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Episode Summaries > 1985 > Episode 37
Written by Reg Watson, Directed by Colin Budds, Produced by John Holmes

Channel Seven: 07/05/85 BBC One: 16/12/86 UK Gold: 22/12/92

• Scott wants to wait until after Ned Forbes funeral before getting professional help for Mrs. Forbes
• Jim realises that a letter asking him to be a reference to Max’s character shows how intent Max is on splitting up with Maria

Restaurant: Julie and Greg are seated and greeted by a waiter who hands over a menu to each of them. Greg comments that the place was recommended to him after a friend of his brought ‘a chick’ out to dinner there the previous week. Julie asks about how he felt about his first day at the bank and he tells her he thought it dull, except for her. Julie is surprised with his attitude but Greg is more interested in whether she has a boyfriend but she confirms she is very much single. Greg asks about the rumours about her once seeing Des were true and Julie admits they were an item. Greg reveals how his father has told him that Des may not get the Canberra job after the truth he is living with a stripper came out. Greg’s joke that ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ doesn’t amuse Julie.

No.24 – Driveway: Next morning Shane loads up his father’s van with plumbing supplies as Jim approaches Max about moving out of home. Jim explains he has received the reference request from the estate agent but questions Max as to why he wants to move out of home and suggests he stays to try and resolve things with Maria. Max is annoyed at the interference and tells his friend to ‘butt out’ of his business. Jim still thinks Max is being bloody minded about the whole thing but confirms he’ll vouch for Max in the reference. Jim questions if he has spoken to Maria & Shane about moving out so soon and Max admits he going to do so now as he intends to move that morning. Shane returns to the van and Max asks him to join him inside as he has something to tell him and his mother.

. . .

No.24 – Lounge / Kitchen: Max hands over the address of the bedsit that he is moving into to Maria as she finishes packing his clothes. Shane watches as his parents exchange pleasantries about how Maria will pass on new plumbing jobs to him as there is only a payphone in the flats. Frustrated Shane begs them to see how ridiculous it all seems them splitting up when he has been told there is no real reason. Shane asks them both to tell him the reason behind the split and even questions if his accident is the problem. Max assures his son that it has nothing to do with him before picking up his suitcases and after assuring his family he’ll call later, he leaves the house. Shane demands to know from Maria why he cannot be told the truth but Maria tells him the truth would only make matters worse for everyone.

. . .

Bed Sit – Hallway / Room 19: Max arrives to be greeted by Mrs. French in the hallway but she is less than happy to see him. She hasn’t be told by the letting agency a new tenant was due that day and she hasn’t cleaned the bedsit for him as she hasn’t been able to get into the room for over a week. Annoyed by the woman’s attitude, Max ushers her away, telling her he’s happy for her to come back later. Max puts the key in the door of room 19. Inside the bedsit the conditions aren’t great. Max rests his suitcases down on the rather old and well used dining table before sitting down on the sofa bed. But before he can relax he realises someone is lying on the sofa covered by a blanket. Max pulls back the cover to reveal a woman who upon waking up begins screaming at the stranger staring at her. Max steps back and sighs as things seem to be going from bad to worse.

. . .

Bed Sit - Hallway: Max waits in the hallway as Mrs. French shouts at the woman about the room looking like a pig sty. Max calls out, asking how long the woman will take but Mrs. French is in no mood to accommodate anyone and tells him to back off. Mrs. French turns her attentions back towards the woman again and tells her that she regards her being a drunk worse than prostitution. The woman stumbles out of the room and staggers off but not until she tells Max she hated living in the bedsit anyway and he is welcome to it. Max explains he has to get to work and goes to leave the room to let Mrs. French start cleaning but not until the housekeeper aggravates him further.

No.24 – Lounge / Kitchen: Shane can’t relax by reading the paper and gets up to tell Maria he is going out. Maria asks where he is going but Shane is in no mood to explain anything to her. He reminds her that the only reason he is going out is because of what is happening at home is tearing him up inside. He suggests she doesn’t seem too bothered by it all though before walking out. Maria begins to cry but is interrupted by Helen who gives her a comforting hug. Maria tells her she feels lonely without Max and Helen suggests that Max probably feels the same way. Helen explains she has come over to take Maria to see a movie to cheer her up but Maria is hesitant about going out. Helen won’t take no for an answer despite her concerns she’ll be out of the house at 6pm when Max is supposed to call home for any new jobs.

. . .

Bedsit - Hallway: An old man watches as Mrs. French finishes a phone call. Max arrives and sees the old man but let’s himself into the bedsit.

Bedsit – Room 19 / Hallway: Max answers a knock on his door to find the old man waiting there. He tells Max he overheard Mrs. French on the phone asking the letting agent to check Max’s references. Max humours the old man as he is told how the man lived in room 19 until he complained about the smell and was moved further along the corridor. After the man leaves Max smells the air around him to be sure there is no smell. Another knock at the door and Max opens the door to Mrs. French who questions if he has any complaints about her cleaning. Max assures her he has not and decides to ring home from the payphone in the hallway.

No.24 – Lounge: Shane arrives home to hear the phone ringing and realises Maria isn’t in and he answers the call.

