Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 1, Episode 2 - Talking Turkey - full transcript

As the staff read of more of Beeching's cuts, Oscar, the turkey belonging to wheeler-dealer signalman Harry, and ear-marked for the station's Christmas dinner, escapes, halting a train. Cecil is not amused and calls a meeting to discuss the general lax behaviour at Hatley. He complains about the chickens under the platform but relents when he learns that they are kept for her egg sandwiches by May, for whom he still carries a torch. May is disappointed that Cecil has become pompous but he explains that he can no longer be one of the lads now he is station master. Jack suspects that they already know each other but Hilda, the booking clerk, tells him not to be so paranoid.

(Train whistle)

(Humming merrily)

Steady on, you're making me soaking wet!

What the hell? What are you doing
kipping down in my garden?

– You've knocked over me gnomes!
– Mum locked me out.

– Why don't you kip in your own garden?
– Yours is cosier.

– What's going off?
– Your boy's been kipping with my gnomes.

– You locked me out, Mum.
– That front door was open until two.

If you're not in by then,
you stop in the garden.

Not in my garden he can't. And look –

he's bent me fishing rod.

Heaven knows where the fish or the hook is.

I think I've found the 'ook.

Serves you right. Get to the kitchen sink
and give yourself a good wash.

– I don't want any breakfast.
– You're not getting any.

I've got my bedrooms to do – it's Thursday.

Do you mind? All your fluff's going in
my window and it's not very hygienic.

Ooh, I'm sorry, Vera.

It's that boy. He'll be the death of me.

Well, where's he been to this time?

Probably down the club with Harry.

I heard that.

You needn't start blaming me.

I left him last night half eleven,

he had half a pint of mild and bitter
in his hand

and he needed double 13 for game.

I am totally blameless.

He's a rotten dart player but it shouldn't
take two hours to get double 13.

Well, perhaps he's got a girlfriend.

No, he hasn't, not my Wilfred.

He's only 17, he's not
got round to girls yet.

He's only just finished with hamsters!

Jack, give Gloria some money,
she's going for the papers.

There might be something about Beeching.

Here's a couple of bob.
Get me some Woodbines.

– Can I keep the change?
– Don't be cheeky.

Mind how you go.

The wireless was going on
about Beeching this morning.

They said 2,000 stations was to close
but they didn't say which ones.

– It'll take 'em all day to list 'em.
– That's why I want the paper.

Go and turn the urn up, we'll have tea
in the buffet while she gets back.

Now Ralph, that last station
were quite an improvement.

– I didn't overshoot, did I?
– No, no, you didn't overshoot, no.

Actually, you were a bit short.

– Not too much, though.
– No, no, not too much.

You just left half a carriage
dangling off the platform.

Only a couple of passengers in it
tried to get off.

– That was all right, then, wasn't it?
– Yes, that was all right.

– Just relax for a few minutes.
– All right, I'll relax.

Shall I put some more coal on?

When did you put the last lot on?

I dunno, I never looked at me watch.

About five minutes ago, I guess.

We mustn't guess, we must know.

Shove some on quick.

(Whistle blows)

You don't whistle just because
you're putting coal on.

Sorry, I was getting confused.

Where is everybody?

In the buffet. I'm in the doghouse.

Oh, poor you. I've got the paper.

– Here it is.
– Give it here.

It doesn't say much.

Wilfred, pop down to the signal box,
ask Harry for a dozen eggs.

I need 'em for me egg sandwiches.

That's the best thing for egg sandwiches,
is eggs.

Be off with ya.

They're closing all the stations
north of lnverness.

Most of the branch lines in North Wales.

– And Central Wales, and the West Country.
– That doesn't affect us.

No, but it affects them Scotch
and North and Central Welshers.

Look, it says here,

"Many branch lines in England
are earmarked for the axe."

– Are we a branch line?
– We're not a main line for sure.

But we're very important. All that milk and
fertilizer and chickens that go through here.

And pigeons.

Perhaps Mr Parkin,
the new stationmaster, will have news.

Where did he stay last night?

He was going back to Clumberfield
where he's been living,

then he was going to
pop into district office,

then he was going to catch the 7:58
in the morning to get back here

and hopes to move into the stationmaster's
house the day after tomorrow.

How did you find all that out?

We were just chatting yesterday
as he was leaving.

You must have been chatting
for a while, May.

