Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975): Season 5, Episode 4 - The Joy Ride - full transcript

James surprises everyone by announcing that he has bought an airplane. Her has been taking lessons and now has his pilot's license but his father thinks it's just another frivolous act on the part of his unemployed son. When he mentions it to Virginia she is thrilled by the thought of going up in the air and James invites her to go flying with him that afternoon. She would like to but had promised Richard she would sit in the spectator's gallery in the House of Lords that afternoon while he delivers a blistering attack on the coalition government. When Richard makes it quite clear that she is expected to be there, Virginia rebels and goes off with James for an afternoon of flying. When fog begins to roll in and their return is delayed, worry sets in. As the hours go by, Richard cannot help but wonder if his wife and only son are alive. When they receive reports that a lighthouse reported seeing a low flying aircraft out over the sea, he and everyone in the household assume the worse.

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FREDERICK: Taxi's here,
my lord.

RICHARD: You'll have to
tell it to wait, Frederick.

Her ladyship
is not ready yet.

FREDERICK: Very good,
my lord.

- Oh, hello, father.

JAMES: Now where are you going
all got up like that?

Banquet at the Guildhall,
but we're going to be late

if Virginia
doesn't buck up.

JAMES: Oh, what time
are you due there?

8:15 for 8:30.

Well, what have you been
doing with yourself today?

Looking for a job?

No, father,
I have not.

I'd rather we dropped
the subject if you don't mind.

I've told you,
lam pursuing various lines,

and I'll let you know
when there's any news.

RICHARD: I see --
well, I hope you're not

squandering that money your
great Aunt Kate left you.

Oh, on what?
On loose living?

I wasn't going to say that.

No, no, but you thought it.

Well, I have spent,
not squandered,

some of that money today,
as a matter of fact,

on something that you may
regard as an extravagance.

- What?
- But I regard it as

an investment
in the future.

- What?
- Well, you know I've been

taking these flying
lessons down at Brooklands.

Yes, you told me,
and you've got your A license.

But that doesn't
take £1,000.

JAMES: No, no, father,
but you see,

I've been looking ahead,
you see, to the future.

I really am most awfully keen
on this aviation business

and its commercial
possibilities --

James, what are
you trying to tell me?

I've bought an aeroplane.

You've what?

JAMES: I've bought
an aeroplane,

an old reconnaissance machine,

from the aircraft
disposal company.

It cost me £375.

Took her up for
the first time this afternoon.

I see -- Well, I suppose
you know what you're doing.

JAMES: Of course I do,

It's a wonderful machine,
an Avro 504.

It's a bit primitive,
of course,

but absolutely air worthy.

RICHARD: I'm very
glad to hear it.

Oh, she handles beautifully.

Like a thoroughbred
hunter with a soft mouth.

- Yeah, I took old

Geoffrey Carter up in it.

He's a fellow member
down at Brooklands.

We flew from Richmond right down
the line of the river

across London and as far
as the Thames Estuary.

- Did you?
- Yes.

I could have dropped bombs on
the electors at Rotherhithe.

- Could you?
- Yes, Bellamy's revenge.

But I didn't.

It is extraordinary,
you know, being able to get

from Richmond to Greenwich
in a matter of minutes.

Yes, and we'll have to get from
Eaton Place to the Guildhall

in a matter of minutes if her
ladyship doesn't come down soon.

I could always
fly you there.

Oh, no, thank you.

I'm sorry,
I'm sorry, I'm sor-

oh, now, please don't
be cross with me.

JAMES: Ah, guilty conscience.

Hudson sent word up
to Rose to say that you

were waiting for me --
is that so?

Taxi waiting, Virginia,
it's ten minutes to 8:00.

Yes, I know it is, darling,
I've got the clock.

JAMES: Oh, Virginia,
I was just telling father --

RICHARD: We haven't
time, James.

VIRGINIA: Oh, yes, we have,

You said that we were
to leave at five to 8:00.

It's only ten to eight.

What were you
just telling your father?

Later, I think.

Virginia, why must you
always out it so fine?

VIRGINIA: Oh, Richard,
I'm sorry,

but William's got a sore throat
and had to gargle,

and then Alice wanted me to read
an essay that she'd written

for Miss Treadwell,
before they said their prayers.

Why couldn't Miss Treadwell
settle them down for the night?

Because she's not their mother,
darling, and neither is Rose.

JAMES: You can't argue
with that, father.

- Now you keep out of this.
Richard, I'm always

ready on time when required.

Isn't it my business
what I do beforehand?

Yes, of course it is,
it's just that

I'd like you to have
more time to bath and dress

and do your hair in comfort
when you're dining out

like any other woman
instead of having to

throw yourself together
at the last minute.


I'm quite tidy, darling.

I'm dressed
and my hands are clean.

James, am I not tidy?

JAMES: Neat as a new pin,
I'd say.

VIRGINIA: There, you see,
I am your tidy, dressed wife,

and -- oh, my God.

- Now what?
- I won't be a moment.

I'll just...

ROSE: Beg pardon, my lady.

Your gloves.

thank you, Rose,

I was wondering.

You left them on
Miss Alice's bed.

And you left
your evening bag

on top of
the nursery cupboard.

Oh, did I really?

Well, thank you very much, Rose.

I'm so grateful to you.

ROSE: Not at all, my lady.

[Door closes]

There, I'm ready now.
I think.

then we must go now.

And I would like
a glass of sherry.

- Virginia.
- Oh, now please, Richard,

to give me courage.
James, would you --

RICHARD: Virginia,
we haven't got time.

