Sitcom following the lives of a couple during their first half-hour home from work. A gift from a well wisher brings turmoil to the eve of Roger's tribunal.
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AMERICAN TV VOICE-OVER:
SWITCHES OFF TV
A man falls from grace in a garden
because of the human pubic region.
Ring any bells? Today, my tribunal against the Winter Gar...
Oh, no, no, no, no.
A brief mention in an e-mail
of mons pubis
Let's just get it out there. Let's just face it head-on.
I'll see you in court, sir.
Hi. I'd like to place an order, please.
Delivery, please. Yeah, my car failed its MOT.
Yes, Stevenson, yeah, hi. I'm fine, thanks. You?
Yeah. The celebration banquet, please. ..With, please. Thanks. Bye.
If putting botanical plants before heating and budget costs is a crime, sack me.
Unfairly dismiss me, Roger unfairly dismiss.
-Always. Get that in as much as you can.
Sounding great from the hall, Rog.
Hang on, hang on. This is the end bit...
For my name is Roger Stevenson, and I am a botanist.
-Wish your Dad could have heard you make that speech.
No, no, I'm glad he didn't live to see this day.
His sacked son, following in his own sacked footsteps.
What I just heard was a brave man who has endured 3.5 months
-of lying about in the house.
-No, I haven't been lying about.
No, no, no, no, I mean... Sorry, I mean going to the library
and doing all your legal stuff.
Yeah, it's who I am.
I'm standing up and I'm saying, "This is me,
"this is what has happened to me. And can I have my job back, please?"
I was whirring away with it in the night.
I've been shattered all day.
-Well, it...it gets to you,
and I'm tough.
I tell you something, Roger. I wobbled at lunchtime.
It's the, "Ooh, it's tomorrow, it's real now..."
Yeah, I was only saved by Sue Turner.
She just came up and put her arms round me.
She's got a real knack, Sue, of just coming in for me exactly when I need her.
Ooh, Sue gave me this...for you.
This little swimmer!
It's for good luck. "Keep swimming!" That's what she said.
-Oh, Val, that is...
-Isn't it? Yeah.
Because Sue came today as Robinson Crusoe
-so she had loads of these hanging off her hat.
-Yeah? Oh, I'll ring Sue.
Yeah. She said... she said, "Are you wound up?"
And then she set them all off. It was hilarious.
Oh! I've got two more cards for you as well, Rog.
So, how many does that make now four?
Five. There's one from Marion in Canada came this morning.
You see? People all over the world are outraged about it.
So you are right. You're right.
Oh, and I made us a lamb casserole at school today,
I thought it would be comforting and bland.
OK, er, Val, I hope you don't mind.
I've ordered a Chinese.
Oh! OK, yeah.
Well, because I think it will help me.
But you don't need any help. Not from what I'VE just heard.
In fact, if you lose you're not going to but if you lose,
promise me you will go into some kind of public communication with the world.
No, Roger, please do.
Well, listen about why I ordered Chinese
-and see if you're with me on this.
-Oh, I will be.
You see, I've really begun to enjoy...
You see, if you're home a lot during the day,
there are these sort of true-life movies that are on.
And often about legal stuff.
Yeah. Oh, like A Few Good Men?
No. No, nothing like A Few Good Men at all.
-You'll see when you retire.
-Oh, I know, yes! Like that one we saw on holiday about the woman
who moved a whole house somewhere else on a set of wheels?
And at the end you find out what happened.
I mean, it's always the same, of course it is.
The movie's been made and the baddie seems, you know, defeated...
and the goody just, you know, closes up his briefcase in the courtroom.
Roger. Phil Hewlett will be defeated at your tribunal.
I can promise you that. Hold on. Hold on. He WILL be defeated.
I sound like I'm singing a hymn, don't I? Sorry.
-Well, getting back to our tea tonight.
In these movies, the lawyers in them,
they all seem to be having great Chinese food,
-you know, when they're doing their legal stuff.
-Sort of, "Get the DA on the phone! Hey, where's the soy sauce?"
Do you see what I mean?
I see exactly what you mean, Roger. We're having Chinese tonight brilliant!
Ooh, I'll freeze the lamb casserole.
No, no, you see, my wider point is
what will the white type at the end of MY legal movie say?
"Roger Stevenson won his tribunal.
"His speech about being a botanist
"is now on display at the Winter Gardens, where he works." What about that?
Well, I don't think THAT. No, you're supposed to feel a lump in your throat about me.
Can you do one like that?
Um... Oh, all right, Roger, what about this?
"Three days after he went back to work,
"the Winter Gardens was renamed the Roger Stevenson Arboretum."
