Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 2, Episode 1 - No Milk for the Minister - full transcript

Whilst Ethel struggles with her new 'Position Closed' blind, May has her own problems. Not only has she succumbed to a lingering kiss with Percy but thieves have stolen the milk cart and she is out of milk - with the Transport Minister arriving for a visit in a couple of hours. Jack's effort to milk a cow is a disaster but he is annoyed when Cecil rings Gloria and asks her to bring a couple of pints. After all that the Minister's train doesn't even stop but runs straight past the reception committee.

- Good morning, Amy.
- Good morning, Vera.

I'm holystoning my front step.
Because it's Monday.

That's as good a reason as any.

- Morning, Mr Skinner. Is Gloria ready?
- She's just coming.

- Gloria, Amy's here.
- Goodbye, Mum.

- See you lunch time, Dad.
- Take care, now.

Ooh, you're putting
it on a bit, aren't you?

Don't be disrespectful to your father.

And it's not me. You've got a fat bicycle.

And you've no business riding to town
in a short skirt like that.

Give over, Dad. It's not as short as Amy's.
You don't say anything to her.

What Amy wears is none of my business.

I'm not her father.

You're not whose father?

I'm just telling Gloria
I'm not Amy's father.

I should think not, indeed.

I wouldn't mind if you
were my dad, Mr Skinner.

Mine wouldn't care if I rode to college
with nothing on at all.

Amy, be off with you.


Jack, you've no business encouraging her
with talk like that.

I never said a word.

You must have,
or she wouldn't have said what she did.

- Now, look!
- Don't argue, Jack. It doesn't suit you.

It makes your face all ugly.

Look, May, I simply
said I wasn't Amy's father,

so I wasn't going to say anything
about a short skirt!

Who's got a short skirt?


I'll go and get my glasses.

I don't want to interrupt
anyone's domestic striving,

but have you noticed that the
milkman hasn't done his roundabouts?

Jack, don't stand there gossiping to Vera.
The milkman's not been.

- There's nothing I can do about it.
- Oh, yes, there is.

Ask Ethel if she can let me have a pint
so I can open the buffet. And look sharp!

Mr Skinner! The milkman hasn't been.

I know. Get up to the station and open up.

Ethel. Ethel!

- Hello.
- May says, have you got some milk?

Yes, thanks.

Where's the girl in the short skirt?

She's gone off on her bike.

Oh. Sorry I missed that.

You've got to be quick
these days, ain't you?

- Good morning, May.
- Ooh! Cecil!

What are you doing here at this time?

I thought if I got here early, we could
spend a few moments alone together.

- Kiss me, May.
- I don't think this is a very good idea, Cecil.

May, I haven't kissed you for 18 years.

Well, you'd better hang on a bit longer, cos
Jack'II be coming through that door in a minute.

I don't care.

Cecil, he'd want to know
what you were doing here early like this.

May, I haven't slept a wink.

I've thought about
you constantly all night.

So, at five this morning, I thought
I'd try a bit of do-it-yourself.

Well, it's better than nothing, I suppose.

May, this is all I've got.

Oh, good morning, Mr Parkin. You're early.

Mr Parkin has had trouble sleeping, so he
thought he'd pop in for an early cup of tea.

Oh, I see.

But I've told him he's not getting any,

cos we're out of milk.

I haven't been wasting my time. I've been
indulging in a little do-it-yourself.

Oh, yes?

Come with me. I think you'll be pleased.

- Look.
- That's been lying in a corner since Christmas.

They said they'd send a man to put it up.

It's no good waiting for British Railways
workers in this day and age, Mrs Schumann.

"Do it today" is my motto.

Now, from time to time, I expect
you have to erm... leave your post.

Well, I usually manage to keep it down
to four times a day, Mr Parkin.

That's very good, Mrs Schumann.

Except in exceptional circumstances.

Yes. Well, on such occasions,
to keep the passengers informed,

all you have to do is pull down this blind.

And then, upon your return,
you simply raise the blind.

- And then, the next time you leave...
- I lower the blind.

So, I just pull this string, do I?

That's correct, yes. This one to lower.

