Oh Doctor Beeching! (1995–1997): Season 2, Episode 8 - Action Stations - full transcript

Lady Lawrence's chauffeur informs the staff that her ladyship will be meeting Dr. Beeching off the evening train so they prepare to put on a good show for him. They rehearse how to greet him, with Harry standing in for the V.I.P. Lady Lawrence duly arrives but her guest looks nothing like Dr. Beeching - possibly because he's a different Doctor Beeching - her gynaecologist.

- May.
- Ooh!

Oh, Cecil, don't do that.
Jack might come in.

- He's opening the booking office.
- Harry, then.

Harry's in his box, Wilfred's polishing
the brasses and Ethel's late.

You see, I know where everyone is.

I know where you are,
and you shouldn't be.

Who knows what's in store? If Beeching closes
us down, we may never see each other again.

Best thing, if you ask me.

Allow me to hold your hand,
just for a second.

- No, Cecil.
- Oh, please.

Oh, that lovely fragrance.
Is it Lily of the Valley?

Probably corn beef.

Now, that's enough.
I've got food to prepare.

I shall be back at 11
for a bite of something.

You'll be lucky.

I know we only have stolen moments,
but it's better than nothing.

Well, for you maybe.
Not for me. I'm a married woman.

Yes, to the wrong man.

Well, I've made my bed, Cecil.
I have to lie on it.

- You're giving me naughty thoughts.
- No, I'm not doing anything.

You don't have to. Do you know
when you're most alluring?


When you smile through half-closed eyes.


Yes, that's it.
And I always recognise your footstep.

- Do you?
- Yes, you have a special walk.

It's quite normal,
just one foot in front of the other.

But you take tiny steps. I hear
your heels tip-tapping across the floor.

Oh, it just does something to me.

I think it's high time
you found yourself a good woman.

I don't want a good woman. I want you.

- Oh, thank you very much.
- No, no, I didn't mean that.

- Give me your hand.
- You've had it once already.


She loves me, she loves me not.

- She loves me...
- And when you run out of fingers?

I shall move on to your toes.

Go on, then, hurry up.
We haven't got all day.

She loves me not, she loves me...

- Is that bright enough now?
- No.

- You're not looking.
- I don't have to. Give it another go.

- You want to see your face in it.
- Oh, right.

What's going on?

- You hit me.
- Well, what were you doing down there?

I were trying to see me face
in the door knob.

- Has he taken leave of his senses?
- Aye, I think so.

Go on, lad. Get out there
and sweep the platform.

I'm sorry I'm late, Jack.

- I'll have to get that clock seen to.
- What's up with it?

When we changed over to winter time,

I pushed the hour hand forward
and it dropped off.

Now it keeps dangling down.

- You shouldn't have pushed it forward.
- I can never remember.

It's simple. In the spring, you spring
forward. In the fall, you fall back.

Well, that can't be right.
I mean, if I suddenly had a fright,

like seeing a snake,
for instance, I'd spring back.

And if I tripped on something,
I'd fall forwards.

You ought to stay indoors.
You're accident-prone.

- Morning, Ethel.
- Oh, it's you. What do you want?

How about a smile to start with?

- What do you want?
- Return to Clumberfield, please.

- What you going there for?
- I'm going out for a meal.


Because, nosy,
that's where Percy will be.

- Percy's taking you out for a meal?
- Aye. So how much is it?

Three shilling.

Isn't a day return cheaper?

- Two and six.
- Thought so. Ta-ra.

Cocky cow!

- Don't tell me you're jealous.
- What's it to you?

Come off it, Ethel.
Percy's too young for you. He's only 27.

- And a quarter.
- Oh, you've checked up, then.

No. We was reading our stars the other
day and his birthday's in December,

so he's a Saggytaurus.

- Come again?
- A Saggytaurus.

Half-man, half-beast.

- Which half attracts you?
- I'd settle for either.

