David Troughton (Tony Archer)
Honestly, some people just have to be the centre of attention, don’t they? Take last week - it was Peggy’s 90th birthday and Pat and Tony were hosting a party for her. On Sunday, Peggy slipped and twisted her ankle and it was bothering her all week, but she resisted suggestions to go to the doctor’s.
Tony had to upstage her - he and Ed were bringing the cows in and Tony has entrusted Johnny with the job of looking after Henry and Johnny took Henry out to see the cows coming in. When Henry saw Tony, he ran towards him - this spooked Otto the bull, who charged. Tony knocked Henry out of the way but Otto hit Tony and trampled him and threw him against a wall.
None of his mother’s stiff upper lip here, as Tony is rushed to hospital by air ambulance. To be fair, Peggy just had a sore ankle, while Tony (as we learn later) has a suspected pneumothorax, broken bones, serious chest damage and damage to his spinal cord. The surgeon wants to run an MRI scan to assess the extent of the damage. Pat wants him to operate as soon as possible, but he explains that it’s not as easy as that as “there’s a possibility that he might become wheelchair dependent.” Astute as ever, Pat asks “You mean he might not be able to walk?” Well, it doesn’t mean that he’s going to start smoking wheelchairs, does it?
As Tony is wheeled into surgery, Pat tells him “Fight like you have for us all all your life - don’t you dare leave me now.” Always nagging, that woman. Going back to Peggy’s party, the drinks were supplied by Matt and Lilian and, when they dropped it off, Pat told Tony that “there was enough to open a small off licence.” Small? Is Lilian cutting down in her old age?
Debbie is the latest casualty of BL’s night of the long knives, as she is told by e-mail that her services are no longer required. Brian and Adam are worried, as they have a serious amount of equipment on their hands - way too much for the reduced acreage that they now farm. Perhaps layoffs will have to be made?
But wait - Adam has a plan; why not buy one of the Brookfield parcels of land? Brian is for it, but Jennifer is initially against it, saying that it seems ghoulish and David and Rooooth might think they were taking advantage. Adam points out that somebody will buy it and wouldn’t it be better if it stayed in the family? Jennifer is convinced and asks if they should buy one or two parcels? “Tell you what,” says Adam, now firmly in Tom Archer mode, “let’s not go in for bits and pieces - let’s buy the whole place.”
Brian goes to see David and Rooooth to tell them of the plan. Rooooth says that it will all come down to price in the end. When Brian has left, Rooooth says: “Waxed jacket, cravat and brogues - Brian doesn’t look like the traditional Fairy Godmother, but maybe that’s what he’s about to become.” David says that Jill would be pleased if Brookfield stayed in the family.
Or maybe not, as Graham Ryder tells David later that there is considerable interest in the sale and he suggests setting up a telephone auction when all serious bidders are free. This could significantly push up the price past the predicted £4.5 million, he says. What to do about Brian? Rooooth says “We gave him the impression that he had first refusal.” David says “No, we said we had no objection” and “If Brian is really interested, let him bid against the rest.” So much for the Fairy Godmother. And so much too for Jill, it would appear.
As we get nearer to Christmas, we learn that Carol Tregorran has obviously lost her mind, as Eddie tells Joe that she has agreed to do a reading at his turkey extravaganza. Joe tells David to bring the family to the Thanksgiving pardoning of the turkey, adding: “Ambridge ain’t never seen the like of our turkey pardon before.” A bemused David agrees, saying: “No; I’m quite sure that’s true.”
Of course, Christmas also means Lynda Snell’s festive offering. Helen talks about it to Peggy, saying that it’s not going too well. Peggy, obviously tetchy with the pain of her ankle, rather tartly remarks that one year people will tell Lynda to get lost. That’s what I’ve been hoping for for years, but she keeps getting away with it. Helen says that the latest rehearsal wasn’t very good and oh yes - they still haven’t found anyone to play Charles. I submit that this is a major flaw, as Charles is the leading character - Blithe Spirit with no Charles would be a bit like Hamlet without the Danish Prince. We aren’t told whether or not Susan has discovered yet that she will be playing a maid.
Perhaps Lynda should concentrate on her opposition to the new road. She and Jim discuss tactics and Jim feels that they should go back to basics and question the need for any road at all. Jim suggests that the Council’s projections of traffic growth are flawed and he will drill down into them. Lynda then turns into a cross between Joan of Arc and Winston Churchill, telling Jim: “We have to fire up the meeting tomorrow. Yes, we’re facing setbacks, but the fight isn’t over yet and you and I will lead the charge into the next, decisive battle Jim.” Jim is impressed, saying: “That was magnificent Lynda.” Anything that possibly stops her doing her Christmas show gets my seal of approval, but I bet it will still go ahead.