Sitcom. There is a lot to discuss at Ben's parents' evening, while Mum suspects that Jake is hiding something, and Karen decides which of the world's great religions to lead.
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-Why are you watching this?
-It's on the Large Hadron Collider,
and I'm doing a physics project on it.
That? It's really cool. It can destroy the universe.
I can tell you everything you need to know about it.
It could create this black hole in Switzerland.
-Could you please just...?
-So when you were being sucked through it,
there'd be Toberlones and clogs flying around your ears.
-Maybe you could get crushed by a windmill.
That could propel us into a parallel universe.
Wouldn't that be cool?
I could be the oldest one,
and you weren't even born, and we had a panther instead.
-I need to concentrate on this...
-We could have a penguin.
Mum, What's worse?
-serious or severe?
Well, the Welsh man on the telly said that the terrorist threat
has gone from serious to severe - is that worse?
-I'm not sure.
-Well, I need to know what the terrorist threat is,
so I know how aware I need to be
when I'm on the lookout for suspect packages in the playground.
Listen, darling, honestly...
They'll blow up Big Ben before they'd get to my school, won't they?
'The Higgs boson was put forward as a hypothetical particle...'
The Higgs boson! That's named after two people,
Mr Higgs and Mr Boson, who discovered it.
Wouldn't it be cool to have a bacteria named after you,
which spread a bubonic plague, called the Ben-tron?
So, there's a bubonic plague called the Ben-tron?
-Or Brockman-on, or...
-The Gay Idiot-atron.
Well, if you had one, you would be the, er, Stuck-Up Old Brother-tron.
-I'm dangerously close to stabbing you with my pen.
Ben-on, the destructor!
Look... there's always been terrorism.
-I mean, when I was growing up, it was the Irish.
-Are you sure? The Irish?
People like Graham Norton and Jedward?
You know, the universe should be, like,
contracting and getting smaller,
but it's expanding, and scientists have no idea how.
Which is kind of stupid, cos even I can think of some reasons why.
-Do you not...?
-What if there's a rubber band, which,
I don't know, the protectors of the universe have put around it
to try and keep it the same size?
What if there's, like, a massive mutant alien fish
which is trying to go to the toilet,
but then it isn't working, so the universe is getting bigger...
The universe is trying to go to the toilet?
A fish with the universe inside it is trying to
-go to the toilet.
-What are you...?
How come I, an 11-year-old boy, can think of that
and then scientists can't?
But the Irish, they're jolly, they're happy and fun.
-So you're saying that they're going to bomb us too?
That's not very reassuring.
The Irish are lovely people. It's just a tiny, tiny few...
Now I have to worry about...
Look, look some risks are so minimal that
they're just not even worth worrying about.
You're more likely to be hit by lightning.
People can get hit by lightning?!
-I thought it was only trees!
-It is mostly trees.
Well, scientifically, tall people get hit by lightning first?
-Yep, scientifically speaking, I think that is correct.
Sorry I'm late. Passenger action at Victoria.
I think they might have lynched a driver.
ARGUING IN THE NEXT ROOM
What's all that noise?
They're having a fight about the origins of the universe.
-When time are we setting off?
-In about quarter of an hour.
-So what was today's school like?
-I'm one of 13 supply teachers.
My class's most popular excuse seems to be, "My pit bull ate my homework."
Dad, what's worse, serious or severe?
-She saw something about the terrorist threat.
Hey, listen, you don't want to worry about all that.
Did you know that, statistically,
this is the safest time ever to be a child in England?
-But Ben got mugged.
-Yeah, I know, but in the 1500s,
he would have probably died in a crusade or caught the plague.
No, he got mugged today.
-Afraid so. Same spot. Ratley Road.
Just heard your news, Ben. You all right?
Eh? Oh, yeah.
I didn't know the squirrel was going to do that.
No, I mean you being mugged.
They said they had a knife - they always say that.
I didn't have my phone with me, so they just took my geometry kit.
-What's the school doing about this?
-Well, what can they do?
I've got off quite lightly.
Ibrahim's been mugged five times. Same boys.
He asked them if he could have a loyalty card.
That's actually quite funny.
It's wrong, though, isn't it, the way it's just being accepted?
It means there's a whole generation of kids growing up
just expecting to be robbed.
Can I become a Catholic?
You want to become a Catholic?
I can, can't I? The Pope's giving out invitations.
-Well, yeah, but...
Well, it would be easier for you to become a Catholic if you...
believed in God.