What, Roger? The face! What?!
I've seen loads of these.
It's more like, "The Stevenson Bill is on the statute books of all 52 United States of America.
"Roger Stevenson himself was at the right hand of the President
"as the bill was signed into law." Maybe.
Have you just made that up yourself?
No, no, it stayed with me
from one about the some disabled campaigner. It was very moving.
Your point about the Chinese food, though,
they do actually do that in A Few Good Men.
Yeah, fine, I don't know about that.
They definitely do because they're walking about saying,
-"Do this, do that. Great won ton soup."
And it makes you wish that we had the little white boxes
-instead of the British foil trays.
If you're going to do your legal speech with Chinese food,
do you want me to put some in little Tupperware boxes?
I don't want to make a big deal about it.
I was just looking for a crutch to make me feel legally astute.
No, I think it's a really good idea, Roger.
Anything like that, just cling onto it.
Want a cup of tea?
No, I'll wait. I'll grab a beer when the Chinese arrives.
That's a very good idea, Roger.
That's exactly what they would do. Cling on to that.
-What have you ordered for us?
Not the celebration banquet?
Yeah, only cos it's got the noodles for you and the rice for me.
But, Roger, "celebration"?!
This is the night before, not the night after. Oh, touch wood.
Oh, bit of bad news.
You see? You see?!
Phil has banned the stickers.
He can't do that.
Freedom of speech! I've just given one to Sue in the toilets.
Yeah, not from ordinary people.
He's asked us not to wear them at the court, and they've agreed.
-On what grounds?!
-On the grounds "I believe Roger Stevenson was unfairly dismissed"
is a biased and political statement.
How do they square that?
-Oh, this is my fault, Rog.
-How can that be?
-No, no, no, it is. I've let you down.
I've put too much on them, haven't I?
"St John's Ambulance...
"Free Willy." One word. Two, three at the most.
That's what people have on stickers.
No, no, Val, no.
No, don't you go down. Not my talisman, not my mascot.
Don't make me that now, please, Roger,
cos I'm having a slump now about the stickers.
Oh, God, this is... Oh, Jesus!
Stop it, please, Roger! Allow me to have my slump.
People around you also need slumps.
In a minute, Roger, I will be fine.
But just for now, allow me to be the reaction of how I feel inside, which is this.
Right, come on, come on. Keep swimming.
You only ban something if it's having an effect.
I'm always saying,
Winter Gardens... North Korea.
Although I'm drawing closer parallels with Burma now,
particularly since I'm in the house all day.
Yeah, Phil Hewlett and a Burmese General,
in a game of cards, I'd say, "Snap."
The stickers are great.
You've run a brilliant campaign for me, Val, ever since I married you.
Now, if at the end of it...
No, don't say it...
-No, no, no, come on. No, no...
-No, don't, no, no, no...
If I lose...
Oh... But we've lost before,
and we're here, still swimming.
So let's get this show back on the road.
You've got 57 supporters on here now, Rog!
Ah, Sue's given you the thumbs-up. "Sue Turner likes this."
Strange to think that tomorrow night, maybe,
we might be drinking champagne.
Who's Jean Duggan?
-I don't know.
-"You can't pretend it didn't happen."
Where's this? Move over, Val.
-It's my Facebook support thing!
-Well, I run it.
-Well, let me have a look.
-Oh, here. Who is it? There. There.
I can see, thanks, Val. Let me just have a look.
What does she mean? This is a woman!
It's not a woman. Well, it's not a woman like that. Don't be ridiculous.
-Well, she's got a woman's name.
-How do you know that? You don't know that.
I mean, this is the international French book, er, Facebook.
For all you know, that could be a French man.
Well, it's very unlikely, with a name like Duggan.
Jean DuGan?! No, this is Jean Duggan from England.
Roger, what can't you pretend didn't happen?
No, it's the night before my tribunal.
-I don't know this person.
-Well, who is it?
militant feminist who saw the words "pubic hair" in a paper
and e-mailed me - I don't know.
Well, I certainly do want to know. So let's reply and find out.
No. No more replies, no more messages from people I don't know.
-Well, that's suspicious.
-No, it isn't. I don't know this woman.
I don't want trouble now.
No, the message, Roger, is suspicious.
-Which is why you need to reply and say, "Who are you?
-"What do you mean?"
-No, I really don't.
-No, you really do.
-No, have you really thought,
-this could be from Phil - have you thought about that?
Oh... I suppose it is extremely random.
Yes, I suppose it could be a set-up.
Yes, exactly one of the reasons I want to leave it.