- Ey-up!
- Crikey!

There's a man outside
waiting to talk to the station master.

- He's not here. He'll have to wait.
- In a Rolls-Royce.

Then I'll come instead.

- It's Ernie Bennett. Hello, Ernie.
- Morning, Jack. Hello, Ethel.

You've come up in the world. Last week
you were driving a clapped- out Austin.

- Have you won the pools?
- Have I heck! I've gone bust.

I'm chauffeuring for Lady Lawrence now.

- Can't be bad.
- You look ever so posh in uniform.

- It's livery.
- Is it?

Have you tried bicarbonate of soda?

- What?
- She's having one of her days.

Oh. I've got some very interesting news
for your station master if he's around.

- Go and fetch him, Ethel.
- Right.

Mr Parkin!

Mr Parkin!

Mr Parkin!

Mr Par... Mr Parkin!

Mr Parkin! Mr Parkin!

Hey, Mr Parkin. Mr Parkin.


Mr Parkin. Mr Parkin!

Mr Par...!

What on earth's the matter? You're
flying around like a demented bat.

There's a Rolls-Royce
waiting to see you in the yard.

- What?
- Hurry up. Come on.

Hurry up!

I found Mr Parkin.
He was in the kitchen with May.

- He was what?
- I was just inspecting the buffet.

- And the kitchen.
- And the kitchen, yes. What is it?

- Ernie Bennett wants a word with you.
- Morning, Mr Parkin.

Hello, Mr Bennett.
Sold the Austin, have you?

Sold the whole business.
I'm chauffeur to Lady Lawrence now.

Oh, really?

I've got some very interesting information,

strictly top secret
and off the record, right?

- Right.
- Haven't heard it from me... right?

- Right.
- Get on with it.

This very evening I'm bringing
Lady Lawrence here in the Rolls

to meet someone off the 6.30 from London.

A devastating piece of news.
I can hardly contain meself.

- I haven't told you who it is yet.
- Is it a film star? No, let me guess.

Dirk Bogarde? Diana Dors?

Much more important than any film star.

- For heaven's sake, who is it?
- None other than...

- Dr Beeching.
- Dr Beeching!

- it can't be!
- As true as I'm sat here.

Why would Dr Beeching
be going to see Lady Lawrence?

Well, I can hardly ask her that, can I?
I'm not privy to her social diary.

- So it could just be a social visit.
- it doesn't matter why he's coming.

The point is, he's coming,
and forewarned is forearmed.

Quite right.

I don't want him walking round the station

watching you sitting back
with your feet up, picking your teeth.

I assure you,
my staff do not pick their teeth.

- Not in public, anyway.
- I don't have to. I just take mine out.

Be that as it may, we're indebted to you
for this information. Thank you.

Don't mention it. Have a nice day.

(Tries to start car)

Comes the hour, comes the man.
Right, there's not a moment to lose.

I want the entire staff to muster
in the buffet at 10am. See to it.


Penny for your thoughts, Jack.

- I'm worried about him.
- Beeching?

No, Parkin. What was he doing
in the kitchen with May?

Oh, give over, Jack.

If May happened to be bending
over the sink, he could surprise her.


- Give her a hug from behind.
- Parkin'd never do that.

Why not? I do.

Do you? Why?

Some women look
very tempting from behind.

Oh. I must take a turn
with the washing-up.

In your case, you'll be quite safe.

Thanks to the tip-off, we have time
to prepare for this momentous event.

When Dr Beeching
steps onto that platform,

he will see a jewel
in the crown of British Railways.

- Any questions?
- Should I have me 'air done?

At the very least.
And the word is "hair" with an "h".


- Can we speak to him?
- Only if he speaks to you first.

I'll clip his ticket.

You'll do no such thing.

If he speaks to me, I'll be struck dumb.

That'll be a pleasant change.

A brief acknowledgement will do.

How about, "It's a honour to meet you?"

