Nevertheless taking care of Benny isn't the easiest thing. For a start his own family just don't seem to care.
And there's another basic problem for Benny. Taking care of him as far as his life in King's Oak is concerned often
means taking him away from his first and deepest love: the land.
The land and all its beauties is the centre of Ed's life as well. Says Thomas Heathcote, "Basically I suppose Ed's
a bit of a failure. He's good at his work and can get on with it well enough, but where he falls down is trying to make
it in the modern world. All he really thinks of is turning a little land over. To make money you've got to sweat
and work hard, and Ed's good at that." Paul Henry adds: "Ed is very similar to Benny, and that holds them together
come what may. They're both very honest, down to earth people."
Unfortunately for peace of mind at the Farm, many of the people they have to deal with rate rather lower on honesty.
Local rural bigwig Mr Sackville sometimes seems obsessed with bringing misery to Ed and Benny. Ed may love the land,
but Mr Sackville realises above all just how valuable it is. Turning a bit of earth isn't his idea of living one's life.
Turning a profit is more to his taste, and it doesn't matter who suffers while he's doing it. Hugh Mortimer may be using
his business acumen to help Ed set up his farm as a market garden, but Sackville can't wait to grab the land.
Problems of a different sort have come to Benny in the form of Josie, a young girl from the village who's setting her
cap at him in no uncertain way. Obviously Benny's had an affectionate relationship with a girl before, but as Paul Henry
explains, his feelings towards Diane are very different. "She's Ed's niece and when she arrived on the farm Benny started
building his very child-like sort of affection towards her. Someone from the big world suddenly started caring about
Diane's gentleness is all well and good, but when Josie arrives Benny finds himself with a new sort of girlfriend, and
one who's making all the running. Says Paul Henry, "The thing is that Benny's growing up all the time. The problem
is that he is experiencing things in his twenties that most people have started dealing with by the time they're teenagers.
He's starting to realise that he's a male, that there's a physical side to love. With Diane it's like a mother and child
sort of thing, she takes care of him and he responds because it's the sort of affection he needs. Josie is a different
proposition. He can't understand that what he feels for her is a natural thing and he's worried by it."
"To her he's just Barmy Benny and she knows she can tease him and so on. All she's got is her sex, and Benny's
really going through a bit of hell."
Inevitably for Thomas Heathcote and Paul Henry, real life is nothing at all like the characters they take on on the Crossroads
set. Accomplished actors both, they have had extensive careers in the theatre as well as on TV and in films.
Thomas Heathcote has been an actor for over forty years, starting his career at the Old Vic, in the 1930s. "After
the war I went to the Bristol Olv Vic, then I spent seven years in Laurence Olivier's own company. I've toured Australia.
I've done lots of TV plays, series and films and theatre." Everyone who watched Robert Bolt's great film 'A Man
For All Seasons' will remember Thomas Heathcote as the Common Man, the narrator whose runnig commentary on the action is the
central theme of the whole film. As well as that he's been in 'The Fixer' and what he calls a 'ghastly amount of war