Fatal Extraction was the 1993 Christmas Special of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 25th December 1993 with a viewing figure of 19.6 million. This episode was originally planned to be the last episode of the series as David Jason was under an 18 month contract with Yorkshire Television and Nicholas Lyndhurst was scheduled for more episodes of the new comedy Goodnight Sweetheart. Filming began in November 1993.
In the story, Del Boy has a bad tooth, and relationship problems with Raquel which lead to their temporary break up in which Del asks Beverley, a dentist receptionist out on a date. But when he gives her the elbow and goes back to Raquel, he feels Beverly is stalking him. And Rodney and Cassandra are trying for a baby, or a barbecue as Del would say.
A year has passed since the Peckham Spring money making deal. It is a December morning in 1993, and it is almost Christmas and Raquel is stressed as Del Boy has been spending the past month going out down the casinos and pubs every night. Del is having problems with his teeth. Rodney and Cassandra are trying for a baby again. Raquel phones Cassandra to ask how they are doing. Del Boy then phones Cassandra while Rodney comes in. When Raquel asks who Del is talking to, Del says Cassandra, unaware that Rodney is listening, who himself thought Del was talking to a marriage guidance counsellor. Later that morning at Sid's Cafe Del, Trigger, Boycie, Rodney and Denzil are talking where Del mentions one of his old girlfriends who worked in a betting shop down Lewisham Grove but cannot remember her name. Del says she was seeing another person at the time and explains that he had paid to take her on an exotic holiday, the holiday of a lifetime, namely to a caravan site.
One night a few days later Del is down the casino and Rodney comes in. He berates Del for always going down the pubs and casinos. Del explains that it is just a phase while he is putting a deal together for some Russian Army camcorders. Del also says he enjoys the company of his mates and should not change, just because he has met Raquel. As they leave the casino, Del and Rodney see it is the following morning and realise they had been there all night. Down the market that day Rodney gets a phone call from Cassandra. Thinking it is the right time for them to conceive Rodney rushes round to their flat and begins stripping but sees Raquel sat on the sofa. He quickly pulls his trousers up and fobs Raquel off by saying he was hot. Raquel says that she has left Del after he came in at 8:15 that morning and just changed into his work clothes and left. Rodney and Cassandra allow Raquel to stay for a few days.
At the Nag's Head, Del is chatting with the boys and says he is going to go to the dentist and get his tooth sorted. Boycie says how he wishes he never met Marlene by saying he wishes he never walked into that betting shop down Lewisham Grove now. Del realises that Marlene is the woman who he was on about a few days earlier in the cafe. Albert comes in and says that Raquel has left Del. At the dentist Del is shocked that Raquel and Damien have left him. He gets his check-up and is told the tooth has to come out. As he waits for the "Jollop" to work he chats up Beverley the receptionist. Del explains that his relationship has just broken up and asks Beverley out on a date. She accepts.
That night, back at the flat, the Russian camcorders have finally arrived, but Rodney points out two problems with them; they're very heavy, and they take videotapes that don't fit in UK VCRs. Del tells Rodney and Albert that he will also be getting some Russian VCRs to go with the camcorders, as well as tell them about his upcoming date with Beverley. Rodney and Albert believe that Del is making a big mistake and tell him that he can always phone Raquel and reconcile with her. Del admits he made a bad move asking Beverley out on that date so he phones her, but it goes to her answer machine. Del leaves a message saying he cannot make their date tonight and he will call her another time.
Back at Rodney and Cassandra's flat, Rodney is telling her all about Del asking another woman out. Rodney then tells Cassandra about the time Del had a violent fight with his father Reg over Del flogging Tom Jones LP's instead of attending his O-level school exams. As they settle down to try for a baby, Cassandra hears a noise and sits up, Damien is stood at the bottom of the bed. Rodney jumps in fright saying he locked the bedroom door. But Raquel walks in and takes him. Rodney is relieved that he did not lock the door.
