully.
There'll be runs here.

A chance for Paynter. Paynter
not moving all that freely.

The ball might be too quick for Paynter.
In fact, he's fallen over.

And that's four more to Australia.

What's wrong with you?

It's the heat, Mr Jardine.

Forget the bloody heat. Watch the ball.

Now, Larwood to Richardson.

And it's pulled through
the onside field.

Once again, that's a great stroke.
And that takes Australia up to 50.

And we haven't seen too many
half-century opening stands

in this series.

Shouldn't you bowl faster?

Aye. Right.

Wicket's as dead as a doornail
and I'm getting no bounce.

Well, try harder.

Not a good day for fast bowlers
on this easy-paced pitch.

Jardine fielding in the gully.

And Larwood to bowl to Richardson.

He cuts. That's gone straight to
Jardine, and he's dropped the catch.

Jardine, of all people, has put
down a fairly simple chance.

Would you like a loan of this, son?

I'm a lucky bastard.

And now Jardine retaliates by
calling in the onside field.

It's going to be bodyline. The
crowd doesn't like this at all.

Boos are coming out now,

as those fieldsmen come
across from the off side

to take up their positions
on the on side.

I thought you were
going to speak to him.

I did.

Fat lot of good it did.

Jesus. Bastards.

Now, Richardson is taking strike.

Larwood, starting to run in.

Comes up past the umpire.
He bowls. It's short.

And Richardson's struck a
nasty blow in the midriff.

Bastards! Bastards!

Pommy bastards!

You can no doubt hear the
crowd's reaction to that.

This is a terrible
scene here once again.

Bastards! Bastards!

Play to continue now after a
delay of almost five minutes.

And Larwood, in a simmering atmosphere,

to run in to bowl to Richardson.

And... this one is short.
He hooks a beautiful shot.

And Wyatt in the leg trap
had to duck for cover.

It almost took his head off. A
bold response by Richardson.

And the four for that
takes him on to 80.

Woodfull is 50. Australia at 0/133.

The best opening stand
of the series so far.

And in this easy-paced pitch,

have the Australian batsmen
found the answer to bodyline?

The Australian opening pair,
Richardson and Woodfull,

have taken the score
well over the 100 mark.

And here's a bowling change -

the medium-pacer Hammond
to come into the attack,

with Richardson taking strike.

Hammond bowls. Richardson forward.

He's beaten. Ames whips the bails off.

An appeal for stumping. And he's out.
Richardson out for 83.

Your luck runs out. Yeah,
but bastards never change.

Bad luck, mate.

Righto, fellas.

Bradman! Bradman! Bradman!

Bradman! Bradman! Bradman!

This must be the greatest chance
in the whole series for Bradman...

Excuse me, Mr Prime Minister.
You'll be late for your meeting.

Cancel it.

And as usual, our Don
gets a hero's welcome.

Bradman! Bradman!

Bradman! Bradman!

Bradman! Bradman! Bradman!

Bradman hooks. That's
through the field.

It's not perfectly timed,
but he might get four.

A chase there for Paynter.
But the ball will just win.

A little surprising there. Bradman
gets four off his first ball.

And Paynter, he appeared very
slow in the field there.

He should have got that one.

Lovely day for it.

This could be four again.

Bradman batting now without a cap, a
sure sign of his growing in confidence.

That's through the field. And
Bradman has gone up to 50.

And Australia has reached 200
with the loss of only one wicket.

This is the first day I can remember
when you haven't taken a wicket.

Aye, well, things would be a sight
different if all the catches were held.

We all have to do better.

Now, Woodfull has the strike,

and we haven't seen much of him
since Bradman came to the wicket.

But Woodfull, as ever, playing
a very patient innings.

He is 67 not out.

Woodfull goes forward, and he's beaten.

And he's bowled! Yes, he's out.

Woodfull is out for 67,
and Australia, 2/200.

And the new batsman will be McCabe.

And this brings together Australia's
two most aggressive batsmen.

