One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Big Sleep - full transcript

A misunderstanding whereby a female window cleaner accuses Victor of flashing does not help his depression at the number of his contemporaries - and Margaret's fitness instructor - dropping down dead. After attending his cousin's atheist funeral he falls asleep in the garden, wakes up in a fog,knocks himself unconscious with a rake and comes to in hospital,where he thinks he has died and the doctor is God.

♪ They say I might as well face the truth

♪ That I am just too long in the tooth

♪ So I'm an OAP and weak-kneed

♪ But I am not yet quite gone to seed

♪ I may be over the hill now that I have retired

♪ Fading away, but I'm not yet expired

♪ Clapped out, run down, too old to save

♪ One foot in the grave ♪

- Are you sure you don't want...?
- No, I want my L4.50.

Then I'm reporting this to the police.

- I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding.
- God, there he is. I feel sick.

Still here? Another wonderful circular
from ''Reader's Digest''.

I do so look forward to them every morning.
They've got such delightful offers.

Without them, my life would be totally incomplete.

Victor, did you indecently expose yourself
to this girl?

Expose himself? He showed me everything.
He left nothing to the imagination.

You should've started
with the downstairs windows.

Adult hard-core, that's what it was.

I nearly fell off my ladder. I thought I was in
Hamburg, watching a cabaret of bizarre erotica.

She says you were handling your private parts.

Of course I was handling my private parts.
I was drying them with a flannel.

What do you expect me to do?
Drape them across the bathroom radiator?

They should get a court order to have
people like you destroyed. I'm going to the police.

See what they say about a dirty old man putting
on a sordid peep show in his own bedroom.

I'm not dirty, I'm not old
and I'm not a man... any more.

Bloody things! How are you supposed
to open these? With a 500-watt chain saw?

It's my fault for washing the curtains.
I should have put the spare ones up.

Why is everything a three-act drama these days?

You've got more time on your hands these days
to worry about things.

You weren't using my blue flannel, were you?

I don't feel like any breakfast today.

I got you that book out of the library,
''Coping With Old Age''.

Two halfwits with silver wigs on the cover,
laughing at the concept of imminent death.

Written by some fat, spangled tart
who does TV game shows.

- It's supposed to stop you getting depressed.
- It depressed me, the chapter on depression.

According to her, when you're miserable, you
think of something nice that happened to you.

I've been racking my brains
for two and a half weeks now.

What about that dream you had, that Norman
Fowler was being burnt alive in an old house?

Ah, yes, I'd forgotten about that one.

And anyway, 60's not old.
You've barely started living.

Hm. Early retirement seems to be suiting Cousin
Geoffrey. Opened up a whole new life for him.

''I've never felt so fit. I think I'm in better
shape now than I've ever been, '' he says.

When did he write that letter?

- Thursday. Why?
- This one's from Alice.

She says on the way back from posting that
letter, he had a heart attack and dropped dead.

- He'd only just turned 60, as well.
- Had he really?

- He'd just retired.
- Fascinating.

He was... He was the same age as you.

Jolly good. I'll lie down on the floor and die.

Call the vicar. No need to let him in. He can
shout the last rites through the letter box.

It's only a month, as well, since his sister Lucy
contracted that terminal illness.

- What, measles?
- She died, didn't she?

She fell off a cliff.

Only because she'd gone to the seaside
to convalesce.

- When's the funeral?
- Wednesday afternoon.

Something to look forward to
in these dismal times.

And don't you dare wear
that black top hat again.

You only wear it to look like Freddie Frinton.


Can you turn it up a bit, please? I don't think
they can quite hear it properly in Okinawa!


Bloody muck.


Thank you very much.
You never do it in their side, do you?

Just point your bottom in the other direction.

37 Wingate Drive,
the birds' mess capital of Europe.

Fancy crapping in a lupin? Why not drop in
at Victor Meldrew's famous open-air bird toilet?

Well, what do you want now? A worm?

Nice big sausage for breakfast.

Seven chocolate wrappers. Makes you wonder
why they bother about funerals.

''Grandma's dead. Shall we bury her?''
''No, just sling her over that bloke's fence.''

