One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 6, Episode 6 - Things Aren't Simple Any More - full transcript

Margaret attends a church group for the bereaved,where she befriends Glynis,also recently widowed. Whilst visiting Glynis for drinks,Margaret stumbles upon press-cuttings of Victor's death and learns to her horror that her friend,drunk and reckless after her recent sad loss,is in fact the driver who killed Victor. He must be avenged.

# They say I might as well face the truth

# That I am just too long in the tooth?

# So I'm an CAP and weak-knead

# But I have not yet quite gone to seed

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

# Fading away but I've not yet expired

# clapped out, run down, too old to save

# One foot in the grave #


Oh, hello.

Yes, speaking.

No, no.

I've enjoyed listening to the complete works of
Rachmaninoff through a plimsoll.

It's brightened my day, no end.

Never mind.

Well, it's about this private prosecution
you're proposing to take out on my husband

for an unprovoked physical assault
on the 14th of June, this year.

To wit, the forcible insertion
of a hypodermic syringe into our client's bottom,

occasioning him actual bodily harm.


I have to say, I'm amazed how long it's taken you
to scrape some kind of case together on this one.


since your client's bottom was being
thrust out of a car window

at the time the attack took place,
I'd hardly call it unprovoked.

And thirdly,

as my husband's now been dead for five months,
I'd say your chances of getting a conviction

are not especially high.

Oh, yes, I most certainly am.

Entirely serious.

And if you want to go raking up evidence

why don't you try finding the piece of scum
who sent him flying into the gutter that night

without so much as stopping to see...

If you would please, yes.

In the meantime,

I can just file this away, can I,
with all my other legal correspondence.

Thank you.

Now, then.

What's next?


Oh, yes.

Mr Gundry, do please come in.

Mrs Meldrew, how is it?
You sounded rather agitated on the phone.

Yes, and it's hardly surprising, is it?

The money this is costing me

for what I hoped would be a precious

and lasting memorial to my marriage.

We did agree on the composition,
with you, very slightly foreground...

I'm not talking about the composition.

I'm talking about this.

How many photograph albums
did I give you to work from?

—I'm sorry, I don't quite...
—It's Alastair Sim, isn't it?

Alastair Sim? No, no, no, no, no.

Do you think?

I don't know why you didn't just put him in drag
as the headmistress of St Trinians

and have done with it.

No, no. I'm afraid I'll have to take issue
with you on that, Mrs Meldrew.

I mean, Alastair Sim had a much more
rascally quality, which was quite different.

The sort of parts
that would now be played by a Bob Hoskins

or a Freddie Jones, if one thinks of him,

for example, as Professor Potter
in the 567500!" for Scoundrels,

Look, I don't want a bloody debate
about his film career.

All I'm saying is, this is not the man
I shared 38 years of my life with.

And it's not going on my wall looking like that.

So, you can just have another 90, Mr Gundry,

before I go totally witless.

Oh, Glynis, you're early.

Or am I late? Oh, heck!

It's okay. Don't panic.

I booked a table for 1:30
but they're very easy at that place.

Have I missed all the fun and games?

Oh, don't.

You talk about taking over the baton.

Listen, I've just about had a week of it myself.

What with Michael's old chum sending me that
hideous specimen yesterday morning.

Oh, dear, what's this?

Best left till we're on our coffees, I think.

I don't know. The problems just don't seem
to go away these days, do they?


But then, they never did.

VICTOR: Unbelievable!

I sometimes think the entire human race
has gone completely daffy.

Do you know what they were doing up there
at the supermarket

when I called in for your cauliflower?

Only filming a bloody Christmas commercial
for television.

In the middle of June.

Ruddy Santa's elves dancing about
and God knows what—not.

They had the whole car park
covered in shredded paper

blowing it about here, there and everywhere
to look as if it's snowing.

Look at that.

I hate to think where else it's got to.

Right up my exhaust, I bet a pound to a penny.

Where did that come from?

Oh, it's one Mum did ages ago.

Apart from a couple of little rips,
it's still in pretty good nick.