A typical hook shot from McCabe. It's
getting out towards the boundary.

A long chance again for Paynter,
but he won't get this one.


Paynter has collapsed on the field.
He must be affected by the heat.


Put him under the
shower, cool him down.

I need him back as quick as you can.

With the composition of England's team,

Hammond called to do a
lot of bowling today,

and he's coming in now
to bowl to Bradman...

It's no good, mate.
You've got a temperature.

No, I hasn't.

Thermometer says 103.
That's normal for me.

Looks like tonsillitis.
It's just a sore throat.

He'll have to go to the hospital.
No, he won't.

Yes, you will. Immediately.

You get out to field.
What will Mr Jardine say?

Never you mind about that.
I'll handle Mr Jardine.

Paynter's gone where? He's
gone to the hospital.

On whose authority? Mine.
The boy's ill.

Good God, I need every man I can get!

In case you're interested,
old boy, it's tonsillitis.

He's out for the match.

Why didn't he tell me?

He wanted to play.

Australia were all out 340 -

that total a little disappointing
after the very good start.

Richardson, top score with 83.

Bradman made 76, bowled by Larwood.

And Woodfull, 67.

In reply, a century stand for
England by Jardine and Sutcliffe.

And Jardine batting a long,
long time for his 46.

He's going very slowly indeed.

And he plays forward.
That's got an edge.

It's gone through to the keeper, Love.
An appeal for caught behind.

And Jardine is out.

Sorry to see you go, son!

Wall in to Hammond. Hammond
goes forward to play this one.

He's beaten. And he's bowled.
Yes, Hammond is out.

Wally's gone. Hammond, out for 20.

And England are 2/157.

Steady runs. Leave it to me, skipper.

Sutcliffe out there now with Wyatt.

And the two spinners for Australia,
O'Reilly and Ironmonger,

doing very well here.

Wyatt has thrown... He's beaten!
And Wyatt is out now.

Wyatt out for 12.

And England are 3/165.

O'Reilly bowling to Sutcliffe here.

Sutcliffe has been there
a long time for 86.

He goes back. He's hit on the pads.
An appeal for leg before.

Could he be out? Yes, the
umpire's finger goes up.

And Sutcliffe is out for 86.

England are 4/188. They're
in real trouble here.

Wish me luck, boys.

They're a batsman short, with
Eddie Paynter in hospital.

And the England captain, Jardine,
must be a very worried man.

I must speak to him.


Eddie, we're in trouble - 4/196.

O'Reilly bowling to Leyland,
who skies this one in the air.

Bradman takes the catch.
Leyland is out.

I'm sorry, skipper. 5/198.

Four wickets have gone for 41.

We're into the tail-enders.

I need a good batsman,
even a sick batsman.


England are a batsman short.
Eddie Paynter is in hospital.

They're down to the wicket-keeper
and the tail-end bowlers.

Australia have really got a chance...
Put this on.

To win this match. Can
O'Reilly spin Australia...

My lucky charm!

As he did in the second
Test, in Melbourne?

So it's Australia, right on top.

And watching O'Reilly come
in now to bowl to Allen.

O'Reilly comes up to bowl.
Allen plays forward.

Gets an edge, and it goes
behind to the keeper, Love.

Yes, an appeal. And he's
out, caught behind.

And the sixth wicket for England
has fallen now for 216.

Whoa! Don't waste it, Bob!

Here you are, Eddie. Drink this.

- Drink this.
- Just what the doctor ordered.

Ah, Eddie. You're back on deck.
Good show.

Good luck, old lad. All the best.

Go, sonny!

Do you want a runner, Eddie?
No, thank you.

Take it gently.

There's absolute silence
here at the Brisbane ground,

as Eddie Paynter, this brave little
left-hander from Lancashire,

gets ready to face the bowling
of the spinner Ironmonger.

I'll get this Pommy bastard.


And that's driven through
the offside field.

There'll be runs here to Paynter.
They've taken the first.

