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To Hull and Back

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To Hull and Back
Series 04, Episode 09
To Hull and Back
Air Date December 25, 1985
Written by John Sullivan
Director Ray Butt
Length 90 minutes
Previous episode "White Mice"
Next episode "From Prussia With Love"
List of episode

The Trotters agree to smuggle diamonds from Amsterdam for Boycie.

Synopsis

As the Trotters are enjoying another night at The Nag's Head (such as Rodney talking about his girlfriend of the week, Imogen), Boycie and his business partner Abdul Khan call Del Boy in for a secret meeting, which involves Del visiting The Netherlands to smuggle diamonds for them, for which they are being paid £15,000. Del agrees to do the mission.

The next morning, as they arrive at the market, Rodney believes the diamond smuggling trip is very dangerous and illegal, but Del assures him that everything will be OK. Just then, Denzil shows up in his lorry, and asks Del to leave him (Denzil) alone as requested by his wife Corrine. (This links in with a sub-plot in which Del is seen to "haunt" Denzil.) With all that said, Denzil drives off.

The Trotter Brothers quickly run off from the police after trying to flog watches that play 36 different national anthems, but they run into local policeman DCI Roy Slater (Uncle Albert was talking to Slater's mother, Ruby, the previous night at the Nag's Head) and his right-hand man PC Terry Hoskins. At Sid's café, Slater tells Del and Rodney that he's already investigating the case, and already knows that Boycie and Abdul are involved, only Slater doesn't know who the courier is. Also, Slater mentions that he'll be retiring from the police force after solving the case. As Slater and Hoskins leave, Del phones Boycie and tells him that Slater's onto them. Boycie suggests that they and Abdul meet up tonight, and Del knows the perfect meeting place.

That night, as Boycie and Abdul wait in the trailer of an unsuspecting Denzil's lorry in a car park, Del and Rodney arrive in the Trotter Van. With Rodney standing watch, Del enters the trailer and gets the money from Boycie and Abdul to take with him to Amsterdam. As Boycie and Abdul leave, Slater shows up, and Del quickly hides under a big cover, but unfortunately gets locked inside the trailer, and is accidentally transported up to Hull by Denzil. In desperation, Rodney follows Denzil all the way to Hull in the van. Whilst there, Del decides that, rather than go through the airports being watched by Slater, he and Rodney should sail to Holland in a hired boat instead. "Experienced seaman" Albert arrives to captain the boat, although it later emerges that he spent most of his time with the Royal Navy in the boiler room and thus has no experience of navigation. Despite that (and after receiving directions from an oil rig), they make it to Amsterdam, where they meet a Dutch diamond dealer named Hendrik Van Kleefe and conclude the transaction without a hitch, despite the fact that Boycie's money is counterfeit.

After briefly getting sidetracked by being chased by a shifty-looking man in a trenchcoat, and getting lost in the North Sea again, the Trotters eventually find their way back to Britain by following the MV Norland, a ferry which goes from Zeebrugge to Hull. They end up in Zeebrugge at first, much to their chagrin, but follow the ferry back to Hull.

A few more days later, upon returning home to Peckham and meeting with Boycie and Abdul at The Nag's Head, the group are apprehended by Slater, who, as it turns out, had been in cahoots with Van Kleefe from the start. Slater makes a proposal: either they all go to prison, or he leaves with the diamonds and they walk away free; the Trotters and friends reluctantly accept the second option. Del vows to get revenge, but Slater mentions that he's moving far away from London when he retires, then leaves. With their mission failed, Del, Rodney, and Albert decide to give up and head on home.

Meanwhile, Hoskins drives Slater straight into a police sting. It then emerges that Slater's superiors have long suspected him of corruption, and set him up to be caught in possession of the illegal diamonds, and Hoskins was ordered by the Commissioner to keep an eye on Slater. Slater attempts to bribe his way out, but Hoskins refuses and reveals a microphone hidden in his jacket lapel that transmitted their conversation to the Commissioner. Meanwhile, Van Kleefe is apprehended by the Dutch authorities while he is attempting to deposit the counterfeit money at the bank.

Back at Nelson Mandela House, Del and Albert reveal to Rodney that all is not lost, because Del, having noticed that the diamond money was fake, had switched two of the diamonds for two of Del's cats' eye cufflinks and kept them hidden in Albert's smoking pipe as revenge on Slater. Rodney then reveals that it was he, and not Slater, who took the £15,000 during the commotion at The Nag's Head. Del, believing that the £15,000 was also counterfeit but was in fact genuine, throws it over the balcony, leaving Rodney and Albert both stunned, and Del feeling proud of himself.

Featured characters

Other notes

Story arc

  • Del Boy is attempting to sell watches that play 36 different national anthems. In "The Chance of a Lunchtime", Del attempts to sell door bells that play 36 different national anthems.
  • When Denzil drives away at the traffic lights, Del is upset and wonders why Denzil hasn't let him fill his lorry up. Rodney reminds Del of the awful things that he has done to Denzil in the past:
  • Ruined his wedding reception (Previously mentioned in "Who's a Pretty Boy?").
  • Almost broken up his marriage to Corrine (she couldn't appear anymore because Eva Mottley, who played Corrine, died).
  • Flooded his kitchen ("Who's a Pretty Boy?" again).
  • Stole his £2,000 redundancy money ("As One Door Closes").

Continuity errors

  • When the Trotters are at The Nag's Head, and Albert was talking to Slater's mother Ruby, she remarked about how her husband Harry never got over Slater joining the police force and "Bloody glad when they put him [Harry] away I [Ruby] was." Yet when Slater returned from his prison sentence in "The Class of '62", he said his father died, and also explained why the prison governor wouldn't give him compassionate parole (the letter his mother wrote).
  • As the Trotters return to the flat after coming back from Holland, Rodney shows Del and Albert the £15,000 and says that he picked it up when they were running around the table from Slater, but when the Trotters were seen running around the table at The Nag's Head earlier, Rodney quite clearly didn't pick the money up. Then, when the Trotters exited the room after Del told Boycie that he's going home, Rodney did not pick up the money from the table, he just walked out of the room without going near it.
  • Before Del throws the £15,000 out of the balcony, Rodney tells him that they should invest it, but in "Time On Our Hands", Rodney is completely against the idea of investing when Del suggests what to do with their new fortune.

Production goofs

  • When Hoskins is paying for his breakfast in Sid's café, there is a shot of Sid smoking an "almost burnt out" cigarette, but then 1-2 seconds later from a different shot, he is smoking a whole cigarette.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • This episode was shot entirely on film and also had no laughter track.
  • Many of the outside scenes were shot in Amsterdam.
  • It was also the first time that the Trotters' flat had an extra wall. As previous episodes were shot in a studio, there was no fourth wall but now there is a wall shown, where the studio audience would watch the episode being filmed, so that this special had a location feel without any studio bombardments showing.

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