Chance in a Million (1984-1986): Season 1, Episode 1 - Plumstones - full transcript

Shy librarian Alison Little arrives at a hotel to meet long-lost cousin Tom Cheyney. Eccentric,accident-prone Tom Chance turns up for a blind date with Alison Hughes but due to a misunderstanding they end up with each other as Tom's clumsiness with a rowing oar knocks his date and a rude male receptionist unconscious. Tom is later arrested after trying to help a woman who has locked her lover's keys in his car and he tells Alison he is no stranger to being arrested for things he has not done. Thus,after a slapstick fight with a depressed waiter in a restaurant which necessitates a change of clothes Tom is apprehended breaking into his house having left his door keys back at the restaurant in his coat pocket.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
# Here I go again

# I hear those trumpets blow again

# All aglow again

# Taking a chance on love

# Here I slide again

# About to take that ride again

# Starry eyed again

# Taking a chance on love

# Things are mending now

# I see a rainbow blending now

# We'll have a happy ending now

# Taking...

# Taking a chance on love! #


Good morning.
Good afternoon, madam.

Oh, yes, so it is! Good afternoon.

Um, I've arranged to meet
my cousin here, Mr Chesney.

Mr Thomas Chesney. I was
wondering if he'd arrived yet?



Not actually quite sure
what he looks like.

I haven't seen him
since I was four.

But he's a chartered surveyor
from Hartlepool.

You're quite sure there's nobody...
Quite sure, madam.

Ah. Well, I'll just wait,
if you don't mind.

And if anyone should ask
for Miss Alison Little...

Thank you so much.




Can I help you, sir?

Er, hope so, yes.
Trying to find a woman.

Ah, this is an hotel, sir.
I don't really think...

No, no, no, um, blind date.

Computer matchmaking stuff.
Name - Chance, Tom Chance.

Arranged to meet
a Miss Alison Hugh.

Said she'd be wearing
a pink and white dress. Any sign?

No, I haven't seen anyone
of that description, sir, no.

Ah. Yes. Er, coat.

I beg your pardon, sir?
Coat, needs hanging up.

Yes, sir.

Put this back for you.
Thank you.

Bit loose that. Ought to be fixed.
Could be dangerous.

We're very grateful to you
for pointing it out, sir.

Er, girl arrives. In bar. Okay?
Yes, sir. Good.

Not... not Alison?
Yes, I think so.

You must be Tom.
Yes, got it in one.

Idiot behind the desk said
you hadn't arrived yet.

No, I wasn't entirely sure
he noticed me when I did.

Never mind.

Nice to meet you.
Drink? Anything special?

Whatever you're having would be...
Would be fine? Fine. Good.

Er, coat? Oh. Yes.


Yes, sir.
Two pints of lager, please.

Table over there.
The bar is open, sir.

I don't quite follow you?

Well, they serve drinks in the bar,

It is now open.
Don't want a drink in the bar.

If did, would obviously go there.
Order too difficult or something?

I'll bring them to your table, sir.

Good. On your way...
Yes, sir?

Coat, needs hanging up.

Right, sir.

Got here alright then?
Oh, yes.

I came straight
from the library, by bus.

Ah, bus. Yes.

Went on a bus once.
Not a good idea.

Only one seat,
covered in orange peel.

Back of seat in front
covered in four-letter words.

Married couple in row behind
having blazing row.

Child across gangway
puked into the aisle.

Bloke next door exposed himself.

Got off at the next stop.

Yes. I'm not surprised.


Bus going in wrong direction.

Here you are, sir. Exactly
one pound and 96 pence, please.

One pound, 19 and tuppence.

Excluding gratuity, sir.
Yes, thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you, sir.

Look, er, thought we might
go out for dinner this evening?

Oh, lovely.

But first...

One would come clean.

Saves disappointment later.
Get my meaning?

Not really, no.
No, um...

Two people meeting each other
for the first time.

Obviously expectations.

But certain things
bound to come out later.

Better to let it all out at once.
Everything up front, agreed?

You mean, sort of confession time?
Sort of, yes.

Ah, yes, well, that seems
like a good idea.

I suppose I could start by
admitting that I'm not actually...

Um, er, sorry,
um, misunderstanding.

Not you to confess. Me.

Ah! Oh, I see, yes.

That'll probably be
a lot more interesting.

Long story though. Patient?
Oh, yes, I'm a very good listener.

Well, good. Er, start
with basic principles. Um...