I thought I might put an advert in the local.

Let's see if there's someone out there
who wants to give it a good ho... Oh!

You haven't been to that car boot again?

What is the point of my having a good clear out

when you bring back all this junk?

You know what I managed to get hold of?
Do you remember old Dr Spicer,

dropped dead last year
at the Texaco filling station?

Oh, and someone tried to give him
the kiss of life with the free air pump.

Oh, you're joking.

Twenty quid was all his daughter wanted
for the full bag of tricks.

Even got one of those things
for testing your blood pressure.

You test my blood pressure.

I suppose this is going to be
the new obsession now, is it?

—Ever since you picked up that leaflet

in the post office about heart disease.


What does that mean?

I'm either dead or deaf.

I haven't got much longer for this world,
I can tell you that much.

Excuse me. Which one of us actually suffered
a coronary last year? I seem to have forgotten.

Isn't that district nurse of yours
coming round this afternoon?

Ah, she'll give me a quick check.

Just to make sure I'm still ticking over at any rate.

We'll see.

How far up's a rectal thermometer meant to go?


106, this one says. That should be enough.

I feel as if I'm burning up to high heaven.

Then we're fine again, then, Mrs Meldrew.

I shan't need to see you again now until...


—Should we say, the 10th of August?
—Yes, that's fine.

Excuse us, that'll probably be my nanny.


Hi, Rachel, what's the prob...

Oh, really, when did he ring?

Excuse me, it's a query from my accountant
about something. Would you mind if I just...?

No, no. I've got to get this stuff out
to the dustman, anyway.

Oh, yes. Well, it's probably on
the January bank statement

which is either in that letter rack

or on the desk in my bedroom.

Could you?

Mr Meldrew, are you well?

Ah, well, I'm hoping so.

I don't know if my wife
has said anything to you about my...

Oh, yes. You were a bit concerned
about your fitness level.

Okay, how long would it take you
to just race upstairs, do you think?

Yes, I think I can manage that.

That's about right. Now, if you could
very quickly run down it for me then, please.

Sorry, can you repeat that?

Yeah, keep going.

Keep going.

Okay, then. Just try skipping to the bottom.


Ah, stop there. That's what we want, er...

Now, you've gone a bit faint.

Yes, just a little.

No, no, I just wanted to check the balance.

Yep, yep, that's fine.

If you could very quickly get that off for me,
that would be lovely.

Oh, how's the little fellow, by the way?
Not playing up at all?

Is that something else I've got to worry about?

No, just stick a first class stamp on it,
that'll be fine.


Oh, Mr Meldrew.

We were saying. Have you thought about
taking up jogging at all?

My legs are all seizing up now.

I knew that would happen if I went for that run
in the park this evening.

Bloody woman.

Should've never listened to her in the first place.

MARGARET: You're just not used to the exercise.

I mean, that did my confidence
a lot of good, didn't it?

Being lapped by an over—805 fitness class.

Artificial hips clacking away as they went past.

Bought a drink to cool off and some tramp
chucked 50p in my cup.

I mean, what's the point?

I suppose we've all got to go sometime.

MARGARET: Where, exactly?

What do you mean?

Apparently, old Mrs Gantwood down on the corner

has asked the hospital now if they can just
let her husband die with dignity.

But he only went in for a cataract operation,
didn't he?

I know, I think she's pushing her luck
a bit there, to be honest.

Oh, Victor.

Put that ruddy thing away.
You know you haven't got a clue how it works.


Oh, it's got a ruddy puncture now.

How did that happen?

Can I smell onions frying?

Oh, there's a man there on the corner,
setting up a hot dog stand.

Two women next to him, lighting candles.

What on earth do you suppose that's about?

Oi, oi, oi! Where do you think you're going?

A lot of people here before you, you know,
with worse things to worry about.

—Pay you to have a little consideration.
—Worse things to worry about?

Who are these people?

This is my house, for goodness sake.


Excuse me!

MAN: In you 90. Easy.



