Heroes and Villains (Only Fools and Horses)

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Only Fools and Horses episode
"Heroes and Villains"
Only Fools Batman.jpg
Series Christmas Special
Writer John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Producer Gareth Gwenlan
Duration 60 minutes
  • 58:40 (DVD)
  • 58:42 (iTunes)
Airdate 25 December 1996
Audience 21.3 million

"Heroes and Villains" is an episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses, first screened on 25 December 1996 as the first part of the 1996 Christmas trilogy and the thirteenth Christmas special. It attracted a UK television audience of 21.3 million, at the time a record for the show. In the episode, Del and Rodney are invited to a fancy dress party,

Synopsis[edit]

The episode opens with Rodney's futuristic dream, in which a grown-up Damien, head of the now multinational and all-powerful Trotters Independent Traders, apparently rules the western world in the year 2026, barking orders to President Keanu Reeves to declare war on China. Del Boy (who is now Lord of Peckham) and Raquel live in a luxurious office block, Trotter Towers, but Rodney himself is merely an old messenger, Cassandra is a maid (after Damien took over her bank and fired her), and Uncle Albert's body has been preserved (all he can say is his trademark phrase "During the war..." on a constant loop).

Rodney wakes up back in the present day on his birthday, on which he receives an identity bracelet from Del with the name "Rooney". Del's application for a council grant has been rejected, and Raquel receives a letter from her estranged parents, who want to meet her again. It emerges that Rodney and Cassandra have been trying for a baby, which leads to an unsuspecting Uncle Albert drinking one of Cassandra's urine specimens, believing it to be apple juice. Meanwhile at Sid's cafe, Trigger is telling everyone in earshot about a medal he received from the local council for owning the same broom for twenty years, despite the fact that it has actually had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in that time. Del buys tickets for himself and Rodney to attend a publican's fancy dress birthday party, Cassandra goes to Spain with her mother, and Raquel and Damien visit her parents.

At Del's insistence, he and Rodney go to the party dressed as Batman and Robin respectively, but their Reliant Regal van breaks down halfway there and they have to run the rest of the way. En route they interrupt an attempt to mug Councillor Murray and, emerging from the fog dressed as Batman and Robin, promptly scare away the thieves. Del and Rodney arrive at the party, unaware that the publican, Harry Malcolm, had in fact died the day before and the fancy dress has thus been cancelled in favour of a wake (a fact that Boycie, who met them in the doorway, "forgot" to mention), and they burst into the main room singing the Batman theme tune.

Del and Rodney are in the market the next day and see the gang of muggers again, this time attacking an elderly woman. Rodney gives chase, before one of the muggers then starts chasing him; Del ultimately knocks the mugger unconscious with his suitcase. Del (though not Rodney, much to his annoyance) receives a medal for apprehending the gang. While at the awards ceremony, he meets Councillor Murray again, who offers to do him a favour in return for rescuing her. That night Del announces that his application for a council grant has now been approved, and Rodney reveals that Cassandra is pregnant.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert
Tessa Peake-Jones Raquel
Gwyneth Strong Cassandra
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
John Challis Boycie
Kenneth MacDonald Mike
Sue Holderness Marlene
Paul Barber Denzil
Roy Heather Sid
Angela Bruce Councillor Murray
 
Actor Role
Douglas Hodge Old Damien
Jamie Smith Damien
Steve Weston Kenny
Scott Marshall Gary (mugger)
Dan Clark Scott (mugger)
Furman Dar Kevin (mugger)
Sheree Murphy Dawn (mugger)
Bay White Old Lady
Robin Meredith Mayor
Richard Hicks Photographer
Ted Shepherd Tom (Commissionaire)

Trivia[edit]

Reception[edit]

  • In a 2001 poll, Heroes and Villains was voted the UK's favourite Christmas show of all time.[1]

It received 35% of the vote in the survey of 1,500 viewers.[2]

Popular Culture[edit]

The Batman and Robin scene from the episode was partially re-created by actors during the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony. [3]

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Day, Julia (7 December 2001). "Del Boy is Christmas number one". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Del tops Christmas TV poll". BBC News. 7 December 2001. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Singh, Anita (10 August 2012). "London 2012 Closing Ceremony: here come the Spice Girls". The Daily Telegraph. 

External links[edit]