Australian period drama. As Sarah and George depart with Leah and David to Canberra, a distraught Regina attempts to stop George.
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There must be some prospect I'd make a good husband one day.
I'm not ready to be anyone's wife.
Might I suggest that, given the circumstances,
we revert to our former roles?
Publisher and author.
Scratch out her name, all right? She won't be coming in.
-She made the appointment, she should cancel it.
-Well, I'm her husband.
-Who did this to you, Sheila?
Since the operation, I'm a bit lopsided.
-Is he all right?
The cancer has spread, Elizabeth.
There's nothing more we can do.
I will tell others
as and when I see fit.
-You can't stay here.
-I am a different person now.
Before you leave, you don't go anywhere near my family.
Pack your bags, I'll take you to the station.
Sir Richard is not your friend.
He sees me as playing a hand in your destruction.
He's always considered me his foot soldier.
-What are you doing?
-I'm taking David to Aunt Peg's.
He'll be her target, I know it.
Who are you going to poison now?!
-Let's go to Canberra.
-Your mother might need me here.
And I am the other woman.
Look at this!
Toast and tea?
Thank you, sweetheart.
Are we sure about Canberra?
You've got a lot to lose.
I'm not losing anything.
-David and I are the great unspoken.
-Sarah, it's common knowledge.
-But not discussed.
-Perhaps it's time it was.
And we will manage things as they come.
Let's do it.
Well, I suppose this way I get to hear your speech.
Look at these.
-You're off to Canberra this afternoon?
Actually, Sarah's decided to come with me.
We've thought it through.
Well, I can see that taking David away is a good idea,
but Sarah has her work.
She'll make alternative arrangements.
-She's not going to be seen in public with you, is she...?
..because I strongly suggest that you exercise some discretion.
Thank you, but we'll manage things as we see fit.
I've organised the staff to convert this room into a temporary bedroom.
Douglas won't manage the stairs for a while.
Well, he's not coming home just yet?
I want him here as soon as possible.
Don't underestimate the strain you'll be under caring for him.
It'll be far less stressful with him here
than having to traipse back and forth to the hospital.
Surely that will depend on how he's faring?
What's Sarah told you?
Nothing. Just that it'll take time for him to recover.
Well, he's my husband and I want to care for him.
Besides, I have Carolyn to help if need be.
-But if anything was to happen...
-You're just a telephone call away.
Thank you, George.
You need to be in Canberra to get this trade deal settled.
You look after yourself, mother.
And you give that O'Sullivan a run for his money while you're at it.
Bang, bang, bang!
-Bang, bang, bang!
-You shot me.
Morning, Mr O'Rourke.
Sister Nordmann from the clinic.
-Yeah, I know who you are.
-I'm here to see Sheila.
Any particular reason?
She missed an appointment with us yesterday, and it's important...
Well, she's not here.
Your wife needs follow-up treatment after her mastectomy.
Well, she'll come in when she's good and ready.
Well, I'll tell the clinic to expect her tomorrow, then,
unless there's something you don't want us to see?
The ruddy women's clinic.
A bunch of clacking crows.
is none of your business.
You don't frighten me, Mr O'Rourke.
Is everything all right?
Expect a lot of crows on your doorstep, Mr O'Rourke.
Until Sheila comes in, the clacking won't stop.
You can see it through here and through there.
Just as we thought.
It's certainly aggressive.
It's spread to his blood and lymphatic systems.
Would you like to be there when I tell him?
-Tell him what?
-That his condition's terminal.
Douglas is recovering from major surgery.
What on earth would that achieve?
It will give him time to prepare for what's to come.
None of us can predict how this will turn out.
I think we can be pretty confident
that Douglas won't make it to Christmas.
Our policy here is the same as everywhere else.
Not at my last two hospitals.
The thinking is changing.
Well, we don't give patients bad news
unless their next of kin decide they want them told.
What do we tell them, then? Everything went well?
-He'll be back on a horse before he knows it?
-Of course not.
It's wrong to encourage hope where it doesn't exist.
It's worse to create unnecessary despair.
Is this an existential argument or is there
something specific you'd like an opinion on?
Henry thinks Douglas needs to know that his condition is terminal.
This isn't your decision to make.
Douglas is not to be told.
-What did they say?
Is that the best you could find?