. . .

Bedsit – Hallway: Max is surprised to hear his son’s voice and asks if there have been any new jobs called in.

No.24 – Lounge: Shane looks at the notepad by the phone tells him about an existing clients called Ryan who want him to call back about their hot water system.

Bedsit – Hallway: Max questions where Maria is.

No.24 – Lounge: Shane tells him the note left explains she gone to the movies.

Bedsit – Hallway: Max questions who Maria has gone with

No.24 – Lounge: Shane makes a cutting comment that he has no idea as no one tells him what is going on anyway. Shane asks how Max likes his new place.

Bedsit – Hallway: Max doesn’t say much, just that the place is fine for him. Max tells his son he’ll call tomorrow. Max begins to feel his luck is changing when he gets back the money he has put into the pay phone but then he realises he has locked himself out of the room.

Mrs. Forbes Farm – Kitchen: Scott rushes into the farm house apologising to Mrs. Forbes for sleeping in late. He notices she has started cooking again as she prepares breakfast and takes it as a sign she is getting back to her old self. Mrs. Forbes asks Scott what he intends to do once he leaves the farm and Scott suggests he could stay on, become a farmer. Mrs. Forbes explains she has doubts about the future of farming but they are interrupted by Danny. Mrs. Forbes questions Danny about his plans for the future and Danny lets his guard down by telling her he definitely won’t become a plumber like his father. Mrs. Forbes picks up on the mistake and reminds the boys they told her their father is an engineer. She quickly plays it down as her having a bad memory but she attempts to tell them about the conversation she had with Jim but becomes confused.

. . .

No.24 – Kitchen: Shane joins Maria for a cup of tea and she comments on him going to bed so early. Shane jokes he had nothing better to do and asks after the movie. Maria admits she couldn’t concentrate on the story at all. Shane snaps back at her when she asks after Max on learning he called the house. Shane quickly apologises to his mother and tells her he is wrongly taking out his anger on her as if she was the one in the wrong. Maria makes a comment that he could well be right. The phone rings and the caller want to speak to Max. It pains both Maria & Shane as he tells the caller he can get a message to his father.

Bedsit – Hallway: Shane arrives at the bedsit and is shocked to see the state of the place. He spots one of the tenants looking at him as he tries to work out which room Max is renting. The old man scurries away when Shane goes to approach him. Max then appears from the bathroom and greets his son. Shane explains that the Baxter’s have called him about a gas job. Max invites him into the bedsit and Shane is even more shocked at the conditions of the room. He tries to reason with Max to come back to his home but Max warns him off of interfering. Shane decides he doesn’t want to be around if his father is going to keep up being so stubborn and clearly upset leaves. Max promises he’ll see his son the following day. Max discovers the electric isn’t working and goes to open the window blind to let daylight in but it breaks off and reveals the view of a brick wall. The realisation of what he has done begins to set in.

. . .

No.24 – Front Garden: Jim joins Maria as she waters her plants to tell her the news that the police have called and they may have news of the boys.

Police Station: Jim confirms with Detective. Conway that the wallet he has been shown is Scott’s. Conway explains that the wallet was found on a girl who was arrested the previous evening. The girl claimed that two surfers gave her the wallet before they dumped her a few days later. The surfers were boasting about picking up two teenage boys and then running off with their money, clothes and bikes. Jim asks if the girl knew which town this all happened in but Conway tells them no. The detective admits to Maria & Jim that the boys could be anywhere in the country by now.

. . .

Mrs. Forbes Farm – paddock: Danny arrives to tell Scott that Mrs. Forbes has become confused again but they are interrupted by the old woman who calls out to them from the farmhouse porch to get on with planning some work rather than just hanging around. Danny questions if they should move on but Scott has come to the conclusion that the farm is the closest thing they have to a home as they cannot ever return to their real homes. Scott suggests they start looking after the farm and Mrs. Forbes.

Regular Cast Credits

Featured Regular Characters: Max Ramsay, Maria Ramsay, Shane Ramsay, Danny Ramsay, Jim Robinson, Julie Robinson, Scott Robinson, Helen Daniels

Guest Cast: Gwen Plumb as Mrs. P Forbes, John Higginson as Greg Arnold, Kate Jason as Mrs. French, Peter Tandy as Detective Conway, Ernest Wilson as Old Man, Cheryl Ballantine as Spinster, David Armstrong as Waiter

Trivia Notes
• Julie makes reference to Marilyn Temple making a play for Des when she started working at the bank
• Off screen Maria and Helen go to the movies
• John Higginson is featured but not credited in the end titles
• Max moves into Room 19 at the bedsit after the previous tenant, a female alcoholic is evicted from the place
• The restaurant Greg Arnold takes Julie to was recommended by a friend of his who too took a girl there on a dinner date the previous week
• Max receives two plumbing jobs – The Ryans who want to talk to him about their hot water system and the Baxters about a gas job
• The old man neighbour Max encounters used to live in Room 19 but after complaining about the smell moved to another room
• Scott’s stolen wallet is retrieved from a girl after being arrested by the police

Summary by Paul