Medical drama. Patient Anna has found a surprising solution to her grumpy husband's constant knee pain, but in order for it to work she needs Elaine's help.
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Remember the tree that crushed the car in the storm last week?
-It's round the corner in, er, McCarthy Street?
Apparently the council were told about it weeks beforehand,
and they knew it was dangerous but they did nothing!
-Yeah. Somebody should be sacked over it.
This is as hard as iron.
But they won't, of course. It'll just be papered over.
And goodness knows what rubbish they put into this stuff.
It's grey before they dye it, you know.
-Oh, it's the analysis of the pills.
You don't listen to anything I say, do you?
The pills you got off the web. I sent them to a pill testing site.
-Why did you do that?
-Because I want to take it to the doctor's.
I want to know if there's anything in it that I shouldn't be taking long-term.
-And I want to know how it works.
Weren't you going to harvest your parsnips this morning?
Ah, well, I'll get going on that now.
# Ooooh! Ah-oooh! #
I'm just popping out to get some flour.
I'd forgotten it was my turn to bake a cake for the book club.
-I need the car for the doctor's.
-I know. I'll walk.
ENGINE FAILS TO START
-Elaine? It's Oliver.
-How are you?
-Er, I'm good.
I was wondering why you hadn't made your regular appointments since you've been back.
Actually, I managed to, er, stay off the sleeping pills while I was on holiday.
-Well, that's great. Well done.
-Yeah, yeah, I'm feeling great.
While I was away, I had some time to think, and, er,
I actually think being in therapy is not right for me at the moment.
You weren't in a very good place last time I saw you.
I'm really on top of things. I mean, I had a great holiday. I'm calm, relaxed. I just...
I just want to take each day as it comes.
I'd like to talk to you some more about that.
But it's up to you.
Look, Elaine, you can make an appointment anytime, hm?
I'll always make room for you.
Or if you...if you just need to talk, then just call me, OK?
OK, thanks, Oliver.
ENGINE FAILS TO START Aargh!
Oh, thank you.
Is there something amiss, Dr Granger?
-You look jittery.
No, I'm good. Ready to take on the world!
-Or at least my patients.
-If you're so tickety-boo, how about you taking one of mine?
-Bob Fielding. He's a moaner. I've got more than enough grumpy old men on my hands already.
-I know how you feel.
-Try and get him to talk about his gardening -
the only thing that seems to stop him complaining.
-Ah, good morning.
My husband's got an appointment at 11, and I was wondering
-if I could have a word with the doctor who's seeing him?
-What is your husband's name?
-I'm seeing him. If you'd like to come through, Mrs Fielding.
You bought these pills off the internet?
-They could be dangerous. You don't know what's in them.
I know. That's why I threw them out.
I only wanted the packaging.
I replaced the pills with multivitamins.
-I wanted to induce a placebo effect, to help Bob with his knee pain,
-and it's worked!
When I was working in Africa in the '80s,
we nurses used to hand out sugar pills all the time.
They worked wonders! They were all placebo, but it was better than doing nothing.
So it was just multivitamins you gave him?
It's the first time he's been without pain for over six months.
He's been out in the garden, kneeling,
moving about as if he didn't need the operation.
So why are you here?
Are you prepared for the choir rehearsal today?
-Is there something that I was supposed to do?
-Did you check over the lyrics yet?
Oh, I love Three Kings!
It is one of my favourites, too.
# We three kings of Leicester Square
# Selling ladies' underwear
# So fantastic, no elastic Only tuppence a pair! #
I'm sorry. I can't go along with it. It would be unethical.
They're just vitamins. You can see that from the lab report yourself.
What about the deception?
I know it's not ideal, but I had no choice.
Bob's not the most even-tempered of men at the best of times.
With this knee pain, he's unbearable.
I can prescribe painkillers.
But that's not a good long-term solution.
The pain is constant. It forced him to sell his business,
and then he couldn't even get out into his vegetable patch.
He takes his frustrations out on me and I had to get him out of the house somehow.
My heart can't take it. He was triggering my palpitations.
I've got atrial fibrillation.
Are you on medication?
Yes, but I can't cope with this. It's very stressful cooped up
in the house together all day. Whoever invented retirement?!