Your mother ever
make plum crumble?

Plum crumble?

Well, yes. She still does
as a matter of fact.

Tries to take all
the stones out first?

Yes, always one left though?

It's funny you should say that,
there usually is ...

It's always my father who finds it.

Precisely. Precisely.

Coincidence. Fact, it happens
all the time all over the world.

Very little known about it.

Man in Virginia, struck
by lightning seven times.

Seven times. Seems incredible.

Absolutely true. Looked it up
in "The Guinness Book Of Records".

Isn't that strange?

Er, woman in Penang
had 14 husbands,

all committed suicide, all 14.

Incredible. Now, come to point.

Am personally, persistently
plagued by coincidence.

Ah, you mean that in life's
great crumble, as it were,

it's always you
who finds the plumstone.

Dogged by it every time.

Book into wrong hotel.
Pick up wrong suitcase.

Drive off in wrong car.
Mistaken identity.

Happens to me all the time.

And you think this could be
a serious drawback

to a relationship?

Could be. Could be.
Still, there have it.

Could both stop now,
go our separate ways.

Wouldn't blame you at all.

Wouldn't hold any hard
feelings whatever.

Put off plenty of women
before you.



Give you a moment to decide.

Got to go to
the little boy's room.

Lager goes through me like
a hydro-electric power steamer.

Back shortly.

Oh, yes.

I think I can risk dinner.
Brave girl.

Er, let me give you
a lift to library.

Oh, thank you, that'd be very nice.
Yes. Good, yes.

Ah, yes, er...


Yes, sir.
Coats, please.

And, er, manager on telephone.

Hello, manager? Yes.

Er, customer here.

Three points.
One - chap behind desk

got wet soil between the ears,
ought to be fired.

Two - bracket thing
by desk holding oar,

dangerous, ought to be fixed.

Three - body on floor below desk.

Large woman, ought to be moved.

Not at all.

All set then?
Car's just down the road.

Couldn't park it any nearer.

These coincidences of yours.

Are they always bad
or are they sometimes good?

Varies. Varies. Er, usually
just bloody inconvenient.

Can be bad though.
Er, yesterday, for example,

got mistaken for
some kind of terrorist.


Oh, God, no! I can't stand it.

I tell you I can't stand it.
This is that pits!

This is the end. Oh, my God!

Anything wrong?
I just do not want it.

How could it happen? I just
don't see how it could happen.

Suspender gone?
Handbag been pinched?

I have locked the sodding keys
in the sodding car.

Stupid sort of thing to do.

I expect your husband or
someone's got the spare set?

My husband doesn't even know
anything about it.

That's the whole point.
It's not his car anyway.

It belongs to a...
gentleman friend.

Oh, I see.

And all I had to do was
to drive round to his flat,

get changed into these wonderful
clothes that he bought me

and then he was going to drive
round in about an hour and...

God! Why do these things
have to happen to me?

Could open the door here.

Do you really think so? How?

Well, I just need a piece of wire.
Er, put down window,

over handle, pull.
Oh, that's wonderful.

Except I don't think
any of us have got any wire.

Ah, I have. I think I've
got some in this bag here.

It was on one of the things
he bought me.

Yes. Yes, here we are.

Just need to untangle the hanger.

Here we go.

I'm terribly grateful to you both.

You can't imagine
what this means to me.

We've been planning this
for months, you see.

We've had to be so careful.
Oh, my God!

Is anything wrong?

That man over there,
it's my husband.

If he sees me here, he'll kill me.

He thinks I'm on an arc welding
course in Exeter

for my Open University degree.

I've got to get out of here.

Look, if your friend does
succeed in opening the door,

could you ask him to leave the key
behind the front wheel there?

I'll be back in about
a quarter of an hour.

I am most terribly
grateful to you both.

You'll never believe
what's just happened.

Hmm. Shan't be a second.
Trickier than thought at first.

Tom, I think you'd
better stop that now.

Finally, madam, I would
like to apologise myself

for any inconvenience caused

by the overenthusiasm of this
young officer to make an arrest.

May you both have a very pleasant
afternoon despite it all.

Oh, that's very gracious of you,

Appreciate your coming down
so quickly, Walter.

Not at all, Mr Chance,
a pleasure. Madam.


I thought your name was Chesney?

You great lady's blouse.
Don't you ever read daily notices?

I'm sorry, Sergeant.
Do you know how many times

that poor sod has been wrongfully
arrested in the past month?

