Christmas Crackers (Only Fools and Horses)

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"Christmas Crackers"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Episode no. Episode 54
(Christmas Special)
Directed by Bernard Thompson
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Bernard Thompson
Original air date 28 December 1981
(7.5 million viewers)
Running time

35 minutes

  • 33:35 (DVD)
  • 33:34 (iTunes)
List of episodes

"Christmas Crackers" is the first Christmas special episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses, first screened on 28 December 1981, three days after Christmas. It is the first episode to run over 30 minutes, but not the first feature-length.

Synopsis[edit]

It's Christmas Day and Grandad is cooking the dinner while Rodney is reading a book on body language which Mickey Pearce has lent him. Del returns and gives Grandad a Christmas present (a £20 note), however Grandad tells Del that he has not got him a present this year as "I don't believe in the commercialisation of a Christian festival." Rodney is worried about Grandad's cooking, and suggests to Del that they go on a hunger strike to get out of eating it, but Del refuses, saying that it is Grandad's role to cook the dinner, it makes him feel as though he is needed in the family.

A little later, Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad sit down to Christmas dinner. Del is horrified to discover that the bird is undercooked and still contains the melted bag of giblets stuffed inside along with the sage and onion stuffing. Christmas Pudding is no better, which Grandad has literally burnt to a cinder.

Later that evening Del is snoozing on the sofa while Rodney begrudgingly watches a circus on the TV. Awaking Del with his protests of boredom, Rodney suggests that he and Del pop out to the Monte Carlo Club in New Cross for a drink. They begin to argue, with Del explaining that Grandad would be hurt if they left him all alone on Christmas Night. However, Grandad appears and announces he is off out to a Christmas party as he is sick of the brothers fighting. Now that Grandad has gone, Del and Rodney decide to go out after all.

Later at the nightclub, Rodney spots two attractive woman sitting at a table on the other side of the bar. Intending to go over and chat the pair up, he prepares himself by reading from Mickey Pearce's body language book. He attempts a 'masculine walk' to impress the girls which Del teases him about, and Rodney becomes embarrassed. The two spend most of the evening arguing about the best way to approach the girls, taking so long over it that, by the time they get around to approaching the woman, they find that two guys have already beat them to it.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Lennard Pearce Grandad Trotter
Desmond McNamara Earl
Nora Connolly Anita

Notes[edit]

  • The episode's title doesn't appear on-screen.
  • This is the final episode to use the original instrumental opening and closing themes composed by Ronnie Hazlehurst.

Production[edit]

  • This was the sole episode of Only Fools and Horses between 1981 and 1987 not to be produced by Ray Butt, who after the first series of the show, was reassigned to Seconds Out by the BBC. The initial plan was for Martin Shardlow, who had directed the first series, to also take on the producer's role for this episode and the second full series. However, Shardlow and John Sullivan could not agree on a future direction for the show, which eventually resulted in Shardlow deciding not to take the producer's role and leaving the show altogether. With this episode in danger of not being filmed in time for Christmas 1981, Ray Butt arranged for his close friend and fellow BBC producer Bernard Thompson to produce and direct the episode, and Butt would subsequently return as producer (and this time director) for the second series.[1]

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Only Fools and Horses: The Bible of Peckham Volume One, BBC Books

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Russians Are Coming
Only Fools and Horses
28 December 1981
Succeeded by
The Long Legs of the Law