The Good Life. Image shows from L to R: Margo Leadbetter (Penelope Keith), Tom Good (Richard Briers), Jerry Leadbetter (Paul Eddington), Barbara Good (Felicity Kendal). Copyright: BBC.

The Good Life

BBC One sitcom about a couple practicing self-sufficiency. 30 episodes (4 series), 1975 - 1978. Stars Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington.

Series 1, Episode 1 - Plough Your Own Furrow

On his 40th birthday Tom Good decides to drop out of the rat-race in order to do something meaningful with his life. He, along with supportive wife Barbara, attempts to become self-sufficient in Surbiton.

Further details

On Tom Good's 40th birthday he awakes with a new zest for life - just not the one he has. He realises that he is not satisfied with his quality of life and that it is time for something new. He attempts to explain the strange feeling building up inside him to his wife Barbara but fails as he himself is not quite sure what it is yet.

We see, for the first and only time, an insight into Tom's working life as a draughtsman. As the day passes Tom begins to question how grown men can be so enthusiastic about designing plastic toys that are found in cereal packets. When told that the company's new 'blockbuster idea' is a giraffe toy, Tom can no longer take his job seriously.

Tom and Barbara try to diagnose and solve the problem of 'it' in their living room. This culminates at three in the morning with Barbara (in a nightgown, coat and wellingtons) pacing the garden in deep thought finally deciding she will support Tom in his crackpot new idea: to become self-sufficient in Surbiton.

The following morning, next-door neighbour and best friend Jerry Leadbetter is informed of the plan before their normal carpool commute. Tom is confident in his idea whilst Jerry thinks he is mad for even suggesting it.

Notes

Margot is not seen in this episode, but her voice is heard.

Broadcast details

Date
Friday 4th April 1975
Time
8:30pm
Channel
BBC One
Length
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Richard Briers Tom Good
Felicity Kendal Barbara Good
Paul Eddington Jerry Leadbetter
Guest cast
Reginald Marsh Sir Andrew
Norman Atkyns Commissionaire
Martin Neil Brian
Penelope Keith Margo Leadbetter (Voice)
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer
Bill Harris Editor
Paul Munting Production Designer
Burt Rhodes Composer
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