One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 1, Episode 6 - The Return of the Speckled Band - full transcript

Victor and Margaret are looking forward to their holiday in Athens less and less when Mrs Warboys comes to tea. Victor can't get rid of a hat and Mrs Warboys is very ill after having boiled alligator eggs for breakfast. Matters aren't helped when a large snake escapes from the local pet shop.

# 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 #

So how's the food poisoning now?

Oh, it comes and goes when it thinks it will,
you know.

One minute I'm fine and the next minute...

Violently sick!

This is nice. What is it?

I got the recipe from... Oh, how was it?

Very nice. Very nice with my grey coat.

Try it more at an angle. You've got it
jammed on there like an aerosol cap.

Put it more to one side.

There. Makes you look more distinguished.

Very smart. He looks like President Gorbachev.

Yes, very nice.
Thank you very much, Mrs Warboys.

It was my Uncle Edwin's.
They were going to bury him in it,

but I said, ''No. Why waste it on a corpse?
Give it to Victor Meldrew.''

Yes, that's very thoughtful of you, Mrs Warboys.

You'll be able to wear that on holiday.
Is it Saturday you fly out or Sunday?

Saturday morning. Yes.

The first time he's flown since...
Oh, I don't like to think.

- He doesn't go much on it, does he?
- Flying? Terrified.

Terrified of the whole prospect.
What was it he said last year?

He'd rather have two weeks
at a seaside guest house run by Pol Pot.

Than go up in an aeroplane.

Who's Pol Pot?

Don't ask me. Not a very nice person, I don't
imagine. Anyway, this year I put my foot down.

There was this fortnight, very reasonable.
I said, ''Why don't we just take the plunge?''

- Athens, you say?
- Yes. You ever been there?

I haven't been there myself,
but I hear it's absolutely horrible.

Oh, no, I mean I haven't been there for myself.
It's probably lovely.

Well, hope so.

I just read it's one of the ten most unpleasant
places on earth you could go to for a holiday.

- Oh, goody, goody (!)
- For pollution, congestion and what have you.



- Squalor, litter in the streets.
- Er, could you pass the cake tin, please?

- Thanks.
- Oh, noise! They say noise is the first thing.

From the traffic and everything. I hope Victor
wasn't planning on getting any sleep over there.

- We did think about it, you know.
- Oh, no. It'll be lovely, I'm sure.

A nice break for you both.
And about time as well, if you ask me.

Raw sewage! That's another one.

I'll just finish off in the hall, if you don't mind.

Oh, I saved you this cutting
from the Sunday supplement.


Let's see. Oh, yes.
''Athens airport is a particularly hazardous one

''due to slippery runway, poor markings,
extremely bad air-traffic control

''and a highly dangerous over-run.''

Thank you.
It'll give us something to read on the plane.

A fortnight down and a mark already!


''Mix into foam and spread evenly over the pile.

''Do not over-wet carpet.''

- I've got it now! Pol Pot.
- Yes?

Didn't he used to do
the mini-marathon on ''It's A Knockout''?

- Oh, yeah. The Fil Rouge?
- Khmer Rouge, I think you'll find.


- Electricity.
- What?

- Can I read your meter, please?
- Stay there.

No, I'm afraid I've got to read it, sir.
You've had four estimates in a row.

Don't tread all that muck inside, please!
Do you mind just slipping your shoes off? Please.

- Is that the girl from Oxfam?
- Electricity!

Oh. So it's all been a bit of a rush, really,
but as I said...

What is it? Are you feeling sick?

Do you know there's a headless teddy bear
in there on an exercise bike?

- Yes, I do know that, thank you very much.
- It's a bit surreal, isn't it?

Never mind surreal! Just get on with your job.
For goodness' sake!

His head's hanging on the wall
with a hook through his ear.

I expect the social services will be round
tomorrow to seize him for his own good.

If you've quite finished, Loyd Grossman,
I don't need a bloody conducted tour!

- Just get in and read that meter...


Now you sit still there
and I'll be back in a second.

- Was it the girl from Oxfam? Give her the box?
- I did, yes.

All right, are we? All done?

- Are you all right?
- A bit queasy in the stomach, Mr Meldrew.

Have you tried Andrews Liver Salts?

It's very good, but you have to drink it
right back while it's still frothy.

Margaret! Will you bring her down the Andrews?
We've still got some somewhere, I think.

