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 4, Episode 1 - Away From It All

The Goods leave Jerry and Margo in charge of the house for a weekend in order to unwind. However they are so worried that the Leadbetters will not be able to cope that they can not relax at all.

Further details

Tom enters the kitchen in something of a bad mood. It appears that the allotment crop is rather on the small side and will not leave any surplus. There is an air of dissapointment in the house as the prepare to go to Margot an Jerry's for dinner.

As the 4 sit around the table Margot notices that Tom and Barbara seem down. She communicates with Jerry across the table through a combination of lip-reading and sign language to see if he knows what the problem is. The Goods eventually admit to feeeling a bit burnt out. With this latest problem the work isn't worth the reward at the moment. Jerry suggests going away but Tom admits not having much in the way of money at the moment and is too proud to take a handout. However Jerry does eventualy find a loophole in Tom's moral code. He knows a couple who live in Mayfair that are away for 6 months. The couple told Jerry and Margot that they can use the flat any time that they are in London. This means that the Goods can live in luxury for a long weekend free of charge. It is perfect until Tom admits that unforunately the animals aren't quite smart enough to be able to milk eachother just yet and so the long weekend is off again. Margot immediately offers her own solution; that her and Jerry will take care of the animals.

Three weeks later and the Goods have finally been pursuaded to leave. Jerry expects to be left with a key and a page of instructions but instead is given a small novel of instructions, a colour coded feeding-time chart and a necklace fashioned entirely of keys. Having been told what needs to be done a thousand times, Jerry is at the point of nervous breakdown and forces the Goods into the car. Margot joins him to wave them off dressed in an entirely new set of farming gear which she will only need for 3 days!

As the Goods sit infront of the tv enjoying Kojak, the phone rings. When Tom hears Margot's voice on the other end, his calm relaxed state collapses. It seems the generator has started making a 'weeeeeeeeeeeeclunk' sound. Barbara urges a perfectly sedate Margot not to panic and Tom asks her to tell Jerry to put some oil on the nipple. Margot puts her pride aside as she repeats the n-word to Jerry. Soon after the problem is resolved and the Goods say goodnight. They head to bed only to discover black silk sheets...

The next morning Barbara finds Tom glued to the tv. As the two enjoy breakfast they wonder why Jerry and Margot have not called. They come to the conclusion that an unforseen problem is arising as they speak and Jerry and Margot are oblivious to it. Their fears are exacerbated when no one answers the phone.

Jerry enters the kitchen to find Margot baking. He informs Margot that he doesn't think the goat wants its horns polished. Margot tells Jerry that she wants to show the Goods that not only can they maintain their lifestyle but they can improve it and so the goat will have its horns polished one way or another. Jerry catches her drift and agrees that the Goods over hype the difficulty in what they have chosen to do and thinks that 'a little calm would go a long way'. At that moment screeching tyres are heard as the Goods return home. Tom and Barbara spend a few moments shouting and flailing their limbs until they realise that everything is exactly as they left it, well not exactly. Margot shows them the perfectly clean floor and range as well as Tom's tools which have all been renovated. Finally Margot shows them two sparkling buckets which she found in the cellar covered in fungus. She made sure to recycle all of the waste into the effluence digester to keep to the principles of the house. Margot smiles and is so sure that she hasn't fallen down anywhere but Tom laughs and tells Margo that those were his mushrooms!

Broadcast details

Sunday 10th April 1977
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Richard Briers Tom Good
Felicity Kendal Barbara Good
Penelope Keith Margo Leadbetter
Paul Eddington Jerry Leadbetter
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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