- And this one to raise.
- Oh. Can I have a go?

Right. So, I've come back,

and up goes...

- Hello.
- Oh, Wilfred.

You frightened the life out of me.
Go and clean your teeth.

Yes, Mum.

There's one further detail, Mrs Schumann.

Having raised the blind
from the Position Closed position,

you then place this Position Open sign
in position.

Oh, that's good, in't it?



- ..closed.
- No sign.

Oh, yes.

No sign.

Oh, and position...

- ..open.
- Sign.


May says your tea's ready.
And your sign's upside down.

Oh, there you are, Jack.
Now, sip it slowly, cos it's all you get.

That Parkin's so ignorant
he doesn't realise what a fool he is.

Stop bellyaching about
Parkin. It's too early.

Mr Parkin's taking a very important
telephone call from District,

so he says, can you very kindly
take his tea to him in his office?

No, she can't. I'm not having
my wife waiting on him hand and foot.

Calm down, Jack. I'm not waiting on him
and certainly not hand and foot.

Now, Vera, be a love,

and take this in to
Mr Parkin in his office.

Of course. It'd be a pleasure.

I enjoy going into his office,
specially when he's not there,

and I can ferret through his knick-knacks.

May mollycoddles him. She never mollycoddles
me. Why does she mollycoddle him?

He is the Station Master.

So what? I could have been the
Station Master any time I'd wanted.

You should have applied for the job, like I
told you, and then you'd have had power.

Women like power in men.

Power is an aphrodizzy...

Aphrodizz... Something.

That's power over big corporations.

Power over you, me and Wilfred
is an aphrodizzy-nothing.

Morning, Arnold. Morning, Ralph.

- Morning, May.
- Morning.

Oh, there's been a to-do
at Knossington Bassett.

Knossington Bassett?
I thought Beeching had shut it.

No, not until September.

Last night there was a break-in. They got away
with all the takings from the booking office.

- How much did they get?
- Thirteen and fourpence.

And they set off all
the fire extinguishers,

they took two bags of fertiliser
and a crate of pigeons.

What is the world coming to?

What about that signalman, Henry?

No, they left him.

Didn't he spot 'em?

Well, he was having forty winks, you see.

And by the time he'd come to, they were making
their getaway on the milkman's horse and cart.

Oh, so that's why we didn't get any milk
this morning.

They won't have got far with the milkman's
horse and cart. He stops at every house.

Now, pay attention, everybody.

I've just had a very important conversation
with Mr Orkindale at District.

The Minister of Transport and several
members of his department are in the area,

and will be passing through here around
lunch time, possibly on the one seven.

Will they be stopping off, Mr Parkin?

Who knows? Maybe not, maybe they will.
We must all be prepared.

Well, I can't be prepared.
I've not got any milk.

Oh, dear. Well, I obviously cannot leave
the station myself,

but I'm sure Mr Skinner will take
care of that, won't you, Mr Skinner?

You'll make sure your wife gets her milk.

Oh. Yes, of course.

Make sure the brasses are sparkling
and the station is spotless.

Yes, Mr Parkin.

They're not going to
shut us down, are they?

I hope not, Mrs Schumann.

All we can do is to be as polite,
efficient and alert as possible.

The passengers will be arriving any minute, so
we'd better stand by our posts. So go to it!

Right away, Mr Parkin.

Yes, Mr Parkin.

Hang on, Mr Montgomery,
while I get the betting book.

Two... four...

I won't be long, Mr Montgomery.
I'm just finding the right page.

Erm... Here it is.

So, that's five shillings each way,

Russian Prince,

four o'clock, Newmarket.
Yes, I'll tell Harry.

I'll come and see to you in a minute.

Not you, Mr Montgomery.
I've seen to you already.

Are you there, Mr Montgomery?
I said, not you, I've seen to you already.

I don't know what you mean, Mr Montgomery.

Is anybody going to sell me a ticket?

I'm coming as fast as I can.

Do you mind not doing that, madam?
The blind's only just been installed.


The flippin' thing's stuck.

Do you mind, madam? You are causing
the mechanism to malfunction.

Well, are you open or not?

Where's she gone?

