Season 1, Episode 0: Pilot30 March 1997
Having ended yet another relationship ladies' man Adam Williams goes to the pub with best friend Pete Gifford. Pete brings him home to the annoyance of his wife Jenny,who is especially fertile and anxious to make a baby. Next day in a supermarket car park Adam's car collides with that of Rachel,whose boyfriend Simon has just announced that he is leaving her to work in Hong Kong. There is attraction between Adam and Rachel,whose friends Karen and David urge her to go on a date. After seeing a particularly bad play Rachel and Adam sleep together but,though things seem to be going well,they argue and Simon returns to tell Rachel he is not going to Hong Kong after all. Determined not to let Rachel go Adam makes a grand - and very bare - gesture involving a rose,which wins her back. Jenny discovers that she is pregnant whilst Karen persuades David to get a nanny for their son.
15 November 1998
Jenny's time to give birth is almost at hand but she is exasperated by Pete's over-enthusiastic reaction,trying to make himself an expert on childcare and buying a mobile phone as a 'child birth hotline'. Rachel and Adam contemplate moving in with each other but cannot decide who should sell their flat whilst Karen engages Hispanic nanny Ramona to look after her son Josh. David is unimpressed by Ramona's lack of English. Adam and Rachel put their differences aside when Jenny's water breaks whilst Pete is playing golf with David and the mobile phone cannot be found. In the event Adam delivers the baby for Jenny,who names him Adam in gratitude.
22 November 1998
Adam has moved in with Rachel but is staggered to learn that she is married and omitted to tell him. He goes to stay with Jenny and Pete but only gets in the way as the new baby is giving them sleepless nights. Adam meets Kris,Rachel's husband,whom she has invited to Manchester to arrange their divorce but Adam is angered when Rachel and Kris seem to be getting close and gives him five hundred pounds to go away,which Kris accepts. Afterwards Adam discovers that Rachel did the same. David invests a deal of money in a South African golf course and annoys Karen when the project flops and the money is lost.
29 November 1998
Whilst playing squash David confides in Adam that his sex life is zero and asks for advice Adam then asks Pete,claiming that he is enquiring on a friend's behalf but Pete assumes it is for Adam himself and Rachel is informed. This prompts Rachel to tell Adam that her fantasy is to have sex in a shop window and so they gain access to a charity shop after it has closed but are caught in the act when ram-raiders crash into the premises and the police are called. Karen refuses to accept David's view that a new baby would spice up their relationship so he visits a prostitute whilst Jenny and Pete resume their sex life with a fantasy role play of a Victorian squire and serving wench. However Pete cannot stop thinking about the bar-maid in the pub,whose image intrudes.
6 December 1998
Returning to work at the publishing house Karen is asked to edit the new novel by prize-winning author Alex Welch. She is initially uncertain until he arrives at the house and immediately charms her. When Alex invites her to a book signing in Liverpool with an over-night stay she entertains thoughts of their spending the night together. When David realises this he plans to have sex with Ramona to get back at his wife. Meeting Alex inspires Adam to show Rachel the manuscript of a book he once wrote but when she laughs at it he decides to write another one. Pete and Jenny are irritated by a visit from his parents. His father treats him like a child and his mother is so obsessed with tidiness it drives Jenny to drastic action.
13 December 1998
In the light of their recent temptations Karen and David,the latter reluctantly,go to see a counsellor who suggests they get their groove back by pretending that they are on a first date - a device which seems to work. Adam and Rachel are less fortunate as she is irritated by his obsessive watching of television and interest in neighbour Emma. After Rachel has called him a sad old man he goes out on the town with Pete and tries to buy E in a club. Pete and Jenny find that they have no social life due to their baby but when Rachel baby-sits and allows them a night out they find they have no conversation beyond the baby. Karen decides the girls need taking out of themselves and takes them to a friend's divorce party.
