List of Oh, Doctor Beeching! episodes

This is a complete list of episodes for the BBC situation comedy Oh, Doctor Beeching! by David Croft and Richard Spendlove, which aired for between 1995 and 1997.

Following a successful pilot on 14 August 1995, series one (which started with a repeat of the pilot with certain scenes having been filmed again owing to a change in actress) was broadcast from 1 July to 27 August 1996 and consisted of nine episodes. Series two was broadcast from 29 June to 28 September 1997 and consisted of a further ten episodes.

Episode list


No. Title Director Airdate
0 (1)"Pilot"Roy Gould14 August 1995 (1995-08-14)
A sensation is caused at Hatley when the efficient new Station master Cecil Parkin, arrives. He is far from impressed by the way the station is run, but overjoyed to discover that the station buffet is run by May Blanchflower, with whom he once had a passionate affair. But sadly she is now a married woman and her husband is the station porter Jack Skinner. The episode ends with Mr Parkin discovering the newspaper article which announces that Dr Beeching intends to close down thousands of railway stations and Hatley is under threat.

Series One

No. Title Director Airdate
1 (2)"All Change"Roy Gould1 July 1996 (1996-07-01)
This episode is identical to the 1995 pilot except the actress who played May Sherrie Hewson has been replaced with Julia Deakin.
2 (3)"Talking Turkey"Roy Gould8 July 1996 (1996-07-08)
Pandemonium ensues at Hatley when a turkey belonging to the signalman, Harry Lambert (Stephen Lewis), is seen running up the line.
3 (4)"The Train Now Standing…"Roy Gould15 July 1996 (1996-07-15)
Mr Parkin plans to make Hatley Station more sophisticated by setting up a new speaker system, over which the station announcements will be made. Mrs Schumann (Su Pollard), who is in charge of the booking office, is chosen to make the announcements, but will her nerves get the better of her?
4 (5)"A Moving Story"Roy Gould22 July 1996 (1996-07-22)
Everyone on the station has to help move Mr Parkin's furniture into the Station Master's house, while Mr Parkin looks forward to a relaxing bath. May confesses to Ethel Schumann about her involvement with Mr Parkin – how will Ethel break the news to Jack?
5 (6)"The Late Mr Buckly"Roy Gould29 July 1996 (1996-07-29)
The arrival of a coffin at Hatley Station causes chaos.
6 (7)"Horse Play"Roy Gould5 August 1996 (1996-08-05)
When Harry Lambert's signal is seen to be on fire, Ethel, Jack and Wilfred attempt to put matters right, but it only leads to them causing a small fire on the platform. Mr Parkin mischievously buys a set of expensive lingerie for May, for the eighteen birthdays she has had since they last met. May thinks that the only thing she can do is give them back, but she wishes she didn't have to. Jack gets wind of the present when Vera Plumtree (Barbara New), the station cleaner, seemingly accidentally lets it slip. Jack demands to know what is happening, but Ethel spins a story and Jack is convinced it was innocent. He insists that May comes home with him for a bit of hanky-panky and Wilfred and Ethel have to deal with an unexpected arrival of a lion at the station.
7 (8)"Past Love"Roy Gould12 August 1996 (1996-08-12)
Mr Parkin's former flame, a tax-inspector named Edna Taylor, to whom he has been engaged for six years, finds a letter on his desk and is not pleased to discover that he no longer loves her. Meanwhile, the station staff attempt to stop Mr Parkin from discovering the pig they have procured for their Christmas dinner.
8 (9)"Job Opportunity"Roy Gould19 August 1996 (1996-08-19)
May Skinner wishes to find a job at a larger station and earn some more money. She is offered a job at Loxley Station and goes for an interview, but Jack and Cecil will stop at nothing to ensure that she does not get the job. Harry Lambert is also interested, because the man doing the interview, Fred Foster, is coming to the station to sample May's buffet. Fred is the man for whom Harry's wife left him and now seems a good opportunity to get his revenge.
9 (10)"Sleeping Around"Roy Gould27 August 1996 (1996-08-27)
Jack and May's daughter Gloria along with Wilfred Schumann, Ethel's son, cause chaos when their parents discover one morning that both their beds have not been slept in. Mr Parkin annoys the staff when he arranges a medical examination for Jack, without his permission and Ethel desperately seeks a date for the Saturday dance.