VIRGINIA: We have, darling --
it's seven minutes to 8:00.

I have got two minutes left.

RICHARD: Meanwhile,
the taxi clock is ticking

up and up
and will cost a fortune.

Then I'll pay for it
out of my allowance.

RICHARD: You'll do
nothing of the sort.

- There you are, Virginia.
- Thank you, James.

It's a pity you're
in such a rush.

I wanted to tell you about
my splendid new aeroplane.

- No.
- Mm-hmm.

But I -- you mean,
you've bought --

you've bought an aeroplane
of your own?

JAMES: Mm-hmm,
an Avro 504.

- What, a two-seater?
- Eh-heh.

RICHARD: Virginia,
we really must go now.

We can't be late
for this sort of thing.

Prince Arthur of Connaught
is going to be there.

you must tell me all about it.

It's so exciting,
isn't it, Richard?

Yes, it is --
good night, James.

I suppose you know that most of
my sherry went up my nose.

RICHARD: Frederick,

bring me my --
my gloves...

[Door closes]

[Door locks]

JAMES: Hmm, Frederick.

- Ah, Frederick?

JAMES: Frederick,
come here a moment.

I want to
tell you something.

Now, Frederick, remember those
two-seater reconnaissance planes

that used to spot for
our artillery during the war?

Big biplanes
with radial engines?

Oh, yes, I think so, sir.

JAMES: Avro 504,
as they were called.

Oh, yes, sir.

JAMES: Well, I've got one.

Oh, yes, I bought it
this afternoon.

- Go on, sir.
- Well, the Air Force

don't need them any more,
you see,

so they're selling them off
cheap to civilians like me.

Got it down at Brooklands.

Take you up in it if you like.

I'd be very interested, sir.

I knew you would be.

It's very thrilling,
flying, you know,

especially in
your own machine.

it must be, sir.

And will you be dressing?


FREDERICK: I understand
you're dining out, sir.

Oh, yes, I'm having dinner
at the Royal Aero Club.

You better lay me out
a short coat and a black tie.

- Sir.
- And run me a bath, will you?

Very good, sir.



LILY: Oh, what
a beautiful gown!

ROSE: Elegant, isn't it?

You can hang it up
if you like,

if you've got clean hands.

Careful, mind, it's heavy.

You don't want
to drop it.

LILY: I'll be ever
so careful with it.

ROSE: Have you done out
the Major's room?

LILY: Oh, yes,
he got up early

this morning
and went out riding.

I watched him go from
the bedroom window.

- Did you?
- Frederick says the Major's

bought himself an aeroplane
to pilot by himself.

ROSE: So I've heard.

Wouldn't catch me going up in
one of them things,

not if you paid me,
all tied together

with bits of string --
probably come apart in the air.

LILY: He must be ever such
a brave man, the Major.

ROSE: Oh, yes, he was brave
enough all right during the war.

Now, I think he's
just foolhardy.

Get on and dust
the dressing table.

LILY: I feel sorry for him,
though, losing his wife

like that when
she was only young.

ROSE: Yes, it was very sad.

LILY: He's nice,
isn't he, the Major?

I mean, he always has a nice,
cheery word, that is.

If he passes me on the stairs,
he always says

good morning to me and asks me
if I'm settling in all right.

And do you know, I've been
here two years last May.

You want to be careful, Lily.

Don't encourage him.

- What do you mean?
- Don't get too familiar.

Oh, no, I wouldn't do that,

See, he was a bit of
a rip when he was young,

was master James,
in his 20s.


Well, perhaps I oughtn't
to mention it, but --

no, it's something
you should know.

There was a bit of a bother
with one of the housemaids

we had before the war,
called Sarah.

Now, I don't want to go
into any details because

it was a long time ago
and the Major's

a grown man now,
been through the war

and his marriage and...

But, well, you know
what they say,

a leopard can't
change his spots,

if you get my meaning.

You told me about Sarah
when I first come here.

You said she left
to marry the chauffeur.

Mmm, she did.

LILY: You didn't say nothing
about her and the Major.


Well, I just thought
I'd mention it.

He's lonely now since
Mrs. Bellamy died,

a bit on his own,
all restless,

can't seem to
settle to anything,

and as I say, he's always
had an eye for a pretty girl.



So, you're a pretty girl,
like Sarah was.

Oh, let's hope he gets
married again

like his father,
settles down with a good woman.

I think he's ever so nice.

ROSE: Well, so do I, Lily,
it's just that he's

a bit of a lad
with the girls.


I see.

When you've finished here,
I want you to go up

and light the nursery fire
because Master William

is stopping in
with his sore throat.

LILY: All right.

And no need to mention what I
said to anyone downstairs.

LILY: Oh, no, of course not.

Least of all Daisy.

She'd take advantage.


All right, then.

[Door opens]

FREDERICK: You all right,
Mr. Hudson?

- What?
- What happened?

The tray fell.

I'll see to it,
Mr. Hudson.

- What's up?
- Nothing is up, Ruby.

The tray is too wide for
the pantry door, that's all.

Go back to the kitchen.

RUBY: Mrs. Bridges
and me heard an awful crash,

and I nearly jumped
out of me skin.

you can jump back into

your skin again, Ruby,
there's no harm done.

You should have let me carry
this, Mr. Hudson, it's heavy.

HUDSON: I have been carrying
this tray, Frederick,

in and out of that pantry door
since before you were born.

FREDERICK: About time
you stopped and let

a younger man
do the heavy work.

- I beg your pardon!
- You've only to call me

if there's something you
can't manage, Mr. Hudson.

Perhaps his Lordship's
heavy overcoat.