20 December 1998
David and Karen invite the other couples to a charity dinner,where David spends the evening net-working. Jenny,feeling out of place,gets drunk and after a row with David's arrogant boss Natalie,sets off a fire extinguisher,ruining Natalie's expensive dress. The resultant tension at David's work place causes him to force an apology from Jenny,straining his friendship with her and Pete. Rachel learns that she is pregnant. Adam is over-joyed but Rachel tells him that the father may be Kris,with whom she had sex on his recent visit. Adam claims not to care who the father is as he loves Rachel but she decides to go to London to give birth.
26 September 1999
Six months have passed. After Josh has a near miss with a car,David,who has lost his job,decides to stay at home and be a house-husband. Pete and Jenny organize a blind date for Adam with a woman called Amy who,despite her demure appearance,is up for sex with him and becomes slightly obsessed. Rachel returns from London and stays with Karen but asks her not to tell Adam. However Pete sees Rachel pushing a pram - containing a friend's baby - and tells Adam,who assumes the child is his. As a result Karen sets up a date for Rachel to have dinner at Adam's flat. Having got rid of Amy Adam welcomes Rachel and proudly shows her that he has turned the spare room into a nursery. He is therefore shocked when Rachel tells him that she had an abortion whilst in London.
3 October 1999
Suspicious that Jenny has found somebody else Pete asks Adam to help set a trap but when Jenny confesses she has fallen for Adam himself Adam tries to silence her by pressing his mouth to hers. She construes it as a kiss and writes about it in her diary,which Pete reads. As a result he hits Adam though they are reconciled. David loves being a house husband and considers getting rid of Ramona but Karen is only too glad when Natalie makes him an offer he cannot refuse. Adam is trying to get rid of the clinging Amy and acquires a lodger,Rachel II,but when they return to the flat for sex,they find Amy in Adam's bed wearing a nightie. Unfortunately Rachel I shows up to apologize to Adam and discovers three scantily clad people.
10 October 1999
After Adam dumps Amy Pete consoles her and,on an outward bound training weekend for their work,supposedly to be spent under canvas,they contrive to book into a hotel room. Rachel II finds a new boyfriend in a body-building barman and their noisy love-making keeps Adam awake whilst David and Karen plan separate surprise parties to celebrate their wedding anniversary but the lack of communication means they end up in different cities. Rachel starts work at an advertising agency and starts dating the much younger Danny,who originally took her out for a bet but has genuine feelings for her. Encouraged by Jenny Adam places a Lonely Hearts ad but when he turns up at the venue to meet his date encounters Rachel and Danny.
17 October 1999
Pete tells Adam that he had sex with Amy during the outward bound weekend but swears him to secrecy. Karen decides to rebel against her middle-class life style,giving her clothes to a charity shop,rolling a joint and persuading Rachel that they should both get a tattoo. Rachel breaks up with Danny as neither can relate to the others' friends and Rachel agrees to be Adam's date at his school reunion. However her tattoo turns septic so Karen accompanies him instead. Unwisely he tells her about Pete and Amy,and she tells Jenny.
24 October 1999
Having caught Pete leaving Amy's Jenny throws him out and orders him to take his things. Adam is shocked to discover that he has testicular cancer but when he tells Jenny and Pete it makes them see how well off they are and they decide to give their marriage another try. Adam has a successful operation for his cancer,after which he gets back with a sympathetic Rachel,whilst David's handsome younger brother Nick comes to stay at the Marsdens' house.
31 October 1999
To see in the new millennium David invites the other couples to join his family and Ramona at a castle on Lindisfarne island,where his obsessive organization annoys the whole party. Pete and Adam decide to row to the mainland to buy pizza but the boat gets stuck so they fire off rockets as flares but only manage to set the boat on fire. When they jump overboard they discover that the water is only knee deep. Ramona takes the batteries from Pete's millennium clock for her Walkman but Pete blames David and they row,after which they make up and David announces that Karen is pregnant again. Then they all go down to the beach to see in the new century.
