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Episode Summaries > 1985 > Episode 34
Written by Chris McCourt, Directed by Mandy Smith, Produced by John Holmes

Channel Seven: 02/05/85 BBC One: 11/12/86 UK Gold: 17/12/92

• Mrs. Forbes tells Danny & Scott all she cares about is them getting her pit dug
• Maria desperately tries to make Max see they cannot go on pretending to Shane their marriage is all okay
• Mrs. Forbes finishes talking a hospital nurse about her husband Ned’s condition asking her to pass on that she is getting the manure pit dug for him
• Mrs. Forbes reveals to Danny & Scott they won’t get paid until they fill the hole with manure after they complete digging it
• Shane cannot believe it when Max & Maria confirm they are separating

No 24 - Lounge: At first Shane suspects Max has found someone else but both his parents assure him that neither of them has been seeing anyone. Unable to just believe they are ending their marriage just because they don’t get along and needing time alone, Shane decides he needs to get away from them and walks out of the house. Max voices his opinion that Shane will get used to it after getting over the shock. Maria is disappointed when Max tells her that now Shane knows he’ll move into the spare room.

. . .

No 28 - Lounge: Shane off loads to Daphne, explaining that he is furious at his parents for lying all was well when clearly it wasn’t. Daphne tries to suggest that maybe his parents were trying to avoid saying anything as they were trying to work their differences out. Shane however thinks they seem to be giving up on their marriage too easily based on their reasons why they are splitting up. Daphne assures Shane she believes there is no way his parents would make such a decision so lightly. She thinks just wanting Max & Maria to stay together will only make them miserable and if Shane doesn’t accept their decision to part, he’ll only make matters worse. Shane can see she is right but feels his parents are making a very bad decision. Shane wonders how Danny will take the news.

Mrs Forbes' farm - Barn: Danny voices his concerns about them possibly never getting paid but Scott thinks the old woman has to pay them or she’s breaking the law. Danny reminds him that they won’t be able to go to the police anyway! Danny suggests they go into the farm house while Mrs. Forbes is away and take what she owes them already. Scott has doubts about doing such a thing but Danny decides he’ll do it alone.

Mrs Forbes' farm - Outside the barn: Scott catches up with Danny as he gets near to the farmhouse and manages to persuade Danny not to break in. They see Mrs. Forbes driving back up towards the farmhouse and run over to some sacks of manure to ensure she thinks they are busy. Mrs. Forbes jokes that their running on the job must be so they can get away from her as soon as possible.

. . .

No 26 - Kitchen: Julie finishes cleaning up after breakfast and comments on Jim sleeping in. Jim tells her he was woken at 6.30am by Lucy wanting to play. Max arrives to fix the sink leak that Jim thought he had sorted earlier and Max jokes about leaving it to the experts. Jim makes it clear to Julie he wants to speak to Max alone and after she leaves, Max admits how badly Shane took the news of the separation but he is much happier that he no longer has to lie to Shane about what is going on. Jim questions if Max is rushing things and suggests a two week break might make him see things differently. Max is adamant that nothing will change his mind about ending the marriage.

No 24 - Danny's bedroom: Maria finds Shane sitting on Danny’s bed holding the diving cup his brother won. She asks what his is doing and Shane admits he is trying to think how Danny will take the news. Maria asks of Shane is angry at her and he tells her he is only angry at not knowing the real reason for the separation. Shane asks her if she still loves Max. Maria tells him it is not as easy that and in the long run it is best for all of them that she and Max part.

. . .

Mrs Forbes' farm - Kitchen: The boys are led into the kitchen by Mrs. Forbes for a water break and as a treat she gives them homemade lemonade. She jokes that she believes neither of them know what the manure pit is for and speaks of how she is going to grow a strong crop of strawberries the following year from the work they are currently doing. Danny pretends that they of course knew what she was intending all along being that they grew up on a farm. Scott questions if filling the pit is their final task to get paid and Mrs. Forbes agrees they have another three to four hours worth of work and then they will. After she leaves the room, Scott admits he is starting to get to like the old woman.

No 26 - Kitchen: Jim apologises to Julie for asking her leave the room earlier so he could talk to Max but Julie isn’t so forgiving, convinced Jim is holding some news about Scott & Danny from her. Jim assures her it has nothing to do with the boys and in confidence explains about Max and Maria separating. Julie cannot contain her thoughts and theories about adultery going on over at No.24 and immediately wants to make herself available to Maria as a support. Jim very firmly warns Julie against getting involved and forbids her to interfere.

. . .

