'Allo 'Allo! (series 6)

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The sixth series of the British Sitcom series 'Allo 'Allo! contains eight episodes which first aired between 2 September and 21 October 1989.

Series 6 and subsequent episodes were 30 minutes in length, as they were not co-commissioned for the American market (as series 5 was). Jack Haig was originally meant to star in the series; but his death before the start of production prevented this. As the LeClerc character was important to the series, Derek Royle was brought in to play the part of Ernest LeClerc, Roger's brother. Naturally, the two characters are very similar in the roles that they play within the show's plot. The show also features the last appearance of Gavin Richards as Bertorelli who would be recast by Roger Kitter and Ernest would later be recast by Robin Parkinson.

The following episode names are the ones found on the British R2 DVDs with alternate region titles given below them.

Series No. Episode No. Episode title Original UK airdate
6.01 54 Desperate Doings in the Graveyard 2 September 1989
6.02 55 The Gestapo for the High Jump 9 September 1989
6.03 56 The Nouvion Oars 16 September 1989
6.04 57 The Nicked Airmen 23 September 1989
6.05 58 The Airmen De-Nicked 30 September 1989
6.06 59 The Crooked Fences 7 October 1989
6.07 60 Crabtree's Podgeon Pist 14 October 1989
6.08 61 Rising to the Occasion 21 October 1989

Desperate Doings in the Graveyard[edit]

René informs the audience that the café has a new pianist, Ernest LeClerc who is the brother of Roger LeClerc. When Ernest was in prison, he and Roger switched places, because, as Roger explained, the prison food was better than madame Edith's. Thus, Ernest has now taken Roger's place in the café. After he has recapitulated the events of his own death and his now posing as his twin brothers, he is about to put some flowers on his "brother's" grave. Both Yvette and Edith join him in the café, but they both decline the offer to come with him to the graveyard. Yvette asks him to place a cactus on the grave for her, and Edith gives him a rhubarb to be placed there. René is not very fond of either idea, but they are soon interrupted, when Mimi tells them they are wanted in the backroom by Michelle of the Resistance.

Michelle informs them that beneath René's brother's "grave", the Resistance are building a communication centre, with a wireless radio, because the one in madame Fanny's bedroom is being jammed by the Germans. Secondly, they need a bigger aerial to be able to contact London and tell them when to put the next escape plan for the British airmen into action. The radio will be ready within the next 24 hours and because they will go there when it is ready, under the pretence of putting flowers on René's brother's grave, they must not go yet.

As Michelle is leaving, Officer Crabtree enters the café and tells the café gang of the new rescue plan for the airmen. They are about to walk through the village canal down to the estuary, where they will be picked up by a British submarine. Edith remarks that the airmen are six feet tall and the canal is eight feet deep, so they are all wondering how they are supposed to be able to walk down the canal. Crabtree then shows the airmen in, wearing their escape outfit - consisting of a wetsuit for each and the two of them carrying an upside down tin bath tub with an air tube over their heads.

Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen of the Gestapo are poundering the question of how to discover who is helping the British airmen to escape. Herr Flick finally decides they will disguise themselves as British airmen in order to find out. When they have found out where the airmen are being hidden, they will leave and return with the German army. In order to be able to pose as genuine British, they take a grammophone language course - "How to fool the French that you are English in one easy lesson" - from the Gestapo language course library.

As Helga enters the anteroom of colonel Von Strohm's office, she finds captain Bertorelli at her desk. He has just written a poem for her on her typewriter. He also wants to give her a gift (a négligée), but they are interrupted by the colonel, calling for Helga. When she tells him and lieutenant Gruber of Herrs Flick's and Von Smallhausen's plan, they become rather concerned that their trail will lead to René and the café. They decide to give René an anonymous call to warn him. This fails utterly, partly because the colonel's message makes little sense (he gives the cryptic message "Listen sweetheart, get out of town or you will find yourself wearing a concrete overcoat" in a Humphrey Bogart-esque style), partly because René recognises his voice immediately and thinks he is going mad.

When René has put the receiver down, he has a little cuddle with Yvette. As they are discovered by Edith, he explains the situation by telling her that he is examining Yvette's teeth, since she has not been to the dentist in three months. When she has gone into the kitchen, madame Fanny comes down the stairs, announcing that Ernest LeClerc has asked her to marry her and that she intends to accept this proposal. René thinks it's been rather quick, since Ernest has only been with them for 24 hours, but Fanny says he has "rekindled the dying embers of her love". The next moment, Ernest enters the café and gives Fanny an engagement ring. After that he takes her for a walk in the square.

At the chateau, Helga announces general Von Klinkerhoffen. He is dissatisfied with the way the colonel is running the town and lately, he has found out about the strange doings in the graveyard. Therefore, he has arrested Monsieur Alfonse, the undertaker, and intends to let the colonel and the lieutenant interrogate him. After making a few lame attempts, which the general is not satisfied with, lieutenant Gruber manages to get an answer from Monsieur Alfonse about the mounds of earth in the graveyard; the graves are being dug in the summer, when business is "slack", to be prepared for winter, when people will fall of the perch. As the general says he is satisfied with this answer, they let Monsieur Alfonse go. After this, the general urges the colonel and the lieutenant to keep an eye on him, since he is not at all satisfied with the answer and suspects the gravediggers are up to something.

