Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 2, Episode 5 - Lucky Strike - full transcript

There is talk of a wild cat strike among drivers and if any Hatley staff join it the station could be closed. Ralph, the trainee engine driver, decides he is unhappy with his job and wants to join the strike. May persuades Gloria to tell him that she will date him if he changes his mind. Jack is unhappy with this but goes along with it when May threatens to deny him his conjugal rights.

WILFRED: ♪ I wanna hold your hand

♪ I wanna hold your hand

I wanna hold your
throat! Pack it in, Wilfred.

- I've got to practise somewhere.
- Not on British Railways property or time.

- There aren't any passengers.
- You've frightened them off!

- Have we had any post?
- On your desk where I always put it.

- I can't see it.
- Except for today. I put it on the counter.

- I don't know what I'd do without you.
- Oh, thanks!

But I'd rather.

- You know the platform?
- Yes.

Go on to it, turn right, walk ten yards,
and there's a sign saying "Gentlemen".

Don't let it worry you.
Go straight in and polish the brasses.

- Are you trying to get at me?
- As if I would!

- You haven't had breakfast.
- No, Mum.

I got up early to practise my guitar.
I found a new chord.

- Have you?
- The sooner it's lost, the better.

Stop picking on him, Jack!
You'll give him an inferiority complex.

Wilfred, get your hair cut.
You look like a right barmpot!

That should restore his confidence.

I'm his mother. I can say these things.

He knows it's nothing personal.

- Pop this on Parkin's desk.
- You told me to clean t'brasses.

- Do the letter first, Wilfred.
- Right-o.

Come in.

I'll phone Harry.

- JACK: What for?
- To fit Wilfred in for a haircut.

You might have a customer out there
wanting a ticket.

A customer? That'll be the day!

Hello, Harry. Have you got
a minute to cut Wilfred's hair?

You've chosen a very
bad morning, I'm afraid.

I've got a puncture to mend,

chickens to feed, tomatoes to water...

On top of that,
there might be a bloomin' train any minute.

I'm rushed off my feet.

It doesn't have to be this morning.
I'll send him up this afternoon.

I want it cut like the Beatles.

And can you make him look like a Beatle?

Why not? He's halfway there already.

Get cracking.
Open the booking office window, Ethel.

- Where are you going?
- To the buffet for a cuppa.

You men!
You haven't done a stroke of work yet!

- I've opened this letter.
- Oh, dear. Shall I fetch you an icepack?

Anyone for the 9:30 to Busten and Wenstead?

Busten and Wenstead,
stopping at Moscow and Peking.


Oh! Oh, hello, your very reverendness.
Can I help you?

Two day returns to Wenstead, please.

Certainly, sir. Now, that will be a total
of seven shillings, please.

Thank you very much.

Hope you enjoy our morning service!


Right, come on, lad. Time to stoke up.

We're due out at half-past.

You haven't touched your bun.

Ah, what's up with Ralph?

He's going through an emotional crisis.

He's been real moody since Jack said
he couldn't go out with our Gloria.

It's nothing to do with
Gloria. It's his work.

- What's up, love?
- I may have to go on strike tomorrow.

Strike? I've heard nothing about a strike.

It's been called by Ted Urquart.

- Who's he when he's at home?
- He's my uncle.

My Uncle Ted.

I don't see what your uncle's
got to do with you striking.

He's just been made branch secretary
of the union in Clumberfield

and he's calling for militant action.

He must be mad.
We're fighting for our lives here.

Doctor Beeching's standing there with an axe
waiting for you to strike. Don't you see?


In those glasses, he doesn't see anything.

- Give us a cup of tea, will you, love?
- Come and talk some sense into Ralph.

He's harbouring dangerous thoughts.

Listen, lad.
Gloria doesn't want to go out with...

It's nothing to do with Gloria.

Oh. If it's her friend
Amy, she's asking for it.

It's not that, Jack.
He's thinking of going on strike.

On strike? Rubbish!

It's not rubbish. Ted Urquart
says we've got a genuine grievance.

He would!
They don't call him Red Ted for nothing.

- Do you mind? He's my uncle.
- So? You don't have to obey him!

My mum says I should.

