"If They Could See Us Now" was the comeback episode of Only Fools And Horses after a 5 year break, airing on the 25th December 2001 with a viewing figure of 21.3 million.
This episode saw the Trotters lose their millions and go back to how they used to be, getting up at 5am and flogging dodgy gear on street markets until 6pm in all weathers and living back at their old flat in Nelson Mandela House, which Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and Rodney Trotter had never sold when they had become millionaires. Back to Earth with a bang, in true Trotter style those Peckham plonkers were millionaires no more.
Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and Rodney Trotter are being driven to a court in a taxi, the taxi is driving down Charing Cross in London. It has been 5 years since they became millionaires. They go to see a barrister called Justin. Del and Rodney explain how they were once ordinary market traders until they came across a historic and priceless artifact worth £6.2 million. Del explains how they invested the money in a stock market. Boycie, Denzel, Trigger and Sid have come to act as character witnesses. Mike Fisher, the landlord had invested his savings in the Trotters venture and was in prison for trying to recoup his losses by embezzling the brewery. so Sid is running The Nags Head until Mike is released. Seems the Trotters are in court for something.
Del reminisces how they went globetrotting around the world from Barbados to Monte Carlo. Del then says that they were making more money than a royal mint until the stock market crashed. Suddenly everything they had was flushed away, their nice homes, their flash cars, etc.
Del explains how he never sold his flat at Nelson Mandela House, Nyrere Estate, Peckham, London 5 years previously when they became millionaires, and now they were bankrupt, they at least had somewhere to live. Rodney says things got worse, there was more rows and bad luck. Then they explained how they got news their uncle Albert Trotter had died. In flashback scenes they went there and ended up attending the wrong funeral. It was then revealed that Del and Rodney were at a bankruptcy court.
After the hearing, the Trotters return to their flat and Del is in shock as the court declared him bankrupt and £50'000 in debt to the Inland Revenue due to bounced cheques. Mike Fisher, the landlord had invested his savings in the Trotters venture and was in prison for trying to recoup his losses by embezzling the brewery. Del has been banned from running a company so suggests that Rodney takes over Trotters Independent Traders. Rodney reluctantly agrees.
A few days later, Mickey Pearce knows that Rodney is now the sole proprietor of TITCO and phones him up pretending to be an associate of The Sultan Of Brunei. Rodney falls for the trick. Del asks if The Sultan Of Brunei reads The Peckham Echo. Mickey then puts on his real voice and Rodney storms off in a huff.
A few days later, Rodney and Cassandra discuss how best to celebrate Rodney's promotion, eventually deciding on dressing up for each other. She says that to hell with dressing up, putting clothes on, she says lets go home and take some off. Rodney then asks the waiter for the bill and to hurry it up. At the flat, Rodney and Cassie are all over each other and ready to have a night of passion but Del comes in giving tales of how Grandad had his first fit in that bed and Albert slept in the bed at night for years, snoring, tossing and turning and scratching his, his beard. Del then leaves, this puts Rodney and Cassie off.
At a pub, not the Nags Head, Del and Rodney are having a drink and Rodney says that if he and Cassie can hear the TV on in Del and Raquel's room, then they can hear him and Cassandra in their room if they get passionate. Del says he is going out with Raquel next Thursday night so Rodney and Cassie will have the whole evening to themselves.
Del says he is taking Raquel out of the evening to a surprise location as the taxi picks them up. Rodney and Cassie are both dressed up for each other, Rodney as a Gladiator and Cassandra as a policewoman. Back in the taxi, Del asks Raquel if Monkey Harris phoned about some items Del was thinking of buying that are selling like crazy. Raquel says she forgot to tell him earlier. Del says he could lose out on the deal so rushes back up to the flat to phone Monkey. As he is in the kitchen, he sees Cassie dressed in police uniforms. He does not recognise it is just Cassandra and thinks she is a real cop. He has to tell Monkey he is being raided to has to hang up but to call him back. He then sees the policewoman cuddling Rodney and he realises it is Cassandra in uniform. Del asks them if they can stay in while he is out when Monkey rings back.
