Friday the 14th
|Only Fools and Horses episode|
|"Friday the 14th"|
|Airdate||24 November 1983|
"Friday the 14th" is an episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses. It was the third episode of series 3, and was first screened on 24 November 1983. The episode title is a pun of the folk-lore bad day of 'Friday the 13th', the horror essence of the episode is a spoof of the horror film series Friday the 13th. The episode sees Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad travelling to Boycie's weekend cottage in Cornwall intending to do some illegal fishing. Once there, they are unnerved when they learn that an axe murderer has just escaped from the local psychiatric hospital.
In another one of his get-rich-quick schemes, Del Boy has concluded a deal with Boycie and a fish restaurant owner which will involve himself, Rodney, and Grandad staying at Boycie's weekend cottage in Cornwall and bribing the local gamekeeper to allow them to do salmon poaching, with the restaurant owner offering £10 for each caught salmon. Rodney is reluctant at first but is eventually persuaded.
They arrive in Cornwall during a heavy thunderstorm and are stopped by a policeman, who informs them that a convicted axe-murderer has taken advantage of a power-cut caused by the bad weather and has escaped from a local psychiatric hospital, where he was imprisoned for having killed a group of fishermen exactly ten years earlier.
Despite being unnerved by the news, the Trotters continue to drive to the cottage. Rodney is the more nervous of the group and claims to have seen a movement in the trees, but Del stops him from phoning the police. Over the course of the night, Rodney opens the curtains of the front window to check outside and is confronted with a man on the other side staring through the window. Rodney is horrified but the others are reluctant to believe him when he tells them. Eventually they are interrupted by a man calling at the door, who they allow in and who introduces himself as the chief of security from the institution.
Reassured by the man's identification documents and his insistence that the escaped patient will be long gone, Del feels safe to use the outside toilet. Later on when leaving the toilet, he opens the door and inadvertently knocks out the man whom Rodney had seen at the window earlier.
Presuming this man is the escaped patient, Del alerts Rodney and Grandad who tie up and take the unconscious man to the local police station, leaving Del and the head of security at the cottage. The police quickly identify the man not as the escaped murderer, but as the local gamekeeper. The police also reveal that the escaped patient had overpowered the hospital's chief of security, knocked him unconscious and stole his uniform and ID documents, meaning Del is trapped in the cottage with the real axe-murderer.
Rodney calls Del on the telephone to inform him of the truth, leaving a nervous Del to experience the manic side of the murderer alone. The murderer reveals that he hates people who kill fish and asks about the fishing rods, but Del makes excuses. The situation is defused however when the murderer proposes that he and Del play a game of snooker together, albeit an imaginary one with no cues or table and insisting that he hates to win in competitive environments, giving Del a chance to bide his time until the police arrive. Del seizes on the murderers aversion to winning by proposing they play for money, and the episode ends with the pair beginning their game.
|David Jason||Del Boy|
|Ray Mort||Policeman on road|
|Christopher Malcolm||Axe Murderer|
|Michael Stainton||Police sergeant|
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- "Friday the 14th" at BBC Online
- "Friday the 14th" at BBC Programmes
- "Friday the 14th" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Friday the 14th" at TV.com