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 6th December at 8pm.

Series 4, Episode 2 - The Green Door

An excursion to the pony club for manure causes the Goods to uncover a secret that Margo is keeping from Jerry. When they spot Margo being mysterious in town the plot thickens. Tom and Barbara struggle with what to do and fear for the Leadbetter marriage!

Further details

Tom and Barbara are in their front garden pacing the square yardage. The calculate that they need 140 pounds of manure for it as they feel they need to give something back to the earth. As they contemplate where they would find such quantities of manure, Margot pulls into her drive and emerges from her car wearing jodhpurs having just come home from the pony club.

The three move to Margot's kitchen where negotiations do not go well. Tom tells Margot that there will be mountains of the stuff and that they will be pleased to get rid of it however Margot remains utterly opposed to the plan as she imagines them arriving on the rotary cultivator scaring the horses and offending the members and adds that if they step foot up there she will never speak to them again. The Goods take her message on board but go anyway!

At the stables the Goods meet Mrs Holman and they all share a joke about the size of Mrs Dooms-Paterson's saddle and only imagine the horse that can carry her weight. They admit, to her, their surprise about how laid back she seems given the way Margot speaks about the club. They get onto the subject of manure to which Mrs Holman is more than happy to help. Tom asks if the arrangement can be kept a secret from Margot and is confused to why Mrs Holman thinks this will be easy given that Margot rides twice a week. It is only when Mrs Holman tells Tom that Margot has not been riding in two months that Tom understands and becomes suspicious.

That evening Jerry pops over to the Goods. He needs to borrow a ruler for some work. He admits that bringing work home is a tad anti-social but knows Margot wont mind as she has plenty of interests of her own. He informs them that she came home exhausted today after riding. The Goods share a worried glance and pull chairs alongside Jerry's. As the questions about how he is, how Margot is, how they both are begin, Jerry starts to feel uneasy and leaves.

Sometime later the Goods are taking Geraldine for a walk when they see Margot stealthily slip through a green door on the high street while drssed in full riding gear. On closer insection they notice the door is totally unmarked. The plot thickens.

Tom and Barbara pace the kitchen comsidering the possibilities but conclude that an affair seems to be the most likely reason for Margot's behaviour. As they think about poor Jerry he appears at the door and tells them he has been considering their remarks the other night. He has decided to try and share in some of Margot's interests. He plans to join the pony club. Tom and Barbara panic and try to put him off the idea but he resists and heads off to book some lessons so that he can surprise Margo.

The Goods hurry next door to confront Margot. She appears calm as she prepares 200 gingerbread men. They alert her to the fact that they know she no longer rides at the pony club and that her cover is about to be blown by Jerry. Margot seems nothing more than vaguely annoyed by this which surprises Tom. They try to get some more information and offer their help but Margot tells them it is between her and Jerry and the Goods depart.

Barbara drags peeping Tom into the kitchen who has been spying on the Leadbetter's since Jerry's return. Neither can understand how quiet it is and they consider what is happening. Jerry and Margo suddenly appear at the door and invite the Goods out for a drink. The Goods flap a bit before accepting. As Jerry goes to get the car, they interogate Margo who tells them Jerry bought her a present instead of joining the pony club. Barbara and Tom follow Margot to the car none the wiser about her activities.

The next day Margot exits the green door and thanks the woman accompanying her for the help she has given her in losing weight.

Broadcast details

Sunday 17th April 1977
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Richard Briers Tom Good
Felicity Kendal Barbara Good
Penelope Keith Margo Leadbetter
Paul Eddington Jerry Leadbetter
Guest cast
Jane Hilary Mrs. Holman
Toria Fuller Miss Harmsworth
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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