Monsieur Alfonse goes to the graveyard and goes down René's brother's grave. Down there, Michelle and a tall blonde woman, who is the aerial expert, are preparing the radio, which they will use that same night to contact London. They show him how it works, by removing the slab of the grave and raising the aerial, which will rise 20 feet above ground level. However, for the moment, they do not raise it out of the grave, in order not to risk the Germans spotting it.

In the evening, Mimi enters the café with some flowers, informing Edith and René that they are to go to the grave and send a message (written on a little note which she gives them) to London. The halo, which operates the opening of the slab of the grave from the outside, has gone "wonky" and they will have to press the cherub's "buzzer" instead. Edith and René leave the bar in Mimi's hands and go to the graveyard. Meanwhile, lieutenant Gruber tries to warn René of the Gestapo's plan by calling him on the telephone, just as Helga is entering the room where he is. As he is informed that René has gone to put flowers on his brother's grave, Gruber is reminded of the time when he had René shot - something which still haunts him to this day. The two of them also decide to place some flowers on the grave.

When René pushes the "buzzer", Monsieur Alfonse opens the grave and lets him and Edith down. As it appears that the aerial expert is not there, René wants to cancel the sending of the message, but Edith and Monsieur Alfonse insist that it must be sent. The try to operate the machinery themselves and manage to open the slab and raise the aerial. However, René is caught on the aerial and rises out of the grave - just as Gruber and Helga are approaching. In the darkness and mist, Gruber thinks it is René's brother's ghost and cries "René, forgive me!" René answers "You are forgiven, my son" and is lowered down the grave again, while Gruber and Helga leave the graveyard.

  • Note: This episode marks the first appearance of Derek Royle as Ernest LeClerc.

The Gestapo for the High Jump[edit]

René is lying on the table in the backroom with Yvette massaging him, since he is sore from being hoisted in the air by the aerial. After he has given the audience the usual recapitulation of events, Yvette leaves the room and fetches Elaine, a woman who is very good at massaging and stretching muscles, from the café. She joins René in the backroom and starts bending his limbs, in order to relieve him of his pain. Finally, she bends his legs over his head (thus folding him in half), just as Yvette enters the room in the company of lieutenant Gruber.

Helga brings two British parachutes to Herr Flick, at his request. She asks him when he will put his plan into operation and he answers that he and Von Smallhausen will do it as soon as Von Smallhausen has perfected his disguise. He calls Von Smallhausen out from behind his dressing curtain - dressed as a British airmen, however with a big cricket bat in his hand, which he thinks will make him look more British. Herr Flick tells him to lose the bat. Helga asks if the French will not be suspicious, if they do not speak English. Herr Flick then points out, that very few French speak English and secondly, they have taken a language course. When he asks Von Smallhausen to demonstrate this, he repeats the words they learned on the course, which is just repeating "fa, fa, fa, fa, fa" over and over again.

In the café, Gruber tells René of his meeting with his brother's ghost and that the spirit forgave him for having shot him. He also warns René of the Gestapo's plan to disguise themselves as British airmen, in order to be captured and find the resistance headquarters. When René asks him when this will take place, he only says, that he will inform him when he knows more and, because of its being difficult to speak in the presence of the colonel, will give him a secret sign (by blinking his eye). When he has gone, Michelle emerges from behind a curtain, almost giving René a heartattack. She has heard every word and she says now they do not dare rescue any British airmen in case they might be the Gestapo in disguise. René agrees and thinks she should dismantle the whole resistance. However, she says she will think of a plan and leaves the café, warning René not to be an obstacle and that due to his clumsiness, the aerial now does not work. Edith tries to comfort him by reminding him of the little hotel on the coast where they used to go before the war.

When René feels better, officer Crabtree enters the café, being rather angry with him ("I have a boon to peck with you!") because the message was not sent the night before and the submarine did not arrive to pick up the British airmen. Thus, the two of them have been standing in water up to their necks for the past 24 hours. As he leaves, madame Fanny and Monsieur LeClerc enters, coming back from a walk. After LeClerc has read their engagement announcement in the newspaper, Fanny informs Edith of their plans for the wedding: René will be best man, Yvette and Mimi will be bridesmaids and Edith will be the matron of honour. As Fanny and Ernest go upstairs, Edith asks who will give her away but this matter is not resolved, since there is no one left to do it.

At the German headquarters, general Von Klinkerhoffen is vary glad that the Gestapo's plan has been revealed. He tells Helga, colonel Von Strohm and captain Bertorelli that, in order for the credit for discovering the resistance headquarters not to go to the Gestapo, they will adpot their plan and put it into operation first. The colonel points out that their faces are familiar and that they will not be able to pass themselves off as British airmen. However, captain Bertorelli points out, that the faces of his men are not known and thus, the task of jumping out of a captured British aeroplane while the Germans are firing blanks at them, goes to Bertorelli's men. In order for the Germans not to lose them when the resistance have picked them up, they will be outfitted with aniseed balls, which they will drop every ten meters. Then, the Germans will have tracker dogs that will be able to find them that way.

In the evening, when Edith has finished singing in the café, she, René and Yvette meet Michelle in the backroom. She informs them of her new plan, that when the resistance have picked up the Gestapo, disguised as British airmen, Crabtree will take them to and old, unused castle, where the café gang, disguised beyond recognition, will lock them up in the cellar and then disappear. To help them with their disguises, one of her girls, who was once a make up assistant to Boris Karloff, will put masks on them. The next moment, there is a knock on the door. Michelle hides and Gruber pokes in his head, blinking his eye and leaving. Thus they know, that the plan will be carried out that same night.

