Strangers on the Shore

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Only Fools and Horses episode
"Strangers on the Shore"
Only fools strangers on the shore.jpg
Series Christmas Special
Writer John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Producer Gareth Gwenlan
Duration 75 minutes
Airdate 25 December 2002
Audience 16.3 million

"Strangers on the Shore" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, first screened on 25 December 2002 as the second part of the early 2000s Christmas trilogy and the seventeenth Christmas special.

Synopsis[edit]

Because the Trotters lost their fortune due to investing in an embezzling Central American market, Del Boy has been driving for Boycie. As he and Marlene prepare to head to a relative's wedding, Boycie boasts to Del (for the millionth time) about how he's going be a multi-millionaire when he goes to France to sign a deal with an Iranian associate (although Boycie thinks he is Lebanese). Del gets back at Boycie for teasing him by putting onion puree in Boycie's hair gel - something Boycie cannot immediately notice since he has a cold. Meanwhile, at Nelson Mandela House, Rodney is trying not to look at Damien. Then, as Del returns home, there's a letter for their late Uncle Albert, requesting his presence at a small village in France.

Sometime later at the Nag's Head, Raquel and a pregnant Cassandra join Del and Rodney in a conversation about how Albert's life journey and love life are similar to the story Captain Corelli's Mandolin, although Del doesn't have a clue about it. The Trotter brothers suggest that they go to France and represent their late great uncle. But Del has other things in mind: such as asking Denzil and Trigger to head to a wine warehouse when they all get there, in order to procure a large volume of alcohol which they will then sell to Sid for a handsome profit.

A few days later, Del and Rodney scatter Albert's ashes to the sea before arriving in port. They set off in their van to the village of St. Claire a la Chappelle and meet another World War II soldier named George Parker. In a bar, as George tells them about how much of a ladies' man Albert was, the Trotter brothers notice that all the old men in the village have the same beard as Albert. Meanwhile, at the wine warehouse, Denzil and Trigger wait patiently for Del while talking about their love lives.

Later, as the Trotter brothers leave the village and prepare to drive back to the ship, Rodney wonders if Albert was really that popular with the ladies because of the many Albert lookalikes they saw in that village. Del just says "Captain Corelli's Mandolin? More like Captain Birdseye's banjo!" They then arrive at the warehouse and quickly help Denzil and Trigger stock up on Saint-Omer beer to take back to Britain and the Nag's Head with them.

That night, back at Nelson Mandela House, Denzil and Trigger find an illegal immigrant in the back of Denzil's lorry. The Trotter brothers head down to the garage and investigate. The immigrant's name is unknown to them, and he doesn't even speak English. Del Boy and Rodney bring him up to the flat and introduce him to Raquel, Damien, and Cassandra as Gary, a friend who Rodney met at evening school, although Raquel realizes that "Gary" is an illegal immigrant almost immediately. A great deal of the comedy is derived from the unfortunate man repeating the name "Gary" in a heavily accented voice, as a reply to absolutely everything that is directed at him as long as it has the word "Gary" in it. Boycie also shows up because a gas leak from Del's Slovak log-effect gas fires caused his house to be filled with gas causing an evacuation by order of the fire brigade. Marlene had taken Tyler and gone to stay at her mother's place, but Boycie was unable to sleep there, as he had a massive argument with his mother-in-law at the wedding, partly due to the onion puree Del put in his hair. The Trotters reluctantly agree to let him stay.

A few days later, Boycie is allowed to go back into his mansion, and that he's heading to France right now. But unfortunately, Gary disappeared when he was playing football with Damien and his friends. As Boycie and the Trotters head to France in a white van (Del having hired it in place of an expensive car, intending to buy more alcohol on this trip) there is a news report featuring Gary, in which his real name is revealed as Rashid Mamoon and that he has told the authorities he was being "kidnapped and held hostage by the Gary Gang" (he was helping to load the beer in the back of Denzil's van when Del unknowingly trapped him underneath a huge stack of beer boxes). When Del, Rodney, and Boycie arrive in France, they meet with Boycie's Iranian business partner, Mr. Mamoon, who introduces them to his son, who they see is actually Rashid. Rashid panics and claims Boycie and the Trotter brothers are the kidnappers. Mr. Mamoon calls the police and Del, Rodney and Boycie are arrested on suspicion for kidnapping.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"If They Could See Us Now"
Only Fools and Horses
25 December 2002
Succeeded by
"Sleepless in Peckham"