The word is "honour".
You don't say the "h".

Oh, 'eck. Sorry, heck.

Is there any chance
of him coming in here?

I doubt if he'll have time
to sample your delights,

but I hope you'll be in the doorway.

A smile from you
could launch a thousand ships.

- Keep your smiles to yourself, lass.
- I could smile.

That'll shut us down for sure.

I never thought I'd be driving
a train with Dr Beeching on it.

I sincerely hope you won't be.
Leave that to Arnold.

- You just get on with the stoking.
- I'm going on strike, then.

Don't start that again.

Don't worry, Mr Parkin.
We'll give the doctor a smooth ride.

My late husband once took
the Prince of Wales to Sandringham.

He was an engine driver, you know.

The Prince of Wales?

My husband. And when they got there,

he went up to him to say thank you
and shook his hand

and got oil and coal dust all over it.

The prince was very nice,
he didn't say anything,

but my husband could see
that he wasn't best pleased

because he walked off in high dungeon.

Thank you, Mrs Plumtree.
A charming story.

Perhaps Dr Beeching
would like to hear that little antidote.

I doubt there'll be time, but you
could give my office a thorough clean.

Be a pleasure.

Mr Skinner, make sure the waiting room
and booking office are up to scratch.

- Did you hear that, Ethel?
- It's up to us all to make an effort.

- Did you hear that, Jack?
- Wilfred, make sure the gents is clean.

Dr Beeching won't be going in there,
will he?

He might,
and we don't want to be caught short.

Even if he is.

And make sure your signal box
doesn't look like a bicycle-repair shop.

I'll have it cleaned up in a thrice, sir.

Good. Then go to it.

- Oi, you've missed a bit.
- It's been raining.

It's dirty rain. Get on with it.



Ooh! Ooh, a dead fly!

- The chickens are out!
- Harry's chickens are out!


HARRY: Blimey! And the pig!

JACK: Somebody catch it!
That's our Christmas dinner!

Move it along a bit.

You berk!

Mum! I'm dangling!


All this work.
I can feel one of my heads coming on.

By the time the doctor arrives,
I'll need treatment.

He doctors in engineering,
not medicaments.

I'm not fussy.

- Can I have a cup of tea, please, Mum?
- Yes, love. Help yourself.

And what have you nearly got on?

Mr Parkin wants us all to look our best.

You'll have us closed down for indecency.

All this is playing havoc with my leg.

- Do you need a cup of tea?
- I need a pair of crutches.

And for heaven's sake, lass,
get some clothes on.

- I'm dressed for the doctor.
- Undressed, more like.

- Could I have your attention?
- Would you like a cup of tea?

- No, thank you, May.
- May?

May I say you've all done splendidly?

Now, I suggest we try a little rehearsal
for the arrival of our VIP.

- Rehearsal?
- How do we do that?

One of us will be Dr Beeching arriving,

being greeted and escorted
to the waiting room to meet the staff.

Can I be Dr Beeching?

Somehow, I don't think
you have the bearing for it.

You should take the role, Mr Parkin.
You've got lovely bearings.

Give us a cup of tea, will ya,
before I pass out?

Mr Lambert, I have a job for you.

Oh, don't tell me.
You want me to polish the rails.

No, I want you to impersonate Dr Beeching.

- What, to his face?
- No, no.

Pretend to be Dr Beeching arriving
and being introduced to the staff.

It's a little rehearsal.
You and Mr Skinner come with me.

The rest of you take up your positions.

What about my cup of tea?

You can have a whole pot
sent up to your box later.

- And an Eccles cake?
- And an Eccles cake, yes!

- Now come along!
- All right, all right.

Right, the train is arriving.
Do your stuff, Mr Skinner.

- Hatley, Hatley, Hatley!
- This is indeed an honour, Dr Beeching.

- I ain't got off the train yet.
- Yes, you have.

I am the station master, Cecil Parkin.