It's a big adjustment.
And these pills are helping us get through it.
If you were to endorse these pills,
Bob would go on believing in them and they'd carry on working.
No more arthritis for him and a lot less stress on me.
Er, how are you this morning?
-Well, actually, I'm fine. I just wanted to...
If you'd like to come through, please.
-So, what do you make of it?
-Well, there's nothing in them that's harmful.
Good. So why do you think that they're working?
Oh, it's hard to say.
Oh, come on. You're the doctor - take a punt.
Well, often it's about the combination of ingredients.
There are substances in them that may be having an anti-inflammatory effect
on your knee, minerals, doser extender agents.
The important thing is they're working. They ARE working, aren't they?
-Oh, like magic.
So, they're OK to take long-term?
Perfectly, but I won't take you off the waiting list quite yet.
Oh, no, no. I wouldn't do that.
Hey, you should take down the name of these pills.
Go on. Help some other poor sod on the NHS.
-You doctors don't like it
when we patients come up with the solution, do you?
Not at all. Anything else I can help you with?
No, thanks! See? No creaks, no twinges, amazing.
-Good for you.
Ah, there you are. Now we can get going.
-I thought that we'd start with Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
Er, Santa..?! What a lot of materialistic nonsense.
We are singing in a hospital, not a department store.
-It will go down very well on the children's ward.
-# You better watch out
# You better not cry
# You better not pout
# Oh, I'm telling you why
# Santa Claus is coming to town. #
-Fine afternoon, eh, Graham?
-Oh, are you having trouble with your back again?
Oh, no. It's just my arthritis playing up.
-Oh. I've been taking some great pills for my knees.
Yeah. No pain for a month now.
Do you think they'd be good for my back?
Hey, hang on.
What were you two plotting?
Oh, I saw him struggling to get up from his patch.
I thought he ought to try some of these.
-He's going to order some himself off the web.
Here. Here, show this to your doctor.
Now, I got it from a website for young ravers who want to know
what's in their party drugs.
-As if they didn't know that ecstasy was bad for them!
In my day, we just had to worry about mixing our drinks.
Now I have to worry about mixing my medications.
You'll be all right. Dr Cassidy said I could take them indefinitely.
-In fact, I'm going to write a little piece for the allotment newsletter, spread the word.
-Yeah, listen, you haven't got the name down there, though, have you?
# We wish you a merry Christmas
-OUT OF TUNE:
-# And a happy New Year. #
Well, our voices just don't match at all. There's something missing.
Why don't I take us through some throat exercises?
Loosen up the vocal cords, see if we can get a better tone?
No, I'm happy to quit. I told you all I was tone deaf.
No, no. I-I-It's not a question of the quality. It's more...
It's the range.
Everyone's vocal cords could do with a little training to reach their full potential.
This was supposed to be a bit of fun,
not a professional performance. I've got a million other things to do.
-Oh, come in.
Sorry, I just need to get something.
-Well, of course, er, it's your office after all.
-How's it going?
Well, erm, I think we need some more voices -
-Oh, Jimmi's got a lovely voice.
-Oh, really? Bass or baritone?
Er, he's far too busy with the move next week and the wedding.
-I don't think that it's...
-But there is no harm in asking.
No, there isn't.
Hm-hm! What happened here?
Is Graham really going to order those pills off the web?
-Yeah, that's the plan.
You shouldn't be recommending things willy-nilly.
They might have a different reaction on him,
-or he might be allergic to something in them...
-"Willy-nilly"? Oh, do stop fussing.
Anyway, he's taking the lab report to his doctor's this afternoon.
He's taking it to his doctor?
-That's what I said.
-Well, I don't know.
-What surgery, then?
What is wrong with you today?
So keep practising those high notes, Freya!
And we're rehearsing the same time tomorrow afternoon. Don't be late.
It would be wonderful if Dr Clay could join us.
I'll ask him.
Well, I have a very good relationship with him. I'm sure if I were to ask...
I can handle it, thank you.
# Jingle bells, jingle bells
# Jingle all the way
# Oh, what fun it is to ride
TOGETHER: # In a one horse open sleigh, hey! #
What a lovely voice you've got! Do you sing?
Yeah, I do.
It's just that your voice sounds trained.