If you would, Father.
Yes, I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

Well, speak to me... Wake me up... Anything!

It's this bloody advert.

I wish I'd never put it in.

It's not my fault that people twist things round
and see what they want to see.

"Remarkable embroidery of the Virgin Mary.

"Beautifully hand stitched.

"Has two small tears under her eyes."

What do you want to put that for?

Two small tears, is what it says.

Just after you left

those two women turned up,
said they'd been outside all night

praying for a friend of theirs who's in hospital.

First thing this morning,
they heard his results were clear.

Could they come in
and give thanks for the miracle?

Well, before I could even gather my thoughts

all this lot started to arrive,

like something out of Franco Zeffirelli.

I've phoned Father Blakey at Sacred Heart.
He's going to try and get round here right away.

And let them down gently. Don't ask me how.

Some more holy water. Would you mind?


Faith is a powerful motivator, Mrs Meldrew.

It brings out the pilgrim in us all.

However you look at it,
this is a most extraordinary occurrence.

Not so extraordinary in this house, I'm afraid.

Rather more par for the course.

Oh, dear. Sounds as if you might welcome
a little spiritual comfort yourself, sometime.

Sometime, very possibly.

GLYNIS: Margaret.

Oh, sorry, Glynis.

—It's just...
—I know.

Steals up on you,

like a knife in the ribs.

Ah, and it's so much worse for you.

I mean, with Michael,

well, you're just trying to fight nature.

But what happened to Victor...

I don't know, Margaret,
how you ever deal with that.

Oh, I have a way.

So, what were you saying earlier

about a hideous specimen?

This from his friends at the zoo?

Seventeen years, I think I told you,
he worked there as a keeper.

Fifteen, in the reptile house.

Snakes, lizards, anything with scales,
he could cope with.

It was people always set his teeth on edge.

I think I know the type.

Last week, one of his favourite animals died.

They had it made into a coffee table
and delivered to our house.

Somehow, I don't think,
it would have made his day.

I know.

I was just starting to wonder with Victor,

how much torment one man can take in his life.

It's like the morning, we thought we'd go
for a nice little drive to the market in Lanchester.

Didn't quite work out?

Well, at least that bag of medical instruments
came in handy in the end.

I mean, what sort of brain disorder is it anyway,

that makes someone want
to stick their bare backside out of a car window

at you in the first place.

I don't know.

But I don't suppose he'll be doing it again
in a hurry.

After you lobbed that hypodermic syringe
into it like Eric Bristow.

He's lucky I didn't have a snooker cue.

Anyway, it brought a bit of colour to his cheeks.

Bad enough falling asleep in that park
with that sun cream lotion on

and getting a face full of grass cuttings.

Walking about like David Bellamy with greenfly.

That couple took one look at me
and fell out of their boat.

Heaven knows what they thought,
that I had some form of hideous skin disease.

Oh, here we go again.

Look, everywhere under the sun. Look at that.

I wonder who this is from. Postmark Swansea.

Now, then. What time is that film on,
that I want to record?


That just gives me over an hour
to open this packet of videos.

Oh, and why we ever thought
it was a good idea to go and visit cousin Ivor...

I might've known he would just want to show off
that new car of his.

Made me feel that mine was just a heap of rust.

Got me to look out of his electronic sun—roof
and what happened?

Ruddy panel jammed against my neck
and I get stuck there.

I had to go all the way to the fire station with my
head poking out the top like a ruddy tank turret.

I know. I was there, if you recall.

Oh, look. This is interesting.

Do you remember Tom Jones
who was on the milk with you?

Thirty odd years ago,
when you both worked for Lea Valley Dairies.

What's he died of?

Very much alive.
He says it's the most amazing thing.

Next week they're holding a reunion in London
for all the old gang.

And they've been desperately trying
to get hold of you.

"As luck would have it, my daughter
still sends the local paper every week

"and that's where I saw the report
of your miracle picture

"which was a miracle in itself
because I got straight on to the editor

"who gave me your address."

What sort of reunion?

Oh, you've got to 90, Victor.

