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Heroes and Villains
Series 07, Episode 12
Heroes and Villains
Air Date December 25, 1996
Written by John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Length 60 minutes
Previous episode "Fatal Extraction"
Next episode "Modern Men"
List of episode

Whilst Raquel and Cassandra are away, Del and Rodney attend a fancy dress party.

Synopsis

The episode opens with Rodney's futuristic dream, in which a grown-up Damien, head of the now multinational and all-powerful Trotters Independent Traders, apparently rules the western world in the year 2026, barking orders to "President Reeves" to declare war on China. Del Boy (who is now Lord of Peckham) and Raquel live in a luxurious office block, Trotter Towers, but Rodney himself is merely an old messenger, Cassandra is a maid (after Damien took over her bank and fired her), and Uncle Albert's body has been preserved (all he can say is his trademark phrase "During the war..." on a constant loop).

Rodney wakes up back in the present day, November 2, 1996, on his 36th birthday, on which he receives an identity bracelet from Del with the name "Rooney". Del's application for a council grant has been rejected, and Raquel receives a letter from her estranged parents, who want to meet her again. It emerges that Rodney and Cassandra have been trying for a baby, which leads to an unsuspecting Albert drinking one of Cassandra's urine specimens, believing it to be apple juice. Meanwhile at Sid's café, Trigger is telling everyone in earshot about a medal he received from the local council for owning the same broom for twenty years, despite the fact that it has actually had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in that time. Del buys tickets for himself and Rodney to attend a publican's fancy dress birthday party, Cassandra goes to Spain with her mother, and Raquel and Damien visit her parents.

At Del's insistence, he and Rodney go to the party dressed as Batman and Robin respectively, but their Trotter Van breaks down halfway there and they have to run the rest of the way. En route, they interrupt an attempt to mug Councillor Murray and, emerging from the fog dressed as Batman and Robin, promptly scare away the thieves. Del and Rodney arrive at the party, unaware that the publican, Harry Malcolm, had in fact died the day before and the fancy dress has thus been cancelled in favour of a wake (a fact that Boycie, who met them in the doorway, "forgot" to mention), and they burst into the main room singing the Batman theme tune. Despite the embarrassment, they are asked to stay at the wake.

Del and Rodney are in the market a few days later and see the gang of muggers again, this time attacking an elderly woman. Rodney gives chase, before one of the muggers then starts chasing him; Del ultimately knocks the mugger unconscious with his suitcase. Following the mugging, Del (though not Rodney, much to his annoyance) receives a medal for apprehending the gang. While at the awards ceremony, he meets Councillor Murray again, who offers to do him a favour in return for rescuing her a few nights previously. Later on, back at the flat, the Trotters read in the newspaper that Del and Rodney both have received credit for capturing the muggers, although the newspaper people have somehow mistaken Rodney's name for the "Rooney" name on his identity bracelet. Del then announces that his application for a council grant has now been approved, and Rodney reveals that Cassandra is pregnant.

Featured characters

Other notes

Episode concept

  • When production began on the 1996 Christmas trilogy, it originally started off as just one special, where its original script included all the elements of both "Heroes and Villains" and "Time On Our Hands", but compressed to fit into one movie. But as the ideas grew, John Sullivan told the BBC that more than one chapter would be needed, so "Modern Men" was written as a filler between the two chapters, and it ended up being the current trilogy.

Continuity errors

  • Del is turned down a council grant for home improvement on his kitchen, but in "Mother Nature's Son", Del bought the flat off the council.
  • Raquel visits her parents whom she hasn't seen for years, yet in "The Jolly Boys' Outing", Raquel told Del that she had no family left. Although it can be claimed that what Raquel meant she had no family emotionally in that they had cut all ties with her and so this was not an error after all.
  • Rodney buys Cassandra a rabbit because she's feeling broody, yet in "Three Men, a Woman, and a Baby", Cassandra said she's allergic to fur.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • This episode attracted a UK television audience of 21.3 million, at the time a record for the show.
  • Uncle Albert's appearance in the dream at the start is a parody of Cold Lazarus, which screened earlier that year.

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