I heard it was about nine.
11 now.

Apart from your effort today.

Last night he was cornered by
one of the Anti-Terrorist Squad,

who threw him into the canal
as the quickest way

to make safe the bomb
he thought he was carrying.

If he ever decided to
publicise what we do to him...

It won't happen again, Sarge.
It had better not!

Come on, we're needed
at the Riverside Hotel.

They've got a bloke they found
standing in the foyer with a oar.

A what?!
An oar - as in rowing.

And two unconscious bodies
on the floor beside him.

He swears blind he's a chartered
surveyor from Hartlepool

and that he just found
them like that.

Cor, it's been a hell of a day!

Do you know there's
a woman in a spotted dress

hiding up a tree in Ashley Avenue.

I didn't ask her why.
I thought I'd rather not know.

Oh, it's been a hell of a day.
Hell of a day!

Well, now that we know we're not
the people we thought we were,

I expect you'll want to go back to
the hotel and meet the real Alison.

It hardly seems worth it now.

Reckon she must've been
the body on the floor.

Probably gone off
the idea of a date by now.

Could go back to your cousin,
of course.

Oh, no, I'd better
get back to work.

I'll write him a letter
or something. Um...

Hardly dare suggest it, but, um,
could go for dinner anyway.

Feel owe it to you.
Way of an apology.

Oh, that'd be really nice.
Ah, good. Thank you.

Oh, there you go. Raincoat.

WOMAN: Psst!


Up here!


I'm-I'm sorry to bother you again,

but could you possibly
give me a lift?

Anywhere will do, just out of here.

Yes, yes, yes,
of course, of course.


Oh, I'm terribly grateful.
You see, I think he saw me.

MAN: Deirdre?

Oh, my God!

Deirdre, what are you
doing with that man?!

Leave me alone, you brute!

Harry, he's trying to kidnap me!
He molested me!

Harry, save me, save me!

He tried to molest me. Look there!

Perfectly prepared to offer
a dignified, reasoned explanation,

but a certain amount of experience
of these situations,

think it's probably better if...
Make a run for it! Yes.

Bon soir, monsieur, madam.

Yes, evening. Er, need a table,
quiet place, two people, please.

Bien sur, monsieur.
Suivez moi, s'il vois plait.

Ah, foreigner, yes. Um...

Need a table.

Quiet place, two people.

Mais certainment, monsieur.

This way.


Alison, er, better watch out,
probably a bottom pincher.

I've got two sisters actually,

but they're both
quite respectable really.

I'm the only sort of
tearaway in the family.


Hmm, can't seem to help it.

I don't mean to, but you know
I've given my parents

such a lot of heartache
over the years,

what with changing my job,
going out with men.

Ah? Ah, thank you.

Very much.
Thank you.


Yes, er, changed job?
Not always librarian then?

Oh, no, always been
with the library.

It's just that I like to change
departments every so often.

I get restless, you know.
I'd only been there three years

when I changed to
references and indexing.

My father said I've got
to settle down sometime,

accept my responsibilities,
not let fancy rule my life.

Yes, yes. And the, um...


Well, man, really.

Mr Hensdridge. He's in charge
of references and indexing.

Was in charge.
He's retired now, of course.

But we used to see
quite a bit of each other.

Walks in the park at lunchtime
when his legs weren't too bad.

He lives in Eastbourne now
and my parents don't know,

but he wrote to me at Christmas.

I'm not talking too much, am I?

Not at all, Alison.

Fascinating conversation.
Please go on.

Oh, thank you.

You know, you'll probably be
very surprised to hear this,

but although I give
the impression of being

a terribly outgoing sort of person,

underneath I'm really
rather frightened.

Extraordinary that, isn't it?

Frightened? Mm. You? Yes.
Don't believe it. What of?

Oh, you name it and I'm probably
bloody terrified of it.

Spiders, flying, unemployment,

Third World War, death,
getting married,

not getting married, sex,

you, this place, waiters.

Ah, yes, well, er, can't do much
about Third World War,

but very happy
to deal with waiters.

Matter of fact, like to deal
with this one now. Mind?

Oh, do I have to do anything?
No, no, no, no.

Just sit back, relax,
enjoy yourself. Oi!

You, here!

Ordered soup 35 minutes ago.

If not here in 60 seconds,
strong words with manager, alright?

I've got a lot of other
people to serve, you know.

Soup here, 55 seconds.