At the German headquarters, four of Bertorelli's men are equipped with British uniforms (complete with false moustaches and smoke pipes) and aniseed balls. They also show that they can speak English, by saying "fa, fa, fa, fa, fa" repeatedly.

Michelle and Henriette are waiting for the false airmen (Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen) to land and are joined by Crabtree, disguised as a resistance girl with a mackintosh and huge false ears. In one of the aeroplanes, the two of them get ready to jump and soon do so, with Herr Flick pushing Herr Von Smallhausen out of the plane. Meanwhile, general Von Klinkerhoffen, colonel Von Strohm and Helga are waiting on the ground and are soon joined by lieutenant Gruber, who has the tracker dogs with him. In another aeroplane, captain Bertorelli and his four men are also preparing themselves to jump. His men are reluctant, since it is a long way down, but he "drops" them by opening a trap door in the floor.

When the first two parachute jumpers have landed, they are contacted by Crabtree, who urges them to follow him. Meanwhile, the Germans have seen the Italians land and the general orders the "bloodhounds" to be released. However, it turns out that they are all at the dog show and that Gruber has only managed to commandeer some poodles from the ladies of the town. Helga brings them along to the woods, in order for them to pick up the scent of the aniseed balls.

Crabtree brings Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen to the old chateau and rings the doorbell, after which he leaves. The door is opened by Mimi, disguised as a small, bald butler. She brings them inside where they meet Edith (disguised as an old green witch), Yvette (disguised as Elsa Lanchester's Bride of Frankenstein) and René (disguised as the Hunchback of Notre Dame; apparently "the baron" who is mad, since he is held in chains). Edith says the will hide them in the dungeon, where no one will ever find them. When Ernest enters the room, dressed as a valet, announcing that dinner is served and appearing to have four arms, Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen flee from the castle.

The Nouvion Oars[edit]

René is sitting in the backroom, removing his disguise mask, when Yvette announces Michelle. She brings Crabtree's uniform and says they have told him to come here, since he cannot go to the police station in his present state. The next moment, Crabtree comes out of a cupboard in the room, dressed in a dress and the big ears. When they have given him his uniform and sent him upstairs to change clothes, Michelle informs René and Yvette that her people have dismantled the aerial and the radio in the graveyard and assembled it in Fanny's bedroom instead. When Michelle says the must go there to send a message to London and René says he will not do it, she forces him at gunpoint.

Fanny and Edith are sitting on Fanny's bed, talking about the materials to be used for the clothes for the wedding, when Michelle, Yvette and René enter the room. Michelle operates the aerial with a few switches installed in the cupboard. Firstly, the bed folds in half to make room for the aerial. Secondly, the roof opens up and thirdly, the aerial rises out of one of the bedposts. When they have sent the message ("The cow is ready to jump over the moon and Jack and Jill are standing in a bucket"), Crabtree shows up, complaining to Michelle that he cannot unglue his false ears. She then gives him a removal for this. When he has gone, it starts snowing through the opened roof, down on the bed. When Michelle lowers the aerial, to be able to close the roof, there is a big bird sitting on it, which they have to get rid of first.

At the chateau, general Von Klinkerhoffen is complaining that the plan failed utterly. Captain Bertorelli tries to defend himself by saying that his men did exactly as they were told and colonel Von Strohm blames lieutenant Gruber for bringing poodles instead of bloodhounds - borrowed from French tarts, as the general puts it. The next moment, a guard enters the room telling them, that two British airmen have been picked up. When they are brought in, they turn out to be Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen. The inform the rest of the Germans, that they have made contact with the resistance and that they should arrest the persons fitting the description of the disguises the café gang had at the old castle. They do not recognize any of these people, except possibly the witch, which resembles madame Edith. The general thinks they are trying to pull their legs and says they will be kept under close observation and "Berlin will be informed of your perverse antics and your acalcitrous demeanour, which has exacerbated the quid pro quo, vis-à-vis interdepartmental relationships." The Herrs leave, with Herr Flick saying "Come Von Smallhausen. To our dictionaries."

When they have left, Helga enters the room saying there is a message for the general on the telephone. Gruber takes it, but when he informs the general of the message that has been picked up (about the cow and Jack and Jill), he thinks the Gestapo has sabotaged their radio station. When he is told that Helga and Herr Flick are keen to get married (or at least Herr Flick is), he comes up with a plan to keep Herr Flick under observation. Helga will marry him, report everything she finds out back to the general and then, when they have enough information, he will have the Führer annul the marriage.

In the backyard of the café, Ernest brings some sandwiches for the two British airmen. In one of them, they find a note with the message "anal ... ubmarine". They interpret this as Michelle wanting them to go down the canal to meet the submarine. In their wetsuits the head toward the canal under their tin bath.

In Helga's room, she is preparing herself to seduce Herr Flick. Gruber comes in with some champagne and some caviar and instructs her of the plan. When a soldier enters with a vase of flowers, Gruber points out that it is too early. They will be delivered at the sound of the champagne cork popping - seemingly from an admirer - to make Herr Flick jealous. Soon after Gruber has left, Herr Flick arrives. Helga tries hard to seduce him and even proposes to him, but he is rather reluctant. When she tries to open the champagne bottle, she cannot get it open and must therefore make a popping noise instead, so that the flowers can be delivered right on time. However, they do not make Herr Flick very jealous. As she throws the flowers with the vase out the window, he is more concerned that she has hit Von Smallhausen. When she presents him with a ring, he is "most touched", but she has a very hard time seducing him.

