8 March 2012
Charlotte Pugh returns for a will-reading to the house where she lived as a student. She recalls how she first arrived as a tenant in 1965 with art student Lilly, earnest Geordie Alan, homely Orla, Jamaican immigrant Victor and closet gay Jay. Alan is sure that Jack, the loud-mouthed son of the house owner and technically the landlord, has chosen them as a social experiment as they represent different types. Lilly's parents want her to return home to run a family shop and she is given confidence by Alan after she refuses whilst Orla is rarely in and confides in Jay that she has taken on hotel work to send money back to her parents in Belfast. Jack's anti-establishment rant on the death of Winston Churchill causes ill-feeling with his tenants and a visit from his father, a Conservative MP, is anything but reconciliatory. At a house-warming party Charlotte sleeps with Jack after rounding on her visiting father whom she has found out is having an affair. Orla stumbles upon Jay's secret when she catches him with a man and he begs her to say nothing.
15 March 2012
1967:- Jack has another confrontation with his father Edward,angry that the youngster is taking soft drugs and threatening to withdraw financial support on his graduation. Jack sleeps with Lilly whilst Charlotte is visiting her parents,who announce their decision to divorce. Left alone in the house her mother sets fire to it and is taken to a mental hospital where Charlotte,aware of Jack's deceit,visits and tells her that women do not need men. Lilly inevitably becomes pregnant and Orla arranges the abortion. Alan defends Victor against racists but still makes gay jokes,unaware of Jay's sexuality. After Edward has pulled strings to get Victor released following his arrest at an anti-Vietnam war demonstration Charlotte comes on to her housemate but he senses she is using him to get back at Jack and says he will not be a 'consolation prize.'
22 March 2012
1973:- Alan returns from working on computers in America. Victor has moved out of the house but returns as therapist Orla cooks a meal for artist Lilly,academic Charlotte,medic Jay and Jack,who is now a TUC employee. Visiting his dying grandfather Jack initially refuses his father's request to use his position to help get Edward ahead in politics but eventually gives him a leaked copy of the Social Contract. Charlotte,having been arrested for disrupting the Miss World contest and feeling powerless to stop her mother's mental decline,dumps Jack whilst Orla feels guilty for failing to shelter her brother,who has fled the troubles in Ulster and is killed by Provos after she has refused him sanctuary. Alan,however,feels good as he proposes to Lilly.
29 March 2012
Jack,working for left wing journal the Tribune,scoffs when BBC World Service employee Charlotte sees professional hope for women following Margaret Thatcher's win at the 1979 elections. They argue and again Victor supports her. Orla takes pity on Aasif,a homeless Afghani boy and brings him home to stay until she can speak to the authorities on his behalf. Jack has decided to stand as a Labour candidate and feels this will threaten his political chances but the boy runs off having robbed the household. Poor Orla is equally unsuccessful in persuading Jay to come out to his parents,who reject him. Jack,however, is successfully selected as the candidate for Hitchin and there is double celebration as Lilly and Alan are getting married. On the day of the reception Victor is stopped by the police driving Jack's car and cocaine is found. To save doctor Victor from being struck off Jack must confess to possession,thus ending his career in politics.
5 April 2012
Sinking more and more into self pity, Jack has become a heroin addict though he refuses to go into rehab so Orla organizes the others into acting as a roster of minders to force him to go cold turkey. Strangely enough, it is his father who actually provides the cure, leading Jack to profess the error of his wasted life though he is kissed better by Charlotte. Lilly discovers that, following her abortion, she has been left barren. Alan is far more understanding about this than he is over the notion of her plans to start her own business. Charlotte, meanwhile, pursues her increasingly unstable mother Beth to Greenham Common and saves her from being arrested for an anti-nuclear protest. However Charlotte has her own problem as she is pregnant and unsure of the father's identity.
12 April 2012
In 1990 Lilly and Alan,both successful in business,buy her parents a house, Jay is HIV positive but with every chance of surviving and Charlotte,her mother dead,is living with Victor and daughter Emma,though it becomes clear that the real father is Jack,married to another and back in politics.Orla,as ever,does very little except play den mother to the others when they all meet up. In 2012 the couples have split,Jack is now a peer of the realm and the identity of the deceased,who bought the flat and bequeathed it to the others,is revealed.
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