12 November 2000
Nine months have passed and Jenny and Pete have separated finally,Pete living with Rachel and Adam. However he is so dirty and untidy they ask him to leave and he returns to Jenny as a platonic lodger. Karen has twin girls Ellie and Olivia and already her son Josh is jealous. Her mother Heather arrives from Spain to help out but her love of the bottle makes her more of a hindrance and,at a business dinner party given by David,she flirts outrageously with his client Felix. Jenny is also invited and hits it off with Internet millionaire Robert.On their wedding anniversary Pete hopes to reconcile with Jenny but is dismayed to see that Robert has sent her flowers. Meanwhile Rachel tells Adam she thinks she may be pregnant.
12 November 2000
Pete feels left out as Robert takes Jenny to New York with him and they start dating.He turns to Ramona for consolation and also moves out of Jenny's house . Matthew,his new landlord,is unusually attentive and Pete is shocked when he finds out the reason,namely that Matthew is gay. Rachel's pregnancy turns out to be a false alarm and a visit to a gynecologist reveals that she may never be able to give birth because of her abortion. Karen persuades David that they should join a local campaign to stop the children's playground from closing down. He is not keen until he meets fellow activist Jessica,with whom he becomes rather smitten.
19 November 2000
Anxious to start a family Rachel and Adam explore the idea of IVF treatment. Pete finds himself minding his son Adam whilst Jenny goes out with Robert. Whilst taking him to the park he meets Ramona with the twins and - eventually - asks her out for a date. He is put out to learn that David is having a fortieth birthday party to which he had not been invited but he turns up and has a row with Robert. Jenny then has words with Ramona. David gets very drunk and ends up in the garden,kissing Jessica. Next day he wakes up with a hang-over and finds that everybody has clubbed together to buy him a motor-bike.
26 November 2000
Pete agrees to play for Matthew's gay football team but is thrown out as ineligible when Ramona comes to support him and he kisses her. He stays the night with her but has an embarrassing encounter next day with David - who is fantasizing about Jessica. Karen goes to meet an old college friend Miles Brodie,now a successful photographer. Rachel learns that her inability to conceive is due to her suffering from partial Asherman's Syndrome and she suggests splitting from Adam as she can never give him children. Adam however proposes but Ramona dumps Pete as he is obviously not over Jenny and keeps talking about her.
3 December 2000
Though they wonder if they are doing it for the wrong reasons Rachel and Adam's friends congratulate them on their engagement but,sensing the others' unease,the couple decide to put things on hold. David meets up with Jessica to have sex in a hotel room for an afternoon whilst Karen,having accepted that she and Miles Brodie no longer have anything in common,is put out when he asks Jenny to organize his exhibition. Pete starts to communicate with a woman he meets on a chat-line,only to find he has been hoaxed by two 12 year old girls,though it does lead to a date with their teacher,Emma. Karen buys one of Brodie's works as an engagement present,prompting Rachel to propose to Adam,who accepts.
10 December 2000
Pete and David take Adam back to the town where he grew up in Northern Ireland for his stag party. Pete catches David phoning up Jessica and persuades her that it is unfair on Karen and gets him to break up the affair on returning to Manchester. Adam meets Jane,his childhood sweetheart with whom he gets rather drunk. Next day he wakes up in her bed although she assure s him that nothing went on between them. Rachel is having a spa weekend with Jenny and Karen,where Jenny lets slip that she once kissed Adam. Rachel is annoyed but the women patch things up before flying to Belfast to meet their partners,Pete and Jenny realizing that they miss each other. Rachel tells Adam she knows about his kissing Jenny but he keeps quiet about Jane.
17 December 2000
David decides to break up with Jessica and takes her to a restaurant,where things go badly and she storms out. They are seen by Robert,also with another woman,and he suggests to David they keep each other's secrets. Karen is almost arrested for assault after punching a would-be car thief and David takes her out but she is suspicious of his attentiveness whilst Pete tells Jenny that he is getting on so well now he is back with Emma that he wants a divorce. Adam is shocked by the exorbitant cost of a wedding at a country house that Jenny has planned and Rachel so hates the ugly engagement ring chosen by Adam - with help from David and Pete - she conveniently loses it. All in all the couple decide they want a quiet affair and get married at a registry office.