-Young Larry Gray and Mrs Briggs.
-He's been keeping bad company.
He and some other lads were bragging about throwing rocks and eggs
at Regina Bligh's cottage.
You reap what you sow.
-Where do you want these?
-Just in here's fine.
I think you should have a word with him, Roy.
Not that one cares for that woman,
but it could foster raucousness elsewhere
-and who knows where that may lead?
-Right, I'll have a word.
Mrs Duncan, I took the liberty of making Mr Goddard a trifle.
-Something to soothe his poor throat.
I'll bring it over.
Thank you, Doris.
I came very close to hitting that man.
Probably make things worse for her.
People think Stan O'Rourke's an upstanding member of the community.
This football coach, volunteer on the fire brigade.
Mister all-round nice guy, eh?
You will do your best for her, won't you?
-Of course. You're not to worry.
-And call if there's anything.
We should all be together.
Keeping up a brave face. It's hard not telling Carolyn.
And George, but it's Elizabeth's tale to tell.
If and when she's ready.
You enjoy Canberra.
Just watch you don't take a swing at one of those Pommies.
-Keep me up-to-date with Douglas.
HE BREATHES HEAVILY
I thought perhaps the day room might be suitable
but the sitting room has that lovely morning light.
It's warmer, I think.
Oh, here she is.
How's the patient?
Elizabeth's been telling me all about her plans
to turn Ash Park into a rehabilitation centre.
Simply converting a downstairs room into a temporary bedroom.
So you'll all be stuck with me for a bit longer, I'm afraid.
Actually, George and I are heading to Canberra.
Lizzie tells me you'll be gone for a month.
Good on you.
It's a big step.
We'll be back and forth.
Well, give me a chance to get my strength back for David.
You can tell him I'll be working on a new Airfix plane for him
just as soon as they let me out of here.
You take care of yourself, Douglas.
Be back in a minute.
I won't go if you think you can't manage.
No, no, you must go.
He'll know something's up if you change your plans.
Sarah, this situation is causing discord between Jack and Henry.
To tell or not to tell.
What's your opinion?
-Everyone else seems to have one.
-It's an entirely personal matter.
You have no opinion, then?
I think it's up to the patient to decide
how much information they want.
Listen to Douglas.
He'll let you know if he wants to face it.
Now, remember, in Canberra, there's no need to flaunt your situation.
We're not ashamed of our situation, Elizabeth.
Tell your mates to stop their hooning around, all right?
This chucking rocks and eggs. That's kid's stuff.
-I don't know what you're talking about.
She killed Miss Davies.
She done the crime, she done the time.
-Just leave her alone.
-Give us one good reason.
I'll give you two. One, you're stooping to her level.
Two, you're poking a brown snake, son.
It ends now.
How are your hospital digs going?
Spartan, but they'll do.
You must be looking forward to James coming back?
You could always use me and my medical check-ups as your cover...
..when you want to visit Ash Park.
I'm very grateful to you and Jack for saving my life.
It's all part of the job.
-HE STRUGGLES FOR BREATH
What do you think caused it?
Oh, it's hard to be sure.
It could be as simple as a post-operative bleed.
Or as complex as...?
Everyone reacts differently to surgery.
It's rarely straightforward.
I confess, I may not have rested as well as I probably should have.
We don't know what we're dealing with just yet.
But, once you've recovered...
-You saw Douglas?
-I lied to him, as directed.
There's a lot of grey between what you call lying and what I call being sensitive.
We need to stop treating patients like children.
Is that it?
Looks like this is it.
You'd better write to me, then.
But you have to send me letters too.
I don't care how bad your spelling is.
Yeah, I promise.
-Regina, what the...?!
-Where are you going?
-What are you doing?!
-I need to talk to you!
-I came back to help you!
-Mummy, I'm frightened.
How can I help you if you're not here? Please!
I'm working in your favour!
I'm feeding Sir Richard information. I'm on your side.
-Please, George, you're a fool!
-Leave us alone!
How can I help you if you won't listen?
You're a fool, George!
I can understand Sarah's need
to get as far away from Regina as possible
and to protect David.
Goodness knows what they'll make of the situation.
And I know what you're thinking.
It's none of my concern.
You got it in one.
There's nothing I can do about it, is there?
I sent your letter to the refuge, by the way.