Paynter not running all that cleanly,
but he'll come back for a second run.

And Paynter has scored
straight away for England.

Why is Paynter playing?
Well, we need him.

- Aye!
- What did the doctor say?

I don't know. I didn't talk to him.
I asked Eddie.

You mean you ordered him?

Don't you realise he's ill?
His health is at risk.

It was Paynter's decision.

I know you can't understand this, but he
has the sort of spirit that I admire.

The spirit of a marathon runner.

My dear fellow, I am talking
about one of our team members.

Not marathon runners! Damn it, Plum!
So am I!

For the first 10 miles, a marathon
runner runs on his training.

For the second 10, he
survives on his stamina.

For the last six, his body
metabolises his very sinews.

It's an onslaught of pain,
but he runs on his spirit.

That's what courage is.

That's what makes a champion.

Need I remind you, as captain, you
are responsible for his well-being?

Don't you tell me about
my responsibilities.

When I was a child, I learned -
nothing of value comes by luck.

It's won by pain and sacrifice.

That is why I have become
captain of England.

That is why I am here.

God knows why you are.

I am here to try and
curb your excesses.


It will only appear excessive
to a man of weakness.

Not weak, old chap.



Are you alright, lad?

All this running, it'll finish me.

Let's forget singles.
I'll try for boundaries.

Alright, Eddie.

And he's jumped out and hit
that right over mid-on.

A beautiful shot, that,
going out to the boundary.

Eddie Paynter obviously is going to
get his runs bravely or not at all.

And that's through the field again.
This could be four more to Paynter.

Eddie Paynter now the hero
of this Brisbane crowd.

Aye! Two in it.

England all out for 356 in the
first innings - a lead of 16 -

with Paynter a magnificent 83,
a truly heroic performance.

In the second innings, it's Woodfull
taking strike for Australia.

He pulls this one. It's gone
straight out to backward square.

Hammond takes the catch.

And Woodfull is out. And it's
a bad start for Australia.


That's it. That's the last wicket.

Australia all out for a mediocre 175.

Once again, the Australian
batsmen have been disappointing.

They've failed, and England
needs only 159 to win.

What must England's team
be feeling right now?

159 to win the match, the
series, and also the Ashes.

And that's turned nicely towards
square leg by Sutcliffe.

He'll get a single there.

And England's batsmen going
along quite confidently here.

It's not a big target they've got.

And Sutcliffe's running
very freely indeed.

England are four wickets down.

It's Paynter now, with his familiar
white hat, batting out there with Ames.

Paynter, the hero of
England's first innings,

who came out of a hospital
bed with tonsillitis

to bat for four hours
for his total of 83 -

surely one of the greatest
innings ever played.

And how appropriate it would be

if Eddie Paynter is still there at
the end to score the winning hit.

In its place in history,
this fourth Test in Brisbane

must be remembered as
Eddie Paynter's match.

Paynter completes the second run.

And England goes into the 150s.
It's just nine runs to win.

It's played back past the bowler.
There should be two runs here.

And that will make it seven to go.


It's played through the offside field.
They've called for one.

They've turned at the end of the mark.
They're coming back for the second.

And only five runs now
between England and victory.

Now, will it be Paynter
to make the winning hit?

He pulls this high over square leg.

That's a magnificent shot.

And it's going right over the top.
Over the boundary for six.

And England has won the
match and won the Ashes.

Well, old chap, we won.

I wish I could find it in my
heart to congratulate you.

Your congratulations
would mean little to me.

You accuse me of weakness.

Well, let me just say this to you.

While it remains in my power,

I will try to ensure that you
never captain England again.

The damage you have wrought these
past few months is irreparable.

You have perverted a noble game,
its spirit and tradition.

I have no doubt that
history will remember you

as a man who stooped to conquer.

Well, history has
already forgotten you.

Congratulations, Douglas.

Plum. Ah. Thank you, Bob.

I think it's time to join the others.

Well done, Eddie.

Three cheers for Eddie.

- Hip hip!
- Hooray!