Can you turn that swimmer off, please? It's getting really annoying.
The swimmer hasn't moved, Val.
So now I can't even HEAR anything because I'm dressed as Mrs Danvers, apparently.
-Could you go upstairs and put some normal clothes on?
-Yes, in a minute.
I wonder if it's anything to do with Marion in Canada,
cos she's got all those big sons that keep getting divorced.
Right, any son of Marion in Canada
would have the same surname as Marion in Canada, which is Tunningly.
I just thought it might be because she had sent the card.
So it's not. "You can't pretend it didn't happen."
-Who is it?
-Yeah, well, who's THAT?
Will you please turn that off, Roger?
-I keep hearing it.
-Who are you in your Mrs Danvers costume?
-Who are YOU?
-I'm Roger Stevenson, I'm a botanist.
Well, you need to call your solicitor, Roger Stevenson.
No, because it's all coming at my head, I don't want anyone rung now.
-No, I will, because I am alert to threat.
It's the night before my tribunal.
I'm covering it up but I'm really feeling stressed now.
-You were fine five minutes ago.
-No, someone who goes into elaborate detail
just to order a Chinese is not fine.
-I know what it is.
Some soul has taken a sticker, surely, from us,
-when we were picketing the Winter Gardens.
-That's very unlikely, Roger.
-No, it is, it is!
-I can't see that, no, I can't see that.
It can't be anything else. Who else can it be?
I don't even know this person. Look...I cannot deal with this now.
It'll be all right, Rog.
I'm looking forward to my celebration banquet. Are you?
Roger, you have been sacked on a trumped-up charge.
"Pubic hair" in a work e-mail.
But it's really because you speak up for plants,
and I know people will see that.
It's a marked irony with the Garden of Eden,
where the leaf disguises the hair.
Here, it's the other way around.
Were there any other Mrs Danverses?
Soon as I walked in, Sue said to me, "Ooh, Val, you normally come as a pirate."
-Yeah. What about the Head?
-No, I don't care what she came as, though it's predictable.
-Did she see you as Mrs Danvers?
Ooh, yes, she did.
I had a long chat with her, and then every time I passed her, she went...
-That's great. That's what we were talking about.
This is exactly the change in perception we were looking for.
Yeah. Headscarf, hoop earrings, stripy top, eye patch, parrot - no.
No, exactly right, it's World Book Day, come as a character.
You are a deputy headship candidate, Stevenson. Look the part or get off the shortlist.
-Hear, hear! What about the other candidates?
-Oh, huge tactical error
by Pam Bagnell - I think, anyway.
See what you think.
She came as Aslan.
Well, that's fair enough. No, fair enough. We thought OURS through. It's a good idea.
-don't think it is.
I think she knew she'd massively overshot because after lunch she took off the mask
and she just wandered about in the tail.
Oh, that's dangerously close to hubris.
-How was the costume?
-It was good.
-Did she have a mane?
No, she had a mask and her husband's curly ginger football wig.
-Did she have paws?
-No, because she was teaching after lunch.
-Brown polo neck, brown skirt.
-For a lion?
The added twist with ours, Rog, is that I teach food tech,
Mrs Danvers is a housekeeper.
That is a piece of sheer genius, Val.
Whereas Pam Bagnell teaches history. She's got a curly ginger wig.
-Do I need to spell it out?
-Not for me, Val.
-Concertina up a piece of white cardboard,
shove it round your neck, paint your face white, pearl earrings - job done.
Potato, your Majesty?
-Tobacco, your Majesty?
-She missed a trick there.
Yeah, well, I'm glad of that because the perception could have been
Queen Pam I, the heir apparent - the next deputy head.
You know, most of the kids thought I was the evil housekeeper from Downton.
In a way that's what World Book Day's all about.
The original evil housekeeper is Mrs Danvers in Rebecca.
Before her, it was the mad what's-her-name in the attic.
No, the mad woman in the attic and the housekeepers are completely different.
The mad woman in the attack is PMT, Rog.
Eh? No, I don't think that's right, Val.
No, it is.
It's the Bronte Sisters all having PMT together in one small parsonage.
Their cooped-up femaleness sort of billows helplessly
onto the page, soaking it crimson
with screeching desire or something.
Cos they never had sex.
-Oh, I don't like to think about it.
-Whereas the mad women's keepers
are always older women.
They've gone through the menopause and they HAVE had sex.
My theory is brilliant.
Oh, I'm getting out of this.
-There! Look, look there! It's a swimmer! It's a swimmer!
-What is it?!
-Oh, Val, for God's sake.
-Oh, my God! I didn't know what that was!