- Shop!
- Oh, heck!

I'm sorry if I've inconvenienced
you, madam. Can I be of assistance?

I want a day return to Clumberfield.

Day return to Clumberfield.
That'll be three and eleven.

Day return to Clumberfield.

A day return to Clumberfield.
That'll be three and eleven.

I know.

Four shillings. You need a penny change.

Penny change... Penny change...

There you are, madam. There's your penny
change. I hope you have a nice journey.

Well, thanks to you,
it's been a very bad start.

The sooner Beeching shuts you down,
the better.

There's no need to be like that, madam.

I'm sorry about the bother with the blind
but it's new,

and we're having one
or two teething problems.

Having teething problems, are you?

I'll show you the best way
to deal with teething problems.

Oh! You shouldn't have done that, madam.
Mr Parkin has just put it up.

Good morning.

Mrs Schumann?

Mrs Schumann, what has happened
to the Position Closed blind?

Mrs Schumann! You'll have to pay for that.

- Hatley, Hatley, Hatley!
- Thank you, Mr Skinner. I'll do this one.

You take care of your wife's requirements.

You what?

The milk, Mr Skinner, the milk!

This is Hatley. Hatley! Hatley!

Change here for Bustin and Wenstead.

You've got to admit, Mr Skinner,
he's got a lovely posh voice.

He gives the station a lot more class.

Go and clean the brass in the bog.

Come on, Ralph. Where are you?

Sorry, I forgot my pork sausages.
May keeps them in the fridge for me.

Now, look. You are not...

You are not cooking
pork sausages on my train.

Not with the Minister
of Transport in the area.

Why? Is he Jewish?

Check your gauges.

Stop worrying, Ethel.

When Mr Parkin knows what happened, he won't
expect you to pay for the wretched blind.

It was a daft idea, anyway.
I just did what he said to be polite.

Just fancy! All these important
people coming and I've not got any milk.

And what are we going to wear, Ethel?

My hair's a perfect sight.
It's not had a wash and set in a fortnight.

Oh, stop fussing, May.
They'll not bother to look at you.

Oh, thank you very much! I suppose you don't
care if your wife looks like a scarecrow.

Go and see Harry. He's good with hair.

He is not touching my hair, Jack.

This particular scarecrow
is looking for a bit of Vidal Sassoon,

not Harry's pudding basin.

That reminds me,
I must get that pudding basin back.

He's had it for four years now.

Now, where am I going to get some milk
for May?

Oh, troubles never come singly, do they?

Come in.

You can say that again.

Hey, they've probably got some milk
in that little shop in Wenstead.

That's four miles away.

Why don't you borrow
Mr Parkin's bicycling thing?

Harry was mending the front wheel when he lost
the ball bearings down a crack in the signal box.

He'll have some more on Wednesday.

Can't you say anything helpful?

I heard a lot of mooing this morning.

That'd be Farmer Jackson's cows.

They haven't been here very long.
They're in his top field.

That's it, Jack. He might
let you have a few pints.

He wouldn't give you the time of day.

All his milk gets sent off in a lorry.
It goes off every morning.

I don't mean it goes sour.
I mean it gets collected.

We know what you mean, you daft ha'p'orth!

He's only trying to help.

What I mean is, it'll have
left at five o'clock this morning.

The cows might have manufactured
a bit more by now.

They might give us a few pints.

Wilfred, milk does not come from the cows
prepacked in pint bottles.

You have to milk them.
Do you know anything about milking cows?

- No.
- Neither do I, so shut up!

I know a little.

The milk is kept at the opposite end
from the head.

And it's in a bulgy bit,

and the bulgy bit has four terminals.

Oh, yeah? Battery cows, are they?

I've seen pictures. The milk comes out
when the milkmaid does this.

- It's a bit like bell ringing.
- I am not ding-donging on any cow's terminals.

May's relying on you to get her some milk.
You're not going to let her down.

I'm not letting her down. I'm just
not milking any cows for her, that's all.

Parkin won't let you forget it, mark
my words. He'll keep bringing it up.

I'll come with you.
I'll wash out the fire bucket to put it in.

