The Russians Are Coming

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Only Fools and Horses episode
"The Russians Are Coming"
Only Fools Russians.jpg
Series 1
Writer John Sullivan
Director Martin Shardlow
Producer Ray Butt
Duration 30:14 (DVD) / 30:23 (iTunes)
Airdate 13 October 1981
Audience 8.8 million

"The Russians Are Coming" is an episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses. It was first screened on 13 October 1981, as the final episode of series 1. In the episode, Del buys a nuclear fallout shelter and, anticipating a nuclear war, the Trotters decide to build it.

Synopsis[edit]

Del Boy purchases a pile of bricks and discovers several boxes of lead underneath, Rodney discovers (in some old paperwork found with the lead) that the lead is for a do it yourself nuclear fallout shelter. The episode was first screened whilst the real-life Soviet war in Afghanistan was ongoing, and Rodney persuades Del that, with a potential World War III looming, they should build the shelter rather than sell it. Del agrees to test out the shelter over the weekend.

Several potential locations for the shelter, including Grandad's allotment and Grandad's own idea of a spot in the New Forest, prove unworkable as the trio are unable to beat the four minute warning (due to a run-in with the police).

The remainder of the episode is set in the shelter, where the discussion turns to war and the potential aftermath of the impending one. Del suggests that the present generation of British youngsters have been denied their birthright of a war, which sparks a tirade by Grandad, who gives a passionate "war is hell" speech. The episode ends with Del Boy dreaming aloud of what could become of the world in the event of nuclear fallout, while the camera zooms out to reveal the location of the Trotters' fallout shelter; at the top of their tower block, Nelson Mandela House.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney
Lennard Pearce Grandad
Derek Newark Eric (police officer)
Kelly Garfield Wayne (the car driver)

Episode concept[edit]

The idea for the script was based on a true story which John Sullivan was reading about, which involved a group of people who did as the script suggested: purchased lead and built an air-raid shelter.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Did You Know? ofah.net

External links[edit]