May the Force Be with You (Only Fools and Horses)
|Only Fools and Horses episode|
|"May the Force Be with You"|
|Airdate||8 December 1983|
"May the Force Be with You" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the fifth episode of series 3, and was first screened on 8 December 1983. The title of the episode comes from the famous quote from Star Wars: May the Force be with you. In the episode, the despised DCI Roy Slater returns to Peckham and arrests the Trotters for stealing a microwave.
Roy Slater, the corrupt police officer and much-reviled ex-schoolmate of Del Boy, has returned to Peckham. He meets Trigger and Boycie – both horrified by his return – in the Nag's Head, and announces that he has recently been promoted to Detective Inspector. He begins talking to Rodney, who isn't aware that Slater is a police officer, telling him that he's an old "friend" of Del's. Rodney invites Slater back to their flat and, at Slater's insistence, decides not to call Del in advance and instead surprise him.
Back at the flat, Del is left dumbfounded when Slater walks in, and quickly makes Rodney aware that Slater is not an old friend ("That geezer out there would nick you for anything you did! In fact, he'd nick you for anything you didn't do, and he wouldn't let a silly thing like innocence get in his way!"). He also reveals that Slater, in his career as a policeman, became an immoral and cold-hearted man; he once arrested his own father for having a defective rear light on a bicycle which he himself had lent him. After spotting a suspicious microwave in the Trotters' flat, Slater arrests Del, Rodney and Grandad.
At the police station, Slater quizzes the trio about where, and from whom, they acquired the microwave. In an improvised yarn, they state that it belonged to an unidentified deaf man in the market who dropped it. Del, Rodney, and Grandad are interviewed alone, but give vastly differing descriptions of the man in the market: Del describes him as an average-heighted, Chinese teenager; Rodney describes him as a short, young African; and Grandad describes him as a tall, middle-aged white man. Del and Slater briefly argue about their time as schoolboy adversaries, with Slater complaining about the refusal to let him into Del's group, their refusal to let him play Bluebeard and would always have to walk the plank.
When Slater briefly leaves for the canteen, PC Terry Hoskins (whose mother, it emerges, has recently bought a gas fire from Del), advises Del to tell Slater the truth about the microwave, since he'll find out eventually in any case. He also informs Del that Slater is without scruples and will pin an entire filing cabinet of unsolved crimes onto the offender. This, as Hoskins explains, will allow Slater a chance at further promotion (for having solved so many crimes in such a short space of time), a CBE for the Commander, and helping to calm the general public. Slater returns with Rodney's criminal file for possession of cannabis, and makes a veiled threat that drugs may be planted on Rodney, meaning both he and Del would go to prison, leaving the vulnerable Grandad alone on the estate.
Despite Slater's best efforts, Del nonetheless still refuses to give the name of the person who stole the microwave on that grounds that becoming an informant is against all he stands for. But as Slater prepares to have the charge sheets typed up, Del offers a deal: he'll give up the name of the thief, provided he, Rodney, and Grandad are all released without charge, with their immunity from prosecution guaranteed in writing; Slater readily agrees, realising how much leverage being an informant would give him over Del in future. With all the paperwork drawn up and signed by the Superintendent, Rodney and Grandad are led back into the interview room to see a desperate-looking Del as he prepares to sign it. He tells them of his predicament, and that he has no choice but to tell. He signs it and is asked three times by Slater: "Who nicked the microwave?" After further reassurances of his immunity from prosecution, Del confesses that he himself was the thief. A gleeful Del points at his immunity document as a horrified Slater looks on.
|David Jason||Del Boy|
|Jim Broadbent||Roy Slater|
|Christopher Mitchell||PC Terry Hoskins|
|Michele Winstanley||Karen (barmaid)|
- Slater's wife (who is revealed to be Raquel) is mentioned here, but does not appear until "Dates". Slater and Hoskins both re-appear in "To Hull and Back", and Slater makes a third and final appearance in "The Class of '62".
- In the opening scene at the Nag's Head, Slater tells Boycie "Give my love to Marlene, everyone else used to." indicating that Boycie, Slater, Del, Denzil, and Trigger all knew Marlene when they were in school, but in "Fatal Extraction", Del and Boycie both seem to remember Marlene as the girl who worked in a betting shop down Lewisham Grove..