-Mm. Oh, I'd love to hear you sing.
Well, the opportunity might present itself one day.
Maybe it already has. Why don't you join our choir?
-No, no! You don't have to answer straight away. I don't want to push you into anything.
I'm here all afternoon - give you time to decide.
Oh, good afternoon, Dr Clay.
-Afternoon, Mrs Tembe. Am I busy?
-Ah, nothing you cannot handle.
Mm. Thank you.
And, er, what plans do you have for Christmas, Dr Clay?
I was hoping for a quiet one.
The move will be over by Tuesday, so it will be time to relax in our new house.
Oh, so you might be able to find the time to...
-to help the less fortunate on Wednesday?
Christmas is such a lonely time to be in hospital.
The patients love to have carols sung to them.
It makes them feel part of the celebration,
-even if they cannot be at home, like the rest of us.
Oh, it would be wonderful to have you on board,
and you're so good with the children.
PHONE RINGS I...I'll think about it.
Good afternoon. The Mill Health Centre.
..which doctor did your friend say he saw this morning?
Oh, I can't remember the name, but it was a woman.
Yes, that's the one.
Is there a problem? I mean, er, is there anything dangerous in them?
Let me just see if I can find their webpage. Excuse me.
MRS TEMBE CLEARS HER THROAT
Just checking if Jimmi's free.
Er, you know a...a deeper voice always anchors the choir.
I'm a tenor.
Patients also appreciate a male presence.
So often charity is left to the womenfolk.
Look, a talent like yours should be shared.
A beautiful voice is the purest, simplest gift you can give to others at Christmas.
Well, he's a doctor, isn't he? He's always giving to others.
I mean, the pleasure of singing is so life-affirming and enriching, isn't it?
Especially for our audience. Those poor, sick people,
stranded on a hospital ward for the entire festive season.
Would you stop trying to emotionally blackmail the poor man?
-Better than shameless flattery!
Ladies, ladies, please! Enough! The, er, "poor man's" got paperwork to do.
I'll come back at a better time, yeah?
He was saying these pills are a cure for arthritis.
Apparently his neighbour came with this analysis this morning,
-but as far as I can tell they're just multivitamins.
-So why did you endorse them?
-Because it works.
I have a patient who's on a waiting list for a knee replacement. He was in a lot of pain.
His wife, who's an ex-nurse, bought some pills called Joint Magic
-and replaced them with multivitamins in order to produce a placebo effect.
-And it worked?
Yeah. And as he's still on a six-month wait for the operation
-I decided to leave well alone.
-But what did you tell him?
Well, I didn't lie. I just told him what he wanted.
But that's completely unethical!
Is it? It does no harm.
Some old-school doctors still prescribe antibiotics for viral colds
even though it's proven it doesn't work.
Why? Because patients demand them
-and it produces a placebo effect.
-But they're contributing to antibiotic resistance.
Exactly. They might as well be handing out...sugar pills.
But is that really treatment?
Well, it is if it works.
I mean, from recent studies it looks like even homeopathy is largely placebo.
Homeopaths believe in their remedies.
What about the trust between doctor and patient? Aren't you undermining that?
It's not something I'd initiate,
but, as it was presented as a fait accompli by his wife, I decided to leave well alone.
-My patient's going to order the real pills, and we've got no idea what's in them.
-What did you tell him?
Well, I exercised caution, told him I'd get back to him. He's on other medication.
-Your patient's just taking multivitamins, but how many people has he told about these magic pills?
Not everybody's conscientious enough to check with their doctor first,
especially if someone else's doctor has endorsed them already.
-I'd better go see him.
-I'll come with you.
-I need to speak to the neighbour.
-Good, you can give me a lift.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Oh, it's you.
-Why, who were you expecting?
-Marina or Mrs Tembe.
-They keep getting me to try and join the choir.
I've got Mrs Tembe making me feel guilty about the sick,
-and Marina thinks I'm Bryn Terfel!
-I think that's my fault actually.
Well, I just told them that you had a lovely voice.
-If you don't want to be in the choir, tell 'em.
-It's for charity, I'm running out of excuses.
-You like singing.
-I don't want to get roped into this. How did you get out of it?
-I said I was tied up with this PCT change.