No 24 - Dining table: Max and Maria discuss the practicalities of them living apart and Max mentions how money will be tight with him needing to pay rental on a flat. Maria suggests she could get a part time job but Max’s pride won’t allow her to have to go to that extreme. He tells her he intends to find a flat as soon as possible but wants to be living near to the house to be close to the boys and all his tools. Maria asks about what he intends to tell Danny and Max confirms he intends to tell him the same story they told Shane. Maria is relieved and thanks him for not using Danny to hurt her further. Max very formally ends the discussion.

No 26 - Lounge: Lucy is in the middle of completing a school project about primary produce of Australia with Julie helping her. Julie rebuffs Lucy’s idea of getting Jim to help them, intent on proving to her father she is helping not interfering as Jim suggests. Lucy is focusing on the breed of sheep across the country and questions Julie about whether the Northern Territories have Merino sheep living there. Julie cannot answer much to Lucy’s annoyance so Julie goes to look it up in a book. Daphne arrives with a fish recipe to give to Helen but decides to hang on to it rather than get Julie to pass it on when she learns Helen is out. Daphne asks Lucy about her project and admits to her she did a similar project when she was at school. Lucy innocently asks if Daphne will help despite Julie desperately trying to avoid it Daphne ‘butting in’. She becomes more frustrated when Daphne confirms she worked at a sheep station in the Northern Territories for a while that had Merino’s. Lucy jokes that Daphne knows more about sheep than her sister. Daphne offers to stay and help, adding only if Julie is happy to let her. This is too much for Julie to accept and feeling sidelined she storms off and bumps into Jim as he heads back in from the laundry room. He asks what is wrong and Julie blurts out that she feels she is accused of interfering while helping others but whenever someone interferes with her they call it helping! Julie walks out of the house and Lucy tells her dad she is confused why Julie is mad at her. Daphne admits she arrived at the wrong time but Jim assures them Julie is just going through a hard time. Jim and Daphne are amused when Lucy tells them that Paul was right to call Julie ‘emotionally immature’.

. . .

. . .

No 24 - Kitchen: Maria is trying to occupy herself by cooking but emotions come to the surface when she cannot get out some eggshell from a mixing bowl. Shane arrives home to find her crying and he comforts her. Maria admits things have got on top of her. Shane questions if there is a way she could change Max’s mind from leaving but Maria is convinced there is none.

. . .

Mrs Forbe's farm - Outside farmhouse: Danny and Scott desperately try to wash their clothes under an outdoor tap to get the smell of manure out of them but with little success. The boys are optimistic about getting paid but shocked as they see a police car driving up towards the farmhouse. They hide to the side of the house and Danny immediately suspects Mrs. Forbes has ‘dobbed them in to the coppers’.

. . .

Mrs Forbe's farm - Outside farmhouse: The police officer confirms to Mrs. Forbes that she has guessed right that he is there to tell her the news that her husband has died, explaining Ned Forbes died a couple of hours earlier and he was asked by the hospital to come and tell her. Mrs. Forbes puts a brave front on telling the officer she had already resigned herself to the fact Ned was never coming back. The officer pays his respects to her and hands over Ned’s belongings.

Mrs Forbe's farm - Outside farmhouse: Danny & Scott watch from nearby, unable to hear the conversation and then become more confused as the officer gets back in to his car and reverses out of the driveway. Scott tells Danny they need to get their money from the old woman before the police return.

. . .

Mrs Forbe's farm - Kitchen: The boys ask to be paid but are concerned when they find Mrs. Forbes in a distressed state clutching the brown paper wrapped parcel the officer gave her. They ask if she is okay but she shouts at them that all they are interested in is their money. She points them over to a tin on her kitchen dresser and with some reserve, they help themselves to the $A100 each they are owed. The boys again ask if she is okay and in her grief Mrs. Forbes orders them to leave her alone. Reluctantly the boys thank her and say goodbye. Mrs. Forbes sits alone clutching her husband’s possessions.

Regular Cast Credits

Featured Regular Characters: Max Ramsay, Maria Ramsay, Shane Ramsay, Danny Ramsay, Jim Robinson, Julie Robinson, Scott Robinson, Lucy Robinson, Daphne Lawrence

Guest Cast: Gwen Plumb as Mrs. P Forbes, Peter Patay as Policeman

Trivia Notes
• Shane mentions that his parents have been married for twenty something years
• Off screen Jim has to deal with Lucy wanting to play with him at 6.30am causing him to sleep in
• Lucy’s school project is titled ‘Primary Produce of Australia’
• Daphne worked at a sheep station in the Northern Territories for a period of time
• Off screen Ned Forbes dies in hospital
• Danny & Scott are paid $100 each for the work at Mrs. Forbes farm

Summary by Paul