The next night at the Nag's Head, Rodney is asking for donations to save whales. Del Boy walks in and after some persuasion, he agrees to phone Raquel. He then sees Beverley in the pub and she smiles at him. Del, knowing he broke off their date is initially worried but dismisses the idea. Del phones Raquel and also does a bit of grovelling saying that he will not have any more nights out down casinos or pubs. Raquel agrees to come back to him and Del says he will pick her up the following night. He then orders some champagne.
Several hours later, a plastered Del is walking home back to his flat at Nelson Mandela House, and stumbles into some bins. He starts singing "One Voice". This awakes several residents of the flats in the towerblock. They shout down. Albert hears the commotion and rings up Rodney. Rodney later agrees to go round and see what is happening. Two residents of the estate are on the precinct arguing as Del finishes singing "One Voice".
2 or 3 hours later in the early hours of the morning, Rodney looks down from the balcony to the massive riot 12 storeys below. Albert worries that someone may throw a brick through the window but Rodney says as it is the 12th floor up, they will miss, as they have not invited Jeff Capes. Del comes out of his bedroom and Albert says he started the riot as he heard him singing. Del says that Raquel and Damien are coming home. Instead of being sorry, Del sees an earner in the riot by offering to go down and sell them some ski gear.
That day at the market Del and Rodney are putting some of the Russian VCR's into their van when he sees Beverley in the crowd. She smiles at Del. This is twice she has done this since Del broke off their date. Del gets Rodney to look at Beverley but she has gone off into the crowd. Del is worried that she is following him. That night, Del picks Raquel and Damien up, they drive to the estate to find it is full of rioters, at least 100 rioters and several policemen on horses, ambulances and fire engines. Del beeps the hooter. Everyone stops rioting, saying "Its Del Boy" showing how popular Del is around Peckham. They stand back and let him through. As Del drives through the gangway left for him by the rioters he beeps the hooter for them to continue rioting.
The next day, the riot has finished, and the estate is much quieter again, but a journalist is taking snaps of a burned out car. He has recently bought one of Del's camcorders. The camcorder is not working properly and the journalist keeps having to shake it to get it to work, and he almost drops it as it is heavy. Del sees him, and quietly walks the other way towards the entrance of Nelson Mandela House.
Del then comes back to his flat, and in the small cloakroom he hears Raquel talking to someone. He opens the door slightly and sees Raquel, then opens it wider and sees Beverley yet again, stood next to Raquel. Del is now very scared but has to hide his fear, as he thinks she is stalking him. Raquel says that Beverley is interested in Damien's highchair as she saw the ad in the local newsagents. Del makes some excuse and scarpers, in a fright. He rushes to the Nags Head where he sees Rodney having his lunch. Del says to Rodney that Beverley is stalking him since she's an ex-psychiatric hospital patient. He says she is a jealous woman who is an olive short of a pizza. Rodney does not believe this and thinks she is just doing her everyday stuff. He calms Del down by saying he is letting his imagination run away with him. Del says to Rodney he has to go and drop off the highchair.
Del goes back to his flat and calls for Raquel. No answer. He sees the gerbil cage is open with no gerbil in it and a boiling sound coming from the kitchen. Del walks in and opens the lid, to find Albert is boiling his pants again. Raquel walks in and says Damien is playing with the gerbil. Del, in a panic says he has to sort this out and he will be back later.
Del storms round to the dentist and tells Beverley to back off and leave his family alone as she has been following him. Beverley says "What is wrong with you, you moron?" to Del, but gullible Trigger thinks she is talking to him so he says "Just a couple of fillings". Trig says hello to Del then leaves. Beverley then mirrors Del's accusations by accusing him of following her, saying she sees him everywhere from the bus stop to the pub. Beverley also tells Del that she works at the psychiatric hospital - as a receptionist. She is a medical receptionist. Del is relieved. She tells Del if he follows her or pesters her again at her place of work, she will take a restraining order out on him. Del assures Beverley that this is the last him and Beverley will hear of each other. When Beverley complains that the high chair has a screw loose, Del says "Well tighten it" and leaves.
