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Cash and Curry
Series 01, Episode 03
Cash and Curry
Air Date September 22, 1981
Written by John Sullivan
Director Martin Shardlow
Length 30 minutes
Previous episode "Go West Young Man"
Next episode "The Second Time Around"
List of episode

Del finds himself as the peacekeeper between two warring Indian businessmen.

Synopsis

Rodney arrives to pick Del Boy up from a dinner party he had attended. While there, Rodney is introduced by Del to Vimmal Malik, an Indian man who is looking for business opportunities, much to Del's interest. Outside, the Trotter Brothers become involved in a dispute between Vimmal and Mr. Rham, another Indian man who seems to have a grudge against Vimmal. During the fight, Rham's large bodyguard tries to intimidate Del with faked karate moves, but Del distracts him and hits him in the groin.

Further investigation causes Del and Rodney to discover that Malik and Rham are from rival families, each of whom makes claim to an ancient statue, of the Hindu God Kubera (who Del originally believed to be "one of India's premiere wicketkeepers"), of great sentimental and financial value. Malik has the statue, but Rham wants it and informs Del that he is prepared to pay £4,000 for it. He is unable to make such an offer directly however, due to the caste system preventing him from speaking to Malik directly. Sensing an opportunity to profit, Del agrees to act as a go-between for Rham.

Del speaks to Malik, informing him that Rham is prepared to pay £2,000, with his intention being to keep the other £2,000 for himself. Malik eventually accepts the offer, but is unwilling to hand over the statue before receiving the cash. A problem emerges when it becomes clear that Rham is equally unwilling to hand over the money before receiving the statue. At this point, Rodney attempts to convince Del to let the deal go, but Del is unrelenting and decides to raise the £2,000 himself by selling off unwanted or unneeded items from the flat. Eventually he succeeds in convincing Rodney to go along with the plan.

The money is duly raised and paid to Malik, and the statue handed over. When the Trotter Brothers return to the restaurant Rham supposedly owns, however, they find that he is gone - and that he does not own the restaurant and never did. The waiter there, who is the real owner of the restaurant, informs him that the cheque provided by Rham bounced, and that enquiries as to his accommodation revealed Rham had left there as well, leaving three weeks rent unpaid. Adding to the Trotter Brothers' woes, the owner examines the statue and reveals that they cost just £17 on Portobello Road. Realising the extent of their loss, and that they cannot report the pair to the police, Del and Rodney leave the restaurant dejected and without options.

Meanwhile, Malik and Rham joke to each other about the stupidity of the Trotter Brothers in falling for the scam, and it emerges that they are professional con artists who have successfully carried this out in various other cities (Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, and North and South London), as they travel to their next destination to try it again.

Del and Rodney attempt to confront Malik at his home, but find that he is also gone. Rodney jokingly suggests heading to a curry house to drown their sorrows, and Del angrily throws the statue at Rodney. The camera freezes as the statue is still in the air.

Featured characters

Other notes

Story arc

  • This is the first episode Del calls Rodney a plonker.

Episode concept

  • The idea for the script was based purely on the name of the episode "Cash and Curry", from that the script was devised.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • This was the only episode where we see the Vauxhall Velox. The Capri Ghia (which wouldn't appear until "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle") replaced this very later in the series as Del's personal car.
  • This was the only episode of the sitcom filmed during Lennard Pearce's lifetime in which Grandad does not make an appearance. It is also the first of three episodes of Only Fools and Horses in which the interior of the Trotters' flat is not seen. The other two are "Who's a Pretty Boy?" from the third series, and "The Longest Night" from the fifth series.
  • The music at the beginning of the episode when Rodney sees Del's Vauxhall Velox in the car park was very different from the music used in future episodes.

DVD cuts and edits

  • The song that is played during the sales montage is "Money" by Pink Floyd. The DVD Region 2 version has a different music track due to contractual reasons by the BBC.

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