- Your mum? Why?
- She's Uncle Ted's sister.

She says family should stick together
because blood is thicker than water.

I'll tell you something thicker than that.

- What?
- You, you daft apeth!

- Can't you talk some sense into him?
- I tried but he won't listen.

He's got a stubborn streak in him.

You're going to make yourself unpopular
with the staff here.

If I don't strike, I'm going to cop it
from my mates in the union.

They'll call me a Blackfoot.

Not unless you're wearing feathers
in your cap and waving a tomahawk.

Listen, Ralph.
We are members of the same union.

If the strike was official, we'd join you.
But it's not.

You're being got at
by a communist agitator.

He's counting on my support.

Sometimes you have to turn a blind eye.

That's right, Ralph. Remember Nelson?

Nelson who?

Not Nelson anything. Just Nelson.

They ran up a signal saying stop

but he put his telescope to his blind eye
and went right ahead.

Did he hit anything?

- Hit anything?
- (Both laugh)

He demolished half the French fleet!

With a telescope and only one eye,

he shouldn't be on the footplate
in the first place.

- Your turn.
- Pass.

Hey, Mum, can I have some money?

I suppose so. What's it for?

- Shouldn't you be at college?
- Not till later.

- Here you are, love.
- Ta.

- Bring me the change.
- If there is any.

- What you going to buy?
- Why?

- I like to know where my money goes.
- I'm going to buy a new skirt.

You might try
buying the bottom half of that one!

- You're showing your ignorance.
- It's nothing to what you're showing!

- Come on, Ralph. Time to go.
- If I must.

For heaven's sake, don't look so miserable!

I can't help it.

You're still thinking about the strike?

No, I'm thinking about Gloria now.

Two bob on the favourite in the 2:30...

Half a crown on Top Hat in the 4:15...

Morning, Harry.

- And a bob each way on Tulsa.
- You're not backing horses again, are you?

Why don't you mind your own business?

I don't like to see a man
in the clutches of temptation.

Well, don't look then.

I brought you a little snack
for your elevenses.


It's a Cornish pasty
with a special filling.

What kind of filling?

Came out of my head.

Well, it's not brains then, is it?

- (Bell rings)
- Oh, the bells! The bells!

That'll be the 9:30.

It's lack of food that
makes you so irritable.

You don't eat properly.

Why don't you come round this evening
for some supper?

No. No, I...

I might be going down
the Railwayman's Club.

With all that drinking, smoking,
noisy music and smutty stories?

You know how to influence a man, don't you?

- Do I, Harry?
- Yeah.

Now I definitely am going!

Come on, lad, one more shovel.


As fast as I put it on, it burns it up.

That's the nature of coal, lad.
I wonder you hadn't noticed.

I'm just a slave to the capitalist system.

- Who said that?
- I did.

I did!

Come on, lass.

I didn't know
I was going to have the pleasure.

- Well, you're not.
- You can travel with me in the guard's van.

Thank you, Percy!

There's a vicar in that carriage.
Go in there.

Oh, Dad, no!

- Some vicars can be dodgy, you know.
- Not half as dodgy as guards.

Gloria's just got on!


Have we got steam up yet?

One of us has.

Right away!

(Train whistle)

Now, remember, lad, just one.

(Whistle blows twice)

- You've done it again, haven't you?
- (Whistle blows)

(Telephone rings)

Hello. Hello?

Oh, hello, Mr Parkin. There's nobody there.

Wilfred, when you answer the telephone,
don't just say hello.

Say who you are.

- Roger and out.
- (Phone rings)

Who you are.

Still nobody there, Mr Parkin.

Is Mr Parkin at home?

He's in his office.
He's in one of his funny moods.

What I always say is
"funny is as funny does".

(Telephone rings)

Hatley Station. Stationmaster's office.

Oh, good morning, Mr Orkindale.
What can I do for you?

Ted Urquart? Yes, yes, I have your letter.

One moment, Mr Orkindale. Come in!

I've cleaned, washed and ironed
your dusters, Mr Parkin.

Thank you. I'm on the phone.

Are you? Well, don't mind me. Carry on.

I agree. The last thing
we want is a strike.