HUDSON: Now just you
listen to me, Frederick.

If you're going to
continue as footman here,

you will kindly carry out
my orders to you

and refrain from acting
on your own initiative.

I've had to remind you on more
than one occasion to inform me

when members of the family
come in and out of this house.

In a residence of this size,
the butler is responsible

at all times for the smooth
running of the household.

I only tried to save you
the stairs, Mr. Hudson,

because Rose says you're not
getting any younger

and I was to help you
as much as possible.

Rose had no business
to say that.

I see, so I'm not to lift
heavy trays for you

or answer bells
when you're in.

[Bell ringing]
- There, morning room.

That'll be the dining room,

Mr. Hudson,
to clear away breakfast.

You may well be right.

In either case,
go and answer it.

Very good, Mr. Hudson.

[Door opens and closes]

What a beautiful day --

crisp and clear and sunny.

RICHARD: Oh, my dear.

That won't please
the Sea Lords.

VIRGINIA: What won't,
the weather?

RICHARD: Arthur Lee has put
the cat among the pigeons

at the washington
Naval Conference.

He's made a speech in highly
unparliamentary language,

demanding the scrapping
of all submarines.

Without a word to Balfour

or the French delegation

He may be First Lord,
but he's not God.

Charles's father always said
that Lee was a good Civil Lord.

- Hmm?
- Oh, not as good

as you, of course,
darling, but competent.

Thank you.

And Lloyd George thinks
very highly of him.

But he'll never be
prime minister

because he's
not a gentleman.

And whose opinion is that?

Not mine, Curzon's.

We were talking about him
last night, oddly enough.

Curzon can't stick him.

Now that doesn't
surprise me.

Lord Curzon can't stick anyone
who isn't a duke or royal.

Now, now.

Well, when I've waded
through Northcliffe's

alarmist rubbish about a war
between Greece and Turkey,

I think I shall go to my study
and write some letters.

VIRGINIA: All right, darling,
then I can send for

Mrs. Bridges in here
and order the meals.

RICHARD: All right.

JAMES: Ah, top of
the morning to you both.

- Hello, James.
- Father.

have you had breakfast?

I've just rung
for them to clear.

had it early, thanks.

I say, it's a cracking
fine day, you know?

Jolly warm for October.

- Yes, isn't it?
- I can't think of anything

more gloriously exciting
than a canter round

Rotten Row before breakfast
followed by

a sprint down to
Brooklands in the motor,

a flip in the air
in my old Avro.

That's to be your day,
is it?

That's right -- you know,
the funny thing about riding

and flying is,
they're a bit alike, really.

My instructor says if
you're a good horseman,

i.e. if you've got good
hands and a sense of balance,

you should make a good pilot.

You are a good horseman,
so you must be a good pilot.

Well, I don't want to boast
too much, but I am pretty good.

Got through the test
Without a mishap.

Passed my navigation test
first time.

A couple of the chaps
down at the flying school

had to land in
the sewage farm last week --

one of the hazards
down there.

Either that or
the motor racing track.

VIRGINIA: How fast
does your aeroplane go?

JAMES: Oh, 80,
90 miles an hour.


just think of that.

By the way, Virginia,
I've had a capital idea.

As it is such a glorious day,
why don't you come down

with me to Brooklands
and see the old crate?

I'll take you up
in it if you like.


Oh, yes, please, I'd love
to do that -- could I?

JAMES: Of course,
we'd go for a joy ride.

Is it very thrilling
up in an aeroplane?

I've always wanted to fly.

JAMES: Oh, it's extraordinary.

I mean,
the people on the ground,

they look like insects.

And the houses and the fields,
they look like toys

on the nursery floor --
you'll be crazy about it.

I don't wish to dampen
your enthusiasm, James,

but Virginia knows
perfectly well I'm opening

an important debate
on foreign affairs

in the Lords this afternoon.

JAMES: I can't see what
that's got to do with it.

RICHARD: Can't you?
- VIRGINIA: You'd like me

to go with you
and sit in the gallery,

wouldn't you,
and listen to your speech?

It's not a case of
what I'd like, Virginia.

I thought we'd agreed that you'd
sit in the Strangers Gallery

with old Lady Malling
and would have tea

in the House
after the debate.

Oh, yes, so we did.

How depressing.

JAMES: Oh, now, come on,

you don't have to do that,
do you?

They'd understand.

Tell them you've got a cold
and then come with me.

VIRGINIA: I think you'd better
ask your father, James.

JAMES: Oh, now, father,
Virginia can hear you

make a speech
in the Lords at any time.

It isn't always such perfect
flying weather as this.

I'm quite sure
Lady Malling won't die of

a broken heart
if Virginia isn't there.

Let her come
flying with me.

It's not a case of
"let her come" either, James.

Virginia is an adult person,
perfectly free to choose

how she wishes
to spend her afternoon.

Excuses can be made to
the Mailings if necessary.

I am merely suggesting it would
be more fitting for her

to be seen in the gallery
while her husband is opening

an important debate
rather than to be seen

going up in an aeroplane
at Brooklands with her stepson.

The choice is yours, Virginia.

VIRGINIA: Oh, Richard,
that's most unfair.

- What is?
- Well, to put it all onto me.

Do you wish me to forbid you
to go flying with James,

is that it, like some
stern Victorian husband?

I'd almost rather
you did in some ways.

Well, I am not going to.

You must make up
your own mind.

Well, of course
I would rather go up

in James's machine than sit
in the Lords all afternoon.

Who wouldn't
on a day like this?

Besides, I've never been
up in an aeroplane.

