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Episode Guide (Series 8)

Series:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

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1: A Deeply Personal Problem (30 Jul 00)

Judith has turned down Alistair's proposal and the two are no longer seeing one another. Sandy and Harry have had a big row and parted company. Jean feels that both girls need cheering up.

Alistair comes round to see Lionel about a possible trip to Japan to promote his book. Lionel isn't keen on the idea. He takes the opportunity to talk to Alistair about Judith and Sandy. He asks Alistair if he has any ideas about ways of cheering them up. Jean comes in and mistakenly assumes that Alistair has come to see Judith.

When Judith arrives home, Jean is worried that she'll think that her mother and Lionel have been "meddling". Jean tells Judith that Alistair has come round to talk to Lionel about "a deeply personal problem".

Sandy and Judith convince themselves that Lionel's "problem" has something to do with Jean. Lionel tries to tell them the truth, that he doesn't really have a "deeply personal problem". They don't believe him.

The girls arrange for Jean and Lionel to spend a weekend away, so that Lionel can tell Jean about his "problem". Lionel decides to give in gracefully and accepts the offer of a weekend at a quiet hotel.

2: Animal Magnetism (6 Aug 00)

Lionel is on his way to meet Jean at the charity shop where she works. He realises that a dog is following him. He ducks into a shop in an attempt to "lose" the animal. When he comes out again, the dog seems to have gone.

When he gets to the charity shop, Lionel tells Jean that he's come to take her out to lunch. They go to a restaurant. Lionel doesn't notice that the dog is still following him. When they come out after their meal, he's convinced that the animal is still somewhere around, but Jean tthinks that he's imagining things.

Back at home, Alistair arrives and asks Judith if she would like to go with him to a champagne reception at the Venezualan Embassy that evening. Judith turns him down, so he asks Sandy to go with him instead.

Judith and Sabndy go out for a walk and come back with the dog which was following Lionel. They want to keep the dog, but Lionel doesn't think that it would be a good idea. He thinks that they should take the dog to an animal shelter so that he can be looked after until his owner is traced. Judith and Sandy go to the police station to ask if anyone has reported a lost dog. Harry is on duty and says that he'll contact them if anyone enquires about the dog.

Later that day, Sandy is getting ready to go out with Alistair when Harry rings to say that the dog's owner, a Mr Burrows, has turned up at the police station. He offers to bring him round to the house. Just after Harry arrives with Mr Burrows, Alistair arrives to take Sandy off to the "embassy do". Mr Burrows is reunited with his lost dog.

Harry asks Judith if she wants to go and see a film with him. She agrees.

3: The Bathroom (13 Aug 00)

One morning, Lionel walks into the bathroom while Sandy is having a bath. She has forgotten to lock the door and he has forgotten to knock.

When Judy admits that she has also forgotten to lock the bathroom door on a number of occasions, Jean decides that they need a second bathroom. She arranges for a builder to come round and give them an estimate for the necessary work. Mr Harris, the builder, arrives and suggests adding an extension to the back of the house. Lionel starts to worry about the probable cost of the alterations.

Sandy feels guilty about being the cause of a lot of extra expense. She announces that she's decided to move out. Judy says that she's also thinking of leaving.

Jean and Lionel get an estimate from Mr Harris. They realise that they can't afford to have the work done. Sandy and Judy decide not to move out.

4: Surprising News (20 Aug 00)

Sandy gets a parcel. Jean wonders what it contains, but Sandy seems reluctant to tell her.

The house next door is up for sale and Jean is curious about possible new neighbours.

Jean gets postcard from Penny and Stephen. They ask if they can stay with the Hardcastles on their way home from their holiday in Spain. They indicate that they have "a lovely surprise" for Jean and Lionel. Jean worries about the nature of the "surprise". When Penny and Stephen arrive, Jean asks them about the "surprise". Penny tells her that she and Stephen are planning to go and live in Spain permanently. Stephen is planning to retire and they are going to buy a "dream house" with his pension money.

Later, Stephen admits to Jean and Lionel that he doesn't really want to move to Spain. It's just "one of Penny's wild ideas" and he's "humouring" her. He's sure that she'll forget the whole thing fairly quickly.

Lionel begins to worry about his own retirement plans and his probable lack of a decent pension. He asks Alistair for advice but the best suggestion Alistair can make is that Lionel could make a CD of Kenyan music or write another book. "My Life In Holland Park", perhaps?

5: Future Imperfect (27 Aug 00)

Lionel is still worrying about his pension arrangements. He's also worried about the fact that Alistair seems to be getting rather involved with Sandy.

Alistair takes Sandy out to a "glitzy do" and she stays at his house afterwards. She's rather suprised by the fact that he makes no attempt to take advantage of the situation.

Lionel has another chat with Alistair about his pension problems. Alistair suggests that Lionel might consider selling his house in Hampshire to raise money for a pension plan. Lionel decides that selling the house would be a sensible idea. Then he realises that he'll have to tell Mrs. Bale and Lol Ferris that they are out of a job.

Jean and Lionel go off to Hampshire for the weekend. While they are there, they break the news to Mrs Bale and Lol. Next day, Lionel's father offers to buy back the house.

6: Going Online (1 Sep 00)

After a visit to the office, Jean feels "a bit out of things". Judy and Sandy run the business like a well-oiled machine. This makes Jean feel as if she's "being left behind". She decides to get her home computer connected to the Internet so that she can "go online" like everyone else.

Alistair is still taking Sandy out. Judy doesn't seem to mind; Jean thinks the situation is acceptable if Judy really doesn't mind; Lionel is too confused to have an opinion.

Sandy tells Jean that going out with Alistair is like going out with your brother. She thinks that Alistair is still in love with Judy. Jean is pleased by this revelation. Judy, however, says that she doesn't want any further involvement with Alistair until he "comes down to earth" and makes up his mind about what he really wants.

A telephone engineer (named Mr Partridge - "a-ha") arrives to install the second phone line. Jean admits that she's not sure what she'll be doing on the Internet, but "everybody's doing it", so she might as well do it too. Mr Partridge tells Jean that she'll have to get a modem if she wants to "go online". Jean doesn't know what a modem is, nor does she know where to get one. Lionel suggests looking for a "modem shop". A modem is subsequently delivered, but nobody in the house knows what to do with it.

Alistair rings Lionel and asks him to meet him at the local pub. When they meet, Alistair tells Lionel that he has lost all of his money. Back at the house, Alistair tells everyone about his business problems and explains how he has managed to end up losing virtually all of his money. Afterwards, Alistair and Judy start to reconcile their differences. Alistair stays the night. Next morningm, he leaves before everyone else gets up. Before leaving, he installs the modem on Jean's computer and sets up an Internet link.

Lionel doesn't approve of Jean's new interest. He wonders what use she can really make of the Internet. She tells him that she enjoys using it and that it makes her feel "very modern"

Harry breaks his leg during a Rugby match and and has to stop playing for the rest of the season. This leads to a reconciliation between him and Sandy.

Alistair pays a return visit and announces that, thanks to an urgent E-mail message to Carl in Copenhagen sent using Jean's computer, he has managed to recover at least part of his market position. He now has money again - not a fortune, just "the odd million and a half", but enough to keep his "head above water".