I've missed the men.
I've let them know that you won't be in for a while
and it seems they'll survive.
You are not entirely indispensable, you know!
Well, that's a blow.
Tell me if I'm chattering too much.
..I could listen to you all day long.
As long as I'm not bothering you.
Darling, if you need to close your eyes and have a little rest,
you do that.
he's taking the Jew to Canberra.
She's got guts, that Sister Nordmann.
-You're not wrong there.
-She really gave it to Stan O'Rourke.
But she'd better be careful. It could get real nasty for her.
-Your feet sensation's good.
What you need to do is keep it that way. Glucose and diet, hm?
Mm, so I hear.
Any cuts on your feet, straight to the hospital,
-tell them you're a diabetic.
-Yeah, doc, I know the drill.
Just making sure.
Well, I'm done for the morning.
Let's go down the pub, grab a can of lunch before you head off.
I could do with a cold beer.
I'm not sure beer's what you should be drinking.
What, you're my mother now?
Not last time I looked.
I've got the broth for Douglas. Cook said you ordered it?
I thought perhaps I could take you back to the hospital.
You'd only have to turn around and pick me up later.
There's no sense in that.
Before you go...
I glanced through your book.
And I can only say I'm pleased I didn't give it to Douglas to read.
It is an absolute betrayal of him
and of all the men who fought for this country.
I don't know how you can interpret it like that.
Brutish ex-servicemen too stupefied to leave the house?!
Dissatisfied wives chained to the kitchen sink?
Douglas would be horrified. Disgusted!
Well, maybe if you'd read it properly, you've glanced...
I've read enough to know that there is absolutely no compassion
or understanding of what those poor men went through.
It is a work of fiction.
It is also steamy and vacuous, without any semblance of discretion.
Actually, it reads as if it's destined for the censorship board.
-It is one thing to talk about this sort of thing in private, young lady,
but it is quite another to bandy it about in the public domain.
You would not be writing novels at all
if not for the wealth and privilege that you were born into.
But noblesse oblige, Anna.
There are certain responsibilities that go with it.
I shouldn't have left it where she'd find it.
It's not your fault. Sooner or later she was going to read the book
-and take it all the wrong way.
-Sounds like she overreacted.
She thinks I'm disgusting.
She thinks I'm spoiled.
What I was trying to do was lift the lid on hypocrisy,
challenge the status quo,
but, no, apparently I'm the writer of a dirty book.
-Steamy and vacuous. Those were her words.
It's not the best time to be upsetting her.
-I didn't ask her to read it.
-Whatever she said, the truth is...
I think she's shattered about Douglas.
But he's going to be all right.
He's going to get better.
Jack hasn't said anything, but...
..I suspect he's dying.
They're keeping it quiet.
It's possibly why she's so sensitive about how he'd feel.
I'm not suggesting you don't publish,
but there is wisdom in taking a breath, counting to ten,
really thinking about the context.
If you know it's going to contribute to your grandmother's distress,
can you hold back for now?
I think I'm going to like it here.
-Not for me. I need to finish this speech for tomorrow.
I think I should sit this one out.
Why don't I go to the next function?
You are to put on your gladrags, Cinderella,
and accompany me to the ball.
I hope I don't need quite that degree of transformation.
You look like you've had a tough day.
It wasn't easy.
Is it Douglas?
He's dying, isn't he?
You know I can't...
He is, then.
I knew mother wasn't...
She must be so devastated.
Henry's not helping.
He insists Douglas should be told.
And I take it you agree with him?
-What if I were terminally ill? Would you keep it from me?
If I thought it would get in the way of you enjoying what time was left.
That's a very paternalistic approach.
It's a compassionate approach
that's worked perfectly well for many, many years.
Is it so terrifying?
-Can't you at least contemplate there might be...
Enjoy your game.
RUMBLE OF THUNDER
-So, how's it going, Buddy Holly?
-Yeah, not too bad.
Where's he off to?
Sitting up like Jackie yesterday at the inside bar
with his fancy doctor friend.
He's getting too big for his boots.
He's been scaring the daylights out of my missus, too. Yeah.
Eyeing her off.
Wife won't go out of the house. She's terrified of him.
You got a light?
I'll swing by lunchtime. We'll go for a spin.
Hey, fill her up.
-Where are you off to?