Mimi is in the larder cutting cheese for the Germans to put in their ears when madame Edith sings. René finds time to have a quick cuddle with her, but they are interrupted by Yvette. When Mimi has left with the cheese, René and Yvette also have a quick cuddle. When madame Edith has finished her number, she receives applause, because she has not sung but performed a tap dance. When she is done and René and Yvette come up from the larder, they are all called into the backroom, where Michelle wants to talk to them. She says they must all go to the rendezvous at the estuary to make sure the airmen get away on the submarine. As an excuse, they will disguise themselves as a rowboat team and row on the canal. The secret signal from the submarine will be a radio controlled goose with flashing eyes and smoke coming out of its other end. While she is leaving through the back window, Gruber enters the café and tells Von Strohm and Bertorelli that the general urges them to investigate strange goings-on in the estuary.

The next morning, the café gang and some resistance girls are dressed as a rowing eight and row down the canal. Meanwhile, colonel Von Strohm, lieutenant Gruber and captain Bertorelli are sitting in a small motorboat nearby and cannot get the motor running. Captain bertorelli then starts pushing the boat, like the gondoliers of Venice. The British airmen are walking down the canal under their tin bath and the British submarine is also there, sending out a mechanical goose. The café gang are soon joined by Michelle and Monsieur Alfonse, in his funeral boat. As the goose is approaching them, it starts ringing. Michelle picks up the receiver fitted into its back. The submarine captain asks where the airmen are and Michelle says they are trying to locate them. However, she is forced to hang up when the Germans are approaching. Michelle and Monsieur Alfonse head toward the shore, while the Germans urge the café gang to clear the area, since they are investigating strange occurrences. The submarine crew are wondering what is happening and the captain sends up the periscope - right through the bottom the Germans' boat, which capsizes.

The Nicked Airmen[edit]

Since René now believe that the British airmen have returned to England, he tells Michelle, in the café, that he will have nothing more to do with the resistance. However, she informs him, that they did not go with the submarine - they have been captured by the Germans. As long as they are in the hands of the German army, they will not reveal anything, but if Herr Flick gets his hands on them, the whole café gang and the resistance are in danger. The next moment, Yvette bursts into the café, saying there are German soldiers coming towards the café - with machine guns. These soldiers enter the café and arrest René and Edith.

Colonel Von Strohm, lieutenant Gruber and captain Bertorelli try to interrogate the British airmen (who are still in their wetsuits), but it turns out to be impossible, since none of the officers speaks English and the airmen does not speak German or Italian. Not even with Bertorelli's English phrase book do they manage, but misunderstand one another terribly. When René and Edith are brought in, they try to ask the airmen if they know them. The Germans manage to understand so much of their communication, that they deny knowing them. When Gruber has left with the airmen (to put them in a dungeon in the chateau), the colonel also lets René and Edith go - for the moment.

Helga, only clad in corsets, suspenders and stockings, is sitting in the luxurious room she was given the day before. Suddenly, general Von Klinkerhoffen enters, informing her that since they have now captured the British airmen, she is no longer required to marry Herr Flick, which means she no longer needs the room and must therefore leave it by midday. She pleads with the general to keep it and she is allowed to do so for one more night - on the condition that she will let him visit her in the evening.

When the general has left, Herr Flick enters the room, through the balcony door. He has been forbidden to visit her, but he has done so anyway, since he is now willing to accept her proposal of marriage. She tells him, that she has changed her mind, especially since, during the night, she saw an apparition of a monk, telling her not to marry Flick. He says this reminds him of a prediction once given to him, that one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would some day come knocking at his door. As in the next moment, they hear a knock, he thinks the horseman has arrived, but Helga shows him that it is Von Smallhausen, knocking on the balcony door. He tells Herr Flick, that the British airmen are imprisoned in the dungeon of the east tower. They therefore leave Helga, in order to inform Berlin. However, Von Smallhausen then tells Herr Flick, that the airmen will be sent to Berlin in the morning and Herr Flick therefore decides they must act that very same evening.

Edith is in the backroom, trying the bridesmaid's dresses on Yvette and Mimi, when René enters the room. The next moment, officer Crabtree enters through the window. Edith pushes the half naked girls behind the dressing screen, while she goes upstairs to show Fanny the wedding dress. Crabtree tells René to send a message to London that the airmen have been captured and are kept in the castle, but that Michelle has a new plan to rescue them. The two of them go upstairs, to send the message. When they fold the bed in half, it turns out, that Ernest LeClerc is also lying in it. When they are about to send the message, it turns out that the code book has been chewed through by mice, but they manage to send the message anyway by Edith's improvising.

A while later, before the café is opened, lieutenant Gruber knocks on the café door. As René lets him in, he is very secretive and they even huddle together behind the bar, before he can give René his message. He gives René a set of two keys (one for the west door of the chateau, one for the dungeon), which René is to smuggle in to the airmen so they can escape, in order for their entire situation not to be revealed. When Gruber has left through the backroom and René has explained about the keys to Edith, Michelle knocks on the café door. She tells them of her plan to rescue the airmen: they will all disguise themselves as undertakers, tell the guards that the airmen have died during the interrogation and enter the chateau with two coffins, which to put the airmen in and carry them out. René does not think they will get past the guards "with a cock-and-bull story like that", but when Edith points out that they have the keys they need, Michelle declares that "it is settled" and leaves.