I only stopped believing in him because he was annoying me,
sending earthquakes and tsunamis.
Also, whenever I asked for something or anything,
he would always just ignore me.
So, why do you want to be a Catholic?
Because I want to go to the same big school as Tanya,
and she's going to a Catholic school.
Tanya. Right, well, we've talked about this, haven't we, darling?
And just because Tanya's doing something doesn't mean to say
that you have to do it too.
But I like Tanya, Tanya's my friend. Don't you like her?
Why have I got to look after Karen?
Because me and Mum and Ben are going to be at Ben's parents' evening.
Oh, yeah, by the way, if Mr Hunslet mentions, er, Lucy Barker
and the formaldehyde, that was a misunderstanding.
How can I have a proper band practice
with a nine-year-old in tow?
Just stick her in the corner. She can read or draw or...
-...learn the catechism.
Look, all I'm saying is, just because Tanya
and her twice-divorced mother want to become Catholics
to get into this school, it doesn't mean you have to follow suit.
But I like Tanya. She's my friend.
She picked me to be in her entourage.
Yeah, well, a friend shouldn't outrank you.
Bloody hell, fireworks in daytime. It's fireworks all year now.
Do you remember when it used to be Fireworks Night? Just one night.
Just like it used to be Christmas Day.
Christmas starts in mid-October now.
Halloween costumes are on sale in August. I'd ban Halloween.
You can't ban Halloween. But you should ban Guy Fawkes Night -
all the bangs from the fireworks are cruel to the pets.
They scare them.
That's not fair on the pets.
Also, can we have a pet?
We've tried pets, and...
But I don't mean like a goldfish or something you flush down a toilet.
I mean an actual mammal, a dog or a cat or a gerbil. Or an ocelot.
It's a kind of leopard,
but small enough to put in a car when you go away.
You can't keep jungle animals in houses.
Michael Jackson had a chimpanzee, and it only attacked two people.
Mmm, lots of candles and lovely spangly costumes.
-You can't have a chimp.
-How about a skunk, then?
You can't keep skunks as pets, Ben.
You can. A boy in school keeps them. And he wants to sell some.
What, he keeps skunks?
-Yeah. A boy in Jake's year. Oliver.
-He does. Ibrahim told me.
He said, "Oliver in year 11 has got some skunk to sell."
That should be "skunks", shouldn't it?
Or is it a plural that stays the same, like "sheep"?
Why can't we say "sheeps"? It must be really confusing for shepherds.
Actually, Ben, why don't you go and, um, collect all your dirty laundry
and divide it up into colours, whites and darks?
-What, all my dirty laundry?
-The woman's laundry-obsessed!
-That's dope, isn't it?
And Jake's mate is selling it!
Whoa, we've got this from Ben, via Ibrahim - that is like reading a...
Wikipedia entry posted by Jeffrey Archer.
We shouldn't jump to any conclusions.
No, no, you're right.
I bet he is selling dope, though.
-Well, he's the type. Alternative, wears skinny jeans.
-What if he's been selling it to Jake?
I told you he's been hiding something. He's been very...
We should just take it one step at a time.
-We have to broach it with him. Jake!
-Oh, for God's sake.
-Let's take it nice and gently.
-OK. Jake! Can you come in here, please?
We don't want him on the defensive. That'll get us nowhere.
-No, fair enough.
-Yeah, what is it?
Jake we, um... We'd just welcome your input on something.
-It's come to our attention... Well, you know your mate Olly?
-Is he selling drugs?
-Is he selling skunk?
No! Where on earth did you get that?
Well, it was just something that Ben heard.
Ben?! You're basing this on information from Ben?
-Something he heard and didn't understand...
-You're actually listening to Ben,
the boy who told his class that he saw Barack Obama in Lidl's?
-I'm not doing drugs!
-We're not saying you are!
-No, you're accusing my friend Olly of being a pusher!
-No, no, no...
-Are there kids pushing drugs?
-Yes, obviously, it's a school!
But I'm not doing drugs, and Olly's not selling drugs.
So why did Ben...?
-Oh, this is a joke!
-Then why did Ben say...?
-This is a total joke!
-Why did Ben say...
-You're both a joke!
-..a kid called Oliver...
-..in your year...
-It's not the same Oliv...
This is so stupid! Why am I even standing here
and listening and answering these questions?!
He was going to say it's not that Oliver.
That's what he was going to say.
Can I have a rat? Michael Jackson had a rat.
And he wrote a song about a rat called Ben,
and it was a sort of rat Spartacus. It led a rat rebellion against humanity.