He's practically given you his timetable.

Don't be silly, Jack,
I was just making him feel welcome.

He seems a bit pompous.

Oh, he always was.

I expect.

– (Door opens)
– Hello. Anyone selling tickets?

'Ey up, we've got customers.

I'd better open up shop.
The 7:58 will be here in a minute or two.

'Ey, 'Arry,
May says can she have some eggs?

Just a minute. Can't you see
I'm trying to mend this clock?

Have some manners.
How many does she want?

– A dozen.
– A dozen?

That's all I've got.
She'll have to make 'em last.

The hens can't keep it up.

– (Bell dings)
– Oh, drat!

Another ruddy train.

I'm rushed off me feet this morning.

Ralph, can you see the signal?

– Yeah, it's all clear.
– Now ease it back.

And I'll tell you when to brake.

And Ralph,

be gentle.

Tickets, please. Tickets, please.

I've got yours, son. Your granny will be
waiting for you at Hatley.

Morning, Mr Parkin.

– Any more news about Beeching?
– Not a thing.

And district office don't seem to know
any more than the papers.

– We'll just have to carry on.
– (Train whistle)

– Have you met everyone at Hatley, then?
– Yes, I have.

Great bunch, ain't they? (Laughs)

That woman that runs the refreshment bar,
phwoar, she's a cracker, ain't she?

– I... hadn't noticed.
– Her and I have had some fun.

When her old man's not looking, of course.

Between you and me,
I fancy her daughter something rotten.

– She's a bit young, isn't she?
– She's 18.

Start young these days, know all there is
to know at 16, start practising too.

Can't say I approve of that sort of thing.

Be there in a couple of minutes.
Come on, son, let's find your granny.

Blimey, this is heavy.
What's in here? All your teddies?

I have my guns in there, actually.


Here y'are. There's a dozen eggs.

Four and six, tell her.

– And don't break 'em – that's the lot.
– Thanks.

Harry, you know your turkey Oscar?

Course I know my turkey Oscar.

Well, it's running up the line.

What? Running up the line?

Oh, my God!

Oh, quick! Phone Jack and tell him
Oscar's running up the line.


Hello, Hatley booking office!

Oh, heck!

Jack! Jack!

– What's up?
– Oscar's running up the line.

Oscar who?

Oscar turkey.

Harry's turkey, the one we're all having
for Christmas dinner!

Christmas dinner's months away.

If Arnold's train runs over it, we'll be having
turkey rissoles tomorrow! Come on!


Ralph! You said it were all clear.

– it was!
– Well, it's not now.

I can't trust you to do a thing.

– (Train puffing)
– Stop the train!

Stop the flippin' train!

(Brakes squealing)

(Brakes squealing, steam hissing)

That'll be Ralph again.

Oh, thank God.

– What's to do?
– Oscar's under the train!

– Oscar who?
– Oscar turkey, of course!

You've probably cut his head off.

– (Harry) Oscar!
– What's happening?

Oscar is under the train
and we've probably cut his head off.

Shall I get the first– aid kit?

– (Whistle blasts)
– Stop playing with your whistle!

Oscar! Oscar!

(Sobbing) Oscar! Oscar!

Gobble– gobble! Gobble– gobble!
Gobble– gobble!

– Turkeys don't go gobble– gobble.
– Yes, they do.

Old Macdonald had a farm,
and on that farm he had some turkeys

With a gobble– gobble here,
and a gobble– gobble there

Here a gobble, there a gobble
Everywhere a gobble– gobble

They don't gobble– gobble,
they go, "Obobobobo!"

That's not turkeys, that's Red Indians.

It's not a Red Indian, Red Indians go...


Listen, yous two, if you must know,
you don't do it with your hand or your finger.

You do it with your tongue.


(All) "Blbublublubublub."

– What exactly is going on?
– Ah. Oh, Mr Parkin.

I didn't see you there.

– You gave me quite a turn.
– Why have we halted?

Ah. Er, Mr Parkin, er,
we suspected an obstruction on the line.

– A body, possibly.
– It's a turkey, Mr Parkin.

A turkey?

With feathers!

Do you mean you stopped
a passenger train for a turkey?

– It's Christmas dinner!
– Er, for somebody.

Is this what you're looking for?

Hey, you've got it the wrong way round.

He was pecking me in the eyes,
it's dangerous.

