One Foot In The Grave

1990 Christmas Special

Victor Meldrew (who has his leg in plaster having somehow broken his leg buying a shirt in Millets) is playing risk with his wife, jean and his mother in law (who is playing over the phone and probably cheating). There is no Christmas tree. The next morning the doorbell rings and Margret (his wife) goes to answer it. She returns looking a little shocked and says it was a delivery driver that rang the bell and left. The next scene is victor ranting on the phone explaining that he quite specifically ordered one excelsior garden gnome catalogue number 263. IT seems that he had put the 263 in the wrong column because the camera pulls back to reveal the garden completely full of china gnomes.

One Foot In The Grave

He shouts to Margret that they will take them back but if any of the gnomes are damaged they will have to be paid for, just as one of them falls over and smashes. It starts to rain. The next scene all of the gnomes have been moved into the house and there is barely a space inch left, even the wardrobe is full of them. Victor is trying to get to sleep, asking one of the gnomes what he is grinning about and saying it is like trying to get to sleep in snow white’s cottage. The next day a bottle of wine arrives which Victor assumes is a Christmas present from Great Aunt Joyce. Victor and Margret drink the wine, putting the last of it in the bubble and squeak. Patrick and Pippa, the neighbours pop round to say that they had ordered a Combined Christmas and 60th birthday present for Pippa’s father that cost £850 and had it delivered to the Meldrew’s because they did not want him to find it. Margret panics and fills the empty wine bottle with beer and puts the cork back, hoping that it will never be drunk.

Victor goes to get his plaster cast taken off and has an argument with the video shop owner. While he is out Margert meets Pippa father (who is a vicar) who had locked himself out of the houses she invites him in, apologising for the gnomes. Victor gets back and over a cup of tea the vicar admits that he no longer believes in God and is going to work in resins. One of the reasons he has stopped believing in God was that the woman in the video shop had just lost her husband. Victor feels quite remorseful about being rude to her earlier and offers to help the vicar feeding the homeless on Christmas day. When everyone is fed one of the homeless people stays behind. He has a shotgun and thinks that the world will end at twenty passed eight that evening. Pippa comes round to find her father and talks the gun away from the homeless person. The woman in the video shop’s husband comes back. He did not die in a car accident at all, he took an early flight to the airport, his car was stolen and the thief crashed it and everyone assumed it was him and due to power cuts he was not able to phone his wife. The next day (boxing day) all the gnomes are loaded into a van. Patrick accosts victor outside the house, he is carrying the machine gun that Pippa took from the homeless person. He (Patrick) is very angry because when they gave Pippa’s father his wine the cork flew up the vicar’s nose and ‘something closely resembling carbonated cat’s urine started dribbling down the sides of the bottle.’ Victor starts to explain but Patrick aims the gun at the gnomes on the van and shoots them all.

One Foot In The Grave

Victor returns into the house and Margret askes him what the noise was. He avoids the question. There is another crashing sound and a tree that had been threatening to fall on to their other neighbour’s house ends up in their front room. It seems they did have a tree in the house for Christmas after all.