Sleepless in Peckham

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"Sleepless in Peckham"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only Fools Sleepless in Peckham.jpg
Episode no. Episode 64
(Christmas Special)
Directed by Tony Dow
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Gareth Gwenlan
Original air date 25 December 2003
(16.37 million [1] viewers)
Running time 75 minutes
List of episodes

"Sleepless in Peckham...!" is the final episode of BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. [2] It was first screened on 25 December 2003 as the third and final part of the early 2000s Christmas trilogy, and as the eighteenth and final Christmas special. It was the last Only Fools and Horses-related episode until the Sport Relief special in March 2014. [3]

Synopsis[edit]

All seems calm and peaceful at Nelson Mandela House. Cassandra is in the late stages of pregnancy, which means Rodney will finally become a father. Del Boy takes Raquel's washing-up gloves and drives to the cemetery. At the cemetery, Del is cleaning up the monument of his and Rodney's mother Joan. It is revealed that after they became millionaires, the Trotters used some of their money to give their mother's grave a makeover.

Later, at The Nag's Head, Sid tells Trigger (who has been creating a portable backscratcher made out of chopsticks) that he got some suggestions from Mike on how to make the pub look a lot better. He also shows Rodney, Del, Trigger, and Mickey Pearce an old photograph of the very first Jolly Boys' Outing in 1960. Del mentions the events of the last one when his dodgy radio blew up their coach, as well as the fact that there were no more because the coach company refused to do business with them. They also notice that Marlene has been mysteriously absent for several weeks. Mickey and Sid quickly believe that Boycie killed her.

Back at the flat, Del helps Rodney with an idea for a film about Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts crashing an aeroplane on an uninhabited island of cavepeople, including Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. The next day, Rodney and Raquel berate Del because they are nowhere near the total sum of money that they owe the Inland Revenue. Del is deeply hurt when Raquel tells him "only women bleed", and he angrily recounts his own life of having to take care of both Rodney and Grandad after their father abandoned them. As Raquel goes to lie down, Del privately says to Rodney that if they do get evicted, then he and Raquel will go their separate ways, but Del and Raquel reconcile shortly after.

The next day, the Trotter Brothers and Trigger find Denzil at a pizzeria and ask him if he made off with Marlene. Denzil says that he hasn't seen Marlene recently either and has actually been in hospital getting treatment for piles. This prompts Del and Rodney to go straight to Boycie and ask him if he murdered his wife and buried her in the garden. The Trotter Brothers arrive at Boycie's house and ask him, and he replies that he did not murder Marlene since she is home and upstairs asleep. Boycie promises that he will bring Marlene with him to the Nag's Head tonight. That night, at the Nag's Head, Boycie arrives with Marlene, who shows everybody that the reason why she was absent for the last couple of weeks was to get her chest surgically enhanced. Raquel wisecracks at the sight of it, and Boycie and Marlene are tricked by Sid into paying for everyone's drinks.

With only a few days left before the Trotters are evicted from Nelson Mandela House, Rodney gets an enlarged copy of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing photo and shows it to Cassandra at a restaurant. He shows her who was in the photo: Del, Boycie, Trigger, Denzil, Sid, Roy Slater, Grandad, Reg—and local gentleman thief Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, (pictured as Nicholas Lyndhurst) who bears an uncanny resemblance to Rodney. Rodney then tells Cassandra that Robdal is his biological father, explaining the affair he had with Joan Trotter. Meanwhile, back at the flat, after returning from the market, Del finds the original photo and comes to the conclusion that Rodney has learned the horrible truth. Del tells Raquel about how he only knew Robdal as "Uncle Fred" back in the 1960s, as well as mention that only Joan, Albert, and Trigger's aunt Reenie Turpin knew that Robdal was Rodney's real father, yet Del was unaware of it until Albert told him after getting drunk at a wet corset contest sometime after "The Frog's Legacy". Del refused to tell Rodney about it out of fear of breaking his brother's heart. Raquel and Cassandra both ask Del and Rodney why they will not tell each other. The Trotter Brothers both answer that it would indeed break the other's heart.

The next morning, Del and Rodney are called to see a solicitor named Mr. Cartwright, thinking that he will charge them with fraud since they failed to pay the Inland Revenue. But fortunately, Mr. Cartwright brings good news to the Trotter Brothers. After reading a copy of Albert's will, the Trotters discover that Albert invested his share of the Trotter fortune in a far more stable area prior to his death, while his nephews invested their shares in the Central American market. According to his will, Albert wanted to give his enlarged share of the fortune to his nephews, leaving them with £145,000 each. Del and Rodney are both stunned by all this, until Del gets a phone call from Raquel that Cassandra's gone into labour. Del and Rodney race to the hospital and almost end up in the wrong delivery room, but eventually make their way to delivery room #16, where Raquel and Damien wait outside with good and bad news. The bad news is that Cassandra had to be given a Caesarean section. The good news is that Rodney and Cassandra are now the parents of a baby girl. As Rodney looks at his newborn daughter, Raquel asks Del what the good news he had was, only for Del to say that he will tell her later but mentions Albert as the reason.

A few days later, Rodney and his daughter are in the cemetery where he visits his mother's grave. Rodney looks up to the heavens and voices his hope that she and Freddie the Frog really loved each other. He notes his regret that he never really knew her, as well as his hope that his daughter will grow up to be like her. As Del pulls up, Rodney then says that if she ever sees Albert, Joan should tell him that Rodney and Del said thanks. Del arrives and asks Rodney if he came up with a name for his daughter. Rodney hints at Del to look at their mother's grave, which now reads: "Here lies Joan Mavis Trotter. Fell asleep 12 March 1964. Wife of Reg. Mother of Del Boy and Rodney. Grandmother of Damien and Joan." As they prepare to leave the cemetery, Rodney asks Del if he's anything like his father, Freddie the Frog. Del replies firmly by saying that Robdal was "a womaniser, a home-breaker, a con-man, a thief, a liar, and a cheat... So no Rodney, you're nothing like him." The Trotter Brothers then leave the cemetery and drive home to Nelson Mandela House with a new Joan Trotter for the world. Rodney also announces that he doesn't plan to continue writing his movie, which Del gladly agrees with.

Note[edit]

  • Trigger appears for the last time in this episode, making him the only character apart from Del and Rodney to appear in both the first ("Big Brother") and final episodes of the series.
  • This episode was viewed by two-thirds of British households when it was broadcast on Christmas Day 2003.[citation needed]
  • The scene where Del describes the film he envisions is a reference to the earlier episode "Video Nasty".
  • Events in this final episode were designed to lead into the recently commissioned prequel series Rock & Chips.
  • The original script was written by Sullivan prior to Buster Merryfield's death and was to feature Uncle Albert's return.

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirby, Terry (27 February 2003). "Eight years after his 'final' outing, Del Boy still tops Christmas Day ratings". The Independent. London. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Heard, Chris (25 December 2003). "Fools writer leaves room for more". BBC News. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  3. ^ https://www.sportrelief.com/latest/news/sport-relief-tv-revealed

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Strangers on the Shore"
Only Fools and Horses
25 December 2003
Succeeded by
Sport Relief special