|Only Fools and Horses character|
Jim Broadbent (1983–1991; OFAH)|
Calum MacNab (2010; Rock & Chips)
|Duration||1983, 1985, 1991, 2010|
|First appearance||"May The Force Be With You"|
|Last appearance||"The Class of '62"|
|Created by||John Sullivan|
|Rock & Chips (2010)|
|Occupation||Detective Chief Inspector (dismissed)|
Only Fools and Horses
Despite only ever making three on-screen appearances, Slater's background is revealed in some detail during the course of the show's history.
As a child, Slater longed to be part of Del Boy's gang at school as they used to sit next to each other in class; but he was always an outsider, widely reviled amongst his peers and renowned for his slyness. Eventually, out of contempt for the others' rejecting him, Slater joined the police force at the age of 18 and frequently engaged in unethical activity to attempt to frame and prosecute not just his old school friends but anyone possible – including his own family, as revealed in "May the Force Be with You".
His own corruption would eventually turn him to crime: leading him into diamond smuggling, which is the main focus of the episode "To Hull and Back" and a strong part feature of the plot to "The Class of '62". His initial prosecution for diamond smuggling landed him a five-year prison sentence.
Del's long-term partner Raquel Turner is revealed to be Slater's ex-wife in "The Class of '62"; he was married to her for four years before separating. Throughout the show's history Raquel would frequently comment how horrible he could be as a husband.
"May the Force Be with You"
Slater is introduced in "May the Force Be with You", the fifth episode of series three, having recently been promoted to the position of Detective Inspector. He has returned to Peckham and is investigating the theft of a microwave oven which turns out to be connected to Del.
The nature of his character and certain details of his past are revealed in this episode, including his rejection from his peers, his corrupt practices and his generally sly nature. As well as the main characters making clear their thoughts and attitudes towards him, his own colleague PC Terry Hoskins reveals that even his peers in the police service despise him, and Slater admits during the episode to having arrested his own father in the past, alienating him from his family.
"To Hull and Back"
Slater is the main antagonist in "To Hull and Back", his involvement in crime is the main focus of the storyline, with the Trotters becoming involved in a diamond smuggling operation part-headed - unbeknownst to them - by Slater.
His position of authority within the police has been exploited a number of times to successfully smuggle diamonds into England, and over the course of the episode he almost succeeds again, only to be foiled by PC Hoskins who drives him into a sting and lands Slater with a five-year prison sentence.
"The Class of '62"
Slater's final appearance in character was in "The Class of '62", in which he has been paroled from prison and returns to Peckham, setting up a school reunion to which Del, Boycie, Trigger, and Denzil are invited, with Rodney joining them.
Over the course of the episode, it is learnt that Del's partner Raquel is Slater's ex-wife, and the school reunion was merely a set-up to gain contact with her regarding his divorce proceedings, as he knew from the start that she was living with Del. It is also revealed that Slater has returned to the illegal diamond trade, which Del and Rodney use to blackmail Slater into giving Raquel a fair divorce, leaving her alone and leaving Peckham for good, under the threat of them informing the police about Slater's return to crime. This prompts Slater's departure from the series.
NB. Slater appears once more in the series but not in a character appearance, in the final episode "Sleepless in Peckham" when Del and Rodney are given an old photograph of the very first Jolly Boys' outing from 1960, in which Slater is pictured. The first Jolly Boys' Outing forms part of the storyline of the prequel series Rock & Chips, which features a young Slater.
Rock & Chips
A young Slater is shown in the prequel series Rock & Chips, played by actor Calum MacNab. Slater is initially shown as a prefect at school, attempting to be authoritative against Del and his gang but ultimately being spurned by both the gang and his superiors from whom he attempts to gain acceptance.
He is part of the first Jolly Boys' Outing as noted at the end of Sleepless in Peckham, in which he is tricked into taking drugs and passes out before they reach their destination. Over the course of the series he joins the police cadets and attempts to arrest Del and Jumbo Mills in the market for selling illegally imported records. He takes them to the station, only to be denied a bona fide arrest and snubbed by his superior Sgt. Foster, who also lets Del and Jumbo off with a warning and seizes their records.
- May the Force be With You, Only Fools and Horses S03E05
- To Hull and Back, Only Fools and Horses Christmas special 1985
- The Class of '62, Only Fools and Horses S07E04
- Rock & Chips, Only Fools and Horses prequel series