26 December 2000
Pete tries to get the others to record a congratulatory video for the happy couple but their cynicism intrudes. On the morning of the wedding Pete has cold feet about the divorce and so he and Jenny decide that they will give their marriage yet another chance. As Robert moves out to live with Sarah,the woman he took to the restaurant,he tells Jenny that he saw David with Jessica and Jenny tells Rachel but they are nervous about letting Karen know. The wedding goes ahead - no thanks to Pete,who forgets to order the car for Adam and whose reference to Kris in his best man's speech shocks Rachel's parents,who knew nothing about him. At the reception at the Marsdens David realizes that everybody knows about him and Jessica except Karen,so he breaks it to her,offering to leave. However she asks him to stay for their children's sake. Some time later everybody is watching the video Pete made of the wedding.
18 November 2001
Adam gets jealous when Rachel becomes a leading light in the local amateur dramatics group and,after he has thrown a tantrum,is given a small part in her play. He also coaches Josh's football team after David's managerial stint has proved disastrous. David decides to become more sophisticated to impress Karen,with an agenda that involves watching Spanish films,though only Ramona notices. Pete and Jenny seem to back on track,especially as she is pregnant again. However,after miscarrying she seriously considers moving to New York,as personal assistant to Owen,the owner of a hotel chain for whom she has been working. Rachel introduces Karen to Jo,an Australian work colleague.
19 November 2001
Karen and David cannot stop arguing and Ramona decides to quit,following an offer to work in a strip club. Karen and Jo baby-sit little Adam but when Karen has to leave and Jo is left on her own,Jenny is angry to find a stranger in charge of her son and announces that she will be going to New Youk,with him,after all. Adam and Rachel attend an adoption evening where Adam makes a fool of himself. Later they see Jane,whom Rachel innocently invites to dinner,unaware that Jane has deliberately followed Adam to Manchester as she still has feelings for him. David talks Ramona out of working at the strip club and returning to be nanny to Josh and the twins but Karen asks him to leave.
25 November 2001
David becomes Pete's lodger after Karen has thrown him out. Karen starts to enjoy her single status rather too much,going clubbing with a virtual stranger and getting drunk at a girls' night out with Rachel,Ramona and Jo,where she insults her old friend Bella. Later,after a concert at Josh's school,she crashes her car and a concerned David suggests that she goes to see a therapist with him. Rachel innocently invites Jane to stay the night and almost catches her groping Adam the next morning. They just about get away with it but then Adam reveals to Rachel what happened at his stag party and she is not pleased.
26 November 2001
Rachel refuses to speak to Adam until David reminds her that,whilst nothing occurred between Jane and Adam,she slept with Kris whilst officially dating Adam and there is reconciliation as the couple go for adoption,meeting the adorable Laura. Pete's mother comes to stay,as obsessive as ever with housework but when Pete and David return from work they find she has set fire to the kitchen and admits that she is not safe to be left on her own. Pete therefore gets her into sheltered accommodation - with a dog for company. Jo assumes she will promoted at work as she is dating Doug,the boss,but he gives the promotion to her colleague Justin to avoid accusations of favouritism. Josh's school work is suffering and the Marsdens consider sending him to a public school but are unhappy when they visit one so Karen agrees for David to return home. Rachel,to her surprise,finds out that,against the odds,she is pregnant.
2 December 2001
Jo quits her job in protest at losing the promotion and moves in with Pete as she cannot now afford her higher rent. She begins an aerobics class and Pete drums up custom for her - despite throwing up at his first class. He is starting to fall for her and is upset when she dates colleague Suggs. Adam and Rachel show Laura the room they have prepared for her but when Ruth from the adoption agency hears of Rachel's pregnancy the adoption is withdrawn from them on the grounds that Laura would feel excluded by the baby. They consult a solicitor but have to concede defeat. Karen gets a job with publisher Mark Cubitt,editing a book by his wife Geraldine,with whom Karen soon clashes. Karen is about to quit but Mark takes her to lunch and persuades her to stay.
