Radio Times: Matt’s bad mood is a sign of the times.Characters: Alistair, Clarrie, Graham Ryder, Lilian, Lynda, Matt, Nic, William
- Matt’s in a grumpy mood, and refuses to answer the phone, saying it’s bound to be Peggy or Jennifer for Lilian. But it’s not; it’s Steve Chalkman, and he tells Lilian that if Matt doesn’t return this call, he’ll be round.
- The awful and somewhat improbable Graham Ryder returns to the village hall with limp menace in his tones; he hopes the beanstalk will meet Health and Safety standards tonight. Lynda becomes very jittery.
- Lilian overhears Matt on the phone to Chalkie, and tries to get Matt to tell her what’s up, but he won’t. He says anyone in property development is going through a difficult patch; they will just have try and to ride out the storm. But he refuses to go to the New Year’s Eve ball at Lower Loxley, because the Chalkmans will be there. Lilian realises matters are very serious.
- Will rings Nic. He’s got New Year’s Eve off, and asks her if she’s free. Initially Nic sounds rather guarded, and says her mum is going out, but agrees to see Will, who is positively cheerful for once.
- Alistair asks Graham if he was satisfied with the new system of pulleys he had designed for the beanstalk. Graham falls for Alistair’s fairy story hook, line and sinker. Yes, he says, he did notice some new pulleys. When he has gone, Alistair tells Clarrie it was like the Emperor’s new clothes.