Where's my shoes? My shoes?

- Shoes?
- The things I was wearing when I came here.

I... Oh. You didn't put them
on top of that cardboard box?

- I might have done. Why?
- That's just gone off to Oxfam!

- Are you winding me up?
- Why didn't you look where you put them?

I didn't think I was putting them
on the next plane to bloody Mozambique!

Whisked away to be air-dropped
to famine victims?

How am I supposed to go out there now
in that lot with no shoes on?

Slop up and down like Gene Kelly (?)

All right, all right.
I'd better give you a pair of mine.

I suppose you'd better have these.

- What size of feet are they?!
- Thirteen.

These are only eight and a half.

No wonder Oxfam took them away.
You'd get a couple of food parcels in those two.

Tie parachutes to the laces.

And what on earth do you want to wear socks
that thick for? There's no need for that!

Have you quite finished? I didn't come here
to have the size of my feet ridiculed.

Or the thickness of my socks debated. OK?

Oh! I wonder if I still have that pair of Uncle
George's in the attic. He had feet like a Yeti!

They don't exactly go with my trousers, do they?

And I don't like all this thick ribbing.

Have you got something in a dark grey taupe?

What is this? Bloody Freeman, Hardy and Willis?

Hang on. I'll get my team of 50 cobblers
to run you up a pair of hand-stitched moccasins!

How about that?
When can you come back for a second fitting?

You're that strange bloke, aren't you?

37 Wingate. They warned me about you.

Mutilated teddy bears in the stair cupboards.

Didn't they say you were going to Athens?
For a holiday?

Look, I don't... Who told you I was going to
Athens? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

All right, I'll take these, but if they start
letting in water, I'll bring them straight back.

- Oh, cheer up.

This time next week, we'll be in Athens.


If we'd picked some place with
the same alphabet, it would have been a start.

At least it's hot and a long way from London.

Yes, so is the planet Mercury.
I don't fancy a two-week package holiday there.

Well, think of poor old Jean, then.

In hospital tonight,
having to have her stomach pumped!

With her husband away for the week,
that's all she needed.

What was that?
That came on a bit sudden, didn't it?

- Have they found out at all?
- It's a complete mystery.

Mrs Berenger told me she just happened to be in
for one of her uterine ultrasonics

when the doors suddenly flew open
and in they came with her on a trolley.

- Who's Mrs Berenger?
- You don't know her.

She comes in the florist's.


- Are you still going down the garden centre?
- Yes, I was thinking of it. Why?

Well, I said if you were you might give
her husband a lift. Their car's off the road.

There's something important he wants there.
It's Cardigan Crescent, so it's on your way.

Yes, I suppose so, yes.

He's not trouble, is he?

Beep-beep! Mind your backs, ladies!
The rhododendron express is coming through!

I thank you! Onward, please, commander.
Next stop, the pets department.

All aboard! Morning, ladies! Have a nice day!


Hello? Rover!
I've told you not to ring me at work!

- No, I don't like the look of these.
- What ARE you looking for? Anything?


Hell's bells! Are you all right?
What have you done to yourself?


What are you doing?

- He dropped that slab on his foot, poor sod!
- No, you. You can walk!

- Yes.
- How long have you been able to walk?

Oh, since I was about two.
I can't actually remember.

I've been wheeling you about
in this thing all morning.

Yes, I thought that was a bit strange,
if I'm honest, but I don't really know you.

I thought you were doing me a good turn.

Doing you a good turn?!

What were you doing
sitting in it when I came to collect you?!

I was waiting for you! It's my wife's chair.
I was just sitting in it waiting till you turned up!

I carried you
up three flights of stairs from the car park!

Yes, I wondered why you did that.

But you don't like to interfere
and I didn't want to go hurting your feelings.

Hurting my feelings?! What about hurting
my bloody back? You nearly killed me!

I'm going home now. I'm going home
and you can make your own way back!

- What in here is yours?
- The Echinopsis.

At least they didn't have to keep you in long.
How are you feeling now? Better?

It's not too bad now. It was just the shock
of it coming on suddenly again like that.

Just when we thought the worst of it was over.

They've put me onto some different antibiotics
this time, to see how I get on with these.

Are you sure you don't want me
to ring Chris at the hotel?

Oh, no, no. He'd only worry. No.

The only thing the hospital reckoned was

that the original bug
that they thought had been killed off, hadn't.