Go on, Jack. Have a go.
At least you'll have tried.

Come on, Wilfred.

Once more into the breach.

I should try to steer clear of that part.

I think they're in that
field behind that hedge.

Thank you, Sherlock Holmes!


I've got to ring the bookmaker's.
Where's Parkin?

He's in his house,
washing all the smuts off his cheeks.

He can wash his face as much as he likes.
He'll still have that miserable face.

I can't stand people with miserable faces.

- What are you doing?
- I've just about mended Parkin's flippin' blind.

Well, come on, Harry. Give us a hand.

- Where's it go?
- In the window.

- Oh.
- Hey!

Harry! Would you mind
what you're doing, please?

The things you see
when you haven't got your gun!

Give it here. I'll let Wilfred help me.

Oh, Wilfred?

I've just seen him and Jack going
across the field, carrying a fire bucket.

Looking for a fire, are they?

Jack's going to milk the cows
in Farmer Jackson's top field.

Milk the cows?

Oh, my God!

Harry? Harry, don't leave me like this.

Don't stand there sitting about. Come on.

Harry? Harry, what's the matter?

Hold that wire down.

You'll have to come to the centre part,
otherwise you won't get your leg over.

You watch your language. Push down.




Now, crouch down so
the cows don't take fright.

- They're a bit bunched up.
- We only need one.

- Aaah! Aaaah! Aaaah!
- What are you doing?

Farmer Jackson makes that noise
and they all come trotting over.

Aah! Aaah! Aaaah!

Shut up!

Or Farmer Jackson'II come trotting over.

- They didn't take no notice of me.
- I'm not surprised.

Which one shall we go for?

- I fancy that one over there.
- Don't worry, you'll grow out of it.

- She hasn't got a very big bulgy bit.
- Maybe we're early.

Perhaps she hasn't filled it up for us yet.
Let's get a bit closer.

- What do you think?
- Can you see four terminals?

I can see one.

Hey! Hey!

Wilfred, why is your mother
impersonating a butterfly?

Jack! Bullocks!

I beg your pardon!



They're not cows.

They're bullocks.

Come on.

Hurry up, Wilfred.

They're coming towards you.

Perhaps they know
we were going to pull their terminals.


Sorry to disturb you, Cecil.

Vera and I are tidying the buffet.
Can I have your cup?

You're not disturbing me, May.
You're like a ray of sunshine.

Very kind of you to say so.
Have you finished with your cup?

Yes. It was like pure nectar.

Really? It was just ordinary Typhoo Tips.

Would you like to give it to me?

I'd rather give you my heart.

I've told you before, Cecil, I'd rather you
didn't say things like that. I'm not used to it.

I know. Jack doesn't appreciate you.

Oh, yes, he does. Occasionally.

Usually on a Sunday morning.

But he doesn't offer me his heart.

Sometimes, if I'm lucky, a Woodbine.

Leave him, May.

- Don't be silly, Cecil.
- I mean it. Leave him!

Cecil, if you spill these dregs down
my front, you will not be popular.

Come away with me, May. Tonight.

Oh! Where would you take me?
The George Cinq in Paris?

No, no. But I have a bit saved up and I have
an aunt who has a guest house in Bognor Regis.

- It's quite near the front.
- It's very kind of you to offer, Cecil.

But man does not live
by bed-and-breakfast alone.

Not even in Bognor Regis.

What would we do
when we get through your savings?

We could start again, May.

- Think about it.
- Oh, well, I'm bound to do that.


Well, I can't say I didn't enjoy that.

In fact, it was very nice. But you mustn't
do it again, Cecil, not for another 18 years.

Was I supposed to get the cup, or was you?

Obviously me.

- I'm not interrupting anything, am I?
- Not now, Vera.

That's a good thing.

Hello, gorgeous! And how's
my very own little sexpot today? Come here!

Give over, Percy!

Hello? Taking evasive action this morning?

I've had plenty of practice.
I've just evaded a couple of dozen cowpats.

Where's May?

I don't know. And Vera disappeared
as soon as she saw me.

You've not tried to grab
hold of her as well, have you?

You're the only one for me, my lovely.