3 December 2001
With Rachel visiting Jenny in New York Adam takes Ramona to a casino but she develops a gambling addiction and David has to lend her the money to repay her losses. Pete buys an MG sports car which Adam borrows without asking,impressing the glamorous Deborah,with whom he stays the night. Pete sees the car is missing but reclaims it,leading Adam to call the police and Pete to be arrested. Mark gives Karen a necklace and asks her to work for him permanently but,despite a sexual fantasy about him,she refuses. David buys a race-horse Lady Perfect,which does not live up to her name,losing her first race at Chester,where Deborah bumps into Adam and he has to pretend he is not the person she thought. Pete,however,gets ever closer to Jo,who has finished with Suggs.
9 December 2001
Rachel returns from New York,ready for sex but afraid that Adam will find her bump unattractive. With pre-natal nerves they begin to argue over different things,such as the baby's name. Karen joins Mark at a hotel for an afternoon of sex,which leaves her feeling guilty and she confesses what happened to Rachel,who believes she should end things with Mark. At the launch of her book Geraldine tells Karen that she is not the first woman with whom Mark has been unfaithful but Mark is persistent,despite Karen's protests,offering to leave Geraldine for her. Natalie makes David submit a list of staff who should be made redundant, a task which he hates,so he adds his own name to the list. The head of the company is impressed by his altruism and fires Natalie,giving David her job. Pete and Jo are an item but her visa expires so she returns to Australia. He follows and proposes to her.
10 December 2001
The Marsdens and Williams fly to Sydney for Pete's wedding to Jo. Lucy,Rachel's sister,is a Lesbian who lives in Sydney and wants a sperm donor for a baby. Adam offers but Rachel puts her foot down. Jo's father Rod is actually a very wealthy man and disapproves of Pete,whom he believes is only marrying Jo to get at his money but Adam persuades him otherwise and the wedding goes ahead. To Karen's horror Mark turns up,having left Geraldine for her and,when she refuses to go with him,exposes their brief affair to David. As Pete does not have a ring David gives him his before flying back to England on his own. The general excitement brings on Rachel's labour and she gives birth to a baby boy.
23 February 2003
The Giffords have been back in England for three months and find themselves landed with Pete's mother Audrey,whose arthritis keeps her - and them awake at night. Jo has the solution - marijuana,which she obtains from a dealer before Audrey moves into new accommodation. Karen and David start their divorce proceedings with David's solicitor Robyn Duff suggesting that David use Karen's past alcoholism as a lever to get custody of the children. Adam feels side-lined by baby Matthew as Rachel is obsessively clinging to him and he walks out of Matthew's naming ceremony. However Rachel explains that she is being especially maternal to her son since she once dropped him. Ramona goes to a health club and falls for Lee,a handsome swimming instructor.
2 March 2003
Immigration officials,suspicious that Jo only married Pete to stay in England,visit. Although Pete is defensive he later has cause for doubt when he sees an email in which Jo admits to doing anything to remain in the country and this sours the relationship. Rachel returns to work,leaving Adam a less than enthusiastic house husband when he is made redundant but,after a less than enthusiastic showing at a parent and child group,he gets a new job. Things are going well for Ramona and Lee but not for Karen as Robyn pushes David more and more to seek custody and Mark Cubitt,who has come back into her life,leaves again saying that he loves her but does not want the burden of her children.
9 March 2003
Pete and Jo drift further apart as Jo has a one night stand with Lee, who has just asked Ramona to live with him, and - feeling guilty - confesses it to Karen. David's relationship with Robyn Duff appears to be moving from the purely professional to the social and he decides to introduce her to his friends. Rachel and Adam face homelessness when their rented accommodation is put up for auction. Adam's estranged father Bill turns up and though Adam is initially hostile,listens when Bill explains that Adam's mother deliberately cut the contact between them after Bill had a gay affair. Bill offers to put up the difference so that Adam can buy his accommodation and they are successful at the auction. Adam then rings Rachel to tell her the good news but she has been involved in a fatal traffic accident and dies in hospital.
16 March 2003
Adam and Rachel house hunt with some help while an event changes the lives of all the friends.
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