A few days later it is Christmas Night back at the flat. Del puts Damien to bed. Raquel says that she now has an answerphone but she swapped it for Damien's highchair. Rodney plugs it in and it contains a very unexpected message on it. The same message Del left cancelling their date. Raquel, thinking Del has been having an affair for the past few weeks, explaining Del always going out, is livid and shouts and screams at Del. She throws a glass at him as the camera pans down the towerblock. A choir of children singing Silent Night are stood there, and then we see Beverley. She can hear the argument coming from the Trotters flat and when Del Boy says "Would someone tell me what have I done? What Have I Done?" Beverley gleefully smiles to herself, indicating that Del was right all along and she was out to try and get revenge for him making a date with her then cancelling the date, letting her down.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Cassandra Trotter - Gwyneth Strong
- Damien Trotter - Jamie Smith
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Boycie - John Challis
- Denzel - Paul Barber
- Mickey Pearce - Patrick Murray
- Marlene - Sue Holderness
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth MacDonald
- Lady On Bus - Kitty Scopes
- Miguel - Ronald Murray
- Casino Waitress - Lorraine Parslow
- Beverley - Mel Martin
- Dentist - Andrew Charleston
- Mick - Nick Maloney
- Arthur - Derek Martin
- Vi - Lyn Langridge
- Policeman - Linford Brown
- Texo - Bryan Brittain
Previous Episode Mother Nature's Son
Next Episode Heroes and Villains
- It is widely reported that Aled Jones, who was training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at the time, was an extra in the riot scenes.
- After this special, the cast of Only Fools and Horses took a three-year break before returning in the 1996 Christmas trilogy.
- This episode was referred to 3 years later in Time on Our Hands, when it was revealed that Del still had a couple of the Russian VCR's in his garage that he had tried to sell in "Fatal Extraction".
- According to Steve Clark's 1998 book The Story Of Only Fools And Horses, "Fatal Extraction" was meant to be the last episode of the series as actors David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst wanted to do other TV shows. Once Fatal Extraction was filmed, Jason was under a 18 month contract with Yorkshire Television to film new episodes of police drama A Touch Of Frost, and Lyndhurst was concentrating on his new comedy Goodnight Sweetheart. Although writer and creator John Sullivan and producer Gareth Gwenlan did not want the show to just bleed away, they thought that they should do one more episode which would see the Trotters become millionaires. This had to be put on hold due to A Touch Of Frost and Goodnight Sweetheart. It turned out that in the autumn of 1996, there was a 2 month gap in Jason's schedule. So, in the spring of 1996, the cast and crew met at a London restaurant and decided to do one more episode for Christmas 1996. This later became 2 episodes, then 3 episodes, each an hour long, with the middle episode being a filler. Also "Fatal Extraction" had ended on quite a downbeat note as well, when Raquel thought Del had been cheating on her, when in fact he only asked Beverley out when he thought him and Raquel had split up.
- The building that BBC used for the One-Eleven Club is the same building they used in "Yuppy Love" for the wine bar. It is known as the Old Granary in Welsh Back, Bristol.
- The show's producer Gareth Gwenlan, who held an Equity card from his time as an actor, played a riot policeman, enabling him to direct the actors, and stopping them from getting carried away during the riot scene.
- It is assumed that Mick, the neighbour of Del Boy's, who was sarcastically singing along to Del Boy then shouting at another neighbour in the opposite towerblock who had told him to shut up, was Mental Mickey (It's Only Rock And Roll), who appeared in the aforementioned episode 8 years earlier. However this has not been confirmed. Daniel Peacock played Mickey in 1985, and Nick Moloney played the 1993 character.
