Season 1, Episode 1: A New Life19 April 1985
Divorced office worker Henry Willows is content in his uneventful life, one of his few domestic contacts being Enid, who comes in to clean for him. However his ordered existence is shattered when his seventeen year old son Matthew arrives on his door-step, having previously lived with Henry's ex-wife. Matthew claims that he was fed up at his mother's house and was keen to see his father again. A call to the ex-wife uncovers another story. Matthew was thrown out and told to move in with his father. Henry is about to find out why.
Season 1, Episode 2: Bad Apples26 April 1985
Henry attempts to enroll Matthew into his old school.
3 May 1985
Henry is appalled when Matthew brings home Christine, a punk whom he intends to marry. When Enid finds a pregnancy testing kit in Matthew's room Henry is even more horrified. However, when Christine's irate father storms into the house, Henry solves everybody's problems by effecting a family reunion between parent and daughter. Matthew nonetheless has one further surprise for Henry.
Season 1, Episode 4: Suspect10 May 1985
Paul Smith,the well-mannered,industrious boy next door,returns home from college and Henry holds him up to Matthew as the example of the perfect son.To make things worse,there is a report of a local youth shop-lifting and Henry jumps to the obvious conclusion that Matthew is the culprit. However,he is about to learn that appearances can be deceptive.
17 May 1985
There's romance in the air at the Willows' house as Henry lights the candles,opens the wine and prepares for his new date. Matthew is curious to find out the lady's identity but his curiosity turns to panic when it turns out that Barbie,the object of his father's affections,is only two years older than him and,if they click,she will be availing herself of his inheritance.
24 May 1985
After Matthew has helped himself to two pounds from his father's small change jar,Henry declares him unemployable and takes him to the job centre. Matthew does actually get a job - as a waiter in a wine bar. Unfortunately this is the same wine bar where Henry,expecting promotion,is lunching with his boss who knows nothing of Matthew's existence. But he is about to find out as the lad's first and last days in the job coincide.
31 May 1985
It's the anniversary of Henry's wedding to his ex-wife,Sue,and romantic Matthew wants to bring them back together and invites Sue over. However she only wants to collect some belongings and leave so Matthew fixes her car so that she has to stay overnight. Suddenly all the old passion between Sue and Henry is re-kindled. Unfortunately it is extinguished just as quickly after Sue has had a conversation with Enid next day.
5 September 1986
When his grandfather leaves him a thousand pounds Matthew opens a bank account but the money starts to dwindle after he splashes out on expensive clothes and a telescope and he is soon over-drawn. Henry is prepared to gloat until he learns that Matthew gave half the money to charity - though he soon finds out the reason for this generous gesture.
Season 2, Episode 2: Open House12 September 1986
Henry comes home early from a business trip to find Matthew throwing a party ,though he is persuaded to join in and quite enjoys himself. Come the morning after though and he can do without the couple asleep in his bed,their irate parents turning up to accuse him of encouraging immorality and amorous party guest Enid waiting for him in the airing cupboard.
Season 2, Episode 3: Acting Out19 September 1986
Matthew has joined a drama group, playing Othello to the Desdemona of the older, married Lydia Lane. However he is a terrible actor and Henry fears that he will make a show of himself on stage, turning tragedy into farce. He is proved absolutely right, though he spares Matthew's feelings by pretending that he was unable to see the performance.
Season 2, Episode 4: The Test26 September 1986
Henry reluctantly agrees to give Matthew driving lessons even though the boy is a terrible pupil,who hits another car. Amazingly he passes first time but Henry is not keen to lend him his car,accusing him of carelessness. However,an unexpected visitor arrives to show that Henry is not the perfect driver he makes himself out to be to his son.
Season 2, Episode 5: Protest3 October 1986
Henry is cynical when Matthew declares himself to be a vegetarian in support of animal rights. Enid refuses to cook for them so Henry has to dine out. However,when Matthew 'liberates' and brings home some laboratory mice and Enid threatens to quit,Henry sees the chance to use his son's principles to force him into giving up smoking.
10 October 1986
Local elections are looming and Henry is standing as an independent candidate, though he can expect no support from life-long conservative Enid,whom he has to bribe,or first-time voter Matthew,who's put a poster supporting the labour hopeful,Ms. Trevelyan, in the window. Come election night and Henry is super-confident - but pride comes before a fall,or,in this case,a landslide for Ms. Trevelyan.
Season 2, Episode 7: Julie17 October 1986
Matthew is hurt and appalled when his younger sister Julie turns up,intending to stay,and wins her father over to her side on any disagreements between the two siblings. Enid also finds her cheeky and is annoyed that Henry is so lax with her. But when Henry feels Julie has gone too far and starts to spank her,Matthew steps in as an unlikely peace-maker.
24 October 1987
Julie has gone home and Enid,having won the lottery jackpot,has moved to the French Riviera,so Henry places an advertisement for a new cleaner in the local paper where Matthew is on work experience. Behind his father's back Matthew engages glamorous but useless Susie,an ex-circus worker,but Henry engages the older,experienced Fiona.Henry cannot afford both and the appearance of Susie's ex-boyfriend,Roberto the love-sick lion tamer,does not help matters - though it gives Matthew a story for his paper.
