Strangers on the Shore

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"Strangers on the Shore"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only fools strangers on the shore.jpg
Episode no. Episode 63
(Christmas special)
Directed by Tony Dow
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Gareth Gwenlan
Original air date 25 December 2002
(17.3 million viewers)
Running time 75 minutes
List of episodes

"Strangers on the Shore...!" is an episode of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, first screened on 25 December 2002 as the second part of the early 2000s Christmas trilogy, the seventeenth Christmas special and the 63rd episode of the series.

Synopsis[edit]

Because the Trotters lost their fortune due to the collapse of the Central American market, Del Boy has been driving for Boycie. As he and Marlene prepare to head to a relative's wedding, Boycie boasts to Del about how he is going be a millionaire when he travels to France in a month's time to sign a multi-millionaire deal with an Iranian businessman, and will not make the same mistakes that Del made. Fed up of Boycie's boasting, Del gains his revenge on Boycie by squeezing a tub of onion purée into his hair gel (Boycie cannot smell it because he has a cold). Meanwhile, at Nelson Mandela House, Del buys twenty Slovakian log-effect gas fires and a letter arrives addressed to the late Uncle Albert informing him of a naval reunion at a village in France.

Sometime later at The Nag's Head, Raquel and a pregnant Cassandra join Del and Rodney in a conversation about how Albert's life journey and love life are similar to the film Captain Corelli's Mandolin, before Raquel shows Del Albert's letter. Since Albert has died, Rodney suggests that they represent Albert at the reunion and scatter his ashes at sea. Del agrees, but also has other things in mind, such as asking Denzil and Trigger to travel with them in Denzil's lorry, to allow them to purchase a large amount of duty-free alcohol which they can sell to Sid at the pub.

On the ferry to France, Del and Rodney scatter Albert's ashes into the sea. They arrive in France and drive to the village of St. Claire a la Chappelle where they meet another soldier named George Parker. In a café, as George tells them about how much of a ladies' man Albert was, the Trotter brothers notice that a number of the men in the village bear a striking resemblance to Albert (which leads Del to claim they should rename the village "Trottersville"). Meanwhile, Denzil and Trigger wait for Del at the wine warehouse.

After the reunion, the Trotters drive back to the ferry port and meet Denzil and Trigger at the wine warehouse, where they load Denzil's lorry with duty-free Saint-Omer beer to take back to England with them.

Later that night, back at Nelson Mandela House, while storing the beer in Del's garage, Denzil and Trigger find an illegal immigrant in the back of Denzil's lorry. The Trotter brothers head down to the garage and investigate. They are unable to find out the man's name as he does not speak English. Del and Rodney bring him up to the flat and introduce him to Raquel, Damien, and Cassandra as "Gary", a friend who Rodney met at evening school. A short time later, Boycie shows up asking to stay the night at the flat, because a gas leak from the log-effect gas fires Del sold him has filled his house with gas, and the fire brigade has evacuated the entire road. Marlene and Tyler are staying at her mother's, who won't allow Boycie to stay because of a row at the wedding caused by the onion purée Del squeezed into Boycie's hair gel. Feeling guilty, Del reluctantly allows Boycie to stay.

A few days later, the fire brigade allow Boycie to move back into his house, and he asks Del to drive him to France the following week so he can sign the contract. Rodney suggests taking "Gary" back with them, but Boycie tells them that Damien has taken him to play football with his friends and he has not been seen since. The Trotters drive Boycie to France in a van (which Del intends to fill up with more cheap alcohol), while a news report featuring "Gary" reveals his real name to be Rashid Mamoon (he was working at the wine warehouse and loading Denzil's lorry when Del accidentally trapped him under some beer boxes), and that the police are searching for the "Gary Gang". When Del, Rodney, and Boycie arrive in France, they meet with Boycie's Iranian business partner, Mr. Mamoon, who introduces them to his son, Rashid. Believing the trio are there to demand a ransom, Rashid panics and claims Boycie and the Trotter brothers are the kidnappers. Mr. Mamoon calls the police and Del, Rodney and Boycie are arrested for kidnapping.

Music[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • The village of St. Claire a la Chappelle is fictional for the purposes of the film and does not in fact exist anywhere in France, but there is a chapel in France named Chappelle de St Clair, but this is just a chapel and no town in the middle of some agricultural French countryside.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"If They Could See Us Now"
Only Fools and Horses
25 December 2002
Succeeded by
"Sleepless in Peckham"