- The outcome of the Peckham Spring venture in the previous episode "Mother Nature's Son" was never revealed, as the start of this special was at least 11 months since the dodgy Peckham Spring scheme. But, it was revealed in Del's 2015 autobiography He Who Dares that health inspectors found out that Del was selling contaminated water to the public. Due to drinking it, Raquel went bald and Rodney got sick. Cassandra was suspended at her bank, while Myles went into hiding. Solly Attwell told Del that he could go to jail because of this. Del was still determined to fight for his family's innocence, so Solly prepared a case "more airtight than Boycie's wallet" for him. Del would then visit his late mother Joan's grave, and a week later, the case against Del was miraculously dropped due to a lack of evidence. In the aftermath, Raquel's hair grew back, Cassandra's suspension was lifted, Rodney made a recovery, Myles came out of hiding, Del was left broke due to paying Solly, and both Grandad's allotment and the Peckham Spring were destroyed in a small earthquake. There were only a few tremors but enough to destroy the allotment.
- Del's 2015 autobiography He Who Dares also confirmed Rodney's story about when Del came home and his dad Reg found out about his eight A's in his GCE results all standing for "Absent", and Del beat his dad Reg senseless after Reg called Del a waste of space. Rodney said Reg spent a few days in hospital but vowed never to hit any of his family again.
- Denzil tells Del, Mike, Boycie, and Trigger about how he has been split up from his wife Corrine for seven years (which would've placed the divorce in late 1986/early 1987), yet in "Danger UXD", Denzil was still together with his wife. Between those two episodes, the gap is less than seven years.
- Rodney has difficulty carrying one Russian camera since they're very heavy, but in "Time on Our Hands", Rodney was able to lift two cameras at the same time with relative ease.
- In this episode, Sid's café increases significantly in size from "The Long Legs of the Law", "Dates" and "Miami Twice, Part 1: The American Dream". This is also the fourth different layout the café has had, as it is completely different in "To Hull and Back" and again in "A Royal Flush" Although Sid could have moved premises since "Miami Twice, Part 1" which was two years previous to this episode.
- Rodney tells Cassandra that Del did not turn up for his O-level/GCE exams and got eight straight A's which stood for "Absent", yet in the second Rock & Chips episode, "Five Gold Rings", Del was shown to have left school before taking his GCE's (or "GVD's" as he likes to call them). His family were fully aware of it, and they did not send Del back to school because he was their breadwinner. However, Del's 2015 autobiography He Who Dares confirms that Del did indeed go back to school in 1962 after his engagement to Barbara Bird ended in disaster.
- When the riot starts due to Del's drunken singing, the outside scene shows the block of flats used for Nelson Mandela House clearly is built in a way that the door is on the side of the kitchen and not from the lounge, unlike in "The Sky's the Limit", where the studio scene on the balcony when the satellite dish is seen for the first time showed a small window in the kitchen wall.
- If the Trotters flat is 12 floors up, then how come Albert was immediately awoken by the sound of Del singing? Surely the walls are not that thin? Albert's flat is the opposite side of the flat to the balcony which overlooked the precinct where Del was singing. Although in "Watching the Girls Go By", "Sickness and Wealth", and "If They Could See Us Now", it was commented on how thin the walls were, and you could hear others in the neighbouring bedrooms. Also in The Class of '62, Marlene beeped her car horn, and it was audible from 12 floors up.
- After Del sings to start the riot and Rodney arrives at the flat, when Albert says he's not going to the window because a brick might come through, Rodney tells him they're on the 12th floor. But at the end of "A Royal Flush" when Rodney was yelling at Del, the floor number on top of the lift said "13th Floor".
- The Trotters flat (living room, kitchen, bedroom hallway, balcony)
- Bus interior
- Lift area outside The Trotter's flat
- Rodney and Cassandra's flat (bedroom, kitchen, living/dining room)
- Nelson Mandela House exterior (play area, car parks, concrete area)
- Unknown streets in Peckham
- Sid's Cafe (seating area, counter)
- Casino (roulette areas, bar area, entrance/exit stairwell)
- Casino exterior (street)
- Street market in Peckham
- The Nag's Head (main bar)
- Peckham Rye (benches, pathways)
- Dentists (waiting room, check in desk, surgery)
- Dual carriageway at night