|Father Ted episode|
|Episode no.||Series 3
|Directed by||Andy DeEmmony|
|Written by||Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews|
|Original air date||27 March 1998|
"Speed 3" is the third episode of the third series of the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted and the 20th episode overall. The episode parodies the action-thriller film Speed and the sequel Speed 2: Cruise Control. "Speed 3" was written after the show's writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews asked themselves: "How can we make a worse sequel than Speed 2?" This episode was voted the fans' favourite episode on Channel 4's "Father Ted Night."
The episode begins with Ted and Dougal returning to the parish from the Annual Baby of the Year Competition. Ted is extremely unhappy with Dougal, who got overexcited running around with the babies, and subsequently vomited all over Ted. They also express their bewilderment at how many "hairy" babies there were at the competition. During Ted's explanation about the redundancy of shaving babies he trips on a brick that Mrs. Doyle has placed in the centre of the floor, having apparently seen the idea in a magazine on decorating tips.
Mrs Doyle shrieks, interrupting Ted mid-rant and flees from the living room to the kitchen having spotted something out of the window. Ted and Dougal comment on Mrs Doyle's garish appearance, wearing make up and bright periwinkle blue attire. Dougal comments on whether it is in fact Mrs Doyle. The scene cuts to the outside of the house where the new milkman, Pat Mustard, has just pulled up. Mrs Doyle introduces him to Ted in the kitchen.
Later that night, Ted discovers that Pat Mustard has been "making hairy babies" with the women of Craggy Island on his rounds, even though he is about 60 years old, due to photos Dougal was looking at (photos show babies with mustaches and sideburns). Ted goes to Mustard the next day and tells him that he saw strange photos with hairy babies and considers Mustard "The hairy-baby-maker". This begins a fierce argument between Ted and Mustard, ending with Mustard leaving the priests' house declaring smugly, "You'll have to get up VERY early in the mornin' to catch me, Father."
The next morning Ted and Dougal get up very early to stalk Mustard. Dougal uses earphones to hear what Mustard is saying to the ladies, but faints when he has it too loud and a lorry comes flying by at full speed. Ted waits for Mustard to leave a house; when Mustard walks out, he notices that he left his trousers in the house. Ted takes snapshots of Mustard running to retrieve his pants. The next day, Ted reports the incidents and shows the photos to Mr. Fox, who is in charge of the dairy. At first, Mr. Fox thinks that Ted is trying to sell him the pictures, and offers him £16 for the collection ("How about £2 each for this, this and this and a tenner for the rest?"). When Ted tells him that he just wanted him to see what Mustard's been doing on his rounds. Mr. Fox is exaggeratedly outraged and promises Ted that he will remove Mustard from his job, both of them not noticing Mrs Doyle having absconded with one of the explicit photos. Mustard is sacked, and Dougal eagerly takes over his job as Fox believes he can trust 'a man of God,' despite having to explain to Dougal that this means a priest.
Mustard plots revenge. He calls Ted the next day from a phone booth and, using very dirty language, says that he has fitted his milkfloat with a bomb, in comic reference to the Speed films, and then laughs evilly. The bomb is set to become activated once the milkfloat reaches 4 mph, and will go off when it goes under 4 mph.
Meanwhile, an unsuspecting Dougal is already on board the milkfloat making his rounds. As Dougal delivers the milk he is greeted by naked women who are expecting Pat Mustard but are shocked to discover Dougal making the deliveries instead. Dougal, however, does not seem to be aware that the women are answering the doorbell naked. Ted later catches up with Dougal, but fails to prevent him from driving fast enough to activate the bomb.
Ted, assisted by Father Beeching and Father Clarke, has to devise a way of rescuing Dougal from an untimely end. They decide that the best way to save Dougal is by saying Mass, a feat achieved by mounting an altar on a trailer attached to the back of a tractor. Unfortunately, this fails to help the hapless Dougal. The group of priests then watch The Poseidon Adventure, on the grounds that Gene Hackman plays a priest in it, but that doesn't help either. In the end, the innovative use of the brick that Mrs Doyle had left lying around (which Father Jack had subsequently adopted as a pet) provides Dougal with the means to escape from the milkfloat. The milkfloat returns to Mustard (who is still in the phone booth laughing evilly) with literally explosive consequences; true to his word, the detonation is apparently heard at the North Pole by an Inuit fisherman, and Mustard gets killed off-screen. At the end of the credits, Ted is taking out the garbage and looks up at the sky. Jack's brick comes down from the sky and knocks Ted out. The brick is half burnt and is followed by Mustard's bumper sticker, on fire, that reads: "Shit Happens".
The final scene is Dougal about to go to sleep that evening; he suddenly exclaims "Those women were in the nip!" Meanwhile, Mrs Doyle takes down memorial items of the deceased Pat Mustard from the mantelpiece and places them in a box.
The episode was voted the best ever by the show's fans, in the Channel 4 Father Ted Night, which screened on 1 January 2011 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the programme.
- The overall plot is a parody of the films Speed and Speed 2: Cruise Control.
- The priests watch The Poseidon Adventure, on the grounds that Gene Hackman plays a priest (actually, he plays a Protestant reverend). They complain afterwards that "he didn't even say Mass!"
- "We asked for your nerdiest-ever Father Ted questions … and we put them to Arthur Mathews". thejournal.ie. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.