Jasper Pye is a perfect Civil Servant, polite and refined but to his girlfriend and even himself he is a bore. He decides to completely change his life, leave his safe job and become an artist in Paris. His superiors, instead of accepting his resignation, decide to send him on a mission; to dismantle a government statistical research unit which is headquartered in a country stately home. Lord Flamborough, the owner, lives in a train on his own 'branch line' while the research unit is running the stately home funded by the Government. Lord Flamborough's three daughters all make Jasper's life very comfortable and as his life is turned upside down he has to decide where his personal future will lie.