You'll be able to swap stories.
Catch up with everyone.

They're all meeting up at a pub called
The Strangers Rest

next Friday at 8:00.

Derek Baker, Bob Loft,

Limpy Briddock, Herbie Stranks...

There's a whole list of names here.

Limpy Briddock. My God.

He used to work up the dog track.

Until he got his shoelace
caught in that electric hare.

Wonder what he's been up to over all these years.

Well, go along on Friday, you'll find out.

It'll be just what you need. You'll see.

To take you out of yourself.

FATHER BLAKEY: Let me get that one.

Oh, Morning.

-Are you well?
—I'm fine, Mrs Meldrew.

More importantly, how are you coping?

How long is it now? It's four weeks?

And three days.

Can I say, this is a very positive thing
you've organised here.

Cleaning up other people's filth?

Oh, yes. Gives me no end of pleasure.

Victor used to say,
it must be a certain kind of person

that regards a lavatory in a toilet
as an optional extra.

Yes, well, I've got another recruit for you
this morning.

Lady rang me up last night. Her name is Glynis.

She lost her husband about a week after yourself.

He'd been very ill, I gather, for some time.


Are you Margaret? Glynis Holloway.

I just wondered if you could do
with another pair of hands.

Oh, definitely, the more the merrier.

How about if I start with the vacuum cleaner.


Oh, right.

—You sure you can manage?
—Absolutely fine.

Mrs Meldrew, I know it must be very hard
for you right now

to find any kind of purpose in the world.

I think I see how it works, Father.

We're all just characters, really, aren't we?

In a giant soap opera.

One by one, God gets bored with us
and decides to kill us off.

Victor Meldrew mown down by a hit and run driver
on his way home from a party.

Sounds depressingly plausible.

A party his wife practically begged him to go to.

Well, you...

You can't go on torturing yourself
for something that wasn't your fault.

Oh, I'm afraid I can do a lot of things, Father,
if I want to.

Torturing myself is the least of them.

You ask me how I'm coping.
Shall I tell you exactly how I'm coping?

By clinging to the hope that one day they find
the bastard who was at the wheel of that car

because if they ever do,
I swear to God, I'm going to kill him.

With my bare hands, if necessary.

Then they can do what they like with me.

Trouble with the world nowadays,

nobody does anything about anything.

Victor tried, God knows.

And look where it got him.

It's all speed and greed.

And he's probably better out of it.

The pain is still raw, Mrs Meldrew. I can see that.

And how can I say I wouldn't feel the same
in your shoes,

but the measure of our strength as human beings

is the goodness in our hearts.

One day, as impossible as it seems right now,
I pray that you'll find that strength.

Strength to forgive.




I'd watch that chair, sir. It's a bit unreliable.

Are you here for the Lea Valley Dairies reunion?

Yes. I'm afraid I'm a bit on the late side,
to be honest.

What with all the trains being up the creek
and everything. But...

Right, well, I've got a couple of messages
for you here.

A Mr Tom Jones rang,

to say unfortunately, there's been some
heavy flooding up on the Welsh coast tonight.

Apparently, a male voice choir
was swept out to sea.

—And the roads are all impassable, so...
-Oh, what a shame.

Herbert Stranks is stuck in traffic on the M6

and doesn't think he'll be able to get here
this side of Christmas.

Alex Bendricks is really sorry,
but he's had to fly to Hamburg

on business at the last minute.

And Bob Loft has decided it's too far to drive
with his kidneys.

Right, I won't be seeing any of them this even...

Albert Triple joy has had to stay at home
because his roof has collapsed.

Walter Gook called to say his pacemaker's
been recalled by the manufacturer

due to a lethal design fault.

Mr Briddock. Limpy Briddock?

Has had to work overtime, so he's not sure
what time he'll be able to make it.

And this one Cheryl took down.
I'm not sure I can read her writing.

Derek Baker, is it?

Has got to go and visit his daughter
who's recovering from either a Caesarean section

or a Caesar salad.

A bald transvestite.