Did you name me after it, Ben?
Strangely, we didn't name any of our children after psychotic rodents.
-What about a micro pig?
-Oh, yeah. John at work bought a micro pig.
Weighs more than him, lives in his bathroom.
What about Tasmanian devils?
Because they're endangered, and we could, yeah, we could have,
like, a captive breeding programme and then...
Captive breeding programme?
Later, we could post them back to Australia.
-How do you post a Tasmanian devil?
-What about pandas?
-OK, Ben! That's...
-What about a chameleon? Because...
-..they change colour...
-You could have games with them,
cos you could put one in front of the TV, change the channel
and see how fast it keeps up.
-What about a zebra?
OK, Ben, that's enough!
-Scorpions would be good. They're too small to do much.
-Apart from kill you.
You're meant to be sorting out the laundry.
-Can you go upstairs now, please?
-It was only a suggestion.
Clearly, from what Jake all but said, there is a boy in his year
called Oliver selling drugs, and according to his year list,
there's only one other boy in the year called Oliver,
and it's that one.
-Do we know him?
-Well, he only came this year, bit of a golden boy,
captain of the football team.
-All right, sweetheart?
-If I become a Catholic,
will I be allowed to eat bacon?
-Oh, that's all right, then.
-We can't just sit on this information.
-I don't know, Sue.
If Jake was selling drugs and some other parents found out,
you'd want them to tell us, wouldn't you?
Yeah, but what evidence do we quote?
Some slip of the tongue from Jake and some gossip from Ben.
Oh, it's such a difficult call.
If we get it wrong, it could all get very messy.
-It could make life very tricky for Jake.
-Yeah, maybe I'm overreacting.
-I mean, it is only one kid.
-Do I really need to go to this?
It's your first parents, evening,
and it's so everybody can discuss how you're settling in.
-But I'm settling in fine. I mean, they gave us mentors.
-That's a good idea.
-I got given a year ten called Andrew.
Right. And what sort of helpful stuff has he told you?
He says there's no CCTV behind the cricket nets,
and to remember they can't search your underpants.
Can we get a tiger, then? Because I saw this video
on YouTube of two people who had a pet tiger
in their house, and it was fine,
provided you that you don't turn your back on the tiger.
-Because then it might mistake you for prey.
-Is that so?
OK, everyone, let's go!
If I'm a Catholic, will I be allowed to drink alcohol?
It's virtually compulsory.
Why couldn't I go to Tanya's instead?
Because she didn't invite you.
-Well, Tanya's fun. I'm bored with this family.
-All right, Karen.
Couldn't I have at least stayed home instead?
Well, that would be illegal, Karen,
-because nine-year-olds have to be with someone.
I don't know. Imagine something happened. What if there was a fire?
If there was a fire, I would leave the house in an orderly fashion,
-assemble myself at the fire-assembly point...
-..and await further instructions.
-Where is our fire-assembly point?
-Well, we haven't got one, really.
You tell me all these things
about being a responsible parent and stuff,
but you don't even have a fire-assembly point.
So, if I look after her,
I can go to Max's after band practice? That's the deal, yeah?
-Right, come on, Karen.
Oh, what do you know, a policeman. Cos you really need one here.
Ready to kettle the threat to public order that is a parents' evening.
We could report Ben's mugging.
Yeah, OK. No, he's one of those toy policemen.
He'll only give us a leaflet. OK, Ben.
-Oh, no, no, Ben, don't wander off!
I wasn't expecting to see you.
Yes, well we've got a daughter in this year, Kara.
Pete, this is Jenny and Martin. Oliver's parents.
Oh, right, Oliver, the...star.
Yes, well, he's settled in really quickly. Thank goodness.
Because we had to take him out of his old school.
We had no choice, really,
because there was a boy selling drugs to pupils.
-Can you believe that?
The truth of it is the whole school was awash with drugs.
Apparently, it's a lot better now.
Is it? Well, actually... well...
They should've got to the bottom of it,
found out the facts and acted on them.
-Martin's a lawyer.
-Right. A lawyer.
-Well, we're suing them, obviously.
To be honest, you can't just blame the school.
Some of the parents must have known.
I mean, if someone knew your kid was involved with drugs,
you'd want them to tell you, wouldn't you?
-Well, absolutely. We... We... We'd want them to tell...
Ooh, Mr Maynard's free. Sorry, if we can just nip in. Catch you later.
We've got to tell them now.
You heard what she said, and she's right.