I expect this end's dangerous an' all.

Get this train moving. I'll see
you all in my office at 12 o'clock.

Not 12 o'clock, Mr Parkin,

I've got the goods to Buston at 12 o'clock.

Well, one o'clock.

I've got the 1:02 to
Eccleswade at 1:02 too.

I get relieved at two o'clock.

How about five past two?

Very well. Now get this train moving.

Right, Mr Parkin! In a thrice!


Harry, are you busy?

I'm rushed off me feet.

I'm trying to mend Ethel's clock,

there's bets to place,
there's that bike to do,

and on top of that, they keep sending me
these ruddy trains.

Do you think you could find time
to thread this needle?

The cotton end just
refuses to go in the eye.

Oh, 'eaven give me strength. Give it here.

Well, it is your own personal trousers
what is needing attention.

It's only a couple of buttons to sew on.

Very essential buttons, Harry.

They was fly buttons.

You can't go around without them

or persons will be observing that which
should only be observed by your needy wife.

She left me five years ago.

She stopped doing any observing
three years before that.

I have already licked it.

You're a sad person, Harry.

I hear you had an
altification with Mr Parkin.

Not half I didn't. He came ferreting round
here, saw my rabbits and the chickens.

– Did he say anything?
– Not a word.

I'll tell you this, Vera – I was within an inch
of giving him the flat end of my tongue.

Fancy. And I'd been cleaning
the stationmaster's house ready for him.

He'd better modumate his attitude

or he'll find cockroaches and centipedes
nesting under his pillow.

In his pyjama trousers.

– (Bell dings)
– Oh, drat!

I nearly done it and there's a ruddy train.

There you are, Amy,
one day return to Wenstead.

Ooh, and you're not permitted to travel back
on the 5:51 or the 6:18.

– Why ever not?
– That's because it's a cheap day.

You must have some restrictions,
otherwise everybody'd be buying them.

(Train whistle)

I can hear the train.
Shouldn't you be on the platform?

– Parkin's doing it.
– But you've always done it.

If he wants to show off with his flag
and his whistle, let him get on with it.

What do you think he's going to do to us
at five past two?

Nothing. His sort's all wind.

What about Harry? He shouldn't have
stopped the train or left his box.

He might report him but I doubt it.

– (Train puffing)
– Ooh, it's coming!

(Cecil, plummy)
This is Hatley, Hatley, Hatley.

(Plummy) Oh, get him!

(Cecil) Change here for Buston
and Wenstead.

"Change hyar for Buston and Wenstead."

Oh, give over, Jack.
If he hears you, he'll go bananas.

Listen to that hoity– toity voice, it's like
having Harold Macmillan as stationmaster.

Tickets, please! Tickets, please!

Thank you, sir. Thank you.

Thank you, miss. Thank you.

– Season.
– Don't be clever.

Jack, I want to go and wave to Percy.

– Do you think I dare?
– Not with him standing there.

– (Whistle)
– (Cecil) Right away!

– "Right away!"
– (Train whistle blasting)

(Arnold) Ralph!
Stop playing with your whistle!

You're wasting your time with Percy,
he's after anything in a skirt.

Rubbish, it's all talk.

He walked me home last Monday
from Ruskin Memorial Hall

and there's all sorts of dark places
along the way

and he never tried to shove me
into any of 'em, not once.

(Laughs) Better luck next time.

That's quite enough of that, Jack Skinner.

(Whispers) 'Ey up.

He's not said a word to me all morning.

I think he's cross with us.

– (Telephone)
– Ooh.

Hello, Hatley booking office!

Oh, hello, Mr Fenwright.

Just a moment.

(Whispers) He wants Harry
to give him a haircut at four o'clock.

Do you think he'll dare?

(Whispers) I'll ask him.

Just a moment, please,
my colleague is dealing with the matter.

(Whispers) Harry, can you give
Mr Fenwright an 'aircut at four?

Who's that?


That's a nasty cold you've got there.

Never mind about that. Can you do it?

No, I can't.
I haven't threadled Vera's needle yet,

and they keep sending me
these ruddy trains, I'm rushed off me feet.

Tell him to call tomorrow. Oh, and Jack?

– 'What?'
– I'll mix some cough mixture for that cold.

I haven't got a cold.

He says call back tomorrow.

(Whispers) Mr Fenwright, are you there?

