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.

When I'm 65 is repeated on Gold on Sunday at 8pm.

Series 2, Episode 4 - The Day Peace Broke Out

Tom takes the law into his own hands when leeks start disappearing from his garden.

Further details

A well aimed shot with his air rifle catches the burglar on the backside as he runs away from the scene of the crime. Tom ends up in court as a result of this and spends 3 days in prison. After being released the thief comes to apologise and the two settle their differences. Tom implores the thief to take some leeks as a sign of goodwill just as Barbara returns from walking the goat. The thief is spotted in with the leeks and Barbara sends the goat down the street chasing the burglar as Tom look on in horror.

For the fourth consecutive episode we open in the Goods kitchen. Barbara is making the final adjustments to lunch before calling to Tom in the garden to inform him that it is ready. Tom acknowledges her and then lets out a cry of pain. Tom eases his way into the kitchen holding his lower back. Barbara fears that he has put his back out again, but Tom lets her know he has only been butted by the goat. Barbara laughs at the thought of sweet little Geraldine doing such a thing as she herself has never had any trouble from her. Tom considers whether Goat puberty is a possibility, when Barbara begins to ladle out some soup. Tom credits his new muscles on the leek soup that they have been having and so is happy to have some more. Barbara however informs Tom that this is potato soup. This misunderstanding is based on Tom noticing some leeks being picked in the front garden but Barbara tells Tom it wasn't her. Tom also denies the charge which means either they got up and walked off by themselves or there is a thief in Surbiton! They both consider their options and realise that sadly their case would not be considered serious enough to warrant police intervention. They go on with their lunch.

The Goods are being entertained next door by Jerry who is informing them of the increasingly bad traffic situation for the daily commute. Tom is quiet however and is staring distantly. Jerry asks him a question which brings Tom back to the real world. Tom apologises and informs Jerry of the situation which unfortunately has escalated to theft on three separate occasions. Jerry is surprisingly unsympathetic as Margot emerges from the kitchen. She briefly describes the evening's menu and reveals the starter will be leek soup. This obviously causes Tom and Barbara's ears to prick up and they share a glance which is noticed by Margot. She questions the glance to which Tom replies that leeks are missing from his garden. Margot goes to the kitchen at pace and returns with the Harrods receipt where she bought her leeks. Tom assures Margot that he was not accusing her of the theft but is just rather fed up with the situation. Surprisingly Margot agrees with Tom about the situation and thinks the culprits should be brought to justice. Jerry thinks that they are taking it too seriously which backfires when The Goods turn the tables on him and accuse him for not taking certain things seriously, such as Margot's role in the Sound of Music. This causes Jerry to get into a spot of bother with Margot.

That evening Tom is meant to be on guard duty but has fallen asleep on the job. He was stationed behind the front door with it slightly open. Barbara comes down to ask him to come to bed and accidentally scares him half to death. As he turns to go to bed with her, he hears footsteps approaching and sees a suspicious looking man standing in front of the garden. The man surveys the area and then goes to work grabbing leeks. Tom steps out and declares that he is making a citizen's arrest. The man makes a run for it prompting Tom to fire what seems to be a BB gun. The man jumps up as the bullet catches him on his behind but keeps running.

The next day Tom and Barbara are in the kitchen. Tom is mending a teapot while Barbara pops out to tend to the animals. She returns moment later to discover Tom doing a James Bond impression. They discuss Tom's gun slinging ability and how he would have fared in 'dodge city'. The doorbell rings and Tom goes to answer it leaving Barbara alone with the gun. She looks at it for a while and just as she picks it up Tom returns holding a letter. He shows it to her. It states that Tom is being charged with common assault after shooting the thief.

Tom finds himself in court standing alongside the thief. The thief admits his crime and receives a fine of

Broadcast details

Friday 2nd January 1976
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Richard Briers Tom Good
Felicity Kendal Barbara Good
Penelope Keith Margo Leadbetter
Paul Eddington Jerry Leadbetter
Guest cast
James Cossins Magistrate
Brian Grellis Harry Bennett
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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