31 October 1987
When Henry's handsome and charming younger brother Edward comes to stay at the Willows' house Matthew is much taken by his stories of the grand circles in which he moves. An envious Henry,lying about his job to impress his brother, takes Edward to his boss's office,which he attempts to pass off as being his own. Inevitably his deception is revealed but then Edward hasn't exactly been truthful about himself either.
7 November 1987
Cynical as ever Henry does not share Fiona's and Matthew's belief in the occult and sabotages their seance to commune with the ghost of the cat supposedly haunting the spare room by producing a glove puppet. However he takes up Matthew's challenge to spend a night alone in a disused and allegedly haunted railway station. Tipped off by Fiona he expects to see Matthew dressed up as a ghost but who is the mysterious woman at the end of the platform who vanishes into thin air?
14 November 1987
Matthew falls for Lucy,who is from a wealthy background,and,whilst he is ashamed of his middle class surroundings, Lucy gets on very well with Henry. However,when Lucy finishes with him because she has fallen for a much older man,a heart-broken Matthew takes his father's advice to play it cool and act the tough guy,only to find that the new found object of her affection is Henry himself.
21 November 1987
After a spate of burglaries in the area Henry and Gordon from next door join the local Neighbourhood Watch. Returning from the evening's patrol Henry finds that Matthew has invited Millwall,a hulking great youth who looks like an ex-convict,to stay the night and he starts to worry that his collection of prize trophies will be stolen. Sure enough next morning all the cups have gone along with Millwall but Henry really should have spoken to Fiona before calling the police.
Season 3, Episode 6: Getting On28 November 1987
Henry starts to feel his age after a visit to the doctor whilst Matthew invites Shady Grey,a seemingly lonely pensioner from the nearby flats for the elderly,to come and stay. Once Shady has got his feet under the table however, Henry is annoyed by his lack of hygiene,boorish manner,lustful pursuit of Fiona and,most of all,the fact that he is far healthier than Henry.He has to go.
5 December 1987
Matthew is about to sit his 'A' Level exams but Henry is concerned about his lack of commitment to revision,particularly after the teacher tells him his son has been lying about his home situation to make excuses. Come the day of the exams Matthew is prepared to cheat but when his plans are thwarted by a zealous examiner there is nothing for it but to make his father proud of him by honest means.
27 December 1987
Christmas is coming and Henry has booked himself and his new girl-friend Cynthia into a select hotel to spend the festive season on their own. Unfortunately Matthew,disappointed by his father's plans, decides that it would be a lovely surprise for Henry if he and his siblings turned up at the hotel to wish their father a merry Christmas. Henry is not impressed.
1 December 1989
Henry meets up with old flame Judy, thrice married and on a visit home from America. They have not seen each other for thirty years, when, due to a misunderstanding, they failed to meet each other for a date and each thought the other had stood them up. Now Judy is inviting Henry to go to New York although Matthew is not included. He attempts to split them up but has no need to as history repeats itself.
8 December 1989
Following a colleague's retirement on health grounds,Henry learns he is the front runner for promotion. Matthew has got a summer job as the firm's mail-boy and,whilst Henry is not keen to reveal his relationship with the clumsy new employee,Matthew's position allows him to keep Henry posted on the tactics of his rivals. It also makes Henry a nervous job interviewee when he learns that the outcome has already been decided and the interview a formality.
15 December 1989
Julie brings boyfriend Robin to stay and protective Henry is immediately hostile - claiming that he never stops eating and cheats at Trivial Pursuit. Furthermore he plans to take Julie on a camping holiday to France with just a small ridge tent for the two of them. Henry,proud of being schooled in the University of Life,sits down to talk graduate Robin out of the holiday - unaware that Robin has a degree in psychology and knows how to use it.
22 December 1989
When Henry announces that he is taking a lodger, a young man of Matthew's age group,his son is delighted. However,his delight turns to irritation when the lodger turns out to be Trevor,the local curate. Not only is there no swearing and grace at meal times but Henry even considers their going to church again. Something has to be done.
5 January 1990
Father and son are about to go on holiday but,to Matthew's dismay,Henry turns away all thoughts of going abroad in favour of returning to Clagthorpe,where he last visited some twenty years earlier,staying with the charming Mrs. Blackett and which holds many happy memories for him. However,twenty years on and things have changed - including Mrs. Blackett - and there is no sun,no edible food and no entertainment.
Season 4, Episode 6: High Noon12 January 1990
When Matthew dates Cherry Gibson he gets himself into a deal of trouble,for she is the girl-friend of local boxing champion Billy Bateman,who challenges Matthew to a fight. To get out of it he pretends that he has fallen victim to a mysterious virus and is seriously ill. However,when Henry discovers what is happening he surprises Matthew by declaring that he is up for it.
Season 4, Episode 7: Leaving19 January 1990
It's a big day at the Willows' house as Matthew prepares to leave for college. Henry is over the moon but not quite in the way that Matthew had hoped,for not only is his son advancing himself in the world but now he can reclaim his single life again. Never again will he have to share his home with one of his children. Or will he?
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