British Comedy Guide

The Good Life. Image shows from L to R: Tom Good (Richard Briers), 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 2, Episode 7 - Going To Pot?

Tom makes use of an unwanted Birthday present that Margot receives. For a brief moment the Goods are quids in due to Tom's hidden talents!

Further details

We open in what appears to be the Good's attic. Barbara climbs up from below to offer Tom some tea as he drops in from above. He has been out on the roof making repairs but it apears the roof is in a sorry state. The chimney is about to go and most of the slates are a bit 'dodgy'. Tom admits that this job is a little bit out of his skill range. Barbara suggests trying to learn some of the skills he needs at night school. Tom is completely in favour of this and so Barbara agrees to make the arrangements. Tom ventures back onto the roof promising he will be careful and boasting a great sense of balance. Seconds of silence pass until a screech is heard from the roof just beore Tom's leg flies through the wall.
Sometime later we rejoin the Goods in the kitchen reading through the syllabus for night-school. They agree to go to 'house maintenance' together on a Tuesday and then on Thursday Tom will do weaving whilst Barbara does pottery.
Jerry enters and insists the Goods accompany him to the pub as Margot who no longer has any Thursday evening commitments is driving him mad! Margot enters to catch the tail end of this comment. They let the Leadbetters know about their evening class plans and ask them both to join them instead. Margot agrees to join pottery with Barbara but Jerry refuses claiming he likes his alone time on a Thursday too much. With everything agreed they all dissapear to the pub.
Some time later, the Goods have been summoned over by Margot so that they can view her surprise. The garden shed has been transformed into a 'studio' for Margot to practise her pottery. The Goods are wowed at this investment specially as neither Barbara or Margot have attended a class yet. Margot reveals a slight secondary motive for the snap decision as it seems Mrs Weaver is an artist too and Margot would like to take her down a peg or two. The Goods ask for a quick demo of Margot's new equiptment, she duly abliges. She swiftly becomes the teacher and instructs the pair exactly how to get everything set up. The pressure gets to her however and she is left red faced with Tom in hysterics about her attempt. Tom seduces Margot into forgiving him and they all agree to reconvene later so that they can make the journey to evening class together.
Later that night Jerry is relaxing at home with a cigar, trashy novel, an indian and some of his favourite music. He hears the door and Margot walks in. She wastes little time in binning the book, stubbing out the cigar, turning off the music and removing the food. The two briefly sit in silence before Margot lets Jerry know that she has left the group and wont be returning. Her reason? It seems the teacher was something of a hippy and this did not sit well with Margot. Jerry doesn't consider this a good enough reason and suddenly remembers the £200 worth of equipment in Margot's studio. Margot shows no consideration for what is to become of it and Jerry calls it a monument to one of her tantrums. Margot is less than happy with this remark and storms out. Jerry puts his music back on in defiance.
We move to the Goods kitchen and Barabara's voice is heard asking Tom to check on the goat. Seconds after, Barbara burts into the kitchen with a package down her front and tries to hide it in a few drawers before finally deciding on a cupboard. Tom enters whilst Barbara puts some coffee on. Tom however knows that something is afoot. He quickly seeks out the bag and looks inside to Barbara's horror. Tom brings out 2 small saucers and the cups to sit on them. The items look... 'interesting'. Barbara is embarrased by her efforts and says that she doesn't think she is made for pottery. Tom seems to be having similar luck with weaving. He actually got his arm caught in the lomb and had to be cut free earlier that evening. The pair decide to swap skills as they may take to eachothers better that thier own. Tom asks that they have the coffee in the new cups Barbara has made. They raise their cups to drink and Tom's begins to leak.
Margot is opening Birthday presents in her sitting room. Jerry sneaks in hands behind his back and asks Margot to close her eyes. He puts his concealed present in her hands and she opens it. It is a bracelet which Jerry puts on her wrist. Just then the Goods enter through the patio doors singing Happy Birthday. They present her with a pair of hand made clay chalices. They congratulate Barbara on her effort before they learn about the swap. Barbara tries to convince Margot to come to weaving but it seems Margot has permanently been put off. The door bell rings and Margot briefly dissapears before returning with Mrs Weaver who has painted Margot a beautiful view of the Thames as a present. She sits down and notices Tom and Barbara's present and seems very intrigued. Margot thinks this intrigue is of negative origin and so immediately denies purchasing them and informs her that they are a gift from the Goods. Mrs Weaver however is very impressed with them. She asks Tom is he would be prepared to do a commision of half a dozen in exchange for some much needed money. The Goods have a brief discussion and decide that if Tom was to do the commision the money could go toward materials to fix the roof. However there is one problem as Tom's normal kiln is rarely available. Margot immediately offers her own kiln and the deal is back on. Mrs Weaver seems surprised by this news as clearly Margot never told her about her pottery. She questions Margot who relpies that she dabbles.
Tom is in the studio trying to keep up with the sudden demand of his wares. Barbara enters with Geraldine and asks if she can help. Geraldine gets tied up in the garden and the two start to box up some orders. Tom suggests getting a professional in to fix the roof, this sudden influx of money means that they can. Barbara agress. Suddenly Margot's screams are heard as the goat has broken free into her garden.
Back in the Goods kitchen, Tom and Barbara are labelling and packaging the boxes for delivery. The Leadbetters enter with great news. They have just dined with the owner of a gallery who would be interested in selling Tom's pottery. The Goods are very excited at the prospect of selling Tom's work at Chelsea prices and immediately start listing what they would need to get the business going. Margot smiles and congratulates them on becoming normal human beings again. The Goods freeze and step back from the table. They briefly apologise to eachother and let Margot know that they dont want to be normal human beings again. They laugh about nearly being seduced back into the rat-race and realise that they actually got a professional in to fix their roof! Margot begs Jerry to intervene but he admits defeat. He says their goodbyes and they leave the Goods to their 'peasant' ways. The Goods sit back down and Barbara asks Tom to say something reassuring. He lists all the immediate problems that they have. Barbara smiles and tells Tom that the children will be proud. Tom begins to panic but Barbara tells him not to worry, she is referring to the cat who is going to have kittens. Tom is calm before realising the cat is a Tom. Barbara however lets him know that Toms can do anything and heads upstairs.

Broadcast details

Friday 23rd January 1976
30 minutes


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