All I need, bloody little Hitler.

Sorry about this, Alison.

Oh, Tom, please
don't worry on my account.

You see, I'm not really
used to a...

Good lord.

I must say, your being firm
seems to have worked.

Um. Yes.

Thank you.

Thank you.

One moment.


Soup cold.



Of course it's bloody cold.

You want soup in 60 seconds,
you get soup in 60 seconds.

You want hot soup, you have
to wait until it's bloody ready

like everyone else.

Soup away.

Soup away. Manager here.

First you want soup,
then you don't want soup.

Make up your bloody mind.

Did that deliberately.
No, I didn't.

Obviously did. Quite deliberate.

Of course it wasn't deliberate!

If it was deliberate,
I would have done it like this.


That was deliberate!

You plankton-brained
little pimple!

Enjoying your meal, monsieur?

Spotty little tussock here

deliberately spilt soup
on lady's dress.

I'm sure there is some
simple explanation.

Yes, very simple explanation.

Man obviously has quite
unnecessary vicious streak,

coupled with brain of tree frog.

If you will leave the matter
with me, monsieur,

I will make the full enquiry.

There's no need for any of that.

If fellow has anything to say,
can say it now to my face.

With the benefit of hindsight,

I think it was
a mistake to taunt him

when he was situated
so close to the sweet trolley.

Nevertheless, I can assure you
he has been discharged.


My humble apologies,
once again, monsieur,

but in two minutes your table
will be prepared. Mmm.

They just have to wipe down
the wallpaper. Yes.

Come on, hurry up and get changed.
Can I have the fur coat?

Oh, yes, yes, yes, of course.

I'll leave room,
give you chance to undress.


Ah, yes. Could be right.


Parents could be right.
Definite streak of the tearaway.

Well, I think you ought
to hurry up and get changed.

Ah, yes.

Ready then?

Yes, Alison,
look, been thinking...

Ah... yes.

I think perhaps an apology
might be in order?

I hardly think you...
From me, that is.

I don't know what came over me.

Well, I do, but ...
She never turned up, you see.

Who didn't?

It's not easy this job, you know,
if you're not used to it.

Menus here, soup there.

"Can we have another roll?"

"What's the turbot like?"

I'm actually a lecturer
in European history.


Late 19th century,
that's my period.

Bosnia, Herzegovina,
that sort of thing?

Not specifically.

And I'm only fourth
in the department

and my salary wouldn't
keep her in underwear.

Oh, she's an invalid, is she?

And today was the day.

You know, THE day.

She told her husband she was
on arc welding course in Exeter.

Borrowed his car

and she was supposed to come round
this afternoon and...

Tom, do you think that...

Not just now, Alison.

But she never turned up.

400 quids worth of champagne.

Janet Reger underwear
and she never even turned up.

Not to worry, old son.

My advice, go home,
get a good night's sleep.

Everything seems better
the next morning.


You could be right.

Could be right.

Why did I have to tell the wife?

Alison, um, been thinking.

Um, don't really fancy
going back to dining room?

To be perfectly candid with you.

Um, what you mean?

Like to suggest a change of plan.

Er, back to my place.

Well, if you promise
not to take advantage

of my distressed condition
and attempt to seduce me.

Scouts honour, Alison.
Perfectly safe.

Oh, never mind.
Let's go there anyway.

Oh! Hump!


Key in jacket, back at restaurant,
probably at cleaners by now.

There must be something we can do.

Don't you keep a spare key
under the doormat?

In the greenhouse?
Any windows we could climb in?

Well, this one, Alison.

Always leave this open,
but too small.

Tried it before on similar
occasions in the past.

Oh, I don't know!

Here, hold my coat.
Alison, no!

No, no, fooled you,

respectable neighbourhood,
not really.

But there's nobody about, Tom,
and I can't get in with it on.

Now come on, give me a leg up.

Game girl, Alison.

Ooh! Oh!

That's it. Now just to the left,
I think you'll find a little, um...

Yes. Just, just...

Ah! Good evening, officer.

What's happening, Tom?

Alison, I think you'd
better come out now.

We've just hit another plumstone.

# Here I go again

# I hear those trumpets blow again

# All aglow again

# Taking a chance on love

# Here I slide again

# About to take that ride again

# Starry eyed again

# Taking a chance on love

# Things are mending now

# I see a rainbow blending now

# We'll have a happy ending now

# Taking...

# Taking a chance on love! #