The Pilot Episode
Mr. Grainger, head of the Men's Ready-Made Department, is not a happy camper. After 25 years, he is being forced to share his floor with women!
Immediately he and Mrs. Slocombe (head of Ladies' Intimate Apparel, their new roommates), come to blows over territory and displays. The new men's junior, Mr. Lucas is learning fluting (handkerchief) lessons from Floorwalker Captain Peacock, while Assistant Salesman Mr. Humphries provides life lessons on how to survive at Grace Brothers. Mr. Lucas also shows off his seam-straightening skills on Mrs. Slocombe, who reports to Miss Brahms (ladies' Junior) that his hands were actually rather smooth, and we learn someone's naughty little secret. The major argument of the day: will the trouser display be moved so the Ladies' Department can put up a display of their own? After a lot of moaning and groaning on both sides, Mr. Grainger finally consents to allowing the Ladies' one display, and for it Mrs. Slocombe makes a choice that pretty much illuminates how relations between the two departments are probably going to be.
This episode sets the tone for things to come in the series.
Some history: this is the only black & white episode, but you knew that already. What you probably didn't know is that "BBC Colour" appears at the end of the credits.
This episode was a short-notice replacement in 1972, when a terrorist attack during the Munich Olympics forced many events to be cancelled. This caused several large gaps in programming that needed to be filled, the AYBS pilot was one of the programs called upon, it was aired...and the rest is history.
Screen Caps: link coming soon
The hard sale:
Upon learning of Peacock's Blue Cinema Club membership:
More midnight blue:
On Young Mr. Grace's departure:
The first meeting in Rumbold's: