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Magic Moments > 1996 > Madge and Harold's Reunion Episode 2740

Written by John Hanlon, Directed by Tony Osicka, Produced by Peter Dodds

Channel Ten: 08/11/96, BBC One: 15/05/97, UK Gold: 08/05/03

Brett fails in his attempts to mediate between Lou and Darren... Ruth complains to landlord Philip about problems with the house... Madge convinces herself that Harold isn't going to turn up...

On the Lassiter's Complex, Marlene is walking 'Ted' over to Chez Chez and telling him how wonderful it is, but he stops when he hears that it's a pub. He says that he simply can't go in, as he'll only enter a pub if he's collecting donations. He spots the coffee shop and goes over there instead, with Marlene calling after him, unsure what to do.


At number 32, Philip calls by to tell Ruth that he's arranged for Karl and Mal to come over and fix her shower screen. She then ropes him into arranging the lounge room furniture, and tells him that she's planning to turn the other bedroom into a consulting room for her physiotherapy patients, which can be used as Anne's bedroom when she comes to visit. She then gets a phone call - her first since she paid the connection fee - but it's for Lance, and the person leaves a confusing message. Ruth then goes back to Phil, wondering what a middle-aged woman named Barbara would want with Lance.

At Chez Chez, Helen has been to the door to check, but there's still no sign of Marlene or Harold, and Madge is starting to worry that they won't turn up at all. Jo brings some drinks over and tells Lou that her shift has just finished - she then overhears Lou talking about how Marlene was supposed to be babysitting Lolly that afternoon, and she offers to look after her instead. Lou and Jo leave to pick up Lolly from the creche, though he insists that he'll be back as quickly as possible, as he wouldn't miss this reunion for anything. Helen then reassures Madge that Harold will be there, and he'll be thrilled to see her.


Marlene and Harold are sitting in the coffee shop, and she's still trying to come up with a way to get him over to the pub. He starts talking about how he's often considered becoming a vegetarian, as the human body is very complex and doesn't need meat. Marlene says that she'd prefer not to talk about the digestive system over lunch, then she pretends to have come over all squeamish, and suggests going to the pub for a brandy. Harold sits her down and says that he'll go and get her a glucose drink, then he'll come back and they can discuss her problem with alcohol.

Lou is dropping off Jo and Lolly on Ramsay Street, just as Darren arrives home and asks what's going on. Lou explains that Marlene's been held up, so Jo is going to mind Lolly for the afternoon. Darren then pesters Lou about the pub renovations, though Lou says that he hasn't made any decisions yet, and also says that he could mind Lolly if it's easier. Lou ignores him and says goodbye to his daughter, before driving off.


Marlene suddenly bursts into Chez Chez, relieved to see that Helen and Madge are still waiting. Helen introduces Madge to Marlene, who explains that Harold is over at the coffee shop, as he refused to enter licensed premises. She explains that she told him that she was just popping outside for some fresh air, so she should get back there now, but Madge decides that it's time for her to go and face him.

Harold is pouring himself some juice, as Madge walks in the door behind him, not quite believing what she's seeing. She walks over and says 'Harold?' before changing it to Ted, but he quickly realises that she knows him. He stands up, but apologises because he doesn't know her name. He's a little taken aback as she says that she's Madge Bishop, and she's his wife.



Lance arrives home to find Ruth looking through boxes in the garage, and he immediately complains about how long it's taken him to get to and from school today. Ruth asks if he wants to change to Erinsborough High now, rather than wait until the new school year, but he says that he doesn't want to leave his friends behind. As he goes into the house, Ruth asks him about Barbara, and he claims that she's just a friend from school. Ruth wonders how many 40-year-old school friends he has.

Harold fiddles with his wedding ring, and explains that he always knew that he must have been married at some point in his past, but he didn't even know his own name, so he couldn't work out where to begin searching. Madge explains to him that she's his second wife - he was married before, but she died. She tells Harold that they're still married to each, unless he's married anyone else more recently - he isn't sure, but says that he's not aware of any other wives. Madge confirms to him that they used to live together, at 24 Ramsay Street, where Marlene now lives. Harold worries that Marlene has been gone for so long, but Madge says that she's fine and is in the pub with Helen - but neither of them are raging alcoholics. She explains that the reunion was meant to happen at the pub, but Harold is becoming very confused. Madge asks if he'd rather call it a day, but he insists that he wants to know about his past - Madge wonders what she should call him, but he says that if he really is 'Harold Bishop' then that's what she should call him. Madge is pleased, as she couldn't really imagine him as a Ted - he tells her that it was just the name he was given in rehab, and that the earliest memory he has is of being revived on a trawler boat. Madge asks if he ever wondered why nobody came looking for him, and he explains that he did at first, but then he came to assume that he had no family or friends. Madge insists that isn't true, but they had just all assumed that he was dead. She admits that, now, coming face to face with him, she can't quite believe it, and Harold finally smiles at her.