It was just lurking about in my system,

waiting to strike again at any minute.

''Alien''. What's this about?

Victor got those out of the shop.
I don't know. Who's in it?

- Ridley Scott. Don't know him.
- Well, you like ''Mork And Mindy'', don't you?

Oh, yes. ''Star Trek'', that sort of thing, yes.

I'll watch that tonight.

So, how is he now, anyway?

I think it will be a godsend, Jean, in the end,
this holiday. Just to get away from everything.

We've had so many disasters lately. At times
you wonder what else could possibly go wrong!

Look, you can't just mislay
a bloody seven-foot-long Indian python!

How many times have I told you to put the top
back on this tank whenever you've fed them?

God! That snake could be anywhere by now!
And it probably is!

Get looking!

Right, what's next? Mulch. That goes out the front.

Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch.

Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch... mulch.

- Ah, you're in! I wondered if you would be.
- It isn't Christmas, is it?

Christmas? Aye, could be for you, though, sir.
It could be Christmas for you.

- Pardon?
- We've got it back, man.

I knew how you'd get upset
if you didn't kna' where it was

and we've got it back, your hat, safe and sound.

Oh! You... found it.

Aye, just before it went into the crusher.
I said, ''Jesus, there's a hat ganging in!

''He'll be worried stiff looking for that.
It's a brand-new hat. He'll be looking for it.''

Yes, yes.

Well, er, just as well you spotted it
before it... went into the crusher.

That's only part of the job, you kna'.
You've got to be vigilant, you kna'.

You've got to have your wits aboot you.
It's a responsible job, you kna'.

You've gotta look after your customers.
You know what I mean?

Oh! Oh. Yes, hold on a second.


Right. Thank you very much.
Thank you, thank you.

You sly old bugger, you.

You're not tellin' me
you're keeping snakes like that in here?

Yes, well, thank you very much.

When I saw it ganging up the stairs, I thought,
''Sly old bugger!'' I keep them myself, you kna'.

I've got seven. I've got four tanks. Four tanks.

I've got two upstairs and two doonstairs.

I've got three water snakes, two whip snakes,
a boomslanger, a rear fang

and a - listen to this - a Rhombic night adder!

- I see.
- By the look, that's a canny little sample.

But if I was you, I would have put it back
in the tank, you kna'. Put it back in the tank.

They like to get oot the hoose, you kna'.
They wander aboot, gang all over the place!

- Fine. And you took all the newspapers as well?
- Excuse me.

I tell you what else I've got.
I've got a mate what's had an alligator

and it's laid aboot 20 eggs or sumink.

Would you be interested, would you?

Yes, well, fine. Thank you very much.
See you again. Thank you. Goodbye.

- What was that he was saying?
- I haven't the faintest idea!

Oh, God! I don't know what I'm doing any more.

People are going through my dustbin
and selling me back my own rubbish!

I think I'll go out for a walk
and see if the fresh air does any good.


- Better?
- Much better, thank you.

Much better for throwing Mrs Warboys' trilby
into a builder's skip round the corner.

I never want to see that blasted thing again.

This time tomorrow
I suppose we'll be up there, up in the air.

I wish you'd be told.
It's as safe as crossing the road.


It's the thought of what your feet are on top of.

- What?
- Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Nothing between you and the ground.

What happens if there's turbulence?
It'll be the Isle of Wight ferry all over again.

Lying flat on my back
on the lavatory floor for 75 minutes!

- Well, you can't lie in the lavatory this time.
- Why not?

Because they don't make the lavatories
big enough for you to lie flat on your back.

They're only big enough to stand up in or sit
down. They're not designed to lie flat out in.

- Not many people do it, except you.
- Wonderful. They serve you disgusting food.

They should give decent facilities to be sick!

If you ask them nicely, perhaps
they'll let you stick your head out the window (!)

- What's for tea?
- I don't know. I think there's a ghost in here.

- Why?
- I left two kidneys on a saucer in the kitchen.

I don't suppose you've had them.

What would I want to eat two raw kidneys for,
for goodness' sake?

- I mean...
- What's that?

- Have you seen this?
- You've only just brought it in!

- This bit here. ''Your Prayers Are Asked''.
- Mm-hm.