-I need to speak with Ed.
Anna, what I said yesterday, I shouldn't have interfered.
Yes, you should. I've decided to make some changes to the manuscript,
which is why I need to see Ed.
I didn't want you to change it,
-so much as sit on it until things settle down.
-No, you're right.
I'm worried I've transferred all my cynicism about men onto the page.
I can see now why grandmother would be offended on Douglas's behalf
and, after rereading it, there are other recognisable things,
or at least they could be construed that way, so I want to make the adjustments.
All right, but don't change the heart of what you're saying.
You've a keen eye.
Especially that woman trapped by love in a provincial setting.
A woman longing to make her mark on the world.
I recognised her.
That's me with Gino, not you with Papa.
Perhaps a combination of us both.
You are a wonderful writer.
Don't change Ivy.
How many matches, son?
He'll be after your Leah next.
Up she goes, eh?!
How about that?
..almost as good as the creme brulee we shared in...
I seem to remember you ate the lot.
My manners must have escaped me.
..next time we're in Paris...
..we'll be sure to find that very place again
and you shall eat creme brulee to your heart's content, my love.
Do you see the smoke?
Doesn't take much guessing to figure out what happened.
-Stan O'Rourke and his scaly mates.
Copper's not going to help no black man.
-That ain't right, mate.
-Arson is arson, anyway you look at it.
Well, that's the way it is in this country, isn't it? Everywhere.
There's two laws. One for white fellas and one for black fellas.
What'll you do?
I'm going to clean up. I'll let Tommo know.
Tell me all the paintings weren't in there.
Lucky your missus got the important one, eh?
-Are you ready?
-As ready as I'll ever be.
You will be magnificent.
STRING QUARTET PLAYS
Nice to see you.
We won't to be short on entertainment tonight.
Plenty here on both sides of the political fence.
Allow me to introduce you to Mrs Sarah Nordmann.
Mrs Nordmann, this is Sir Earl Page, our Minister for Health.
-Delighted to meet you.
-The pleasure's all mine.
I trust you've been studying up on your baseball scores.
The Yanks talk about nothing else, I'm afraid.
I'll be no use to them there.
Well, less about baseball and more about trade agreements.
In my experience, they're going to be tough negotiators.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Prime Minister, Mr Menzies,
and Dame Pattie Menzies.
How's that property of yours going, George?
Very well, thank you, Earl. Very well indeed.
George, Sir Richard is here.
What a surprise.
-If you'll excuse me?
Mrs Nordmann, since you're a nursing...
Richard, I wasn't aware you were attending.
Any opportunity to schmooze the Yanks.
What is she doing here?
For goodness' sake, man, look around you.
She's not a debutante to be brought out in polite society.
The majority of our colleagues are aware of the situation.
-For those that aren't, I'm introducing them.
-Menzies is here.
-And Dame Pattie has met Sarah before.
Keep it on the farm. Don't rub people's faces in it.
I'll do what I can do to minimise the damage.
-I see you've brought a friend.
Looks a good sort.
Labour, of course, wants to get rid of the voluntary organisations.
Even the friendly societies. Makes absolutely no sense at all.
I would like both parties to pay more interest to women's health.
I think my wife would agree with you.
-Sarah, isn't it?
-Yes, we met at Prudence Swanson's some time ago.
Yes. Anne, come and join us.
-Sarah, allow me to introduce you to Anne Edwards.
-How do you do?
Pleased to meet you.
Sarah's involved in community health,
-though not in charity work as yourself.
I think you two will get along famously.
-How are you, my good man?
-Very well, sir.
George, I'd like your support in this Lake Burley Griffin issue.
-If we can pull this off,
it will be the jewel in the crown of the capital.
Think of the Seine and the Thames.
Think of Sydney Harbour.
I shouldn't have taken him to the pub.
Don't blame yourself.
Those men are hateful.
Stan O'Rourke has it in for anyone who threatens his brutish existence.
And now Frank's a scapegoat.
It's lucky you took his painting.
I didn't take anything.
He asked me to hold on to his Namatjira for safekeeping.
Pity you didn't grab everything. He's lost everything else.
I told you, I didn't take or grab anything.
It came from me sticking my nose in where it wasn't wanted,
-but thank goodness I did.
-I'm not criticising you.
But you have before, which is why I kept it from you.
