Carole Boyd (Lynda Snell)
Kate goes round to see Lynda to break the news that Mother Goose is proving impossible to cast and wants to organize a talent show instead. She blames Alice to whom she ‘delegated’ responsibility for casting, and Lynda for going away for 3 weeks and not leaving a script, before landing the coup de grace – the only person they could find to play Mother Goose is Nathan Booth. Lynda’s at the point of giving up, when Robert squanders yet another opportunity to kill off the Christmas show by making her a calming cup of chamomile tea and reminding her that she’s at her best when faced with adversity. The man has form in this area and it’s about time something was done about him.
So Lynda goes into recruitment overdrive, and in no time has signed up Susan for the Queen of Gooseland in the Christmas show. Emma’s wavering about Keira and George too, even though Eddie previously banned them from taking part. It look’s like she’s hooked Roy to play Mother Goose’s son Colin and Kirsty seems to be a shoe-in for love-interest Colinette, but isn’t so sure when she finds out that Lynda has earmarked Justin to play her father, the Demon Squire. When Kirsty complains that Justin’s just as bad as Rob (I wouldn’t go quite that far) Lynda suggests she use her feelings against him to inform her role.
Over at the tearoom Rob’s trying to get Tony to agree to make changes to his regular contact with baby Jack/Gideon, as his work will make it difficult to maintain the regular schedule. Tony’s sticking to his guns and tells Rob that he’ll have to rearrange his work commitments instead. As he leaves, Rob tells Tony that he’ll see him next week, but at 08:30 – before the tearoom opens. “Not my problem” is Rob’s response when Tony points this out, and counters that the court may view him as being obstructive. This last remark seems to have had the desired effect, as later on Tony tells Pat and Peggy that either Fallon or Emma will open the tearoom especially early.
Eddie’s agonizing over how he’ll mark his and Clarrie’s 35th wedding anniversary, what with having no money and with Kenton recently taking Jolene away to a ‘swanky spa hotel’ for theirs. Joe hatches a plan to raise money by making a new batch of their single variety cider, putting it in fancy bottles, and selling it. When Eddie points out the crop of Borsetshire Beauties has been less than bountiful, Joe reminds him there are some trees over at Brookfield. It also turns out that Lynda’s got some in her garden, and Usha helpfully points out that Lynda’s working and won’t be there, thereby getting round the fact that Eddie and Lynda aren’t on speaking terms. Lynda’s trees turn out to be more productive (llama poo?) and they help themselves to as much as they want before Lynda unexpectedly appears. And what is the penalty for being caught red handed up a tree scrumping apples I hear you ask? Well, taking part in the Christmas show of course as a comedy bailiff (Eddie must have seen enough bailiffs in his time to play that one to perfection).
Meanwhile Alistair is keen to show Anisha, the prospective new partner in his veterinary practice, the full range of his activities (I bet he is), and suggests he takes her to see Bartleby. Anisha gives Bartleby the once-over, and suggests they try a new treatment for his joint pain that’s had promising results. Joe’s worried about the cost, but Anisha suggests a special introductory offer, and Joe likes the idea of being a pioneer so agrees.
Alistair’s wife Shula is having a heart-to-heart with Elizabeth and explains how Alistair’s decision to either sell up or go into partnership has given their relationship a new lease of life. She slips in the fact that her feelings for old-flame Richard Locke were just a fantasy. Elizabeth’s surprised that she felt that way, especially as she’s been no stranger to the doctor’s affections.
Lynda hunts down Adam in a field and interrupts his business conversation with Pip to invite him to play Mother Goose in lieu of Kenton, and unsurprisingly finds the idea of being a Kenton substitute less than attractive. Lynda also gets Pip to try and persuade Toby to take part wearing his ‘Ganderman’ goose costume. Pip cleverly gets Adam off the hook by suggesting Lynda try David instead, who she knows hasn’t the faintest intention of taking part, but this little distraction serves its purpose. Back to Estate business, and we learn that 50 farm professionals are due on a farm walk tomorrow to see how Adam’s trial of no-till drilling is coming along. On the day itself Adam confidently gets things started by giving some background about the floods and the need to adopt a new approach to soil management, before taking everyone up to see the herbal leys. Pip does well, and demonstrates how much the cows like the pasture, while Adam shows off the previously grazed areas.
Toby, who by now has agreed to be Ganderman in the panto, is telling select people about a secretive get-together at the Bull that evening, including Kenton, Elizabeth and Ambridges resident ginophile, Lilian. The meeting turns out to be a tasting of his Borsetshire gin, which goes down well until Elizabeth asks Toby whether he distilled it himself. The answer sends Kenton into a panic as he could lose his licence for allowing ‘moonshine’ to be consumed on the premises. Cue Lynda who is still on the prowl looking for her Mother Goose. While she’s doing her best to persuade Kenton to play the lead, Lilian – who has been necking the stuff, knocks over the bottle and all is about to be revealed when, in an act of desperation, Kenton agrees to be Lynda’s Mother Goose.
So the panto is cast, my Christmas is ruined, and Robert Snell is in deep, deep trouble – again.