Flight Into Terror
|"Flight Into Terror"|
|Father Ted episode|
|Episode no.||Series 2
|Directed by||Declan Lowney|
|Written by||Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews|
|Original air date||10 May 1996|
The three Craggy Island priests are on a plane with a party of other priests and nuns, returning to Ireland from a pilgrimage to a golf course where the Marian has appeared. Ted and Dougal compare the tacky souvenirs that they have purchased: a money box shaped like a putting green with a coin-operated Virgin Mary pop-up, a tape dispenser which tells you how much tape you've used, and a telephone-shaped dog's chew toy which Dougal thinks is a joke telephone. Despite insisting vehemently to Dougal that no one would ever mistake it for a real phone, Ted uses the "phone" by mistake several times, much to Dougal's amusement.
As the plane takes off Ted reveals that he is afraid of flying, prompting Dougal to add to his nervousness by talking about air travel catastrophes. Later, as Ted reads Michael Barrymore's autobiography, he finds out that Father Noel Furlong is taking Father Fintan Fay, who behaves like a monkey, to see the cockpit. Dougal joins them and is immediately tempted by a large red button labelled "Do not Press". Despite avoiding the temptation, he later presses the button accidentally when asked to push an adjoining one after Father Fay flies into a fit because he isn't supposed to know he's a priest but has just seen his reflection.
Ted is irritated by someone throwing paper balls at him from behind, and confronts a priest wearing headphones and dark glasses, who has been laughing the entire time. He denies Ted's accusation, pointing out that he is blind and has been laughing at Mr. Bean (a largely-silent comedy) on the in-flight entertainment system. Ted discovers that a pair of nuns are responsible for the paper throwing, but quickly decides not to confront them when he sees that one of them is large and fearsome.
Dougal takes Ted to one side and tells him that "somebody" has pushed a button they shouldn't have, and the plane is going to crash. He also reveals that there are only two parachutes aboard. Ted heads to the cockpit with Dougal where he agrees with the pilot that none of the other passengers should find out about the crisis. At the request of the pilot, Ted presses the emergency button, which activates a siren and an automated voice telling the passengers that there is an emergency. The pilot had never had to use that button and wasn't aware what it did.
Ted takes control of the situation and decides that every priest should write a 200-word composition on "Why I Should Get the Parachute", with the winners leaping to safety before the crash. The process quickly descends into farce. Father O'Shea asks if he can use his laptop, arguing that the plane is going to crash anyway so it doesn't matter if it interferes with the radar. He also asks if Ted has any idea who will own the copyright if he wanted to use his essay in his autobiography should he survive, but Ted notes that he is probably going to die. Father Gallagher suggests that they simply pray to God to help them but the suggestion is met with contemptuous silence. As the priests begin their task, Jack runs unnoticed down the aisle with the two parachutes.
When the time comes for the priests to read out their essays, Father O'Shea is disqualified because he fails to finish within the set time limit. Father Cave emotionally confesses his undying love for Father Gallagher and begs that a parachute be given to him. In spite of the fact it consists entirely of nonsensical gibberish, Father Fay's contribution receives applause. Father Flynn, who was not paying attention and isn't aware of the emergency, bemuses everyone by displaying a drawing of himself "in the nip" (nude) with a dog. The pilot enters the cabin and tells Ted the parachutes have gone. Jack is then seen pushing a drinks trolley, with a parachute attached, through the plane's door, and jumping after it attached to the second parachute.
With all hope seeming to have quite literally gone out the door, the pilot tells Ted the plane might be saved if someone had sticky-tape to seal up the fuel line, but that there is none on the plane. Ted asks Dougal to give him the souvenir dispenser, although Dougal initially hands him the "joke telephone". Someone has to go out on the wing of the plane to do the repair, that someone being Ted because being in the emergency has calmed his nerves. Ted disappears below the plane and Dougal hands him the sticky-tape. The dispenser can be heard saying how much tape is being used. Ted yells out that he has solved the problem and Dougal cheerfully remarks that everything is back to normal...which includes Ted's fear of flying, who abruptly screams "What am I doing on the feckin' wheels?!".
Back at the Parochial House, Dougal answers the telephone to discover there is still no news of Jack's whereabouts. He and Mrs Doyle discuss Ted's condition. The camera pans to reveal Ted clinging desperately to a wheel strut of the plane, eyes wide and shaking with terror, although Dougal says optimistically that Ted seems to be loosening his grip. Jack is then shown to have landed in a tree some distance away from the house, dangling from his parachute, with the trolley load of drink dangling just out of his reach as he shouts desperately "Drink! Feck! Arse!" and wailing as he struggles to reach it.
After the credit sequence, there is a flashback to the moment the pilot announces that the emergency is over and the passengers are safe. As everyone else celebrates, Father Cave is seen shrinking into his seat unable to look at Father Gallagher who himself does not know what to do.
- Pauline McLynn (Mrs. Doyle) is one of the two raucous and unruly nuns who throw paper balls at Ted on the plane.
- Graham Norton makes his second appearance as Father Noel Furlong.
- Graham Linehan, the show's co-writer, makes an appearance as Father Gallagher.
- Lissa Evans, the show's producer, is the voice of the sticky-tape dispenser.
References to other works
- The blind priest on the plane is listening to Mr. Bean, which humours the fact that it hardly has any dialogue whatsoever.
- The location "Killybashangel" is mentioned, a reference to the Ireland-based BBC series Ballykissangel.
- Ted says he feels "fearless, like in that Jeff Bridges film," a reference to the 1993 film Fearless.
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