-I need to clean up.
-I'll have Lynette run a bath for you.
No, I'll just grab a quick shower.
I promised I'd go back in to see Douglas.
Well, gentlemen, I get the feeling from the room
that our guests are ready to talk turkey, as they say over there.
American trade will eclipse our trade with Great Britain
within a decade, you watch.
Remembering, of course, that Australia is first and foremost
a member of the British Commonwealth.
Our loyalty is always to the Queen.
Have you given O'Sullivan the wool price we're quoting tonight?
I'll do that now.
You know, George, for all their talk about, erm, progress,
the Americans are a very moralistic lot.
Largely Puritan stock.
No matter how pleasant your friend may be,
I'm surprised you thought it appropriate to bring her
to this occasion.
That friend you're referring to happens to be the mother of my son.
And I would have thought tonight was about bilateral trade,
Whatever your arrangements, George, they should remain discreet.
-What have you done?
-I've reworked it.
-You've destroyed it.
-I haven't destroyed it.
You've taken out the things that make it unique.
It's not that different. It's a more subtle version of the same story.
No, Anna, this is self-censorship.
It is a limp, watered-down version of what was a work of substance.
You have to understand my situation at home.
If you're going to wait around for permission from your family,
you will never be a good writer, let alone a great one.
This is the third manuscript you have destroyed.
Are you afraid of success?
If that were the case,
I wouldn't have published Own Worst Enemy, would I?
You wrote something fearless and brilliant,
and for some reason you have decided to whitewash it
into this bland rendition of simpering love.
-I won't let you throw it away.
-Ed, please, would you just leave it?
I've hurt you. I'm sorry.
It's just that I love what you wrote.
And I want to protect the best of you.
I think that you're making the mistake
of confusing me with my work.
Well, that's understandable, isn't it?
It's a deeply personal book.
Let's not pretend it isn't.
Why else do you want to destroy it?
I think that you should go.
-No, we've resolved this.
We have no future.
I think you should leave.
There's a contract.
I will be publishing the manuscript as it is.
Can I help you, Mrs Goddard?
I'm all right, thank you.
Jack said he'd pop in after his home visits.
I think Douglas may need a little more pain relief.
I can organise that.
How is he faring? How are you faring?
Erm, it's been a long day.
And have you thought any more about telling Douglas the truth?
I've made my position on this clear.
Whenever I speak to Douglas, I get the distinct impression
that he wants to know what his prospects are.
I've sat with him all day and I can assure you that he has been anything but morbid.
Quite the contrary.
Wanting the truth and being morbid are not the same thing.
-Spare me the semantics!
Henry, I understand your dilemma,
as someone both close to the family and Douglas's surgeon,
but there's a lot to be said for letting someone
come to things gently and in their own good time.
Your husband wants to know the truth. He all but asked me outright.
Elizabeth, you go back to Douglas.
I'll handle this.
This so-called progressive approach of yours borders on cruelty.
I told you, it's not hospital policy.
-Hospital policy needs to change.
-You think so.
-Yes, I do!
There is no excuse for leaving patients in the dark
about the gravity of their illness. It is their life.
And yet they're the last ones to find out it's coming to an end.
-Don't talk to me about morality.
Your sort wouldn't know the meaning of the word.
Are you in pain?
No. The painkillers are working nicely.
-I have a question for you.
-What is it?
Am I dying?
I didn't want to say.
It's all right.
Don't you cry over old Douglas.
You'll be all right.
I can't believe this place is the capital of the country.
Where we are now, is this what they call the Outback?
It's the best-lit paddock in Australia.
Why would he just suddenly turn up?
-We're both thinking it.
-Regina called him.
One day this city will be known all around the world, you watch.
You need a few more skyscrapers in my humble opinion.
-I hate to fly. It makes me very sick.
Well, you've so far to come.
Really, we thought we would never get here.
What is it?
They told me there are...
HER BREATHING QUICKENS
SHE GASPS FOR BREATH
That... That woman.
She was a guard...
As Sarah and George depart with Leah and David to Canberra, a distraught Regina attempts to stop George, warning of her inability to help him if he doesn't remain in Inverness.
Postoperative Douglas remains in hospital, and Jack and Henry have a heated discussion about informing him of his prognosis. Elizabeth insists on him being kept in ignorance.