Harry says will you call tomorrow?

No, Mr Fenwright, I haven't got a cold.

I'm having to whisper because Mr Pa...

Well, all right,
maybe I have got a slight cold.

He thinks I've got a
cold cos I'm whispering.

This is no time for a pop concert.

His nibs is in there and we're all for
the high jump so don't make it any worse.

Clean the brass in the gents' whatsits.

– I've already done it once.
– Do it again.

– Can I take me guitar?
– No. Get lost.

(String twangs loudly)

Poor lad.
He never gets a chance to practise.

He can't practise in the gents' whatsit.

I'm fed up with whispering.
Come into the booking hall.

(Whispers) I want you to tell me something,
and promise me you'll be quite honest.

(Whispers) All right, Jack, I promise.

But why are we still whispering?

Because May's in there
and I don't want her to hear.

– I see.
– Come and sit down.

Now then, Ethel, do you think
May and Parkin have met before,

judging by their demeanour?

Their what?

Their demeanour.

The way they've been acting together.

Oh, I see.

Do you think they've met before? Because
they don't seem quite normal together.

And she knows a lot about his comings
and goings and toings and froings.

Jack, you've got to
stop being so suspicious

and you've not got to start
cross– examining her about it.

You two seem to get on quite well.
Why don't you ask her?

(Shouts) I'll do no such... Shh!
(Whispers) Let's have a cuppa.

Gloria, give that table a wipe– down,
there's a love.

All right, Mum.

Gloria? What are you doing here?

Helping Mum.
I've not got classes till this evening.

May, do something about that skirt.
I can see her stocking tops.

No, you can't, cos I've got tights on.

Can't you let the hem down?

– I'm the one who put it up.
– Nobody minds short skirts these days.

I put one of mine up four inches,

nobody said a word.

– Come on, have your tea, I've just made it.
– Thanks, love.

Me and Ethel have been talking.

– Oh, yeah?
– She thinks she's met Parkin before.

– Oh, really?
– I didn't exactly say that, Jack.

I said his face seemed familiar.

Some people have familiar sorts of faces,

especially Mr Parkin.

I doubt if you've met him.
He doesn't hail from these parts.

Where does he hail from?

Up Blackpool way, I think.
Maybe Morecambe.

Oh, you two were up that way
at the end of the war.

So we were. We never met him, though,
not as far as I know.

– We might have.
– I doubt it.

– Course, a lot of people go to Blackpool.
– And Morecambe.

– You've been to Blackpool or Morecambe?
– No.

– Where else have you been?
– Skegness.

Perhaps you saw him there.

She's behaving very suspiciously.

Stop it, Jack. You're becoming obsessed.

What are you whispering about?

– Er, Mr Fenwright who wants an 'aircut.
– So do you but there's no need to whisper.

Ah, Mr Skinner, there you are.

The Clumberfield train is due.
Will you see it through?

Yes, of course.

Oh, I thought you wanted to do it.

Not on this occasion, Mr Skinner.

And I suggest you stand by
in the booking office, Mrs Schumann.

Ooh, er, yes of course, Mr Parkin.

Erm, they usually pop their heads
in here if they want a ticket.

Not any more, Mrs Schumann.

Yes, of course, Mr Parkin.

He's going to ruin this station.

That'll be all for now, Gloria, love.
Go and tidy your room.

– Pick those things up off the floor.
– They need washing.

They will do if they've been on the floor.
Run along.

Ta– ra.

Ta– ra.

That girl's skirt is far too short.

That's up to me and her father
to decide, isn't it?

Well, me and Mr Skinner.

You haven't changed, May.
You always put me in my place.

Not enough, as it happened.

We can't turn back the clock.
We were young then, and terribly in love.

I completely lost my heart to you, May.

That's nothing compared to what I lost.

No, May, you haven't changed a bit.

You have. You were one of the lads then.

Now you're all pompous, you talk posh.

I've had to. I've been assistant stationmaster
at some very important stations.

Shenfield, for instance. All the passengers
there were lawyers and stockbrokers.

They expected everything to be just so.
One had to live up to their standards.

You'll find things different round here.

I couldn't sleep last
night for thinking of you.

All those wasted years
we haven't been together.

I should have been with you, May,

to see every wrinkle grow
on that lovely forehead,

every line under those pretty eyes,

every fold under that adorable chin.

Don't say any more, Cecil.