Sorry to keep you waiting, Percy.

I've just been collecting
Mr Parkin's dirty, utilised teacup.

Now, what do you want?
Because we probably haven't got it.

Jack, did you have any
luck getting that milk?

- Sorry, May.
- Oh, Jack, what am I going to do?

- They were the wrong type of cows.
- They didn't have bulgy bits.

When we got back you weren't here.
Where have you been?

Erm... Well, I've been tidying up a bit.

I popped into Mr Parkin's
office to get his teacup.

- Vera went for it.
- I thought she might need a tray to put it on.

- You're not carrying a tray.
- I know. I forgot it.

Oh, dear. I'm all at sixes and sevens,
what with having no milk and stuff.


Did you hear that?
She's trying to avoid me.

No, she's not.
She's just trying to make the place tidy.

In his office again. Every time
my back's turned, she's in his office.

Don't start all that
jealous business again.

Oh, is Mrs Skinner anywhere about?

No, and if you want another tea,
we've only got Bovril.

Hello, Mr Parkin. Can I
be of any service to you?

I was about to say don't worry about the milk,
Mrs Skinner. I contacted Gloria at her college.

She and Amy are bringing some.
They'll be here in time for the Minister.

Oh, thank you very much, Mr Parkin. What a
good idea. Why didn't you think of that, Jack?

Now, see here, Mr Parkin.

How dare you get my daughter
to leave her studies!

How dare you even speak to her!

It's a free country, Mr Skinner.

You're right, and I shall feel free
to punch you on your interfering nose.

Now, stop it, Jack. Stop it! Stop it!

I see. All this has obviously been
too much of a strain for you, Mr Skinner.

I think it would be best
if you take the rest of the day off.

- I don't want a day off.
- I'm relieving you of your duties, Mr Skinner.

Relieving me of my duties?
What about the Minister's lot?

I will meet them personally.

In the unlikely event of them noticing your
absence, I will explain that you are indisposed.

Anyway, your presence on the station
is not necessary.

You are surplus to requirements.

There you are, Ethel. Now do you believe
he doesn't want me on the station?

Yes, I do, Jack.
But you shouldn't have threatened him.

- You went too far there, Jack.
- I'll threaten him.

Come with me.
We're going to find Ralph and Arnold.

We'll show him who runs this railway,
and how we can all stick together.

Come on, Percy.


- Hello.
- That's them now. Do you know what to do?

Of course I flamin' well know what to do.

- Good lad.
- Where are you going?

To the bridge. I wouldn't miss this
for all the tea in China.

Be sure and get all
the wrinkles out, Wilfred.

Erm... May... Mrs Skinner.
You will stand on the right of the carpet.

Wilfred, you will stand by the Gents.

I will stand on the carpet,
ready to receive the Minister.

I hope you realise I still haven't got
any milk. All will be well. Trust me.

I thought I'd dress up as a passenger,
as we don't seem to have many.

Or any, in fact.

I've brought my best umbrella.

I haven't used this
since my late husband's funeral.

And he was an engine driver, you know.

Come to think of it, it wasn't raining.

Sorry to be so late, Mum.

Amy got a puncture, so we had to push.

Ah, well done, love.
I'll put it in my jugs later.

It's time we were in position
on the platform. Come along.

Yes, Mr Parkin.

Now, centre it on that chalk mark, Wilfred.

It's the wrong carpet.

Yes, it's the wrong carpet.

The other way up!


Right. Now this is the precise point
where the carriage will stop.

I will receive them here.
You on my left, Mrs Schumann.

And Mrs Skinner here.

Amy, Gloria, Mrs Plumtree, you are
passengers. Over there on the right.

And as the train draws in, I will salute.

Shall I salute from the Gents?

- Certainly not.
- He's only asking.

Don't bully him, he's only a boy.

I will wave, like Queen Mary used to.

Ralph, are you clear on what to do?

- I could do it in my sleep.
- Good, but to please me, stay awake.

I'm going to enjoy this.

Good lad! So am I.

Here they come. Stand by, everyone.

Platoon, attention!

Sorry, Mr Parkin. Slight change of plan.

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

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