Back at Chez Chez, Marlene is desperate to know how the reunion is going, but Helen says that Harold and Madge need to be left alone, as they have a lot of catching up to do. Helen then says that she needs to go home, as she has a physio appointment, and Marlene agrees to share a cab with her, so she can take over at number 24, and rescue Jo from Lolly and Darren. Lou comments that Jo is probably getting more conversation from Lolly than from Darren, and calls over to the barman, asking him to book a cab. Marlene tells Lou that she was hoping that he'd be making more of an effort with Darren, given everything that's happened lately. Helen says that it's Brett she feels sorry for, as he's stuck in the middle of it all, and Lou points out that it's Marlene's fault, as she put him there. Marlene says that she just wanted everyone to get along, and thought that Brett could get through to Darren - she then asks Lou if he's coming to dinner, and he says that he'll be there.

Back at the coffee shop, Madge asks Harold how he ended up in Tasmania. He explains that the men on the trawler just dumped him when they reached the coastline, and then took off, and his theory is that they were fishing illegally. Then he just wandered around until somebody found him. Madge can't believe that the police didn't realise who he was, but he explains that everyone just assumed that he was a local and he couldn't remember anything, so he went along with it and was admitted to hospital, and then started working in the kitchens at the Salvation Army. He explains that they felt he needed to make a fresh start and after looking at the vacancies, something drew him to Erinsborough, and now he understands why. He asks if he had any experiences in kitchens before the accident, as cooking always came so naturally to him, and Madge explains that he used to run the very coffee shop they're sitting in. He's amazed, as he can't remember it at all, but admits that Madge is the only person he's had even a small glimmer of recognition with, but then it faded away.


At number 26, Ruth is very impressed with Helen's progress, and says that she seems to be in better spirits too - putting it down to all the excitement with the Bishops. She sends Helen off to prepare for some massage, and then goes into the kitchen to ask Philip if he has any theories about this woman who called the house to speak to Lance, explaining that Lance claimed that she was a schoolfriend, but she sounded like she was 40, even 50, and she definitely isn't one of his teachers. Philip thinks that it's just typical teenagers and not to worry about it, and Debbie, who for some reason is standing on the kitchen counter fiddling with the curtains, grins to herself as she listens. Philip tells her not to listen in, as he's giving away trade secrets of parenting, and tells Debbie to help Ruth across the street with her physio equipment if she wants to do something useful.


Back at the coffee shop, Harold asks if he's anything like the man that Madge used to know. She says that he's hardly changed a bit - a little more grey hair, a few more worry lines and a few extra pounds on the waistline, but underneath he's still the same kind man she always loved. She notices that he's started eating meat again, and he's amazed to hear that he used to be a vegetarian, after what he said to Marlene earlier. He then realises that he should be getting back to work, then shakes her hand, and Madge asks if she can see him again. He says that he would like that very much, and then he leaves, with a slightly overwhelmed Madge telling him that she'll call him.

At number 24, Marlene sees Jo out the door, thanking her for the babysitting. She then goes over to Darren, who asks if she's done anything about Cheryl's headstone yet. She explains that she was a little afraid to mention it, but Darren says that he'd like to help, and that he's ready to say goodbye to his mum now. Marlene mentions that she was hoping to arrange a family dinner, as a memorial to Cheryl, and Darren agrees to come, and doesn't object when Marlene says that she'd like to invite Lou too.


At number 32, Lance is on the phone when Debbie calls in with Ruth's physiotherapy equipment. She puts it down in the lounge, and Lance quickly finishes up his call. Debbie then jokes about Lance's mysterious phone calls, and that Ruth is over at number 26, thinking all sorts of things, and suspects that Lance is having an affair with a middle-aged woman called Barbara. Debbie leaves, and Lance looks worried.


At number 26, Madge sits down with Helen, telling her how difficult the day has been. Philip passes through the lounge on his way out, and Helen tells him that Madge is going to be staying with them for a while - Philip says that it'll be a pleasure to have her. Madge then tells Helen that she was prepared for the worst with Harold, and she was determined to take things slowly and not to scare him off, but after seeing him again, she's determined to steer him away from Ted and back to Harold - she wants her husband back.

Featured Regular Characters: Marlene Kratz, Lou Carpenter, Louise Carpenter, Darren Stark, Helen Daniels, Philip Martin, Debbie Martin, Ruth Wilkinson, Joanna Evans

Guest Cast: Anne Charleston as Madge Bishop, Ian Smith as Harold Bishop

Trivia Notes
Anne Charleston and Ian Smith appear together as Madge and Harold for the first time in five years
Madge tells Harold that the coffee shop has been revamped since he used to work there, though it actually looks much the same as it did in 1991, when he disappeared
Past character Cheryl Stark is mentioned

Summary by Steve