- It won't disturb you if I polish the window.
- Yes. No. I'm sorry, Mr Orkindale.

No sense having a window
if you can't see through it.

- Could you repeat that?
- No sense...

Not you!

Yes, yes, of course I'll have a word
with the staff. Right away. Yes. Goodbye.

Damn and blast!

- Not bad news, I hope?
- Oh, I'm sorry, Mrs Plumtree.

Quite all right, I've heard worse.

- I need to have a word with Mr Skinner.
- He's in the booking office.

(Shouts) Would you stop messing about
with that window?

I'm just wiping off the condescension.

So that's a shilling each way on Bluebird
for the 2:30.

And Merrylegs for the 3:15.

- Mr Skinner?
- Yes, Mr Parkin?

That's right. 3:15.

- Ethel! Ethel!
- And then there's nothing...


...and then there's nothing
till the 5:30 to Clumberfield!

Calling at Coldhorton
and Orston in the Wold.

Hello, Mr Parkin. It's all go, in't it?

Or possibly stop.

Mr Orkindale was on the telephone
with rumours of a wildcat strike.

The union's being
stirred up by Ted Urquart.

If the engine drivers and firemen
walk out at Clumberfield,

no trains will stop at Hatley.

Mr Orkindale says if Doctor Beeching
gets a sniff of trouble,

he'll close down the line and we'll be
joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Oh, 'eck.
We'll have to put in for abundancy money.

It just takes one man to down tools
and it has repercussions all down the line.

What about Arnold and the others?

Arnold's as solid as a rock
but Ralph's a problem.

Ted's his uncle so he's
got divided loyalties.

Doesn't he realise he'll
be ruining his career?

In two years, he'll be a qualified engine
driver. The dream of most young men.

Aye, it used to be mine once.

Till I met the wife. Then it had to change.

Didn't she like the smell
of oil and coal dust?

It wasn't that. I couldn't leave her.

I had to have a job on the station
to keep an eye on her.


You may have noticed
my wife attracts men like a magnet.


If a bloke gave her the
glad eye, I'd thump him.

So would I. If I were you.

I remember when I was engaged to my hubby,
he had to fight for my honour.

- Very commendable.
- How long before you gave in?

Did you train to cut hair, Harry?

No, no, it's a gift.

You're either born with it or you're not.

So why did you take it up?

- Wilfred, stop wriggling!
- I've got hair all down my shirt!

If you don't sit still,
you'll have an ear down there as well.


Wilfred, Mr Parkin doesn't want
scruffy people working on his station.

- It won't matter if we go on strike.
- There won't be one.

I wouldn't mind a couple of days off.
I've not been sleeping.

I keep hearing bells in my head.

You can't put us all out of work
just cos you're not sleeping. Try Horlicks.

We used to have proper strikes
in the old days.

I was in the big one, you know.
The General Strike in 1926.

- Were you?
- Yeah.

I was a rabble rouser in them days.

A real firebrand.

Them bosses would have got the flat end
of my tongue if I'd have gone to London.

- Why didn't you?
- The bloomin' trains weren't running!

No, it's definitely this one, May.

Are you sure? Try the other one again.



Yes, I'm sure.

This one's the Stork,
that one's the butter.

Oh well,
that's another theory out the window.

Right, I'll just take this
through to Mr Parkin.

- Is it teatime already?
- It's gone four.

Sponge cake.
You needn't have bothered just for me.

I haven't. It's for Mr Parkin.

- Why can't he fetch his own tea?
- He's busy. He phoned through for it.


Ah! Oh, thank you, May.

I wouldn't have bothered you
but I'm expecting a call.

- No trouble, Cecil.
- Lemon sponge! You know my weakness.

Only too well.

What wouldn't I give for a stolen kiss?

I've no idea but I'll tell you what you'll
get. Now behave yourself. Jack's through there.

I think it was a cruel fate
to bring us together again.

- Put in for a transfer.
- Never! I shall always be in your thrall.

Fine. As long as you
stay out of my kitchen.

How old do you think Harry is?

I wouldn't presume to ask him
but I'd say he was in the prime of life.

- He was in the General Strike.
- So was my husband. He...

He was an engine driver, you know.

- No.
- Oh?

