"Surprise, Surprise" is the fourth episode in the first season of the show As Time Goes By. It originally aired on 2 February 1992

Plot [edit | edit source]

The headmaster of the college where Lionel will be lecturing meets Lionel at the train station and takes Lionel to the car. Judith and Jean are seat themselves on a train to Norwich and Alistair enters the cabin when he see Judy. As he begins to chat Judy up, he sees Jean and begins to chat up Jean instead to Judy’s dismay.

Lionel is having tea with the headmaster as we find out Lionel was asked to substitute for the previously schedule lecturer that was hit by a bus. The headmaster offers Lionel accommodation at the college, but Lionel has already made previous arrangements with a friend.

Lionel arrives in a taxi to the bed and breakfast he will be staying and the taxi driver asks why Lionel would choose somewhere that was so out of the way. A woman comes out of the house and calls Lionel naughty to Lionel’s embarrassment and the taxi driver leaves with a smile on his face.

We find out Lionel hooks up with Denise whenever he comes to the area and the last time he was there was six months ago. Denise asks to come to Lionel’s lecture which he is initially resistant to as he already told the master of the college he was staying with a friend, but is persuaded otherwise.

Jean and Judy are having tea in the lobby of their hotel and talks about Alistair infatuation with Jean to which Jean attempts to deflect. Alistair comes and tell Jean and Judy that he has arrangement for all of them to have drinks with the master of the college before the lecture, front row seats at the lecture, dinner with the master of the college afterwards by showing an interest in publishing his book. Jean asks why Alistair is publishing Lionel’s book and Alistair, after initially lying, says Lionel’s book helps with his publishing company’s reputation.

Lionel and Denise arrive at the party and Lionel introduces Denise Cropper to the master. Lionel goes to greet Alistair who brings out Judy and Jean. Denise comes over to Jean’s annoyance and Lionel introduces Denise to Jean, Judy, and Alistair. Hellos are exchanged guardedly and Denise makes a comment on Jean’s age and her own relationship with Lionel. Lionel becomes extremely uncomfortable.

Denise is walking and flirting with Alistair to the lecture and behind them are Judy and Jean talking about Denise and her relationship with Lionel.

Lionel as begins the lecture, a group of students accuse of him of being an elephant killer based on pamphlets distributed, presumably by Alistair, that say he conquered the wilderness in Kenya even though Lionel was a coffee planter. The students begin chanting elephant killer accusingly at Lionel and bring out an elephant balloon, about the size of a baby elephant.

Lionel and Alistair enter the dining room and Lionel is angry with Alistair over the distribution of the pamphlets and the reaction it caused during the lecture. The master comes in and apologizes on the students behalf, though Lionel attributes their reaction more to alcohol and the pamphlets that were distributed. Jean and Judy enter joking about the event and after a few minutes Denise comes in angry at the students. Everyone sits down for dinner.

Everyone is done with dinner and the master is talking about his deceased wife. We find out Lionel divorced his wife over ‘mutual boredom,’ Jean is a widow, Denise’s husband shot himself, and Judy is twice divorced. Annoyed and jealous of Denise, Jean flirts back to Alistair and they agree on a nightcap; Judy and the master continue on with the night against Jean’s quiet warning; Lionel and Denise are still going back home together.

Jean and Alistair go back and are drinking together in the hotel lobby. Jean points their age difference and explains she only agreed to the nightcap because of ‘vanity and stupidity’ to get back at Lionel for Denise. Alistair is persistent.

Denise is driving herself and Lionel back home with the elephant on top of the car.

The master and Judy are still in the dining room drinking, the master is trying to flirt with Judy and get her drunk and Judy is slightly charmed by his compliments, though she becomes wary when he begins reciting poetry to her. While showing her to his library, he pinches Judy’s bottom and Judy walks away and becomes angry. The master calls a car for Judy and explains that his methods of seduction are out of date. Judy reassures him that his compliments and poetry are still quite effective and kisses him on the cheek goodbye.

Alistair is still trying to seduce Jean in the hotel lobby. Alistair finally gives up on Jean for the night when she goes to bed and clumsily tries to seduce Judy as she walks in after Jean leaves. Judy angrily leaves. 

Lionel has an argument with Denise and he leaves.

Transcript [edit | edit source]

Surprise, Surprise-Transcript

Random by editor [edit | edit source]

Sandy is sadly not in this episode.

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