"The Copper Kettle" is the third episode in the first season of the show As Time Goes by. It originally aired on 26 January 1992.

Plot [edit | edit source]

Jean comes home from working late at the office and Judith talks to her about Jean’s habit of working late. Jean says she developed that habit from being alone during Judith’s two marriages. They decide to eat out. Jean is reading Lionel’s manuscript, which Judith finds romantic. Lionel rings the door to tell Jean he is going to Norwich the day after tomorrow and Jean invites him in. Lionel explains that he is on a lecture circuit and he has to give a lecture in Norwich. Judith invites him eat with them for dinner.

They are at dinner and Judith eats quickly to leave for a movie and a late dinner, leaving Jean and Lionel alone. They talk about their lives in the 38 years they haven’t seen each other including Lionel being nearly kicked by a mule in Korea and Jean’s previous relationship with a barrister. Lionel invites Jean for a day out tomorrow as a farewell because he was going to Norwich the day after and with the lecture circuit, his schedule is unpredictable and makes it somewhat unlikely for them to see each other again.

Jean asks Judith for her opinion on an outfit for Jean’s day out in the country with Lionel and Judith is less than serious as Judith watched a bad Japanese film and ate a terrible pizza in an effort to give Jean and Lionel time alone with each other. Jean tells Judith Lionel is taking Jean to Buckinghamshire, a place that they used to go when they could 38 years ago.

Lionel arrives to take Jean away and while driving to Buckinghamshire, Lionel finds that the roads have change since they had last gone there. They arrive at a garage where they had expected a restaurant called The Copper Kettle and find it has been since torn down. 

Lionel and Jean walk back to the car to drive somewhere to eat and find that they have been blocked in by two other cars. They decide to eat in an extremely crowded pub where they find difficulty finding a place to sit down. They decide to leave to go home.

Lionel leads Jean to a lane that they used to take to walk along and “pick blueberries” along the way. While walking across it, they find that the field has been overgrown with what seems to be cotton. They become lost and decide to walk towards a telephone pole which are generally placed alongside roads. They see a building that they recognize and walk towards it.

They enter the hotel that they recognized and order some tea. The manager shows Jean the way to the cloakroom takes Lionel’s shoes and socks to be cleaned and lends him her son’s socks and sneakers. 

They come across a familiar hotel, where as youths they first made love. On a whim they decide to stay the night.

Jean is at home and tells Judy how Lionel and Jean decided not to stay at the hotel because of Lionel’s rented car and he needed to go to Norwich and that Jean also had a busy day the next day. Judith tells Jean that she finished the book which was extremely boring and the only interesting item about it was the inscription which was ‘To Pooh’. Jean’s perks up on this information and explains Lionel used to call Jean Pooh in reference to Winnie the Pooh because she used to like honey. Judith becomes extremely interested in this development and suggests that they go to Norwich to see Lionel. Jean says, “Don’t be silly”. Judith says, “To Pooh”. Jean responds much gently and sentimentally, “Don’t be silly”.

Transcript [edit | edit source]

Copper Kettle, The-Transcript

Random by editor [edit | edit source]

Sandy is sadly not in this episode.

Also from this point forward, I'm calling Judith Judy.

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