- (Posh accent) Is this Hatley?
- I've just said it is.

- Mr Skinner, please.
- Is he deaf?

I might be.

Let us assume, for the sake
of the exercise, that you are not deaf.

- Just flamin' awkward.
- Gentlemen, pull yourselves together.

Now, let's try again.

- I am the station master.
- Oh, yes.

- This is our head porter, Mr Skinner.
- How do you do?

(Posh accent) A fine-looking signal box.

Yes, as I was saying,
this is our head porter.

I can see that. Who's the signalman?

- He won't ask that.
- Are you Dr Beeching or am I?

- You are.
- Right, then...

- Who's the signalman?
- Harry Lambert.

I'd like to meet him.

He can't leave his post.

Salt of the earth, I dare say.

- Pain in the neck, more like.
- Shut it, Skinner.

You'll be lucky to get your tea,
never mind an Eccles cake.

- Now, would you step this way, sir?
- Certainly.

And don't forget
to give my best wishes to Mr Lambert.

- Yes, sir.
- An unsung hero, if ever there was one.

Right, stand to attention, everyone.
Shoulders back, chests out.

Not too far out, Gloria.

May I introduce you to Mrs Schumann,
who is in charge of our booking office?

- Good evening, Dr Beeching.
- Evening, Mrs Schumann.

Shall we try a small curtsy?

Evening, Mrs Schumann.

Not you! Mrs Schumann!

- Well, I don't know how to.
- It's quite easy. Like this.

- Oh, I'll fall over.
- Well, try, Mrs Schumann.

Forget the curtsy.

Another valued member
of our community, Mrs Plumtree.

- Oh, yes.
- It's a pleasure to meet you.

I've always wanted to see you
in the flesh.

Well, you're not going to.

It was a little fulsome, Mrs Plumtree.
"How do you do?" would be sufficient.

Last but by no means least, Mrs Skinner,

our buffet manageress,
and her charming daughter Gloria.

- Good evening.
- How do you do, Dr Beeching?

Evening, both.

Mrs Skinner is justly renowned for
her beverages and... tasty refreshments.

Oh, yeah?

If there's anything at all you require,
you only have to ask.

- A cup of tea and an Eccles cake?
- Oh, shut up!

- Get back to work, everyone.
- Mr Parkin.

He hasn't been introduced
to Wilfred yet.

- Oh, hasn't he? I'm sorry.
- Dr Beeching, this is my son Wilfred.

- I see.
- Hello!

You have my sympathy, Mrs Schumann.

- Can I tell you something, Dr Beeching?
- What?

You don't look
anything like your photograph.


- (Knocking)
- Who is it?

- Vera.
- Don't come in.

- Did you say "come in"?
- No. I said "don't".

I won't keep you. I just wanted
to know if you're satisfied

with the cleanliness of your office.

More than satisfied, thank you.

Shall I iron your unmentionables?

- No. No, no, they're still damp.
- All the better.

Mrs Plumtree, you may not have noticed,
but I am trying to change.

I can't see the need for that,
Mr Parkin.

We all like you just the way you are.

Firm but fair.
That's how I should describe you.

- Thank you.
- You don't mind me saying you're firm?

You can say anything you like,
but please go now and close the door.

The station's...
ready for your inspection.

Thank you, Mr Skinner.

- I'll be along in a few moments.
- Time's running short.

I've one or two loose ends
to tie up here first.

That looks like trousers.

They are trousers,
which I am trying to put on.

Oh, Mr Parkin, forgive me.
I didn't realise, really I didn't.

Pull the other one. It's got bells on.

Mr Skinner,
how dare you make incinerations!

Oh, God!

Don't worry, Mr Parkin.
Your secret's safe with me.

- There is no secret!
- You're right.

She goes for anything in trousers.

- Or without 'em.
- Out!

That's typical, that is.
One mile to go and we have to stop.

Now, now, calm down, lad.

Beeching'll be fuming
and he'll take it out on us.