Series Two

No. Title Director Airdate
1 (11)"No Milk for the Minister"Roy Gould29 June 1997 (1997-06-29)
There is a crisis when May has no milk in her buffet and the Minister of Transport decides to pay a visit. Mr Parkin has installed a "Position Closed" sign in the Booking Office, which Ethel has trouble getting to grips with. Mr Skinner sets out to get revenge on Mr Parkin when the latter suggests that he take the day off following his drastic over-reaction to Mr Parkin's solution to the milk problem.
2 (12)"Father's Day"Roy Gould6 July 1997 (1997-07-06)
There is confusion over whether Jack or Cecil is Gloria's real father.
3 (13)"The Gravy Train"Roy Gould13 July 1997 (1997-07-13)
Jack finds a suitcase full of hundreds of five-pound notes and it seems that all his worries are over, until Percy (Terry John) the guard, tells the station staff some important news.
4 (14)"The Van"Roy Gould20 July 1997 (1997-07-20)
British Railways decide to issue Mr Parkin with a van, following his appointment as Station Master of three smaller stations in addition to Hatley. Unfortunately, he can't drive.
5 (15)"Lucky Strike"Roy Gould27 July 1997 (1997-07-27)
When Ralph, the trainee engine driver, decides to go on strike following an outrage, Gloria Skinner is not pleased when she hears her mother's suggestion for persuading him to change his mind.
6 (16)"Love is a Very Splendid Thing"Roy Gould17 August 1997 (1997-08-17)
Ethel becomes completely smitten with Joe, an American airman (Mac McDonald), when she meets him by chance in a cafe and ends up going to the pictures with him. Wilfred is not too happy and takes drastic action.
7 (17)"A Bowl in the Hand"Roy Gould7 September 1997 (1997-09-07)

It's the Hatley Bowls Club Outing. Cecil Parkin is all dressed for the occasion, having posted Jack Skinner to stay behind on duty. However, Mr Orkindale (Richard Spendlove) insists that Jack comes instead. He lies that Jack is a star bowler, but really it is because he buys his round. Left on station duty while Jack takes his place on the outing, Mr Parkin soon puts aside his indignation, when he realises that May has been accidentally left on the station as well. Unfortunately, she's not so thrilled about it.

This episode was originally scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday 31 August 1997, however it was postponed by the BBC due to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales which occurred in the early hours of that Sunday. BBC One had suspended normal Sunday programming to bring extensive news coverage of her death and this episode was postponed until Sunday 14 September 1997.[1][2]
8 (18)"Action Stations"Roy Gould14 September 1997 (1997-09-14)
The Hatley staff have a busy day ahead when Lady Lawrence's chauffeur (Hugh Lloyd) tells them that Lady Lawrence will be coming to the station that very evening to meet a very important guest – none other than Dr Beeching himself!
9 (19)"A Pregnant Pause"Roy Gould21 September 1997 (1997-09-21)
After a shaky training day on the "Flamin' new diesels", Arnold suspects he's going to get the push and takes drastic steps to make sure he doesn't. May and Jack are equally as worried about whether now is the right time for another baby.
10 (20)"Ton Up"Roy Gould28 September 1997 (1997-09-28)
Hatley station is 100 years old and a celebration is planned including a newspaper article and photograph. Ralph (Perry Benson) drives the train successfully into the station and the staff dress in period clothing, after which a great street party and a not so surprising reaction to the vegetarian food ends the series with a trumpeting farewell.


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