While, technically, the video that surfaced recently isn’t really an ‘episode’ of Only Fools and Horses and, I guess, was never actually ‘lost’ but it is 30-minutes, features the cast of the most popular British situation comedy of all-time, and hasn’t been seen outside of classrooms in a really long time.
The first part of this special infomercial episode of Only Fools And Horses that, understandably, has never broadcast on television mainly because it was an advertisement funded by the oil industry. It was filmed in 1984, funded by the Maureen Oilfield Consortium to encourage children to train for careers in the oil and gas industry and shown primarily in schools. How 80’s is that?
Because it wasn’t filmed in front of a studio audience, there is no laugh track. Actually, don’t think it would make a difference as it really isn’t funny. The plot of the story is how Del Boy ‘educates’ Rodney and Grandad in all things oil and how, next year, they are all going to be ‘millionaires’. At the risk of sounding like JR Ewing, Del begins to school young Rodney on the benefits of oil, North Sea oil in particular, telling them of its many by products such as methane, propane, butane, and how it affects us in everything we do. From the Corn Flakes we eat in the morning to the clothes we wear and the fertilizer we use on the allotment. They then watch a program ‘on BBC 2′ about Oil Exploration.
After watching the documentary Rodney asks the most poignant question we are all thinking, which is ‘What I don’t understand Del is why you’re so suddenly interested in oil?’ Del’s obvious response is ‘co’s we are gonna earn out of it’. He then tells Rodney and Grandad that he has bought an oil rig for £400, and how it is in a lock up in Catford. Rodney then explains how this cannot be possible, and Del finally realizes he has been conned. Sadly, this was the last episode that Lennard Pearce, who plays Grandad, filmed. He died shortly afterwards.
Only Fools and Horses – Licensed to Drill, part 1
Only Fools and Horses – Licensed to Drill, part 2