Friday the 14th

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"Friday the 14th"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only Fools Friday the 14th.jpg
Episode no. Series 3
Episode 3
Directed by Ray Butt
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 24 November 1983
(9.7 million viewers)
Running time 29:41 (DVD/iTunes)
List of episodes

"Friday the 14th" is an episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses. It was the third episode of series 3, and was first screened on 24 November 1983. The episode title is a pun of the folk-lore bad day of 'Friday the 13th', the horror essence of the episode is a spoof of the horror film series Friday the 13th. The episode sees Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad travelling to Boycie's weekend cottage in Cornwall intending to do some illegal fishing. Once there, they are unnerved when they learn that an axe murderer has just escaped from the local psychiatric hospital. The scenario unfolds with their uncertainty of the night ahead and the goings on outside of their residence.

Plot Summary[edit]

In another one of his get-rich-quick schemes, Del Boy has concluded a deal with Boycie and a fish restaurant owner which will involve himself, Rodney, and Grandad staying at Boycie's weekend cottage in Cornwall and bribing the local gamekeeper to allow them to do salmon poaching, with the restaurant owner offering £10 for each caught salmon. Rodney is reluctant at first but is eventually persuaded.

They arrive in Cornwall during a heavy thunderstorm and are stopped by a policeman, who informs them that the storm has brought the power lines down, blacking out the entire area. He also warns them that a convicted axe-murderer has taken advantage of the power cut and escaped from a local psychiatric hospital, where he was imprisoned for having killed a group of fishermen exactly ten years earlier.

Despite being unnerved by the news, Del forces them to continue onwards to the cottage. Rodney is the more nervous of the group and claims to have seen a movement in the trees, and finding an axe in the cupboard, but Del stops him from phoning the police. Later that night (after a row over a game of Monopoly), Rodney opens the curtains of the front window to check outside and is confronted by a man on the other side staring through the window. Rodney is horrified but the others are reluctant to believe him when he tells them. Eventually they are interrupted by a man calling at the door, whom they allow in when he introduces himself as Chief Robinson, the head of security from the institution, and shows them his identification documents.

Reassured by the man's insistence that the escaped patient will be long gone, Del feels safe to use the outside toilet. When leaving the toilet, he opens the door and inadvertently knocks out the man whom Rodney had seen at the window earlier.

Presuming this man is the escaped patient, Del alerts Rodney and Grandad, who tie up and take the unconscious man to the local police station, leaving Del and the head of security at the cottage. The police quickly identify the man not as the escaped murderer, but as the local gamekeeper. The police also reveal that the real chief of security is in hospital. The escaped patient had overpowered him, knocked him unconscious and stolen his uniform and ID documents, meaning Del is trapped in the cottage with the real axe-murderer.

Back at the cottage, Del receives a phone call from Rodney informing him of the truth, leaving a nervous Del to experience the manic side of the murderer alone. The murderer reveals that he hates people who kill fish and asks about the fishing rods, but Del makes excuses. The situation is defused however when the murderer proposes that he and Del play a game of snooker together, albeit an imaginary one with no cues or table and insisting that he hates to win in competitive environments, giving Del a chance to bide his time until the police arrive. Del seizes on the murderer's aversion to winning by proposing they play for money, and the episode ends with the pair beginning their game.[Note 1]

Episode Cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Lennard Pearce Grandad Trotter
Ray Mort Policeman on the road
Bill Ward Gamekeeper
Christopher Malcolm Axe Murderer
Michael Stainton Police Sergeant

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the 2015 novel He Who Dares..., it is revealed that Del "was up to forty quid by the time the police came crashing through the windows."

External links[edit]