He was with
the Gas Light and Coke Company.

- Was he?
- Until the strike.

And then they called for people
to drive trains, so he volunteered.

He took to it like a duck to water.
He never looked back.

Tricky, if you're shunting.

Vera, would you mind taking Jack
a cup of tea and a lemon sponge.

He always comes for it.

I know. He's in a huff
cos I took one through to Mr Parkin.

Oh! The green-eyed monster.

Vera, that's no way
to talk about Mr Parkin!

I mean jealousy.

You only took tea. You weren't
making mad passionate love, were you?

No! Not really.

You'll have to be careful.
Jack can be violent.

I can handle him, don't worry.

You could twist any man
round your little finger.

Sometimes you have to.
Remember that strike we had last year?

Ooh, I do. Come to think of it,
your Jack was the one who called it off.

Yeah, and I'll tell you why.

I locked the bedroom door
and made him sleep on the settee.

You mean you denied
him his conjugular rights?

- For two whole weeks.
- Oh, fancy!

Mind you, it was a toss- up
which one of us gave in first.

It's a pity
you're not having an affair with Ralph.

Ethel, wash your mouth out.

Hatley, Hatley, Hatley!

Right, lad, now just a gentle touch
on the brakes and then...

(Brakes screech)

You'll never learn, will you?

Well, I won't have to
if I go on strike, will I?

Thank you, sir.

Thank you, madam.

Hi, Dad!

- I hope Percy behaved himself.
- He had to. Amy was with me.

- I was a perfect gent.
- You can take me to the pictures tonight.

You're on. Back row.

Should be thrilling. The
Beast With Five Fingers.

Oh, aye? What's the picture called?

- Cup of your delicious tea, May.
- MAY: Right.

After you, ladies.

- Can we have a bacon sandwich?
- Pop in the kitchen and help yourselves.


- Did you get your skirt?
- They didn't have the right colour.

- I got a bikini instead.
- As long as you don't tell your father.

Where are you going for
your summer holidays?

- Skegness.
- What a coincidence! So am I.

I don't think so.

I thought of having a bikini but I'd be
too embarrassed having men staring at me.

I find that hard to believe.

- What, me being embarrassed?
- No, men staring at you.

You wouldn't talk so daft if you'd
suffered unemployment in the '30s.

- You don't remember that, do you?
- I wasn't even born.

- You must have heard about it, though.
- You can't go on living in the past.

My Uncle Ted says the '60s
are going to change the world for ever.

- Right, lads, what's it to be?
- Just tea for me, please, May.

- How about you, love?
- Nothing.

Ignore him. He's talking rubbish as usual.

Yeah, you're bound to talk rubbish
if you're thick.

- Who says you're thick?
- Mr Skinner said so, didn't he?

- That's what you all think.
- Not all of us, Ralph.

- Well, most of you.
- Most of us, yes.

Well, if you think I'm going to spend the rest
of my life shovelling coal and being insulted,

you're thicker than I am.

I'm striking.

So you're quite prepared
to ruin everyone's life here?


- You don't mean that, Ralph.
- Who says I don't?

Don't you see, this isn't just
where we work, it's where we live.

Railway Cottages
means home to a dozen people.

If the station closes, the land will
be sold and that'll be the end of us.

- I'll be walking the streets.
- Let me know which ones.

You've got to think of other people, lad.

Why should I? They don't think of me.

My mum and me live in a damp basement
flat cos we can't afford nothing else.

Ted Urquart says we should strike
for more money, so I'm striking.

You're daft!
You're going to lose a lot of friends.

I don't need friends that
call me thick and daft.

So, as I won't be going on shift tomorrow,
I'll say goodbye now.

Wait, wait, Ralph!

I can't drive without a fireman.

- Well, get another one.
- There's nobody else around.

If I did find a volunteer and word got out,
the whole region could grind to a halt!

I know. Ta-ta.

Hang on a minute, Ralph.

What about saying goodbye to Vera
and Harry and the rest of the staff?

I don't want to see them.
I've got nothing to say.

But if you see Gloria,
tell her I'm very sorry.

Gloria? Why don't you tell her yourself?

Well, she wouldn't want to see me
if I'm going on strike.