At night, René, Edith, Crabtree and Mimi sneak up to the castle with a coffin. They are soon followed by Monsieurs Alfonse and LeClerc and Michelle and Yvette, carrying the other coffin. When Monsieur Alfonse says he probably should not enter the castle, because his "dicky ticker" will not manage the stairs, LeClerc accuses him of being a coward. While they enter the castle, Helga and Von Klinkerhoffen are dancing in her luxury room, while Gruber and Von Strohm are trying to sleep. As the "undertakers" are making much noise, Helga sends the general out in the corridor to investigate. The "undertakers" are however rescued by Gruber, who has also gone to see what the noise is about and tells the general that it was his fault.

As Monsieurs Alfonse and LeClerc become more and more angry with each other, they even take down two rapiers from the wall and start fencing. Yvette think they are acting very childishly, but Mimi says "it's a matter of a Frenchman's honour. You would not understand." This leads to the two girls starting to argue, and René must break up both their and the monsieurs' fighting. This is making much noise and Gruber once again has to save the "undertakers", this time from colonel Von Strohm, who is wondering what the noise is all about.

Meanwhile, Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen, disguised as German soldiers, are about to enter the castle, to take the airmen away, so they will not be sent to Berlin. At first, the guards will not let them in, since he cannot let anybody under the rank of major enter the castle. They are, however, let in when he sees Von Smallhausen, who is disguised as a field marshal (the only uniform that would fit him). As they are approaching the hall where all the "undertakers" are, they hide all hide under the stairs, until the "German soldiers" have gone. However, both the general and the colonel are really beginning to wonder about the noise, so they (and Helga) all come out into the hall (on top of the stairs), where Gruber is already standing. They then see the two "German soldiers" coming up the stairs. They do not believe they are "captain Reisengerken" and "field marshal Krakenfart", but the general think they are imposters. He therefore calls for the guards, in order to have them arrested. Meanwhile, the "undertakers" flee from the castle.

The Airmen De-Nicked[edit]

René intends to leave Nouvion, in order not to have to put up all the adventures Michelle's plans put him in. However, for the moment, he does not have enough money and even less so, when Edith takes large amount of money from the till, in order to make her own escape. The next moment, Yvette calls René into the backroom, where lieutenant Gruber is waiting for him. He tells René that the officers from Berlin, who are to collect the British airmen, will not arrive until the next day and that general Von Klinkerhoffen will be going to Calais for the day. The next day at lunchtime would therefore be an excellent opportunity for the resistance to rescue the airmen, so they will not reveal anything.

Colonel Von Strohm and Helga are sitting in his headquarters, receiving a call from the general, ordering them to really show the Gestapo off. Herr Flick is soon brought into the ante room, where Helga is appalled to find him in nothing but his underwear and with a ball chained to his ankle. Just before Von Smallhausen is also brought in (with a smaller ball), he urges her to call his godfather Heinrich Himmler in Berlin, to get him out of his predicament. The next moment, they are brought into Von Strohm's room, together with captain Bertorelli, who has shown up. While Von Strohm reads them the penalty for impersonating a German officer, Helga makes the call to Berlin, so while Von Strohm and Bertorelli tell Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen what penalties await them, the telephone rings in the colonel's office. It is Himmler, who threatens Von Strohm that something unpleasant might happen to him, if he does not let the Gestapo officers go, which he then, of course, does.

In the café, Yvette has dressed herself up in the uniform av Nouvion grammar school and asks René to dress himself up as the headmaster, so they can pretend to be pupil and headmaster and thus elope together. René says he will not do it - for the moment, and the next moment, officer Crabtree enters the café. He gives a "secret" signal and they are soon joined by Michelle, who informs René and Edith that the German officers, who are coming to collect the airmen, will be arriving by car. The resistance will hijack the car and then, the two members who the two uniforms fit will pose as the officers, so that the resistance can collect the airmen.

Von Strohm, Gruber and Helga are discussing their situation. They decide that if a rescue attempt would be made on the British airmen, they had best look the other way, in order to preserve all of their secrets and so that the painting of the fallen Madonna will not be found. Helga is persuaded to distract captain Bertorelli, so that he will not sound the alarm.

Fanny and Ernest are sitting in her bed, making a list of people to invite to their wedding, when Edith enters the room (Ernest manages to hide, just before she comes in). Edith informs Fanny of the plan and that she will be part of it. She will be sitting in her wheel chair, which Ernest will be driving. In the middle of the road, a wheel will come off, making the Germans stop, so the resistance can capture them and hijack the car.

Later in the day, the café gang and Michelle's resistance girls are hiding by the roadside, waiting for the car. When it approaches, LeClerc pushes the wheel chair out into the road and presses a button on it. The chair explodes and a wheel falls off (Ernest and Fanny are all right). According to plan, the Germans stop the car and the resistance force them out of it, into the woods. Not unexpectedly, the officers' uniforms fit perfectly on René and Edith, who are dressed in them.

Meanwhile, Helga tries to keep captain Bertorelli with her in her luxury room, but after she has given him a few glasses of wine, he becomes a bit too close. He tosses himself over her, just as there is a knock on the balcony door. Herr Flick enters the room, with flowers in his hand, and is shocked to find Helga in the arms of captain Bertorelli. He therefore calls off their engagement and leaves.