Victor, there's two visitors for you
in the front room.

I think it's about erm... You know.

- Victor Meldrew?
- Yes.

- I wondered if we might have a word with you.
- Oh, God.

- On the subject of obscene behaviour.
- It's all very simple...

A lot of it going on these days.

Acts of unbridled filth perpetrated by perverts
and sexual deviants who should know better.

- I'd just got out of the bath and I was...
- How do you think God feels about all this?

How do you think the Lord feels about
so much sin in his holy kingdom on earth?

If we look at Proverbs 6, Verse 12,
I think we can find the answer.

''A naughty person, a wicked man, walk...''

You're Jehovah's Witnesses.

You're bloody Jehovah's Witnesses!
I thought you were policemen.

Well, we are policemen.
On our days off, we work for God.

- Get out!
- Let me read something. ''In the beginning...''

Get out of my house!

All of us need a moment of soul-searching
reflection in these iniquitous times.

I know my rights. You can't search my soul
without a warrant. Go on, get on out of it!

Bloody cheek.

They said they were from a higher authority.

What's God ever done for me? Got me fired,
and drops bird mess all over the garden.

I've got a pain in my chest now.

What sort of pain? Does it feel as though
there's an elephant standing on your ribcage?

- Exactly.
- How do you know?

Have you ever had an elephant
standing on your ribcage?

- Not recently, but...
- Why do you say such stupid things?

For goodness' sake! Think of something cheerful.

What shirt will you wear to Geoffrey's funeral?
The one Alice bought you last Christmas?

- I thought you'd cut that up for dishcloths.
- An act of self-sacrifice. She'd appreciate it.

My pulse has stopped now. I'm clinically dead.

I know what would do you good.
I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

And stretch... and stretch... and stretch.

And stretch, and stretch, and stretch.

Come on, now,
really stretching... those... muscles...

to keep them nice and supple.

All right, shake out, everybody! Tootsies!

Hands! Come on, give everything a good shake.

And sit down.

Remember, we mustn't overdo it.
Not now we've retired.

Now we're elderly, we have a host of problems
that can afflict all of our limbs and organs.

The doctor says I have to watch my liver.

Oh, dear, Len. Does he?

And I have to watch my liver, as well.

I spend hours watching my liver.
It's a constant joy.

For all-round entertainment
it beats the pancreas into a cocked hat.

- I've got very brittle bones.
- Have you, Elspeth?

Yes. Last year I had a plastic hip inserted
under Kenneth Clarke.

- Oh, I say.
- It's a miracle of medical science.

Apart from seizing up every now and again,
leaving me paralysed and in unbearable agony.

Dearie me. I'll tell you what I'd like to do now.

It's called... yoga.

It's good for folk like us who are not quite
as young and nimble as we'd like any more.

It comes from a place called...


And here...

Here you can see it being practised
by a senior citizen from the Himalayas.

Now, I'm going to try something very simple.

Tuck your feet under your legs, like that.

Keep your back nice and straight.

That's right.

And just... relax.

Breathe in nice and slowly.

Let your mind go completely blank.

Very good for tension.

Very good for all those muscles.

Just close your eyes.

And drift... away.

How long have we got to sit
in a trance like this, zombie-fashion?

- Are you sure she's all right?
- Will you be quiet?

Good God!

- What is it? What's the matter?
- Ohh!

She's dead.

She can't be dead.
She's a bloody health and fitness instructor.

Don't you start, you stupid woman.

There's nothing there.
She must have had a coronary.

Oh, brilliant (!) Doesn't anyone last
any more than five minutes any more?

At this rate, the human race will be extinct
by next Thursday. What are we going to do?

Look, I think you should all go home.
We'll deal with this.

- She's dead! She's dead!
- There's nothing we can do about it.

We're just going to see if we can get some help.

Take her for a cup of tea.
Try and calm her down.

I can't... I can't get up.

Yes, you can. Just ease your...

No, I can't, I can't. Oh!

It's my plastic hip.

The ball's got locked in the socket.

It's all right. If I just give it a sharp rap...

Don't you dare! You'll split her leg open!