Isn't that everybody
who was supposed to be coming?

Hang on, sir. I'll just check for you.

Yes, it is.

Dinner is served at 9:00,
if you'd like to cast your eye over our menu there.

—Or it could be blood transfusion.

So, I suppose

Limpy Briddock might still show up
if he can get away in time

and I haven't seen him for 35 years.

Oh, yes, I'm sure he'll be here well in time
for the cabaret, sir.

I expect...


Okay, so just to get you in the mood

and hopefully to stir a few of those
lovely memories of times you've shared together,

here are some sounds of the '605.

# Purple haze was in my brain

# Lately things don't seem the same

# Acting funny, but I don't know why

# Excuse me while I kiss the sky

# Well, God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"

# Abe said, "Man, you must be putting me on"

# God said, "No"

# Abe said, "What?"

# God said, "You can do what you want, Abe, but

# "The next time you see me coming,
you better run"

# Well, Abe said,
"Where do you want this killing done?"

# God say, "Out on Highway 61" #

—Thank you.
—Thank you. Goodbye.

A complete and utter disaster as usual.

Look, I don't want to miss the train.
It's supposed to get in at 12:35, so...

Alright. Yes, I'll see you then.

No, no, no, of course it wasn't your fault.

Anyway, it's over now, so...

Okay, bye.

Things can only get better.

"Dear Mrs Holloway,

"last Monday morning,
the oldest of our giant tortoises, Erasmus,

"died, aged 119.

"Knowing how fond of him Michael was,
we have put together this small keepsake

"for you in the workshop.

"The inside being fully scraped out
and sealed with resin.

"So, you can use it to store napkins

"or maybe just grow some form of trailing plant."

Do you know,
I have never met anyone else in my life

who goes through all this.

How on earth did it happen, Glynis?

In the middle of hell,
how did we manage to find each other?

If we're talking about miracles...

What? What is it? Is it another migraine?

Oh, it'll pass if I just rest my eyes for a bit.

Yes, or more likely get worse.

Let me get you some Paracetamol or something.

I could murder some more of that fruit juice.

Oh, that's lovely.


Oh, dear God.

Oh, Margaret.


What can I say?

What can I possibly say?

I was driving too fast.

Of course I was.

The hospital had rung up that night

to say that Michael might not...

And I was just...

I mean, I should never have been on the road.

I pulled up.

I swear.

I would've gone back,
if I hadn't seen your car coming.

What could I do?

I mean, by that time...

What could I have done?

And to have to live with all that
on top of losing Michael.

"Tomorrow, I'll tell her."

Every night, I have prayed to God
for the strength, but...

I had to find you.

You might have needed help, money,

shoulder to cry on.


just a friend.

I am so sorry.

# Well it's all right

# Riding around in the breeze

# Well it's all right

# If you live the life you please

# Well it's all right

# Doing the best you can

# Well it's all right

# As long as you lend a hand

# You can sit around
and wait for the phone to ring

# Waiting for someone to tell you everything

# Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring

# Maybe a diamond ring

# Well it's all right

# Even if they say you're wrong

# Well it's all right

# Sometimes you gotta be strong

# Well it's all right

# As long as you got somewhere to lay

# Well it's all right

# Everyday is judgment Day

# Maybe somewhere down the road aways

# You'll think of me
and wonder where I am these days

# Maybe somewhere
down the road when somebody plays

# Purple haze

# Well it's all right

# Even when push comes to shove

# Well it's all right

# If you got someone to love

# Well it's all right

# Everything 'll work out fine

# Well it's all right

# We're going to the end of the line

# Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive

# I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive

# It don't matter if you're by my side

# I'm satisfied

# Well it's all right

# Even if you're old and grey

# Well it's all right

# You still got something to say

# Well it's all right

# Remember to live and let live

# Well it's all right

# The best you can do is forgive

# Well it's all right

# Riding around in the breeze

# Well it's all right

# If you live the life you please

# Well it's all right

# Even if the sun don't shine

# Well it's all right

# We're going to the end of the line #