-Yes, but we still can't be sure that their son....
What they said all but confirmed it.
Come on, Mr Blain's free. Don't worry about the smell, it's him.
I think I'll do like a big, raspy, Kings Of Leon vocal on this one.
-Go easy, don't forget your asthma.
-Do you play Michael Buble songs?
But you like Michael Buble.
No, I don't! She's getting confused.
But you sing along with him in his videos.
Yes, ironically! I'm being ironic, sending him up.
-So whose songs do you play?
-We write our own songs.
-Ooh. Are these the lyrics?
Why does he want to do that to his bitch?
Hi, Mr Blain. Do you want Ben to sit in?
Actually, Ben, erm...
Why don't you relax over there while I have a chat with your mum and dad?
The first thing I should say about Ben is that he's very bright.
But in teaching terms, he is...quite...erm...
He's quite... He's quite...
-He's quite challenging.
He's challenging, yeah. Erm...
But don't get me wrong,
I find no fault at all with his enthusiasm for chemistry,
none at all, it's just that combination of energy and curiosity
and impulsiveness, it does cause certain health-and-safety issues.
Is there anything we can do?
If you could get him to address his fascination for sulphuric acid...
-Mr and Mrs Brockman.
-Hi, do you want Ben to...?
Ben, why don't you relax over there
while we chat through the boring stuff, eh?
Right, well, teaching Ben is very, um...
..stimulating, and he's got a real passion for history.
Which is good, obviously, although it can have a downside.
For instance, his presentation about the Middle Ages.
-Is this his re-enactment of the symptoms of the Black Death?
Quite a few pupils found it very frightening.
In fact, Lucy Barker was off school for two days.
I should have checked what he was planning to do,
although it was very sudden,
the way he threw himself to the ground
and started frothing at the mouth.
That was... Well, I still haven't worked out how he did that.
Can I go for a walk?
-No, I'm responsible for you.
-Then where's the fire-assembly point?
Up my arse.
You're Tanya's big brother, aren't you?
-Tanya's cool. I'm one of her friends.
-Yeah, I'm turning Catholic.
-So, which dwarf are you, then?
Tanya gives all her friends dwarf-y nicknames.
Dopey, Grumpy, Frumpy, Stinky, Clingy. Which are you?
-I think you might be Clingy.
Karen, you're getting in the way. Just go and sit over there.
Hello, Mr and Mrs Brockman. Hello, Ben. Actually...
I'll go and sit over there.
Well, teaching Ben is very, very...special.
-The first term, it's always hard settling in.
Yeah, it must be weird for him, having an older brother here.
Yes, Jake Brockman, year 11.
-Jake? Ben is Jake's brother?
-Jake is Ben's brother?
Right, not a half-brother with a different...?
-It's clearly four and four!
-No, it's not, it's two and four!
-Your guitar sounds stupid anyway!
-It's two and four!
This is so difficult.
-Maybe you're right, maybe we should just tell them.
Any chance we could just nip in ahead of you?
You're Ben's parents, so you might take quite a long time.
No, be our guest. Where is Ben?
He's over there, playing imaginary cricket with Ibrahim.
-Are you waiting to see Mr Hunslet?
-Is there any chance we could...?
-Please, go ahead.
Is Kara with you?
-Oh, no, her brother's looking after her at home.
Good grief, no! No, George, our eldest.
Oliver doesn't do babysitting.
He's bought a scooter, so he's whizzing about everywhere,
all hours of the day and night.
-One of his friends rings up and he's off, all over town.
Look, the thing is...
-Well, the thing is...
This is the thing.
Ralph's Great Dane has just had puppies, we could...
-No, we couldn't.
-How were you going to tell them?
-I've really no idea.
I just set off before I'd worked it out.
Maybe we should tell the school, let them deal with it.
Yes, we are, and no, you can't.
Mr and Mrs Brockman.
As Ben's form teacher, I'm here to give the overview, as it were,
and I have to say I find Ben...
Challenging. Stimulating? Special?
No, I was going to say a pain in the arse, if I'm honest.
Oh, OK, fair enough.
I mean, very bright and all that, and very popular,
but, I mean, there've been quite a few issues.
-OK, let's see what we've got here.
-He's got his own file?
But those 19 incidents apart,
you know, he is slowly settling in. Anything you'd like to ask me?
Well, this doesn't relate to Ben,
but we are concerned that there may be a drug problem in the school.
-Is this an official complaint?
-Erm...we're not sure.