It would be something new,
something to do

with the future
and not the past.

Well, as I said before,
the choice is yours.

JAMES: I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have asked you
in the first place.

I wish I hadn't now.

Well, if you are coming with me
to the Lords, Virginia,

we must have lunch at 1:00 sharp
and leave the house at 2:15.

I shall be in my study
if you want me.

[Door closes]

JAMES: And if you want to come
for a joy ride with me,

Virginia, we could leave
the house at midday,

have lunch down at Brooklands,
and be up in the clear,

blue sky by 2:15,
a thousand feet over London.

It's for you to say.

It's your life, not father's.


HUDSON: I'll inform
his lordship

HUDSON: I'll inform
his lordship

you're here, my lady.

PRUDENCE: Thank you, Hudson.

But don't hurry him
if he's in the study.

I am a little early.

HUDSON: Very good, my lady.

May I pour you
a glass of sherry?

PRUDENCE: Ah...thank you.

Family all well?

HUDSON: Oh, indeed,
thank you, my lady.

Oh, did Miss Georgina get off
all right to America?

HUDSON: Oh, yes, my lady.

She sailed at
the end of last week.

I expect she was glad to get
right away from the reporters

and everybody,
after the tragedy.

Oh, yes, my lady.

We were all quite shocked
and upset by the incident,

that such a thing
should happen in this house.

Well, I believe
the young gentleman who

shot himself upstairs
was not quite sane.

So I understand, my lady.

PRUDENCE: Well, we live
in very disturbing times,

do we not, Hudson?

I fear so, my lady.

RICHARD: Oh, Prudence,
forgive me not receiving you.

I was in my study, finishing
some notes for this afternoon.

Noble of you to
come and support me.

PRUDENCE: Support you?

Yes, with your company.

Richard, dear,
I'm an old enough friend,

God knows,
and I love you very dearly,

but in all the years that
I've known you

and darling Marjorie,
I have never been

invited round here for luncheon
at 30 minutes notice.

I don't suppose you have.

Heaven knows I've been
dragged in often enough

to make up the numbers
when ladies retract

at the last minute,
but I have usually had time

to look out a hat to wear.

RICHARD: I know, I know.

But to arrive home from my
dentist at 12:30

to find a note from you
more or less ordering me

round here for luncheon
at 1:00, well,

I wonder why.

I'll tell you
exactly why, Pru.

I'm opening an important debate
on foreign affairs

in the Lords this afternoon,
leading a salvo of big guns --

Lansdowne, Birkenhead,
Newton, Derby.

It's to be an all-out assault
on Lloyd George's refusal

to listen to advice on Ulster.

We want an end to the coalition,
nothing less.

- And where do I come in?
- I want your support.

Well, I can't make a speech.
I'm not a peer.

In the gallery,
and with old Lady Malling

at tea afterwards,
would you?

I really have no choice,
have I?

No, quite frankly,
I don't think you have.

Oh, all right, Richard, dear.

You know I'd do
anything for you.

I'm usually bored stiff
in the House,

especially the Lords,

since you're giving me lunch,

I suppose I shall
have to pay for it.

Good girl,
I knew you'd come.

More sherry?

PRUDENCE: Oh, no, no,
or else I'll get squiffy

and let you down.

As a matter of
passing interest,

Where is Virginia?

Uh. she's not here.

No, I can see that.

I just wondered how she was
and where she was.

She's gone to
Surrey for the day.


- Surrey.
- Surrey.

What part of Surrey?

Near Weybridge.

How extraordinary.

Does she know anybody
in Weybridge?

Not to my knowledge.

How is James?

- Oh, James is very well.
- Oh, good, I am glad.

He's taken up flying,
you know.

I didn't know.

Oh, yes, he's bought
himself an aeroplane.

Oh, what on Earth for?

Oh, to fly about in,
I suppose.

Well, where?
Across the channel?

Oh, not the Atlantic Ocean
like Alcock and...

Whoever it was.

No, I don't think so.

He just likes flying about.

PRUDENCE: Oh, well, there's no
accounting for taste, I suppose.

I do wish he could find
a proper occupation.

His defeat in the by-election
of Rotherhithe

left him very bitter,
you know.

He was confident
he'd get in,

and it came as quite
a shock to him.

it must have done.

To be defeated by that
dreadful Labour creature.

Ooh, howl detest them
and all they stand for.

You might as well get
used to them, Pru.

They're here to stay.

PRUDENCE: God help us.

Well, anyway,
how are you these days?

I'm well,
and happy, naturally.

Not finding those dear
little children too noisy?

Oh, no, no, the governess has
got them well under control.

I gather.

Oh, yes, yes, Rose, too.

She's supposed to be
Virginia's personal maid,

but she's now become
a self-appointed nanny as well.

Spends most of her time
up in the nursery.

Are your little steps
intelligent children?


Alice does lessons every day
with another child

under Miss Treadwell's
expert guidance, and William

goes to his preparatory school
in the spring.

So all's right
with the world.

Your world, I mean.

Yes, I think so.

Luncheon is served,
my lord.

Ah, Hudson.

Come along, Pru, or we'll be
late for Westminster.

it's the most lovely day.

Have you noticed,
not a cloud in the sky?

We really should
be doing something

in the fresh air
this afternoon,

not sitting in
the House of Lords

listening to a succession
of deadly boring speeches.

- Not yours, Richard.

I mean other people.

nobody back yet?

FREDERICK: Not as far
as I know, Rose.

Did you see this photograph
of her ladyship?

I was just looking at it.

ROSE: She don't like it,
but I think it's lovely,

and I told her so.

