Exterior shot, smart London street. Nicholas Jenkins lets himself into front door. Interior shot of Jean, his girlfriend, with no clothes on.
Nick: You've got no clothes on.
Jean: Haven't I? Gosh, nor I have.
Nick: Why haven't you got any clothes on?
Jean: Because it will make the viewers think that there is lots more sex and nudity to follow.
Nick: But there isn't?
Jean: No. Not a sausage.
Nick: Phew. Thank goodness for that. Now, get your clothes on before your husband, Bob Duporte, comes home.
Jean: Why did you mention the name of my husband? I know perfectly well what he is called.
Nick: I know, but if we don't keep mentioning names, and whether we are married or not, the viewers will forget who everyone is. By the way, were you at school with a chap called Widmerpool?
Jean: No. Were you?
Nick: Yes, I was, as a matter of fact. Incidentally, I saw my Uncle Giles today.
Cut to seedy hotel on Brighton seafront, interior, lots of period detail.
Enter seedy uncle.
Uncle Giles: Hello, Nick, fancy bumping into you here. Will you look after these papers for me?
Nick: Why, what are they, Uncle Giles?
Uncle Giles: My scripts for the next five episodes. Can't make head or tail of what's happening without them. Or with them, come to that.
Nick: Pleasure, Uncle Giles.
Enter Bob Duporte.
Bob: Hello, Nick and Uncle Giles. Fancy bumping into you again after all these years.
Nick: Actually, I think this is the first time we've met.
Bob: Consulting script You may be right.
Nick: I'm married now, you know.
Cut to country station at night. Steam train arrives.
Close-up of porter.
Porter: Widmerpool! Widmerpool!
Carriage door opens and Widmerpool descends balefully, accompanied by Miranda Richardson playing herself.
Widmerpool bumps into another passenger.
Passenger: Why don't you watch where you're flaming going?
Widmerpool: Because my name is Widmerpool and I run this railway, or at least I end up head of almost anything you care to mention, so I probably run this railway as well. And who are you, you nasty little working class oik?
Odo: My name is Odo Stevens, and I write short stories.
Widmerpool: Why on earth would a working class chap want to write short stories?
Odo: I'm not sure, but I think that Anthony Powell is totally incapable of portraying anyone proletarian unless he is like himself, ie a writer with a curious name?
Odo: It is if you insist on pretending it's pronounced Pole.
Enter Nicholas Jenkins, holding kit bag.
Widmerpool: Hello, Nick. I'm married now, you know, but I haven't any children.
Nick: Have you heard about the war?
Widmerpool: Heard about it? My dear boy, I am a major shareholder in it!
Porter: Come along, gents, please, come along! Have you no homes to go to?
Nick: Peering closely at Porter My God, it's Charlie! Charlie Stringham! But you're ... drunk! And we were at school together! I'm married now, you know.
Charlie: I must be even drunker than I thought. You look nothing like the Nick Jenkins I once knew.
Nick: Yes, but that's because I am being played by a different actor now.
Charlie: Well, it's lovely to see you again, Nick, whoever you are.
Enter Bob Duporte.
Bob: Anyone here seen Quiggins?
I'm not sure if this quite wraps up everything. Maybe we'll have another episode tomorrow. And there again, maybe not.