Treat her gently. I'm going to see
if there's a nurse in the college.

You're not going to leave me with these two?

I can't move. I can't get up.

I think I'm going to faint.

No, you're not. You're going to be fine.
You're not going to faint. You... Oh, great (!)

Welcome to Stiff City.

The dead of two world wars.
Come on, waken up, you stupid old...

How am I going to move you now?

No, she was perfectly all right
just a minute before. And then, all of a sudden...

What are you doing?

I'm not shopping for mackerel fillets, am I?

She fainted. Her leg went gammy.
I couldn't leave her in that room.

Take her to the sick room.
The last door on the left.

- Look, do you want to leave this with me now?
- I'll give you a hand till the ambulance comes.

Excuse me. You couldn't take care
of this lady for me, please? She's um...

I don't think there's anything I can do.

Yes. Yes, of course.

Well, that's another evening of rip-roaring
humdingery entertainment drawn to a close.


30 minutes of ''Watch My Liver'',

followed by a demonstration
of how to snuff it in the lotus position.

You can take those exercises too far.
I've read about it.

You relax so much, your heart stops beating.
It can be very dangerous.

I'll ring the mortuary,
see if they've got any last-minute cancellations.

Excuse me. Do you want her back?

- What?
- The lady you brought in. She's all finished.

What have you done to her?

I brought her in to be given first aid.


I'm creative beauty and advanced hairstyling.
I thought that you wan...


There we are. There's breadcrumbs, a bit
of bacon rind, a bit of dead worm I chopped up.

- Victor!
- I know.

A proper little feast there.

I'll think of you tucking in as I'm forcing down
cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.


You're not going out in those.
What happened to your best black ones?

I haven't broken them in yet.
It's like walking with your foot in a bacon slicer.

Every step shaves two inches off your heel.
I'll be in agony.

You put the black ones on, or I'm not going.

I've got two large lumps
on the back of my head now. Oh, God!

Where did they come from?
I've never noticed them before.

Leave that medical dictionary!

They're just glands.

I'm not long for this world. Everyone's dying.

Will you stop going on about death?

Oh, yes, I'll just go to a nice funeral
and take my mind off it for a few hours.

Do give over.
It won't be nearly as bad as you imagine.

A hundred times worse than I imagined.

You never told me he was an atheist.

He was YOUR cousin.

I thought it made an interesting change,
a secular funeral, from all the usual hypocrisy.

Yes, well, I could have done without
the head of the local philosophy department

drumming it into everyone there was no afterlife.

That really cheered us all up, didn't it?

Hearing that in the next world we're going to be
the contents of a vacuum cleaner. Look.

Hacked to pieces. And you didn't tell me
it was going to be a perpendicular burial.

He was a green. He always wanted
to be buried in an upright position.

Like sinking a new fence post.

If you can't lie down when you're dead,
when can you lie down?

Do you have to do that in the front room?

I'm never going to buy
any more new shoes ever again.

In future I'm just going to stick a razor blade
down each sock. It'll be much cheaper.

Little Jennifer hasn't half shot up
since I last saw her.

- When did you last see her?
- 25 years ago.

Yes, strange, that (!)

Brain tumour, brain tumour...

What are you looking up now?

You'll worry yourself to death. You'll imagine
you've got every disease under the sun.

- Green monkey fever. Leprosy. Everything.
- I'm not worried.

- Well, don't.
- I'm not.

You're not suddenly going to die in your sleep.

I know. I know that.

Die in my sleep?! What made you say that?

Oh, so-so, Mum, you know.
It's been one of those weeks.

He hasn't stopped fretting.

Death, mainly.

I know. I keep telling him that,
but it doesn't make any difference.

Well, he's always been on the go.

Now, of course, he doesn't know
what to do with himself.

Pottering about the garden, mostly.

Well, I think he's happiest out there, really. No.

No, I try to keep him away from the television.
That's what gets his blood pressure up.

There was that programme on the other night.
''Spontaneous Combustion''.

People suddenly burst into flames
for no reason at all.

Do you think I could get him
out of the shower afterwards?

Well, he's a worry to us all.