''Your prayers are asked for Great Uncle Dick
that his suffering may be eased,

''for Dennis and Deirdre on their tragic loss,

''for Auntie Jane that a miracle cure may be found

''and for Victor Meldrew
who's going on a fortnight's holiday to Athens.''

- You're making that up.
- I'm not. It's here in black and white. Look.

You can see it. Here, look.
Somebody's put this in for devilment.

You know who this is? Nobby Godfrey!

He's in the packing line at the ''Herald''.
He'd get a reduced rate. I'll reduce him!

Ow! Oh.

- What's the matter?
- My leg's gone to sleep.

I can't feel anything. I can't feel anything at all.
It's all cold and scaly.

- Oh, go back to sleep.
- Ah! Oh! Ah!

- Must be cramp.
- It's lying in one position for too long.



Victor? Are you up yet?

It's half past nine! Victor!

(VICTOR) Oh, my God! No!

- Whatever is it? What's happened?
- Gloria Hunniford's on breakfast television.

- She's never off the bloody box.
- I thought you'd had a heart attack!

Insect repellent. Where's that?

Ah! Here we are.

Think that gets rid of Gloria Hunniford?

No, she's still there.

Right, then, I think that's about it. All set.

- Have you taken your tranquilliser?
- I'm just about to take it.

Oh, by the way, that man called round.
You might have said he'd be that early.

What man?


- What man called round when?
- Said he was a friend of Rick's, that dustman.

He'd brought the eggs,
as you arranged yesterday.

I said I didn't know anything about it.

Still, it was nice of him, I suppose.

He didn't seem to want any money for them.
Seemed in a bit of a rush, to be honest.

Perhaps he keeps chickens.

Do you want a cooked breakfast or just porridge?

Er, porridge would be safer today,
what with everything.

- What's this written on the side?
- What?

- ''Alligator''.
- Yes, he mentioned Alligator Eggs.

- It's the firm, evidently. You don't want any?
- Just a piece of toast and some marmalade.

Seems a shame to waste them, though.
We're not going to be here.

I thought perhaps
Mrs Warboys would like a couple.

- So...
- She's ready to eat again, is she?

Yes, she's all right,
so long as it's something simple and bland.

So long as it's nothing that might upset her.

Do you want to pop these round
while your porridge is doing?

Yes, all right.

I'm sorry about that. I really am.

I got about halfway through and that was
as much as I could stomach, I'm afraid.

The man in the shop
said it was harmless family entertainment.


When that man in the spacesuit
got that thing all...


It was two and a half hours
before I could leave the bathroom.

Dear, oh, dear.

- What time do you have to be at the airport?
- Another two hours.

Tell Margaret thanks very much
and have a nice holiday, won't you? Both of you.

And go easy on the ouzo.

Yes, we will. Thank you very much.
We'll see you when we get back.

Send me a postcard!


- How was she?
- Fine. Seems to be more her old self again.

Oh, good.
That parcel came for you while you were out.


Sent locally. Ah, you know what this will be.
He's sent them back after all.

- What?
- The electricity man. Uncle George's shoes.

Oh, no! I don't believe it!

''Kindly refrain from dropping your cast-off hats
in other people's building skips.

''A skip such as this costs us L25 a day

''and is not outside our house as a general
rubbish receptacle for the use of all and sundry

''in discarding items of unwanted headgear!''

How am I supposed
to get rid of this bloody thing?

If I went into the garden and buried it,
someone would come to the Acropolis and say,

''Is this your hat?''

How did they know where to send it?

God! What have you got in here?

It weighs a ton!

And you talk to me about taking too much!

The taxi will be here in 20 minutes,
so you'd better look sharp.

Did you take your tranquilliser?

- Mm?
- I said did you take your tra...

Good thing we're going. Did you see this?

That garden centre you went to,
they've lost a snake.

- It escaped Thursday morning.
- Don't, Margaret. It makes me squirm.

''A five-year-old Indian python.
It was over seven foot long with olive-green...''

Margaret, you know what that sort of thing
does to me. Can we not dwell on it, please?

Oh, damn! I bet I never packed
that book for the plane. Oh, yes, I did.

I put it right at the bottom. That's right.

You'll get stuck into that and in a few hours
we'll be there. You'll see. Safe and sound.

Yes, I suppose I'm worrying unduly, as usual.

When you get to it, things often aren't as bad
as you expect, are they? You're quite right.

I think I'm going to be all right
on this plane trip after all.

# 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 #