I'm sorry, am I upsetting you?

I'm just trying to stop meself pouring
this pot of tea over your head.

It's two o'clock. Time for the meeting.

Where's his nibs?

It's two o'clock. Is he in his office?

He'll be poking his nose into something.

Oh. Here, I made this up for you. Take
a swig when you feel your throat coming on

and you'll be as right as ninepence.

I haven't got a bad
throat, I didn't want...

Oh, hello, Mr Parkin! We're all here.

Come into my office.

Don't forget – stick to the plan
and we'll be all right.

Mum, Mr Fenwright sent round this inhaler.

He said pour four drops from
this little bottle into some water

and your cold will be gone in no time.

Thank you, Wilfred.

I didn't know you had a cold,
Mrs Schumann.

Oh, just a small one. (Wheezing)

Perhaps you'd better sit by the wall. If
I catch a cold it'll last till the autumn.

I'll mix you up some throat mixture. You'll
be as right as ninepence in a thrice.

I think I should tell you that I intend
to write a report on this station,

especially on recent events.

Whether I send it
depends upon your future conduct.

That sounds very fair to me, sir.
Very fair indeed.

As I see it, you stopped the train
because your turkey was on the line.

That's not quite correct, sir.

It's not really my turkey.

One could say it's a
British Railways turkey.

British Railways turkey.

Yes, there was 150 turkeys delivered here
and they wasn't all collected.

– 150...
– That's right, two were left behind.

Two were... I'm sorry, Mrs Schumann,
do you mind?

These two laid some eggs.

Well, at least one of them did.

When the farmer came back,
he didn't want the eggs.

So 'Arry actually 'atched them!


And Oscar was one of the brood.

Now the point is, sir,

are they our turkeys

or British Railways' turkeys?

They were 'atched by 'Arry!

Well, he didn't actually sit on them,
he put them in his side oven.

But they were laid
on British Railways property

when they were under
British Railways' care.

Now who do they belong to, I ask myself.

Would you give a ruling, sir?

Well, you shouldn't be
keeping turkeys here!

– Looking after 'em, sir.
– And you shouldn't keep your rabbits here!

British Railways' rabbits.

Harry snares them
on the banks of the cuttings.

They're playing havoc with British Railways
property. They're out of control.

– You must get rid of them!
– They're not his to get rid of!

They're British Railways' rabbits.

Look, all this has nothing to do
with the matter in hand.

You are all playing fast and loose
with railways regulations.

You've got hens roaming all over your
signal box and laying eggs on the levers.

– Well, they're not mine.
– No, they're not Harry's.

Well, who do they belong to, then? You?

Er, not exactly.

Er... they're May's.


She uses them in the refreshment room.
She makes wonderful egg sandwiches.

– Egg sandwiches?
– Yeah.

They come from miles around.

Simply miles.

And British Railways get the benefit –
because they're so salty, people drink more.

You see, it's all a bit complicated.

It is indeed. I'm going to mull over
all this and come to a decision later.

– That'll be all. Thank you.
– (All) Thank you, Mr Parkin.

May I say, sir, it's a pleasure
to have someone in charge who's so fair

and yet so firm.

Thank you, Mr Lambert.


– Well, how did it go?
– Oh, I don't know.

He's got one of those blank faces
so you don't know what he's thinking.

Or if he's thinking at all.

I nearly gave him a
mouthful, I can tell ya.

Just one more question
and I'd have let him have it.

He's as pompous as half a dozen bishops.

Oh, he's not like that underneath.

– I expect.
– (Telephone)

Hatley refreshment room.

Oh, hello, Mr Parkin.

Well, yes, of course you can.

I'll have one ready
for you in five minutes.

– What was all that about?
– That was Mr Parkin.

He says can he have
one of my egg sandwiches?

We've made it!

He's bought it! (Laughs)

Well, it's egg sandwiches
all round, then, eh?

– (Laughing)
– And Harry's paying.

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching, what have you done?

♪ There once were lots of trains to catch
but soon there will be none

♪ I'll have to buy a bike
cos I can't afford a car

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching,
what a naughty man you are

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching, what have you done?

♪ There once were lots of trains to catch
but soon there will be none

♪ I'll have to buy a bike
cos I can't afford a car

♪ Oh, Dr Beeching,
what a naughty man you are ♪

(Train whistle)