-What is it?
-That has been in my hair!
-For God's sake, calm down!
I thought it was a creature.
Well, it's not, it's that.
-(You put that on the table downstairs.)
No, no, you put it on the table downstairs. I saw you put it there.
Right. I threw it somewhere, I think.
Yes, I saw you put it there.
There is no way that that got into my hair.
Val, it must have somehow whirred its way into your plait, and there's the end of it.
(Roger, why has it come? What does it want?)
Oh, yes, of course.
That's why the little swimmer has come upstairs.
The celebration banquet - it thinks you've tempted fate.
If you're attributing free will to this swimmer, then why not give its due?
No, I'm not saying that. I just think it's really weird.
I would say that this is an explicable accident
but as you're NOT saying that, maybe...
it made its way up the stairs
because that's where the bathroom is,
and it was looking...for water.
You have displeased it, Roger.
Well, then, let's cure it. Let's cleanse its sinister aura.
I'm just saying I want its good luck back,
and for some reason it's taken against us.
Right, let's give it a little swim.
I don't actually believe all this, Roger, I'm just covering us for the tribunal.
And I personally wouldn't have ordered a "celebration" anything tonight.
I ordered the celebration because of the rice for Val
and the noodles for me. Nothing to do with the name. All right, mate?
Jesus, Val, I could do without this tonight.
I've got an unfair-dismissal tribunal tomorrow.
-Chinese! You see? I'm right!
Don't leave me on my own with it!
If you bring bad luck for the tribunal,
I will snap your little legs off.
Oh, thank you. Thanks very much.
Roger! We could practise your speech with the Chinese.
I wish you hadn't done that.
Well, I thought it was Phil in disguise. Is it Phil?
Right, well, it's not.
I'm being stalked.
A proper...proper stalker.
What, by Phil?
No, it's a woman.
By a Mrs Danvers, actually.
An older woman who has seen me in the local paper with the tribunal, and...
There are complications.
I know her.
So you were lying.
Yeah. Yeah, I have.
But...that's because I didn't want to worry you.
I thought it would go away.
And also, Val, you're dressed like Mrs Danvers.
Well, you'd better not lie tomorrow.
What's the name of this stalker?
So this was who YOU were claiming was a French man?
Yes. I was scared.
OK, I'm scared of YOU now.
And of her.
-How do you know her?
-Oh, I don't KNOW her.
You DO know her, you DON'T know her...?
31 years ago, I knew her.
I can't believe I have to... This is why I didn't say anything.
She used to clean my room in the halls of residence.
-Well, I don't buy a word of that.
I haven't heard from her in 31 years. I mean, she must be 70.
What on earth is happening?
She must be more... She must be more than 70. Jesus.
How do you know her, Roger?
At college! She cleaned my room at college!
Yes, you've said that.
We got talking. I was trying to... This was years ago, in the early '80s.
I was trying to persuade her not to buy her council house on political grounds.
One thing led to another and...
Why have you never told me?
Her husband at the time was undergoing quite a serious back operation, actually.
She was 41, I was a rather nervous youth around women,
and we helped each other out.
I don't know!
She must have seen me in the paper and got my address from the Winter Gardens.
Well, that is against data protection.
One tribunal at a time, Val, please.
But you've done nothing wrong.
So what does she want?
I think she had hopes to rekindle it.
You know, her husband with the bad back's passed away now.
You see, we don't do young and old in this country
with quite the same elan as the French.
Their ears don't seem to go big when they grow old. Anyway...
I don't want to dwell on it.
I'd much rather just...move on.
Do you think you can go and put on some normal clothes now?
You see, I love...
-..with your glossy dark hair all down.
-Help me! There's a swimmer there!
-I don't know.
I don't know now. I should have apologised to it.
Oh, my God, everything's going wrong now.
OK, certainly now, I am classifying this as unexplainable.
Roger, go upstairs and see what's happened in the sink. Oh, God!
-"Ohhh" what? What?
-There are two of them!
THERE'S TWO OF THEM!
Val, stop it now. Just stop it, just stop now.
-Stop! There are two of them.
There are two swimmers.
One of which I suspect has been lodged in your hair for some time.
What? Yes, yes, that...
Yes, of course, because that's come off Sue's hat
when she's hugged me in the toilet, hasn't it?
-No, definitely, Rog.
There's nothing scary about this at all.
-Oh, that's fallen out of my false plait, hasn't it,
-when she's hugged me?
Oh, Sue's going to laugh about this.
It's a perfectly simple explanation.
Unlike YOUR story.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A gift from a well wisher brings turmoil to the eve of Roger's tribunal.