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Friday the 14th

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Friday the 14th
Series 03, Episode 03
Friday the 14th
Air Date November 24, 1983
Written by John Sullivan
Director Ray Butt
Length 30 minutes
Previous episode "Healthy Competition"
Next episode "Yesterday Never Comes"
List of episode

The Trotters head down south to illegally catch some salmon. But they've got more to worry about... there's an escaped axe-murderer on the loose!

Synopsis

In another one of his get-rich-quick schemes, Del Boy has just concluded a deal with Boycie and a fish restaurant owner, which will see him, Rodney and Grandad stay at Boycie's weekend cottage in Cornwall, bribe the local gamekeeper and do some salmon poaching.

As the Trotters arrive in Cornwall during a heavy thunderstorm, they are stopped by a policeman, who they first worry is meeting them due to the poaching, but the policeman informs the Trotters that a convicted axe murderer has taken advantage of a power cut caused by the bad weather and escaped from the local mental institution (presumably Broadmoor). His crime had been to kill a group of fishermen exactly ten years earlier.

Despite being unnerved by the news, the Trotters continue to the cottage. Rodney is nervous as he sees a movement in the trees, but Del stops him from telephoning the police. Whilst there, they fret that someone is either watching them from outside or already in the cottage, after Rodney finds an axe which Del points out is more common in the country. After an argument over a game of Monopoly, when Grandad complains about paying £1200 for "a hotel next to a smelly old waterworks", Rodney sees a face staring through the window. He describes how grotesque it was, to which Del replies, "It could have been a reflection." They are interrupted by a man at the door, who Del only lets in after Rodney makes sure he isn't the man at the window, and who introduces himself as the chief of security from the institution.

Reassured by the man's identification documents and his belief that the escaped man will be long gone, Del is satisfied that it is safe to use the outside toilet. Whilst outside, he opens the door and inadvertently knocks out the man whom Rodney had seen at the window earlier.

Rodney and Grandad tie up and take the unconscious man to the local police station, leaving Del and the head of security at the cottage. The police quickly identify the man not as the escaped murderer, but as the local gamekeeper. They even say they shouldn't have gagged him as he suffers from asthma. They also reveal that the hospital's chief of security was knocked unconscious by the patient, who stole his clothes and ID, meaning Del is trapped in the cottage with the real Axe-Murderer.

After Rodney tells him the truth on the telephone, a nervous Del begins to see the manic side to the escaped lunatic. The Axe-Murderer reveals he hates people who kill fish and asks about the fishing rods, to which Del replies it is only his grandfather and younger brother who do it, and he only comes down here for the fresh air. However, things turn in his favour when the madman reveals his hatred of winning as they are about to play an imaginary game of snooker. The episode ends with the pair beginning their game, playing for £10 a frame as suggested by Del.

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