Night of the Nearly Dead

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"Night of the Nearly Dead"
Father Ted episode
Episode no. Series 3
Episode 7
Directed by Graham Linehan, Andy de Emmony
Written by Arthur Mathews, Graham Linehan
Original air date 24 April 1998
Guest appearance(s)

Patrick McDonnell (Eoin McLove)
Maria Doyle Kennedy (Patsy)
Elva Crowley (Mrs. Boyle)
Rosemary Kennedy (Mrs. Dunne)
Vincent Marzello (Television Psychiatrist)
Maggie Shevlin (Mrs. Collins)

Episode chronology
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"Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse"
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"Going to America"

"Night of the Nearly Dead" is the seventh, and penultimate, episode of the third and final series of the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted. The episode's title and some of the scenes are a parody on the movie Night of the Living Dead.


Childish pop superstar Eoin McLove (a parody of Daniel O'Donnell), popular and beloved only by devoted middle-aged women (all of whom are similar in appearance and dress to Mrs Doyle) visits the Parochial House when Mrs Doyle, implausibly, has her ode to Eoin read out on the show and thus wins the poetry competition. Ted had written an ode to him in Mrs Doyle's name, and originally thinks his ode won, but is shocked to find Mrs Doyle is a better poet then him. While there, he makes a bad impression on the priests (including Jack who he unwisely approaches, before sniffing the surrounding air and abruptly saying "I smell wee"), but Mrs Doyle is infatuated with him. When she tries to present him with tea, her erratic trembling causes the tray to shake so violently that the cup, saucer and teapot slide off and shatter on the floor. Mrs Doyle then faints in his presence.

Earlier in the episode, Mrs Doyle had been shopping for "tea bags shaped like a really tall tower." When suddenly a certain Mrs Boyle literally glides up toward her. She demands to know when Eoin will be arriving, and Mrs Doyle cracks, revealing he will be arriving on Sunday. But she pleads with Mrs Boyle not to spread it around, as Eoin wouldn't want anyone to know. Mrs Boyle swears she won't blab: "May I be struck down with every disease that it is known for a middle aged woman to suffer from. And as you and I both know, Mrs Doyle, that's a hell of a lot of diseases."

However, Mrs Boyle breaks her promise and instantly spreads the word of Eoin's arrival on the island via the supermarket, the telephone operator, the cybercafe, the lighthouse and back to the supermarket, and soon all the middle-aged housekeepers of the island are gathering on the lawns of the Parochial House in their droves, swarming in from all directions. As Eoin selfishly counts down the seconds until his visit will end, he requests to leave but is blocked by the presence of the door, seemingly unable to operate it. He has to call his long-suffering assistant Patsy who is waiting in the hall. But they fail to escape as the women have now swarmed to the front doorstep and are preventing anyone from exiting.

The door is shut on Eoin, although he is pulled inside just in time as the women reach out to grab hold of him (though Ted, Dougal and Patsy have to fight to free him from the women's clutches- Jack, however, sits back and enjoys the fun). He is then trapped in the Parochial House for the night, where he causes more mayhem by ripping Dougal's Beano when he is asleep, sneaking into the kitchen and helping himself to the jam jar in the fridge, and upsetting Mrs Doyle when she presents him with a banana cake (his favourite kind) into which she has baked a jumper similar to those he wears on TV.

When the women finally break into the house (having tricked Ted into talking about the "great" mass he gave the previous Sunday by opening the window so they can hear better), Eoin is asleep on an armchair and the women crowd around exchanging their thoughts on how lovely he is. Dougal and Patsy pull him away and they escape upstairs to a final showdown in the bathroom. There Eoin displays his innocence by playing games with Dougal while Patsy frets about the future in store for "the little ones". Suddenly the door breaks down, and the elderly women swarm in, eerily chanting "Eoin! Eoin!". Then the cock crows, signifying that dawn has broken. Mrs Doyle saves the day by charging past the army of women, and declaring that it is after seven o'clock; meaning that the husbands of Eoin's devoted fans will be beginning to wonder where their breakfasts are. Ted agrees and reminds the women of their husbands' dependence on them - Mrs Dunne's husband tried to wash a cup the year before, and burned the house to the ground and Mrs Collins' husband attempted to make the beds on his own, and lost a leg in the process. To let them get through a day on their own would be a catastrophe. Ted sends the women back to their husbands, and the day is saved. Eoin is delighted, and cries out "Can I have this duck?".

When Eoin eventually leaves, he is annoyed by the fact that he has to wear the cakejumper, which is covered in crumbs and large chunks of dough. However, he kindly gives Mrs Doyle a peck on the cheek and thanks her, which leads to her fainting again. Patsy invites Ted onto the show, Dougal having told her how much Ted is always trying to get on TV. Ted initially declines, but quickly agrees when he hears there's a cash prize. Eoin's obtuse behaviour is finally explained with the line, "I've no willy". When Ted appears on the quiz, he breezes through the first round answering questions on his specialist subject—William Shatner's TekWar—and gets through to the final round, where Eoin asks him what should be a simple question for a priest: what was John Paul II's name before he became Pope? However, Ted does not know. After struggling to think of the answer throughout the closing credits, he finally offers a guess of "Jim".

Series continuity[edit]

This is the only episode in which Mrs. Doyle mentions her husband, although when everyone looks at her in surprise at the mention of him she stops, stating "I've said too much".

External links[edit]