- Oh yeah?
-[Laughing] Look.

She looks more like
a mischievous school girl

than a viscountess.

FREDERICK: Yes, she does.

ROSE: Oh, well, I must put
the milk on for the nursery.

Are you coming?

I've finished in here, Rose.

ROSE: Oh, Ruby,
Mrs. Bridges back yet?

RUBY: Yes, she come in
a few minutes ago.

She's gone up to her room.

Put the milk on for the nursery
for me, will you?

RUBY: In a jiffy, Rose.

Hey, Mrs. Bridges says
it's coming in foggy.

I know it is. Pff.

FREDERICK: You can hardly see
the lamppost across the road.

ROSE: No -- Well,
I must go and get my work box.

RUBY: I'll call you when
the milk's boiled, Rose.

ROSE: Thank you, Ruby.

Oh, Mr. Hudson,
her ladyship isn't in yet,

but she told Miss Treadwell
she'd be back in time

for nursery tea at 5:00,
and it's gone 6:00.

Oh, her ladyship left
the house with the Major

in his motorcar
before luncheon, Rose.

I understood they were driving
down to the country for the day.

They'd hardly be back yet.

ROSE: Well, why say
about nursery tea, then,

and disappoint the children?
I don't know.

HUDSON: There was to be no
morning room tea today,

I know that much --
his lordship and Lady Prudence

were taking tea
at the House of Lo--

What are you hanging
about for, Frederick?

I was waiting for an opportunity
to speak to you, Mr. Hudson.

HUDSON: Well, speak,
unless you've lost your tongue.

We were trained in the army
to wait for permission

to speak to our seniors.

Were you?

FREDERICK: I was only going to
suggest that you might

like me to go and decant
the port for tonight,

Mr. Hudson,
and save your feet.

I have already told you,

my feet do not
require saving,

and I'll thank you
to get on with

your own work
in the pantry.

It is a butler's place
to decant the port,

unless he gives orders
to the contrary.

I'm only trying to help,
Mr. Hudson.

ROSE: Oh, listen,
there's the front door.

- HUDSON: I heard nothing.
- Ah, but my ears

is younger than yours,
Mr. Hudson.

FREDERICK: Sounded like
somebody coming in.

Did it indeed?

ROSE: It was the front door,
Mr. Hudson.

[Bell rings]

Go and prepare the sherry tray
then, Frederick.

Just prepare it, mind,
and leave it on the hall table.

I shall take it into
the morning room myself

when it is asked for.

Very good, Mr. Hudson.

I mustn't stay long, Richard.

Well, not too long, anyway.

You've had me for luncheon
and most of the afternoon.

I don't want to
outstay my welcome.

RICHARD: Have something to
warm you before you leave.

Oh, Hudson, bring the whiskey
and some sherry, will you?

Very good, my lord.

RICHARD: Hudson, is her ladyship
upstairs with the children?

No, my lord, her ladyship
has not returned yet.

She hasn't? I see.

I suppose my watch is correct.

HUDSON: It's just gone
a quarter past 6:00, my lord.

Yes, that's what I thought.

PRUDENCE: What time
were you expecting

Virginia back from Surrey?

She didn't say.

Was she motoring or
going by train?

RICHARD: She's motoring.

Well, either way, she's most
likely delayed by the fog.

It's really quite thick now,
you know.

RICHARD: Then why hasn't
she telephoned?

Perhaps they're not
on the telephone,

these people that
she's visiting.

Richard, you're not worried
about her, are you?


Let me give you some sherry.

PRUDENCE: Are you, Richard?

RICHARD: Am I what?

about Virginia.

RICHARD: If you really
want to know, Pru, yes, I am.

I am damn worried about her.

The fog is getting
thicker every minute.

And as an old
and trusted friend,

I have to tell you something
else you don't know.

About what?

About where my wife is,
or was, this afternoon.

[Playing harmonica]

[Playing harmonica]

RUBY: It's grand, eh, Lily?

LILY: Yes.

Can you play a jig,


LILY: Well, then Ruby
and me could dance for you.

FREDERICK: All right, ladies,
anything to oblige.

LILY: Come on.

[Plays jig]


ROSE: Stop it!


You can't hear
yourself think.

Sorry, Rose.

ROSE: Half past 7:00.


ROSE: What could have
happened to them?

It's not like her ladyship
to be late.

Could have telephoned.

LILY: I expect
she will, Rose.

ROSE: Oh, Alice, what do you do
with the buttons off your dress?

[Telephone rings]

ROSE: Oh, that's probably them.

FREDERICK: I'll answer it,

ROSE: No, best not.

Mr. Hudson's in the pantry.

Let him answer.

Shhh, I'll listen.


I see, very good, my lord.

I'll look up the number
in the directory

right away and connect you.

I beg your pardon,
my lord?

Oh, a country number.

Yes, yes, I see, my lord.

Beg pardon?

Enquiries? Yes.

Yes, right away,
very good, yes.


Hudson's finding the number
of the flying club.

He'll connect me with them
as soon as he can.

I simply cannot understand why
you didn't tell me at lunch

that she'd gone off flying
with James in his aeroplane.

I mean, why not say?

I didn't choose to
for my own reasons.

Were you afraid I'd
put it round London

that your wife had
eloped with your son?

This is not a joking matter,
you know.

Oh, no, of course it isn't,
Richard, I'm sorry.

Really, what a stupid
thing to say.

Please forgive me.

Damn it all, they must have
landed before dark or dusk even.

you'd think so.

Especially this weather.

They know jolly well it
takes an hour and a half

to drive up here
from Brooklands.

