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.

Series 4, Episode 6 - Sweet And Sour Charity

Jerry's bid to take over from Sir takes a slight knock, Margo regrettably declines the lead in the play through principle and Tom and Barbara's land becomes polluted with an oil spill from next door. Bad news all round until Jerry's day picks up at the end!

Further details

The Goods pop next door to find Jerry home early, eating chips from newspaper, drinking instant coffee and surmise that Margot is not home. He is home early as a ploy to win Sir's soon to be vacant job without putting in extra hours to proove that he does not need to. Margot comes home from music society in a foul mood. It seems Margot was outvoted in the decision for the next production... 68-1. The majority go with Sweet Charity which Margot considers to be 'vulgar, debased and thouroughly nasty'. To add insult to injury they want Margot to play Charity but she is reluctant as she thinks its smut. Tom suggests cleaning it up a bit which Margo considers.

The next day Barbara tells Tom that Mrs Weaver has moved out of next door and Tom peeks over the fence and notices that the oil tank is still half full. Later, Tom sits Barbara down and suggests siphoning it off so that they can swap it for straw. Barbara thinks its a bad idea seeing as they dont own it but can not think of any better ideas to get the much needed straw.

Jerry and Margot sit around the table. Margot has been sent costume drawings that are meant to lure her into playing the lead. When she mentions the costume Jerry's mind lingers on the black stockings. Margo attacks this new found 'fetish' and refuses him a kiss goodbye branding him a pervert.

Margo goes next door to discuss this concept and is astonished to find Barbara encouraging her to go and buy stockings. Margot leaves rather flustered as Tom arrives to reveal a development in the oil situation. The tank is now only a quarter full and Tom wants the rest! Barbara agrees to take the oil if they can confirm it has no owner.

They get the number and permission to use Margo's phone while they learn the news that Margo has turned down the lead in the play out of principle. As Tom makes the call, Barbara sneeks a peek at Margot's shopping and notices black stockings in her basket. As Margot hurridly dissapears to make the dinner Tom returns with good news. The Goods plan to go to take the oil immediately. Just then Jerry returns. It seems he dropped points in the race for Sir's job at lunch but Barbara lets him know his day will improve as it goes on!

Just as the Goods finally go to take the oil they find that the tank is empty. As they consider who might have taken it the rotary cultivator gets stuck in the ground. The oil has leaked away! As Barbara checks the extent of the damage by bouncing on the ground, she begins to sink and the scale of the problem becomes apparent!

Broadcast details

Date
Sunday 15th May 1977
Time
8:05pm
Channel
BBC One
Length
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
Ian McKendrick Editor
Paul Munting Production Designer
Burt Rhodes Composer
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