The show is set in 1929. It takes place at an undertakers run by Jeremiah (Freddie Jones). His long suffering wife wife Ivy is played by Thora Hird. Christopher Beeny is their nephew Billy. The original pilot aired in 1969 but the series wasn’t picked up for ten years.
Opening episode:May 29,1979 – Business is bad. Jeremiah likes his booze and expects Billy to do all the work. Jeremiah likes to visit the old age home just in case he can get some business. He hopes Billy went to the rock quarry like he was supposed to but he’s still working on the hearse which is falling apart.
That night is legion night at the pub and Jeremiah can’t wait to get there to see how many ales he can down. Billy tells Ivy he’s got a money making idea. He opens the door to the privy and there sits a concrete gnome. Maybe not one of his best ideas.
The next day Jeremiah gets a call. The head of the legion has died and Jeremiah will get to do the funeral. He warns Billy nothing better go wrong. Of course it does when Billy isn’t paying attention and hits a bump. The coffin slides out and ends up in the canal and floats away.
The widow calls Jeremiah the next day and says he better find her husband. Billy tells Ivy he’s leaving. All he has to do is fix the brakes on the hearse and then he’s gone. Now the police call. They found the coffin. It’s stuck halfway into a sewer pipe. Jeremiah goes to gets it. When he leaves he doesn’t see Billy under the hearse fixing the brakes. Billy hops on his bike to try and warn him.
The ending of the episode is unexpected and sets up the rest of a very entertaining series.
Thora Hird is a familiar face to sitcom fans. She starred as Edie in “Last Of The Summer Wine” (1986-2003).
Christopher Beeny was in “Last Of The Summer Wine” as Morton from 2001-10.