Why in God's name hasn't one of
them got the sense to telephone?

[Telephone rings]


Oh, yes, Hudson, put them
through please, will you?

Hello? Hello?

Am I connected with
the Brooklands Flying Club?

I want to speak urgently to
the secretary, please.

Lord Bellamy, yes.

Yes, yes, I'll hold on.

RICHARD.' Hello?

Arn I speaking to
the club secretary?

It's about my son,
Major Bellamy.

I believe he's
a member of your club.

He was taking his stepmother
flying this afternoon.

Lady Bellamy, yes.

They're overdue?

Yes, I know they are.

Well, what has
happened to them?

His machine's what?

Not equipped for
night flying?

I'm sure it's not.

How much petrol?

And you've no
further news of them.

[Telephone hangs up]

Will one of you go through
and tell them in the kitchen

that dinner will have to be put
back until further orders?

RICHARD: They took off from
Brooklands at 10 past 3:00

after telling the flying control
people they were going to

set course southwest
towards Wiltshire.


Someone in the club
heard James mention

he was going to fly
over Southwold.

Wanted to show Virginia
his ancestral home

from the air, I suppose.

PRUDENCE: All the way
down there?

That's what they said.

When darkness fell
and they hadn't checked in,

the flying control people
became anxious.

They've already put out a call
to the aerodromes en route,

civil and military,
but there's no news of them.

It seems the people at
the flying club put through

a telephone call to Southwold

in case he'd landed
in the grounds.

The odd man answered
the telephone,

and he told them that
a plane flew over the park

at tea time,
about half past 4:00,

circled the house,

then disappeared
into the clouds.

FREDERICK: The evening paper,
Mr. Hudson. Shall I?

No, Frederick.

I will take it up.

Bloody fool of a boy.
Irresponsible ass.

I blame Virginia, too,
you know.

She ought to
have known better.

Richard, you must keep calm.
- They know perfectly well

that we dine at 8:00
in this house,

and it's five minutes
to 8:00 now.

I detest unpunctuality.

Keeping the servants
hanging about.

What in God's name do
they think they're doing?

Well, all we can do is to wait
and hope for the best, Richard.

As the flying club have promised
to telephone the moment

it has any news,
there's nothing else we can do.

The evening paper, my lord.

Oh, thank you, Hudson.

My God.

Just look at that already.

Doesn't take them long,
does it?

HUDSON: Now, now, Lily,
no need for that.

You mustn't be found
weeping in here.

Mr. Hudson, I'm sorry.

HUDSON: His lordship
and Lady Prudence are still

in the dining room
drinking their coffee,

but they'll not be long, so try
to control yourself, child.

It's just that
Mrs. Bridges says maybe

they've crashed
and they're both dead.

Mrs. Bridges cannot
know for certain, Lily.

Nor can anyone as yet.

It's all in the hands
of the good Lord.

We must not give way
to ungrounded fears, Lily.

Try to have faith.

And patience.

You're that kind and comforting,
Mr. Hudson,

not to be cross with me.

I feel a bit better now,
thank you.

You're a good girl, Lily, to
show concern for your employers.

LILY: It's just that I
couldn't bear to think of

her ladyship and the Major.

They're good, kind souls,
the pair of them.

HUDSON: That is
indeed so, Lily.

On the other hand,
I think we must all

spare a thought for
his lordship in his anxiety.

The Major's aeroplane escapade
is inconsiderate and unwise,

risking his life.

And her ladyship's,
for all we know.

But you said not to worry,
Mr. Hudson.

Aye, that's true.

We must keep in mind
the old saying

that no news is good news.

Now run along, my dear.

And Lily, when you go
to your bed tonight,

you must pray for her
ladyship's safe return.

And the Major's.

Yes, Mr. Hudson.

Yes, of course I'll
tell him you telephoned.

He's a little distraught
at the moment,

as you can guess,
otherwise he'd speak --

Lady Ambergate,
yes, I see.

Oh, yes, it is all too
dreadfully worrying.

I will.

Thank you, goodbye.

Five to 11:00, Pru.

You ought to get some sleep.

PRUDENCE: Oh, I couldn't!

RICHARD: There's nothing
to be done except sit here

and fret until
we get some news.

You might as well be in bed.

I'll call Hudson
to get you a taxi.

No, no, Richard,
please let me stay.

If I went home,
I shouldn't sleep.

Well, there's not likely to be
any more news tonight.

- Well, how do you know?
- They can't search

the countryside for
Wreckage in the dark.

- Oh, Richard.
- We might as well

face facts, my dear.

First light,

they'll send out police
and search parties.

Go home, Pru, please.

I refuse to leave you,

I shall doze here,
by the fire.

RICHARD: Very well.

Very good of you, my dear.

Where are you going?

I'm worried
about the servants.

They ought to be in bed.

I won't be long.

Well, if that's not a nasty
hint, I don't know what is.

Well, if that's not a nasty
hint, I don't know what is.

What's that, Rose?

ROSE: What it says
in the newspapers.

"Major Bellamy,
a recently qualified pilot,

was accompanied on
the flight by his young

and attractive stepmother,
Viscountess Bellamy.

Mr. Frank Cropper,
an air mechanic,

said the couple seemed
remarkably happy,

the Major smiling as he
helped youthful Lady Bellamy

to climb up into
the rear cockpit

and adjust her safety belt."

Now what do they have to
say a thing like that for?

Intimating that
there's something...

going on between them.

in the circumstances,

it's not surprising, Rose,

that certain questions
are being asked.

After all -- my lord!

RICHARD: Oh, don't get up,
I don't want to disturb you.