-Ooh, can I do that?
Good. Well, there's a meeting in my office tomorrow at six o'clock. I'll send you the worksheet.
I'm sorry, Anna, I can't let this snowball.
He's in his greenhouse. Just...follow the path.
Are you sure you don't want me to come?
No, I'll handle it.
He's not good at...facing things like this.
He'll be all right with me.
What are you doing here?
No, you did the right thing bringing them in.
What did you think you were doing, trying to trick me like that?
What sort of an idiot do you think I am?
You're taking this too seriously. It worked! That's what matters.
No, what matters is that I was not consulted!
That's how it has to be, how a placebo works!
Well, going behind me back to the doctors like that,
I mean, what gives you the right?
-How many other people have you told what a gullible old fool I am?
-I haven't told anyone.
And here's me showing off to Graham about my magic pills.
Now I've got to tell him it was a hoax dreamt up by my wife and doctor.
Your wife was only trying to help, don't feel this was a conspiracy!
And as for you, I'll have you struck off!
You're a disgrace to your profession, you're nothing but a...a charlatan!
And I thought I could trust you.
Hello, can you hear me?
No pulse. Ambulance!
Yes, ambulance, please.
'It's going to be so much fun!
I knew you'd catch the Christmas spirit eventually!
We'll rehearse again at lunchtime and then again...
Er, I can't.
-We can change the schedule.
-No, I just don't have the time.
Julia's got me roped in to help with these PCT changes,
so, you know, with all my other responsibilities means
I...I just have to say no.
NHS changes ruining everything, yet again!
Yeah, I know, but helping Julia and the partners with these changes is really important.
So maybe next year?
-I'll hold you to that.
-I bet you will.
-I'd like to make a donation though.
-Mrs Tembe, you'd probably know where this should be best directed.
I do, indeed.
We're really going to need more voices otherwise this little singing
venture is going to fall flat on its face.
I was thinking, maybe I could encourage my congregation to join us?
But we're supposed to be representing The Mill.
At least they can sing in tune!
At this rate, it is just going to be you and me.
Do you think they'll do it?
I anticipate my emotional blackmail
will have more success with churchgoers.
I have every confidence in you.
Well, the consultant said she'd be all right, but how can that be,
she's had a heart attack?
It's lucky we were there. A fast response is critical,
she received her treatment quickly.
He told me about this...AF.
You didn't know?
She never said a word.
Sometimes people in the medical profession don't like
to admit their weaknesses.
Well, I wouldn't have shouted at her like that if I'd have known.
You've got a second chance here, Bob.
Anna told me how your complaining all the time increased her
stress levels - that's why she was so keen to keep the placebo working.
Now you know about her heart, you've got a chance to change
your behaviour, consider how it affects Anna.
Would you believe it?
Come to The Mill tomorrow, I'll sort you out with some painkillers.
I'll do that, Doctor, thank you.
I'm sorry that I shouted at you.
-I'm going to get a coffee, do you want one?
You did a really great job today, and it's good experience
for you to have to deal with a situation like that.
Someone had to, you clearly weren't.
You didn't realise she was having a heart attack?
Bob was shouting, it was mayhem.
You knew she had AF and you just stood by.
I was just...
I was taken aback.
What's wrong with you today?
Nothing. You're the hero, OK?
That's not what this is about. I'm concerned.
You've mishandled the situation from the start, endorsing pills you...you knew nothing about.
-They were multivitamins.
-You didn't even check the website!
You gave Bob free rein to promote a completely unknown product.
You're twisting this.
No, you're not thinking straight.
I mean, what kind of doctor are you?
Unbelievable! Let's just hope no-one else gets hurt, eh?
-Don't go back, they'll never find you.
-I work there, remember?
Your wife, Patrick!
She thinks that I am going to poison her daughter's mind against her.
20 years I've been doing this.
Are you sure you want to go toe to toe?
Bring it on.
Anyway, I'm doing you a favour. Better on my waistline than yours.
So what are you saying? That I'm getting fat?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Patient Anna has found a surprising solution to her grumpy husband's constant knee pain, but in order for it to work she needs Elaine's help. Meanwhile, Marina and Mrs Tembe battle to enlist a talented voice into the Christmas Choir - Jimmi.