René, Edith and Mimi go in the car, which is driven by Ernest, while Michelle and Yvette follow on a motorbike with a sidecar (they are all dressed in German uniforms). While they are on their way to the chateau, Henriette and another resistance girl shoot an arrow with a message into the airmen's prison cell, telling them that help is on the way and that they must pretend not to recognize the German officers who are coming for them. When the car enters the castle yard, Edith, who is the higher-ranking officer, has no difficulty in showing the guards their papers, since they are completely authentic. When they have reached the front door, the airmen are brought out. Everyone in the car except LeClerc is attached to each other with handcuffs, to which the keys are in Berlin. Thus, it becomes somewhat difficult for them to sit in the car, but they manage and are able to leave the chateau.

As they drive away, they are spotted by the now freed Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen. After a while of driving, the car battery goes flat and everyone, except LeClerc, have to get out, first to try to crank the car, then to give it a push start. When they have managed to get it started, LeClerc cannot stop it and drives on. However, they are soon joined by Michelle and Yvette on the motorbike. The five of them (Mimi, Fairfax, René, Carstairs and Edith) all get on the motorbike, which is now carrying seven people.

The Crooked Fences[edit]

Mimi, Fairfax, René, Carstairs and Edith are sitting by the roadside, while René tries to saw the chains of the handcuffs off with a small hacksaw, which unfortunately breaks. However, soon Monsieur Alfonse arrives with his hearse, with Michelle and Yvette, also dressed as undertakers, with him. They have also brought a hammer and chisel, to use on the chains. Secondly, Monsieur Alfonse has also brought a tombstone to use as an anvil. It has René's name on it (just in case he would die, due to the dangerous life he leads). When the chisel also breaks, they try thinking of various ways to break the chains, but none of them are any good. Mimi notes that Crabtree has keys at the police station, but it is difficult to get there, especially since the three "undertakers" leave them. However, Edith notices a little workman's tent by the roadside. They all go inside it and, covered by it, walk back to Nouvion.

Herr Flick is rather moody and the fact that he did not get a chance to interrogate the airmen does not make things better. His godfather Himmler might want to take repercussions against him and he therefore decides to make himself ready to flee. This includes selling the portrait of The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by Van Clomp, which he believes is hanging in René's larder. He therefore asks Von Smallhausen to find him a fence, which he can sell the painting to.

Lieutenant Gruber and Helga informs colonel Von Strohm that the airmen are gone, which is good for all of them. However, the colonel notes that general Von Klinkerhoffen might take action against them, when he finds this out. They should therefore be prepared to flee, by selling the painting, which the colonel has in a drawer in his desk. Therefore, he asks Gruber to find a crooked fence. He says they will divide the proceeds three-ways, but is corrected by captain Bertorelli, who has been listening in at the door and now bursts in and wants a share.

In the café, René is trembling with nervousness and both he and Edith become even more shaky, when Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen enter the café. He orders René to get the sausage with the painting from his larder (which Herr Flick thinks is the real one, but which is only a forgery) and bring it to his secret headquarters that same evening. In the larder, Mimi cannot find the correct one and Edith says she has put it in a special drawer. However, in there, the mice have eaten it, so there is not much left of it. René therefore comes up with the plan to take the colonel's gold (which he still has in his possession as the weight of the cuckoo clock) and leave for England, together with Edith and the waitresses. The next moment, Yvette announces that Gruber has arrived, wanting to talk to him. He says he needs a crooked fence and René promises to find one. When Gruber has left, Edith comes up with the plan to give the gold to the German officers for the painting and then give it to Herr Flick. She also has an idea of whom to contact to act as a fence.

In the evening, officer Crabtree comes into the café, announcing his new companion, a female British agent, who, as it turns out, speaks just as poor French as he does. When they have sat down at a table, Colonel Von Strohm, Lieutenant Gruber, captain Bertorelli and Helga enter. René tells them that the meeting with the fence will take place in the back room and that he will wear a paper bag, not to be recognized. The colonel then says he will also wear a paper bag and René has already prepared one for him. The others, however, do not trust him and demand to be allowed to join the meeting.

Ernest stuffs Fanny's bed with forged money, which he has spent the last four nights making. Later, Yvette finds this money and when she shows it to René and tells him that it was Ernest to put it there, he realises it must be forged.

The four Germans go into the back room and, when the fence arrives, put paper bags over their heads. The fence turns out to be Monsieur Alfonse, who also puts a paper bag over his head, before entering the room. René introduces all of them as "colonel X", "captain X", "lieutenant X", "private X" (which Helga corrects as "lance corporal X") and "Monsieur X". They manage to carry out the deal, where René gets the painting and the Germans get the golden cuckoo clock weight, but during the meeting, all five of "the X's" manage to have their real identities revealed by slips of the tongue.

At the Germans' headquarters, they come to the conclusion, that it is not satisfactory to have the weight divided into four parts and for them to have one part each. They need to exchange the gold for hard cash and call René again, since they need another fence. Meanwhile, René sends Mimi to deliver the painting ("a spare forgery which [he] had lying about") to Herr Flick. When he has answered the Germans' phone call, he tells Yvette that the Germans want cash instead of the gold, but he has a plan to get the gold back and get rid of the forged money, without risk of discovery and without Edith's knowledge.