No, he won't.

There's someone looking out the window.

Don't jump, sir! We're not there yet!

Shut up. Pull yourself together.

I've been dreaming of the day when he'd
walk up the platform and shake my hand.

Now it'll never happen.
A career in ruins.

Oh, you're falling to pieces, lad.

I wanted Gloria
to see my moment of fame.

- Now it's all turned to ashes.
- Take your mind off things.

- Do a bit of shovelling.
- My head feels funny.

Everything's a blur.

That's because
you've taken your glasses off.

Right, signal's down.
All hands to the pumps.

I feel faint. I can't think straight.

Just grab the whistle
and give us a toot.

I think I've got stage fright.

What the hell's that?

I don't know... but I think I've got it.

Leave it to me.

(Whistle blows)

Maybe I should put in for a transfer.

Well, if you don't, I will.

I hope the doctor doesn't offer his hand.

- Why?
- I don't have the strength to shake it.

- Jack, how does that look?
- Like you've cut yourself shaving.

You're a real boost to my confidence.

- You want the truth, don't you?
- Not if it's nasty.

I'm sorry, but I call a spade a spade.

Show a little charm like Mr Parkin does.
He's a gentleman.

- Is he heck!
- What do you mean?

Gentlemen don't look at other people's
wives like he does with May.

He ogles and leers like this.

That's not ogling and leering.
More like indigestion.

Then why is he always in her kitchen?

May is an attractive woman.

You should be proud
the way men admire her.

No one's ever told me I had a smile
that could launch a thousand ships.

No, sink 'em more like.

- Jack!
- I don't mean it.

Well, that's the best I can do.
How do I look?

- The truth?
- Yes.

- Short and fat with a silly moustache.
- You're asking for it.

You see? You don't like me
calling a spade a spade, do you?

- You want flattery like anybody does.
- Rubbish.

Right, just suppose it wasn't
Dr Beeching arriving on this train.

Suppose it was a famous film star,

a really glamorous one like...
Jane Russell.

- Jane Russell?
- Yes.

And she came up close to you
and gave you one of her

"I'm in the market, try me" looks.

Followed by a great big fruity smile.

I bet you wouldn't say
"Have you cut yourself shaving?"

Of course I wouldn't.
I'd give her a generous compliment.

- What would you say, then?
- "How much are your watermelons?"

Very generous. Anyway, I've cleaned
this off a bit. Is it any better?

- Not much.
- Oh, Jack.

- Can't you say something nice to me?
- How much are your plums?

Ooh, men.

- JACK: Come in.
- Ey-up. The car's arriving.

- Right, get Parkin. Come on, Ethel.
- Yeah, coming.

Thank you.

- Good evening, Lady Lawrence.
- Good evening.

Good evening.

Excuse me.

Mr Parkin!

- Come on, hurry up! She's here!
- All right, all right!

You'll be pleased to know
we've hosed down the platform,

polished the windows, planted fresh
flowers and changed into clean uniforms.

It seems a trifle excessive, but thank you.

Nothing's too much trouble for Dr Beeching.

You know who's coming, then?

Lady Lawrence, may I warm you
most welcomely to Hatley?

- You may.
- (Train approaches)

I hope you can remember
what Dr Beeching looks like.

Course I can.
Short and fat with a silly moustache.

Ralph, let go.


We're going to overshoot!

- Get off!
- Will you stop it?

I didn't mean stop it.

Now we'll all be out of a job.

Well, I thought I done it quite well.

Dr Beeching?

Dr Beeching?

Oh, how good of you to come,
Dr Beeching.

- It's my pleasure. How are you?
- Excuse me, your ladyship.

I think you've made a mistake.
This gentleman is not Dr Beeching.

My dear man, of course he is.

Well, I should know
my own gynaecologist when I see him.

See? I told you he didn't look
anything like his photograph.

Mr Skinner, please!

♪ 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