Yes. Look, Mum, I'm going to have to go
or I'll be late for the shops. Yes. OK. Bye.

Now, you're not going to mooch around
the house all day, worrying about your health?

- No.
- You sure?

- Right. See you tonight.
- Bye.

God, I feel like death warmed up.

Glands aren't that big, I know.
I'm turning into the Elephant Man.

Come on, Meldrew. Pull yourself together.
You're 60 years old... 60 years old!

You're perfectly all right.
It's all in your imagination. Come on!

There isn't a thing wrong with you,
and you know it.

Oh, my God!

It's all over your back, Victor.

I know it's all over my back.
And it's down my arms and chest.

I don't like the colour of that at all.

Why? Does it clash with my underpants?
I'm not too mad on it myself, am I?

- That'll be Dr Snellgrove.

I feel like Vincent Price
in ''The Masque Of The Red Death''.

- Please come through.
- Evening, Mr Meldrew.

- What can we do for you?
- He's got this nasty rash, Doctor.

Well, let's have a little look at it, then, shall we?

Christ Almighty, it's all over your back, man!

Will you stop saying it's all over my back?

- Got a sore throat?
- No.

- Any fever?
- Yes. But not according to the thermometer.

- I never trust those.
- Show me your tongue.

Hm. I see.

What do you reckon it is?

Well, I don't know, do I?
You're the doctor. You tell me.

I've got two lumps at the back of my head.

- Well, there you are. German measles.
- He's had German measles.

- Really? Scarlet fever?
- I've had that.

- Chicken pox?
- No, you haven't guessed.

I'm afraid I'll have to tell you. Victor Meldrew
was suffering from Spode syndrome.

A fatal disease
that normally only attacks potatoes.

That means he goes through to our celebrity
postmortem carried out by Rod Hull and Emu!

Is he always like this?

If you need anything,
just give me a ring at the florist's.

You know what the doctor said. It's probably
just a virus. It'll clear up in a few days.

And don't stay out here if it starts getting cold.
They forecast fog later on.

Yes, I won't.

Wish I hadn't been rude to those
Jehovah's Witnesses. I know what'll happen.

I'll get to heaven
and they'll slam the door in my face.


Oi, you! I've just planted those!


So do be extra careful there in the south-east,
where driving conditions are hazardous.

Back now to ''The Planet Suite''.
''Neptune.: The Mystic''.



Oh, God.

Oh, no.

It's happened.

It's happened when I've been asleep.

I'm dead. Oh, God.

Oh, no. It's terrible.

Oh, God. It's worse than I thought.

Oh, God!



It's you.

It's you, God.

I must be in heaven.

God... I've been waiting for this moment.

Why did you let them kick me out of my job?

Why do you let people throw crisp packets
in other people's gardens? You self-righteous...

Why can't you make rich tea biscuits easier
to open? Answer me that! Answer me that!

Victor! Victor, it's all right, Victor!

Margaret! You're dead, too.

- You're not dead.
- Not dead?

You stepped on a rake.

You're only saying that to make me feel better.

If a patient's dead, he has a right to be told.

Victor, you are not dead.
You are not in heaven. You are still alive. Look.

You mean that man isn't God?

No. That's Mr Partridge. He's got tonsillitis.

Alice's shirt. It would be Alice's bloody shirt.

All these years, and I never knew
you were allergic to Terylene.

Well, I'm just off to pick up
a few squashed Coke tins off the lawn, dear.

Here we are.

Where are you hiding this morning?
Bet you're a thirsty little thing.


Do you want some, or what?! Eh?!

♪ They say I might as well face the truth

♪ That I am just too long in the tooth

♪ I've started to deteriorate

♪ And now I've passed my own sell-by date

♪ Oh, I am no spring chicken, it's true

♪ I have to pop my teeth in to chew

♪ And my old knees have started to knock

♪ I've just got too many miles on the clock

♪ So I'm a wrinkly, crinkly, set in my ways

♪ It's true that my body has seen better days

♪ But give me half a chance
and I can still misbehave

♪ One foot in the grave

♪ One foot in the grave

♪ One foot in the grave ♪