HUDSON: That's quite
all right, my lord.

I just want to reassure you
that everything possible

is being done to trace her
ladyship and the Major,

and to say there's no need
for you all to stay up.

Mrs. Bridges
gone to bed?

HUDSON: Oh, quite some
time ago, my lord.

She felt too upset
to sit in here.

Ruby also has
gone to her room.

I was wondering, my lord,
if you and Lady Prudence

would like me to bring
you up a nice cup a tea.

The kettle's on,
I was going to make us one.

Please don't worry, Rose.

Oh, there's no bother.

Give me something to do.

Very well, it's good of you,
thank you -- Frederick.


RICHARD: I was just
saying to Hudson,

there's no need for you
all to stay up.

Not likely to be
any more news tonight.

I think most of the staff
would prefer to stay up

just for a wee
while longer,

my lord,
in case there's any...

RICHARD: Very well,
it's up to you.

Rotten business, eh?

[Birds singing]

[Rose stirs]



ROSE: Oh, oh, beg pardon
for disturbing you, sir,

but I thought I better
open up the rooms because

Mr. Hudson let Lily
sleep in late this morning,

and Daisy, well, she don't
get over, not 'til later.

RICHARD: What time is it?

ROSE: It's gone 7:00.

I'm just going to
wake the children up.

RICHARD: Oh, Rose,
Miss Treadwell must not

tell the children anything yet.

I don't want them
unduly upset.

ROSE: Very good, my lord.

[Telephone rings]

No, the --

[Telephone rings]



Oh, Brooklands Aerodrome,

Mister -- Mr. Royston, oh yes.

One moment, I'll connect
you with his lordship.

Hold the line.

[Telephone rings]


It's the secretary of
the Brooklands Flying Club,

my lord, a Mr. Royston.

You're through.

Did they?

I -- I see, yes.

Well, thank you
for letting me know.

And you'll let me know if
there's any more news.

I see.

Thank you, Mr. Royston.


Oh, Hudson, come in.

They've had a message
at Brooklands

from the Coast Guard people
of Swanage on the Dorset coast.

The Star Point lighthouse
reported seeing a biplane

flying low over the sea
at approximately

7:00 PM last evening.

They couldn't see clearly
for the fog and the low cloud

or in which direction
it was going.

And that is all.

Well, it couldn't
have been James,

because he wasn't going
anywhere near the sea.

RICHARD: He could have
been off course.

Well, I think it
was some other aeroplane.

- Hudson.
- My lord.

Will you please
tell them downstairs

there's still no more news?

- My lord.
- I'd like you to carry out

your duties this morning
as best you can.

I shall go to my
dressing room and shave.

You might tell Rose
to open the curtains

in her ladyship's room.

Lady Prudence will need to
go in there and tidy up.

don't worry about me.

You'll need to wash
and do your hair and...

We'll have breakfast at 9:00.

Thank you, Hudson.

HUDSON: Very good, my lord.

Plane flying low
over the sea.

I suppose it could have
been them.

I cannot for the life
of me think why.

How can we be sure that --

That what?

That they had intended
to land at Brooklands,

that they meant
to come back.

Richard, what do you mean?
- They could have

crossed the channel,
landed near

Paris or somewhere,

Oh, for heavens sake!

I am being absurd,
I know I am,

but I can't help thinking of
every possible, possible --

Are you seriously suggesting
that Virginia and James

have flown over to Paris on some
spree without telling anyone?

Oh, really, Richard,
I know you're tired

and almost out of your
mind with worry,

but this is preposterous.

And it's wicked.

RICHARD: Well, Virginia is
very young, you know.

She's been through it
in the war, God knows.

She's resilient,
full of spirit and courage.

She's fond of James and he
of her, that much I do know.

Fond, yes.

But this is just wild,
hysterical talk,

and you know it.

If it sustains you
for a little while

to imagine them alive
and sitting in some

shabby little hotel
on the Rive Gauche,

laughing their
heads off at us, well,

go on believing it,

I won't spoil your illusion.

But don't ask me to
share it, please.

I don't believe it,
not really.

Some nagging thoughts
kept me awake in the night.

I kept thinking of
all possible things.

She defied me, you know,
to go flying with James.

It's those wretched reporters
with their sneering,

malicious implications.

You should know better than
to allow cheap newspaper gossip

to undermine your faith
in Virginia and in your son.

Oh, how can you believe
them capable of such behaviour,

Richard, how can you?

The same thought crossed
your mind last night,

do you not remember?

Ah, now that was a joke.

I admitted it,
and I apologized for it.

If I'd imagined for a moment
such a thing were possible,

I would never have suggested it,
even in fun.

God in heaven.

How could such an evil
suspicion enter my mind,

when they could both
be lying dead

at the bottom of the sea
in the wreckage of an aeroplane?

Don't say things like that,
Richard, please.

I look and feel
somewhat dirty.

I shall go to my
dressing room and change.

Give me something to do.

I'll tell Rose to show you
to Virginia's room.

[Door closes]

[Telephone rings]

[Telephone rings]

Lord Bellamy's residence.

Who is that, please?

Ah, yes, well, this is
Lord Bellamy's butler, sir,

and I am asked by his lordship
to say to any callers

from the press that there is
no further news

of her ladyship and the Major.

No, and his lordship has
no statement to make, no!

Thank you.

FREDERICK: His Lordship's
had breakfast, Mr. Hudson.

And I've cleared away
in the dining room.

And Lady Prudence
had coffee upstairs.

Oh, thank you, Frederick.

Now I -- I suggest you...

polish the Major's
riding boots.