I'll go and find out. She's in the kitchen.

- Is she?
- Don't go away.

Gloria, can I have a serious word with you?

- Not if it's about the bikini.
- It's more important than that.

- What's up?
- Well, er...

There comes a time in every mother's life

when she has to approach her daughter
with some delicacy.

- Mum, I know where babies come from.
- It's not about that.

Ralph has decided
to join a wildcat strike tomorrow.

- Can't you talk him out of it?
- No, but perhaps you can.

Me? How?

Tell him if he goes on strike,
you won't go out with him.

- I can't say that.
- Why not?

- It's not strictly honest.
- It is.

If I say I won't go out if he strikes,

he'll think I will go out if he doesn't.

He's not that bright.

- He might be and I just don't fancy him.
- That's not the point, is it?

There comes a time in every woman's life
when she has to make sacrifices.

We can't all hope to meet Prince Charming.

- You met Mr Skinner.
- See what I mean?

Anyway, Dad won't let him take me out.

We'll cross that bridge later.

You only have to go out once,
perhaps to the pictures.

He's got spots!

You won't see them in the dark.

- Let Amy do it!
- No, thanks!

Come on, Gloria, be a love.
You're our last chance.

I'd rather have my teeth pulled
than go out with him.

- You can have another bikini!
- Can I?

- Have three if you like.
- Smashing!

- Oh, good girl!
- Hurry up! Ralph says he can't wait.

Tell Ralph to hang on.
Gloria's coming to have a word with him.

And then find Jack, and whatever you do,
keep him out of the way.


Ralph, Gloria's just coming.

Mr Skinner,
I need you to convene the entire staff.

- Not more trouble, I hope?
- An ultimatum from London.

If anyone is drawn into a strike
by Ted Urquart,

the line will be closed and that's final.

- Jack!
- Mrs Schumann, what are you doing?

- Nothing! I was looking for Jack.
- I'm here!

So you are.

- Where was I?
- The ultimatum.

I want you to get everyone, including Arnold
and Ralph, and I'll address them in the buffet.

Yes, Mr Parkin.

- Come on.
- There's no rush.

- You heard.
- Everyone's having tea.

- So what? An order's an order.
- Aargh!

- Now what?
- My back's gone.

- Sit down. I'm in a hurry.
- No, no. Just hold on to me, Jack.

Yes, and go slowly.

Very slowly.

Ooh! Ooh!

Ooh! Ooh!

We'll be all day
getting to the buffet at this rate.


Just one second, Ralph.

Here she is!

Mum tells me you're going on strike.

That's right.

Well, if you do, I'll
never go out with you.

You'll never go out with me anyway,
so I won't miss anything, will I?

So long.

I hope you forgive me
but I have to be guided by my conscience.

Perhaps if you change your mind,
Gloria will change hers.

- How do you mean?
- I thought you said he wasn't that bright.

If you don't go on strike, Gloria might
change her mind about going out with you.

- Is that right?
- Yes.

Oh, well, that's different then.

- Hold everything!
- More trouble up at mill.

- Just a minute.
- Ethel told me what you're up to.

Oh, Ethel!

I couldn't help it.
He was twisting my arm off.

Using brute force on a woman.
You should be ashamed.

Don't you talk to me about shame!

You're guilty of bribery and corruption.
I won't have it!

I'll tell you what else you won't have.

How do you fancy sleeping on the settee
for a couple of weeks?

- You wouldn't!
- I would!

Now, have you anything further to say
on the matter?


Carry on, Ralph.

- I'll pick you up tomorrow after work.
- Fine.

- How do you fancy going to the pictures?
- You'll have to ask my dad.

Please, Mr Skinner,
can I take Gloria to the pictures?

(Mumbles) I suppose so.

A bit louder, love.

- Yes.
- Terrific.

If I could have your attention, please,
on this very serious matter.

- It's all right, the crisis is over.
- Over? How?

When it comes to wheeling and dealing,
Skinner's your man.

- I'd like to know how you did it.
- It's best not to enquire too closely.

Oh, I see.

Well, thank you, Mr Skinner. At least
I shall sleep easier in my bed tonight.

I know I will.

♪ 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