Think Fast, Father Ted

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"Think Fast, Father Ted"
Father Ted episode
Episode no. Series 2
Episode 2
Directed by Declan Lowney
Written by
Produced by Lissa Evans
Featured music The Divine Comedy
Cinematography by Chris Owen
Editing by
  • Mykola Pawluk
  • Tim Waddell
Original air date 15 March 1996
Guest actors
  • James Benson (Father Liam Finnegan)
  • Gerry O'Brien (Father Billy O'Dwyer)
  • Ben Keaton (Father Austin Purcell)
Episode chronology
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"Tentacles of Doom"
List of Father Ted episodes

"Think Fast, Father Ted" is the second episode of the second series of the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted. The title is a play on the novel Think Fast, Mr. Moto by John P. Marquand, and the film of the same title starring Peter Lorre.


The parochial house has a leak, which happens to be over Jack's head. Ted and Dougal move him, only to have another leak start over Jack's new position. Ted decides to hold a raffle to raise money for the roof. He calls Bishop Brennan and secures permission to raffle a blue Rover 213. Ted and Dougal leave to retrieve the Rover. Upon their return, Dougal spots a small dent on the bonnet. Ted is dismayed and tries to "tap it away" with a hammer from the tool kit. However, after much time has passed, Ted has only succeeded in destroying the car's exterior.

Realising that they are in dire straits if Bishop Brennan should learn what was done to the Rover, Ted decides to procure another. The priests remember that Father Finnegan, the so-called "dancing priest", has a Rover identical to the ruined original. They travel to Finnegan's home to "borrow" the Rover. Ted gets permission and the keys. As soon as Ted leaves his sight, Father Finnegan drops dead of a heart attack.

Realising that they can't give the borrowed Rover away, Ted and Dougal rig the raffle in order for them to win and return the car. The plan involves Ted, as the Master of Ceremonies, calling the number 11. This number will be Dougal's. On the day of the event, Ted and Dougal work feverishly to sell tickets. They also secure Father Billy O'Dwyer, a.k.a. "Spinmaster", to provide music. However, he only has one record and a major gambling problem, which results in his purchase of 2000 raffle tickets. Later, the announcement that the organizers have won the raffle manages to suck the life out of the event.

Back at the parochial house, Mrs. Doyle reveals that Father Finnegan has died. Ted is relieved, realizing he will be able to keep the car. However, things turn to the worse quickly. Ted discovers that an inebriated Father Jack has stolen the car in an effort to acquire more to drink. He asks Father Jack what he has done with the car. Jack explains curtly that he ran into two trucks. When Ted and Dougal inspect the damage, they discover that the rear half has been smashed beyond repair. While they are out, Father O'Dwyer steals the raffle money to pay off his debts, leaving Ted and Dougal with nothing. With the weathermen predicting rain until August, and the leak getting worse and worse, Ted, Jack, Dougal and Mrs Doyle are forced to spend the rest of the year in anoraks.


  • The record that the SpinMaster plays (repeatedly) is "Ghost Town" by The Specials. It is also played when Father Ted asks for the Irish national anthem to be played.
  • The record that the Dancing Priest is seen dancing to is a pastiche of Beatnik Fly by Johnny and the Hurricanes. However, it could probably be a version recorded by The Divine Comedy (and he encourages Ted to join him in his dancing, saying prayer isn't the only way to praise God, and it keeps you fit too).

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