We must all occupy our hands,

the better to keep
our minds off the other matter.

- Very good, Mr. Hudson.
-ls Rose upstairs?

she's gone round the chemist

for some linctus
for Master William.

I see.

PRUDENCE: Thank you, child.

I wonder, could you
find me such a thing

as a piece of cotton wool?

What is your name?

- Lily, my lady.
- Lily, I see.

I'll look in her
ladyship's bathroom.

Thank you.


I look and feel as though
I'd spent the night

in a cattle truck on
the Trans-Siberian Railway.


LILY: I've run your bath
for you, my lady,

and Rose has put out one of
her ladyship's bathrobes.

Thank you, child.

Will that be all, my lady?

Yes, you can run along now.

Oh, but if you hear any news,

come and call to me
through the bathroom door.

Very good, my lady.

[Telephone rings]

Go and answer that,
would you, Frederick?

Mr. Hudson.

HUDSON: Now, Frederick,
be courteous,

but tell them that
there is no news

and his lordship has
nothing further to say.

Very good, Mr. Hudson.

Lord Bellamy's house.

The footman speaking.

Pardon, sir?

I can't hear you very well,

would you mind
repeating that?

A what?

A trunk call?

From where?

Your voice is
very faint, sir.

Would you mind
repeating that?

Oh, I see.

Hold on, sir.

It's the police,
in Bournemouth, Mr. Hudson.

Hello, Lord Bellamy's
butler speaking.

I'm having some
difficulty hearing you.

The line is very bad.


I'll connect you with
his lordship right away.

RICHARD: They have?

You're certain?

Both safe?

Well, that's the most
tremendous news.

I can't tell you what
a relief it's been.


Yes, yes, I understand.

LILY: Excuse me, my lady.

Oh, my lady, it's not
my business to listen,

but there's someone
on the telephone

to his lordship
in the morning room,

and it sounds as though
there's good news.

- Oh!
- I heard him say,

as I was going down
to the front door,

that it was
a Bournemouth policeman.

What time at Waterloo?


Yes, yes,
I'll have the train met.

And thank you indeed
for your help.

I'm most grateful to you
for letting me know.

Yes, yes, I'll write
to the chief constable,

and of course -- yes, yes,
thank you, Mr. Royston, goodbye.


RICHARD: They're safe.



In a train.

On their way back from
Bournemouth, of all places.

Hudson, the plane landed
near Bournemouth,

and they're unhurt.

God be praised, my lord!

They lost their bearings
in the fog last night,

over the west Country.

They flew due south
instead of due east

and broke cloud over Swanage.

The plane ran short of petrol,

and Major Bellamy had to land on
the mud flats of Poole Harbour.

the tide was out.

They spent
the night in the plane,

and in the morning,
the Major walked two miles

to a cottage where
there was no telephone.

Someone took him in
a pony trap to Bournemouth,

where he reported
the accident to the police.

Oh, that's a mercy, my lord.


Hudson, tell Edward
to take the car to meet

the 1:17 train at Waterloo.

- My lord.
- Oh, yes, yes, wait a minute.

And they should be here
by quarter to 2:00.

We'll have to put luncheon
back until 2:00.

Let Mrs. Bridges know.

Very good, my lord.

[Door closes]


PRUDENCE: I'm going to
leave you now, Richard.

I shall have a bath
when I get home.

Don't go, Pru, must you?

Oh, yes, yes,
you don't want me now.

You've been wonderful,
Pru, thank you.

Oh, my dear Richard.

You know you can always
count on me at any time.

Anyway, you've got them back,

so I'll just retire
from the scene.

I have my reformed criminals
at 2:00 -- no, 2:30.

I couldn't have lunched.

Just give them my love.

RICHARD: I will.

But you can tell James that
if he insists on flying

that wretched machine,
he's to fly it round

and round the aerodrome
by himself.

I couldn't go through
another night like last night.

I'm far too old.

[Door opens]


HUDSON: Edward has just
left for the station

with the car.

Oh, there will be smiles
and joy upstairs directly!

How dare you
do this to me!

Damn you, both of you!

Quite unforgivable.

Been out of my mind
with worry.

JAMES: I'm sorry, father.

It was my fault.

I should never have
attempted Southwold in fog.

It came down very quickly.

The compass
failed me as well.

I'm -- I'm very sorry.

Oh, Richard.

RICHARD: My darling,
I'm sorry I shouted at you.

I -- you're not hurt,
are you, either of you?

No, we're not hurt,
but you are,

and I need your

I did a childish,
impetuous thing,

trying to show my independence,
I suppose.

I only wanted to spread
my wings a little.

You must blame me, father.

I egged her on to come.

She simply got caught up
in my enthusiasm, that's all.

I'm deeply sorry for
all the fuss and worry

I've caused you
and the servants.

I'm sure they'll
get over it.

JAMES: That goes for me too,

Well, these things happen,
you know.

Gives one a chance to
examine one's feelings.

I suggest we forget all about it
and thank God you're back.

Oh, yes, thank God.

Well, I'll tell Hudson to
telephone the newspapers

and say that you're
both safe and sound.

Now, go upstairs and bath
and change your clothes,

and we'll have
luncheon at 2:00.

Yes, father.

By the way, my plane is
only slightly damaged.

It will fly again.

[Door closes]

Will it?

Promise me you're
not angry any more.

RICHARD: My anger
was born of sheer,

blinding fear,
my darling.

Ever seen a mother
thrash her child for

running into the road?

The important thing is
you're both back.

The two people who matter to me
most in all the world.

Damn you.

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