René disguises himself as a priest and goes to the local church (accompanied by Yvette). In there, he enters the priest's place in the confessional box. The plan is for the colonel to enter the confessor's place, give the gold to "the priest" and receive cash in exchange. However, the plan goes wrong, when Edith comes along and confesses a sin (her thoughts about her husband having an affair with their waitresses). This gives the real priest time to come to the church and, after Edith has gone, find René in the confession box. The next moment, the Germans enter the church and the colonel enters the confession box. However, the priest knows nothing of the plan, so when the colonel has given him the gold, he does not give him any cash in return, but tells him to do three "Hail Marys" and leave.

Crabtree's Podgeon Pist[edit]

  • Alternative titles: Fanny's Wedding (R1) (aka The Marriage Of Ernest & Fanny Leclerc)
  • Original airdate: 14 October 1989
  • Written by: David Croft & Jeremy Lloyd
  • Directed by: Martin Dennis
  • Produced by: David Croft
  • Episode length: 30 minutes

René returns from the church and enters the backroom through the window. As he is getting out of his priest disguise, Yvette comes in, thinking it is a burglar. As they have a quick cuddle, Edith walks in on them. After they have managed to lure her upstairs again, they have another cuddle. However, they are interrupted again, by a knock on the café door. As Yvette opens it, colonel Von Strohm, lieutenant Gruber, Helga and captain Bertorelli enter the café. The colonel threatens René at gunpoint, since they have not received any gold. René then fools them that he just has had a visit from a man of the church, who has given him a bundle of money, ordering him to give it to the man who gave gold to the church. René can therefore give the money (which is LeClerc's forged money) to the colonel and is "off the hook".

The next moment, there is another knock on the door and as the Germans do not wish to be seen, they leave via the back passage in the kitchen. When they have gone, Yvette opens the door and lets in the priest. He gives René the gold, saying he wants it to be given to the resistance. When he has gone, Yvette pleads with René to elope with her, but that cannot be done at the moment. Instead, they go upstairs to go to sleep.

In Herr Flick's headquarters, Von Smallhausen announces Helga, whom Herr Flick has sent for. She is carried in by two soldiers and Herr Flick tells her, that the airmen have been abducted by the resistance. He also tells her that he intends to sell the painting and that she might be able to help Von Smallhausen in finding a fence.

In the backroom, Michelle tells the café gang of the latest plan to get the airmen back to England. The resistance have captured a barrage balloon, which will be inflated in the yard behind the café. The airmen will then use it as a hot air balloon to sail back to England. It will be delivered together with a marquee, which will be set up in the yard - for Fanny's and Ernest's wedding. Thus, the wedding date must be moved up until the next Friday. The excuse for this is that it is a shotgun wedding. The balloon will be shot down over England, but for it not to explode when this happens, it will be filled with helium, which will be delivered to the café in canisters disguised as "prizewinning vegetable marrows from Algeria", by a man disguised as "an Algerian prizewinning vegetable marrow salesman".

Fanny is not keen on the idea of moving up the wedding date. The doctor has ordered her to stay four weeks in bed. However, Edith says she be taken to church in Monsieur Alfonse's hearse - an idea which she does not like either.

General Von Klinkerhoffen comes into the German headquarters in a steaming rage. During his 24 hour absence, the resistance have captured high ranking German officers and rescued the airmen and because of this, he will teach the town a lesson. Explosives will be placed under the whole town and if the airmen are not returned to him within 48 hours, it will be blown up, by him personally.

Crabtree comes into the café and shows the café gang a poster about the blowing up. However, he refuses to let the airmen be handed over to the Germans. Instead, he intends to send a message to England, not on the radio, since it is being intercepted, but by pigeon post, that the wind is favourable and that the airmen will be sent off soon. His female assistant, agent Grace, comes in, with a pigeon under her cap. However, they are soon joined by Von Strohm, Gruber, Bertorelli and Helga, so they must hide the pigeon as best as they can. The Germans inform René, that a 100 pound bomb will be placed in the sewers under the café. Edith, however, refuses to give the airmen up. The next moment, LeClerc enters the café, disguised as the marrow salesman. He hands them over to René, but warns him that one of them is leaky. It even gives him a high-pitched squeaky voice right there.

The Gestapo officers are not very glad about the blowing up of the town. Herr Flick points out that he has made many enemies in Nouvion and that it would take a long time to make as many enemies in another town. They therefore decide to prevent the blowing up from happening. Herr Flick therefore orders Von Smallhausen to find the bombs and defuse them.

The marquee has been set up in the café yard. When the balloon has been brought in, agent Grace intends to write a message to send to England, but when she takes off her cap with the pigeon under it, the pigeon runs away, out of the marquee, with the cap still over it. Then, it looks like the wedding will not be able to take place, since Fanny cannot get out of bed and Ernest cannot walk down the aisle, since he has hurt his foot. Under the threat that he and Edith will have to get married, since somebody has to for the plan not to foil, René assures Michelle that Fanny and Ernest will be there. After this, the airmen are brought in, dressed as bridesmaids.

At church, when everybody is arriving, Monsieur LeClerc is passing out, since Michelle has given him painkillers and brandy for his bad foot. The whole town shows up, including Von Strohm, Gruber, Bertorelli and Helga. Lastly, Fanny arrives in Monsieur Alfonse's hearse. When LeClerc passes off again, René wakes him up with smelling salts, which proves to much for him. This makes him think he is still the marrow salesman and whenever he wakes up again, he keeps calling out "Marrows, marrows..." The four bridesmaids (Yvette, Mimi, Fairfax and Carstairs) pull the bed with madame Fanny down the isle. While the priest perform the wedding service, Crabtree and grace send the pigeon off to England. When the ceremony is over, LeClerc is put in the bed, which is pulled out of the church.