Del is actually going on the game show The Gold Rush. The show is hosted by Jonathan Ross. Del's chances initially look glum after he gets the first question badly wrong, but fortunately the other two contestants prove to be even worse than he is, and Del manages to reach the "Rainbow Road," putting him in pole position for the top prize. Eventually, Del has to phone Rodney when he doesn't know the answer to a question. While Rodney and Cassie are getting intimate, the phone rings. Jonathan then is put on the phone and says "Hello Mr Trotter this is Jonathan Ross at The Gold Rush Studios". Rodney answers the phone and Jonathan Ross says "Hello Rodney this is Jonathan Ross at the Goldrush Studios". Rodney, thinking it is Mickey Pearce yells an expletive at him until he sees Jonathan on the TV and is shocked to see it is really him. He then starts sucking up to Jonathan, toadying. Del Boy grimaces at Rodney's toadying. Rodney then tries to help Del with the final question, correctly naming the composer of The Child And The Enchantment as Ravel but this answer is not accepted and he is later told "everyone knows Ravel makes shoes". Del is frozen out of the game and has no chance of winning anything, all he has in £1 on him.
Del runs off into the night after losing. A few hours later, Rodney feels such a plonker for giving the wrong answer. Raquel and Damien come in, they say Del just vanished, leaving them at the studios and they had to get a taxi home. Del then comes in, drunk. He shouts at Rodney for making him lose a £100'000 prize. Del says the £1 was not enough for the bus fare home. He says Rodney is never to borrow his Capri Ghia again. Rodney says, well that bone marrow, forget it.
Del then gets a phone call from the producer, telling them that he actually got the final question right, and will be given his prize money as well as another go on the show. Unfortunately, Del thinks that it's Mickey Pearce winding him up and tells him to give all the prize money to charity and if he calls again he will kick his behind into shredded duck. The producer says Del told them to give the money to charity and Jonathan says "What a nice guy". The episode ends as Del triumphantly proclaims "We're the Trotters, and we're back!", despite the fact he has yet again lost out on a chance to win £100'000.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Cassandra Trotter - Gwyneth Strong
- Mickey Pearce - Patrick Murray
- Boycie - John Challis
- Marlene - Sue Holderness
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Denzil - Paul Barber
- Sid - Roy Heather
- Barrister -
- Judge -
- Jonathan Ross - Himself
- Gold Rush Producer -
Previous Episode Comic Relief Special
Next Episode Strangers on the Shore
- In the trailers for this special, a stretch version of the Trotter van was shown but never made the final cut. It never really existed, just a superimposed picture.
- This was the comeback episode of the show. After a 5 year hiatus, the Trotters were back. Ever since the show went off air in late 1996, there had been demand for more episodes. Fans of the show were hoping that the show would return, and Del Boy may even lose his millions. Steve Clark's book "The Story of Only Fools And Horses" said that "those Trotters may be millionaires no more".
- Del was originally going to appear on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with Chris Tarrant making a guest appearance. However, ITV did not grant the rights for it to be used on repeat runs of the episode, so instead the fictional quiz show Goldrush was created to be used and Jonathan Ross made an appearance as the host. The telephone call made to Rodney clearly echoes that show's "Phone a Friend" feature.
- The clips used to describe how "normal" the Trotter Brothers were before they became millionaires were used from the following episodes and Christmas specials:
- When the Trotters are flying in Concorde, the seat behind Rodney is empty. Then when you see it again, Damien is in it. This may just be a joke about how Damien is a "devil child".
- During their holiday, Rodney tells Del that Albert couldn't go on holiday with them because he didn't have a passport. However, in "To Hull and Back", Del asked Albert if he had brought all the passports with him when he got to Hull, and Albert said they are in his bag. Albert would obviously have had a passport when he went to Amsterdam with his nephews.
- The Capri Ghia's registration number is CCR 412W, yet in "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle", the registration number was UYD 177R.
- When Rodney and Cassandra come back from the restaurant to have sex in their bedroom (which used to belong to Grandad, then Albert), Del talks about Grandad having his first fit on that bed, but that is unlikely because the bed in this special is a double, and the one that Grandad slept on in "Homesick" was a single.
- Shaftesbury Avenue, London (theatres, shops, restaurants)
- Taxi interior
- Bankruptcy court (hallway, office)
- The Nag's Head (main bar)
- Concorde (flashback sequence)
- Trotter Wing, Peckham General Hospital (flashback sequence)
- Monte Carlo, France (various posh buildings, nightlcubs) (flashback sequence)
- Hotel at Monte Carlo (hallway, entrance doorway) (flashback sequence)
- Hotel at Monte Carlo exterior (entrance, road)
- The Trotters flat (living room, kitchen, entrance hallway, bedroom)
- Weston Super Mare (Seafront, promenade)
- Unknown house in Weston Super Mare (lounge, hallway)
- Unknown streets in Weston Super Mare (funeral hearse, pavements)
- Unknown restaurant in Peckham (dining area)
- Nelson Mandela House exterior (courtyard, towerblock)
- Hallway outside Trotter's flat
- Gold Rush Quiz Show TV studio