Hip hip! Hooray!

Gentlemen - the Ashes!

The Ashes!

To Douglas Jardine, who has
realised his ambition.

All of our ambitions, hmm?


Yes, I can't really say I
thought he'd do it, you know.

Not against Bradman. Not only Bradman.

The Australian Cricket Board, the
crowds, God knows what else.

Not many men could have
fought them all and won.

He can be ruthless. Of
that, there's no doubt.

Well, he had to be.

Anyway, despite all the
troubles, it's over now.

You think so?

You really think that's the last
we'll see of, uh... bodyline, hmm?

I certainly hope so.

Surely he wouldn't...

Good God! That'd be lunacy.

He's won.


Hold on. Up you get.

I can't bowl. Finish the over, Harold.
Don't give up.

I... I can't run.

You can do anything if you
want it badly enough.

The crowd want to see you broken.
Don't give them that pleasure.

Finish it, Harold.


Good show, Bill. Well done, Woody.


I'm proud of you.

Mr Prime Minister.

Mr Woodfull, now that it's
over, you should be proud.

You should all be proud.

You played magnificently.

To me, it's irrelevant
who won the Ashes.

It's more important how you played.

And you showed great... dignity
in the face of great provocation.

Great spirit in the face of defeat.

Great courage in the face of fear.

They are qualities that have
taken us, as Australians...

through the worst of times.

For so long as sport is
played in this land of ours,

your names will conjure pride...

in the hearts of all Australians.

But surely, Plum, as team manager...

For five months, I counselled
him, I argued with him,

and finally I ordered him.

To little effect, hmm?

He told me that I had been a
great cricketer in my day,

but that my day was past.

I'm sorry, Martin, but for me,
this was victory without honour.

If you'll excuse me, I shan't stay.

Welcome home.

Come in.

You must feel very proud. You did it.

Only just. The little man was good.
Bloody good.

He's the finest batsman the
world's ever seen. Or ever will.

Do you remember what Percy said -

"Imagine how history will judge
the man who beats Bradman"?

Well... if I had to guess, I'd say...

Oh, Douglas, that sounds like regret.

Well, if I had my time over, there
are things I'd do differently.

But you won.

No, I didn't mean just on the field.

Well, Douglas, you can never go back.

All things change.

I had hoped we'd grow together, but...
but we've grown apart.

Do you blame me?

Oh, I don't blame anyone.

I've been offered a
position in Palestine.

I've decided to take it.

So, I suppose...

this is goodbye.

That was the last time I ever saw him.

And though he didn't know it then,

Douglas too would become a victim of
the strategy which he had authored.

That summer, bodyline was used
for the first time in England.

For the men at Lord's -
the armchair generals -

the sight of war was a
chastening experience.

The MCC can't condone
this sort of play.

I'm afraid you'll have to apologise.

Apologise? Who to?

The Australians.

I did what I were told.

You were there, Mr Warner.

For the sake of cricket, Harold.

And for Douglas, where it
began was where it would end.

In 1934, he captained
the MCC team to India.

He bowled bodyline, and,
needless to say, he was winning.

But there were protests, cables, riots.

Knowing this time the lords would order
him to stop, he resigned the captaincy.

Later that year, they
outlawed bodyline.

Douglas never played for England again.

When war broke out, he was
among the first to join.

Dropped behind enemy lines, he
served his country with distinction.

And in that most terrible time,

I like to think that he discovered
what empire was truly about.

As for Harold Larwood, he never
played cricket for England again.

In 1951, he and his family
migrated to Australia.

At the age of 28, Donald George
Bradman became captain of Australia,

a post in which he served from
1936 until his retirement in 1948.

The following year, he was knighted
for his services to cricket.

Douglas Jardine, a son of the Raj,

died of cancer on June 18, 1958.

He was cremated

and the ashes scattered over the
glens and lochs of Scotland.

Even now, on a summer's afternoon,

when I hear the sound of bat on ball,

I cannot help but think of him.