  • Note: In this episode, Fanny's surname and Edith's maiden name is revealed to be "La Fan".
  • Note: In this episode, (at 26:22) the priest reveals Ernest's middle name to be "Dipstick".
  • Note In this episode, (at 26:36) the priest reveals Fanny's middle name to be "Now You See It, Now You Do Not".
  • Note: This is the only time in the entire series where Captain Bertorelli says the "Heil Hitler" salute correctly.

Rising to the Occasion[edit]

When the bed with the bride and groom has been pulled out of the church by the bridesmaids, Monsieur Alfonse takes a picture of the entire café gang against the church wall. Then, the bed is pulled away, attached to the hearse. While rice is thrown over the bridal couple, Fanny throws the bridal bouquet, which is caught by Gruber.

Von Smallhausen comes into Herr Flick's headquarters, dressed as a boy scout. This is so he has been able to get into general Von Klinkerhoffen's quarters, since it is "bob-a-job week". While cleaning in there, he has managed to acquire a map to the position of the mines under the town.

At the reception, Michelle informs René and Edith that when it is over, a big basket will be brought into the marquee to collect the garbage. However, this basket will be attached to the balloon and the airmen will travel in it. When the Germans arrive, the inform René that there is now a 500 pound bomb in the sewer under the café. As there is nothing that can be done about it at the moment, the reception continues. René, being the best man, starts the speeches by holding one himself. After this, he calls upon the groom to hold one to thank the bridesmades. This does not go very well, but at least, this makes them ready to cut the wedding cake. As Fanny and LeClerc are doing this, Mimi comes up behind René and Edith telling them, that she has been to the cellar and that the bomb is in there, not in the sewers. As the helium containers (which are placed under the table that Michelle, Edith and René are sitting at) start to leak, some of the resistance girl get down to try to stop the leaking. In order to cover this, Monsieur Alfonse starts to play a song on his accordion. Edith sings and soon, the whole marquee falls in. However, due to the leaking helium, everybody's voice becomes high-pitched and squeaky.

Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen crawl through the sewers and find a mark-nine mine. Von Smallhausen starts reading "The Gestapo Handbook on the Defusing of Detonators", but as he tries to defuse the bomb, he accidentally sets off the timing mechanism. Herr Flick therefore withdraws outside the sewers and keeps in touch with Von Smallhausen via radio. Von Smallhausen manages to remove the detonator, so it cannot set off the main charge, but when he is about to render the detonator harmless, it produces a small explosion anyway.

René and Edith go down the cellar and find the bomb. They then decide that René will make an anonymous phone call to the general's office to give the airmen up. Edith goes back to the wedding and René picks up the telephone to make the call. He is however stopped before he can do it - by Louise (formerly second in command, now the leader of the communist resistance). She tells him that the bomb in the cellar was placed there by her people as part of their plan to save Nouvion. She demands that he get the colonel inside the café. When he has done so and Louise and her girls capture the colonel, he is very disappointed at René for having betrayed him. René tries to explain that it was at gunpoint. The next moment, somebody is approaching the café and the girls hide with the colonel. As it turns out to be Herrs Flick and Von Smallhausen who are coming, the resistance girls capture them too. The three of them are brought down the cellar and tied to the bomb.

At the German headquarters, Gruber and Bertorelli are wondering what has become of the colonel. The next moment, general Von Flockenstuffen arrives and also wonders about the colonel. Secondly, he wonders if general Von Klinkerhoffen is serious about blowing up the town. As the Germans are discussing this, René shows up, in his underwear, with his wrists tied together between his legs. He gives the Germans a note from the communist resistance, saying that Von Strohm, Flick and Von Smallhausen are tied to a 500 pound bomb and if the town is blown up, so will they be.

In the cellar, Herr Flick notices that the bomb is attached with wires to a clock on the wall. As Von Smallhausen manages to untie a knot, he manages to hop over to it and is made to keep the big hand of the clock still with his nose.

When general Von Klinkerhoffen arrives at the German headquarters, he is informed of the colonel's and the Gestapo officers' predicament. However, he says this makes no difference. He says, in a more and more angry voice, that his patience has been tried to the limit and finally, he loses his grip, since his nerves are overworked, and he starts laughing at absurd memories and blow things out of proportion. General Von Fluckenstuffen then calls the military hospital - "fruitcake department".

When René has returned to the reception in the marquee (from which the guests have now left), the big basket is brought in by Crabtree and Grace. As the helium uncontrollably starts leaking into the balloon, it grows into full size, knocking over the marquee. In order to keep it from floating away, everybody helps tying it to the bed. However, this makes the bed, with Fanny and Ernest in it, float away, up through the air.

General Von Klinkerhoffen (whom Von Flockenstuffen calls "Piggy") is dressed in a white hospital gown and placed in a hospital bed. He fights this and especially when he is to be given a sedative, claiming that he is just as sane as everybody else. However, when he sees the bed with the bride and groom floating by outside the window, he is not so sure anymore and agrees to have the sedative.

  • Note: When doing the speeches, Rene accidentally makes some people believe that Fanny was born in 1789.
  • Note: This episode marks the last appearance of Derek Royle as Ernest LeClerc (Royle would die in 1990, between series 6 and 7).
  • Note: This episode marks the last appearance of Gavin Richards as Captain Bertorelli.