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 tomorrow at 8pm.

Series 2, Episode 5 - Mutiny

Margot's performance of the Sound of Music coincides with the day 'Sir' wants the Leadbetters to entertain an important client.

Further details

For once Jerry sides with Margot, only for his decision to end up costing him his job. This on top of Margot's play being pulled after opening night causes a lot of stress for the Leadbetters. Tom notices his friend's dire situation an immediately calls 'Sir' in order to try and get Jerry his job back. 'Sir' teaches Tom and Barbara about business before revealing he was already willing to take Jerry back. He simply wanted to shake Jerry up. The Goods pop next door to deliver the good news and Jerry immediately calls 'Sir' to show his gratitude.

Tom is playing golf with Jerry and his boss. Jerry mysteriously ends up out in the wild with a difficult shot back to the fairway. As Jerry prepares to take his shot Tom dissapears into the trees to discover a treasure trove of edible delights just waiting to be harvested. Tom finally appears as the other two are on the green with a handful of blackberries. He steps onto the green and makes a series of small puts towards the hole. He finally sinks the ball to make a 17! His mind is clearly on other things. Jerry's boss sinks a small put to make an 8... i mean 6. Finally Jerry lines up his short put to half the hole but somehow manages to put it wide giving him a 7. The two golfers actually involved in the game reach the next tee. When Tom is asked what he will be using for the hole he replies 'a shotgun' and runs into the woods after some rabbits.

Barbara and Margot are in the Leadbetter sitting room talking. Margot is having trouble with the lines in a particular scene as one of the Von Trapp children's runny nose puts her off. Barbara gives her the lead in and everything goes fairly well until Margot tries to recall the lyrics to the favourite things song. When the shark bites Margot becomes slightly hysterial. Barbara reassures her that it is just pre-performance nerves and that it will be alright on the night. This makes Margot feel decidedly better just in time for the arrival of Tom and Jerry back from golf. It appears Jerry shot an 87 and Tom shot 2 rabbits. Jerry lets Margot know that the boss has asked them to play host to an important client for the weekend. Jerry has forgotten however that this weekend coincides with the production of the Sound of Music. Margot is insulted that Jerry forgot her big performance. Jerry is left in a difficult situation as to what to do next. Tom gets upset with Jerry for constantly letting 'Sir' take advantage of him and says it is time to say no. Reluctantly Jerry agrees and plans to deliver the news to 'Sir' the next morning.

Th following afternoon the Goods are using a trolley to transport a fallen tree back home to use as fuel for the stove. As they pull in the drive Jerry pulls his car into his drive. He emerges looking rather down. The Goods ask whether he came clean to 'Sir' and find out that he has been given a months notice!
Jerry is backstage helping Margot before her opening night. She is rife with nerves and is worrying about every tiny detail, most of which are out of her control, such as the flowers being more common to an English garden than an Alpine Meadow. After gainnig a few seconds of compossure she asks Jerry how his job hunting is going and receives a positive response. Just then the Goods venture into the dressing room to wish a broken leg upon Margot. Barbara offers her a card before inspecting the flowers. Her immediate realisation that the flowers are not edelweiss sends Margot off again on a rant about how everything is 'tat tat tat'. After berating a child and offering a short burst of song Margot leaves the room to begin the performance. Tom points out the moment of calm before Margot bursts back in panicking about the after show party, but Jerry reassures her about the whole thing. She leaves again. As Tom and Barbara prepare to take their seats they notice Jerry is once more looking sad. He is not having the luck he implied he was having to Margot in respects to finding a job. They all head out to the sound of the orchaestra warming up.

Later that evening the same three find themselves in the Leadbetter sitting room. Tom sits down smiling but seems slightly speechless as he questions whether what he just witnessed was infact the Sound of Music. No one seems entirely sure as they briefly reminisce about nuns in see-through habits and Maria singing the song Maria from West-Side Story. Margot and her crowd finally arrive or so Jerry thinks but instead only Margot enters the room. Tom frantically tries to be nice until Margot eventually puts him out of his misery by branding herself as 'bloody awful'. This immediately promps the others into a free flow of cataloging the errors in the show. Margot responds by laying all the blame upon herself and lets them know that the production has been pulled and that there will be no second night. Jerry tries to lighten the mood with one of the many bottles of champagne standing unopened on a table, but Margot declines. Continued attempts to cheer Margot up cause her to reveal her belief that she has been very selfish towards Jerry's sacking and that when she thinks about it a person of his age will not be able to walk into another job. One final attempt by the Goods to raise the mood fails prompting Jerry and Margot to head to bed. Tom briefly confirms with Barbara all the bad thngs in their life currently and declares that they are both very lucky. He picks up Jerry's phone and tells Barbara he is going to get Jerry his job back.

Tom, Barbara and 'Sir' (or Andy) are in the Good's sitting room, when Tom announces he has an alterior motive for inviting Andy round. Andy knows however which leaves Tom and Barbara desperately attempting to convince him to take Jerry back. They use an entirely emotional approach as they are his friends until finally Andy tells them how they should be going about convincing him. Eventually Tom and Barbara find out that Andy has been playing games and came to their house already willing to let Jerry back to the company as long as he made a public show of gratitude.

Jerry and Margot are going through their contacts list trying to see if any of Jerry's contacts know of any jobs that Jerry could apply for. Tom and Barbara slip in through the patio doors and let the Leadbetter's know what they have been up to. Jerry thanks them for their attempts assuming defeat but is shocked to discover the truth. Tom and Barbara talk to Margot about how the know Jerry would never grovel for his job back though only to look over and see Jerry already thanking 'Sir' on the phone.

Broadcast details

Friday 9th 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
Reginald Marsh Sir Andrew
Toby Page Boy in Play
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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