Hell (Father Ted)
|Father Ted episode|
|Episode no.||Series 2
|Directed by||Declan Lowney|
|Produced by||Lissa Evans|
|Featured music||The Divine Comedy|
In this episode, Graham Norton makes his first of three appearances as Father Noel Furlong.
The episode begins as Ted struggles to remember why the day, 19 July, feels important to him. He and Dougal think for several minutes, before Jack emerges in swim wear and flip-flops. They realize it is time for their annual holiday. They decide to go on to Kilkelly Caravan Park, staying in the caravan of a friend. When Dougal protests, Ted reminds him that the caravan they're using this year is different from the one they used last year. Approaching the park, they see a large, luxurious caravan which they mistake as theirs. In fact, it belongs to a young couple who are showering as the priests enter. The priests are reported and are soon in trouble with the gardaí. Dougal wonders which caravan is theirs, with Ted realizing it is the small, squalid model at the other end. There is barely enough room for the three priests.
Ted and Dougal decide to put Jack to sleep (by putting a cardboard box over his head) and search for entertainment. However, all that is available are St Kevin's Stump (an ordinary tree stump whose name is unexplained) and the Magic Road (a location in which the laws of gravity disappear). Unfortunately, a rainstorm keeps them confined to the caravan. Ted and Dougal pass their time by playing hide-and-seek and fiddling with the kettle. Ted, using model animals and ultimately in vain, tries to explain to Dougal the difference between 'small' and 'far away'. Once they set out to visit the places of interest, Father Jack falls victim to the Magic Road and is sent plummeting over a cliff edge.
The holiday meets another setback as Ted and Dougal return to the caravan to find Father Noel Furlong and his youth group squeezed inside and having a sing-song. Noel is excitable, talkative and very camp. He manages to annoy Ted, as well as his long-suffering youth group, while Dougal is merely confounded. Eventually, Noel's behaviour is enough to make Ted and Dougal decide to leave. As Ted tries to enter the nearby outhouse, he realizes too late that the stall is occupied by the woman from the luxury caravan. Her husband, clad in only a towel, pursues the priests as they attempt to escape in their car. The man manages to jump onto the bonnet and rides along for miles, his towel blowing away. Ted finally stops, depositing the man on the road below. Furious, the man finds a glass bottle and uses it to puncture Ted's tyres. He walks away still naked then Noel and his youth group tip over the caravan by dancing in it. The priests try to hitchhike back to the parochial house. They are discovered by the island eccentric Tom, who is transporting raw sewage. When Tom tries to open his truck's doors, he accidentally releases his cargo, showering the priests in excrement. Meanwhile, Jack is seen alive and well on a yacht. He is approached by three beautiful women who offer him a generous choice of drinks. Jack can hardly believe his luck.
The episode ends with Ted and Dougal back in the caravan, with Dougal unable to find Ted during another exceedingly easy game of hide and seek.
The Caravan site is located at Fanore Beach, County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland.
The writers based the episode on their own childhood experiences. The caravan park was based on Graham Linehan's memories of being taken on 2-week long holidays to grim caravan parks where it would always rain and there would be a plentiful supply of children to bully him. He would describe it as a "holiday in Hell", hence the episode's title. The unusual attractions such as The Magic Road were based on real-life locations Arthur Matthews had visited.
During the filming of the scene in Entertaining Father Stone where the priests are playing crazy golf in a rain storm, which caused the actors to get soaking wet, Dermot Morgan joked that next time the writers will probably get them covered in raw sewage. This is the entire reason why the scene where Ted and Dougal are sprayed with sewage was written. The actors did not realise that the substance made up to look like sewage was extremely cold - this caused them to run away from it very quickly when it was sprayed on them, and the writers to feel guilty about making them do it.
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