Because obviously, if it was an official complaint,
the school would have to take it extremely seriously,
and that would... That would set in motion a number of procedures...
Provided there was evidence, hard evidence...
-Do you have hard evidence?
Well, not first-hand evidence, as such.
More, second-hand evidence.
How reliable is this source?
-I can't kill him!
W-We don't want to make an official complaint.
Alrighty, well, if that's everything. Only...
Actually, there is something else.
Ben has already been mugged twice this term.
-Class average, I'm afraid.
-What's the school going to do about it?
-Well, what can we do?
-You could ask for plain-clothes patrols...
We've suggested that, but the police say
they have other manpower priorities.
Like booking me for speeding at two in the morning
on a perfectly clear road.
Look, I happen to be a teacher,
and I feel that this school is not taking
its responsibilities seriously enough.
You have a duty of care.
Whose child is this, please?
Only I found her wandering in the car park.
OK, settle down. No gymnastics, all right?
What do you make of my teachers? I'd like to be a teacher.
You want to be a teacher?
-If the wrestling doesn't work out.
Yeah, like you, but less moany.
Teaching's great, because you go on school trips even when you're old.
Yeah, I mean, obviously, teaching is...brilliant,
but there are other career options that you...
-I'd like a job involving travel.
-An explorer, or a human cannonball.
I could be a doctor, I guess.
Now, that's... That's good.
And then, when I get good enough,
I could create an eight-foot, massive human with bullet-proof skin.
-I was thinking of healing.
-And laser vision.
When you're dead, I could take your arm, and then maybe one of your legs.
Cos you're quite tall.
-I haven't got an organ-donor card.
-You'd be dead!
-I'm not sure these are careers.
-I could be a Paratrooper.
I'm not really sure if they have parachutes or not.
Well, you'd hope they would. How are they going to land?
You're right, Mummy. Tanya is a right cow.
I never said that.
Yes, you did, to Daddy, when you didn't know I was on the toilet.
I think I need some new friends. I'll go on Facebook tomorrow and get some.
And I don't want to be Catholic anymore.
They have all these silly rules about women,
and I think it would have been hard for me to become Pope.
Well, it's their loss.
Or I could be, like, an overlord, or warlord,
and, like, I sit in my big, kind of, throne room,
with one of my dead enemies as a footrest.
It's much easier just getting a degree and then...
Yeah, but then for that you've got to do all that work...
These are all interesting career options, but I think you could aim a bit higher.
Because unusual kids like you often end up doing something exceptional.
I'm unusual? How am I unusual?
You're... There's a thing...
Can I become Archbishop of Canterbury?
-Maybe one day.
-What's Canterbury like?
Does it have a Nandos?
Ben did a drawing of me as a dragon.
I rather liked that.
I've just put the milk bottles out.
There are two foxes sitting, waiting by the gate.
-Well, it's bins night.
-Back by 10:30, we said.
-What time is it now?
10:33. Shall we ring him?
-Best not, it'll feel like we're anxious.
-But I am anxious.
So am I, but we don't want to communicate
our anxiousnessness-ness to him, do we?
I suppose you're right. I could text him.
It's a less anxious version of a phone call.
-No, look, he's only a few minutes late, he'll be back in a sec.
If he's not back by 10:38, I'll text him.
We were right to let him stay out, weren't we?
Yeah, of course we were.
You've got to let them take risks. It's just working out which ones.
I am going to have a chat with Ben about the sulphuric acid, tomorrow.
I didn't want to make him excited at bedtime.
10:35. I could text him, I could make it jokey.
We said 10:40.
TV: 'The body of a young man...'
-Sorry, the bus took ages. You weren't worried, were you?
-Good God, no. Not in the least.
-Not in the slightest.
Right, well, I'll just go up to bed then.
-Night night, nice to have you back.
-Why did you say that for?
-I don't know.
You've communicated anxiety to him now.
I couldn't help it, it just came out.
Do you think that Oliver tried selling drugs to Jake?
I don't know we just have to trust in his commonsense, don't we?
Suppose so. We did do the right thing
about Oliver and the drugs, didn't we?
We couldn't just sit on that information,
that would have been irresponsible.
We had to tackle it somehow.
And we were right to bring it to the attention of the school.
They won't know that anonymous note was from us, will they?
No, I did it in block capitals, we'll be fine.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
There is a lot to discuss at Ben's parents' evening, including muggers, dangerous chemicals and re-enactments of the Great Plague. Mum still suspects that Jake is hiding something, and Karen decides which of the world's great religions to lead.