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"May the Force Be with You" was the 5th episode in the 3rd series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 8th December 1983 with a viewing figure of 10.7 million. Del Boy's old school enemy and now a corrupt policeman Roy Slater is back in town, knowing Del has bought a microwave, and also knowing a microwave had been stolen off a lorry that afternoon. Only could mean trouble for the Trotters.


It is afternoon time in The Nag's Head. Roy Slater, the corrupt police officer and old school enemy of Del Boy and his friends is back in town. In the pub, Boycie and Trigger are horrified to see him, especially as he has now been promoted to DI. Slater also questions Trigger about a microwave, knowing Trigger is a bit of a dodgy dealer, saying a microwave was stolen from the back of a lorry earlier on in Lewisham Grove. Slater begins talking to Rodney Trotter, and says he is an old friend of Del Boy, and Rodney, unaware Slater is a copper, says to Slater that he should come round and see Del Boy as he should be home now but had to do some business with a microwave oven earlier on. Oops, Rodney has dropped Del right in it. Slater, knowing who has the microwave, smiles with glee and decides to take up Rodney's offer and surprise Del.

Back at the flat Del Boy is horrified to see Slater walk in. He drops his dinner on the floor and quietly growls at Rodney when Slater is not looking. Del offers to get some beers and says to Rodney he wants a word in the kitchen. Del throws a hissy fit at Rodney, and lambastes him for inviting Slater into the flat and then tells Rodney who he is, a corrupt policeman, and also says "That geezer out there would nick you for anything you did! In fact, he'd nick you for anything you didn't do, and he wouldn't let a silly thing like innocence get in his way!". He tells Rodney that Slater has many informants and to only speak when he is spoken to by him and keep it to a simple yes or no. But Slater spots the microwave. He pretends he has not seen the microwave and gives a speech about how he was alienated due to being a corrupt police officer, earning his stripes in the police force and losing all his friends. He then drinks his beer and says he will see himself out. As he walks out the door he turns round and says "By the way, you are all under arrest", and arrests Del, Rodney and Grandad.

At Peckham Police Station Slater quizzes the trio about where, and from whom, they acquired the microwave. Slater suspects it could be Trigger who nicked it. In an improvised yarn, they state that it belonged to an unidentified deaf man in the market who dropped it. Slater does not swallow the story. Del, Rodney, and Grandad are interviewed separately, giving vastly differing descriptions of the man in the market: all three give varying descriptions of the fictional assailant's race, age an height. Del and Slater briefly argue about their time as schoolboy adversaries, with Slater complaining about the refusal to let him into Del's group, their refusal to let him play Bluebeard and how he had to always walk the plank, made worse by the fact they played on a park pond. Slater reminds Del about the time Del was caught behind the bike sheds with Slater's sister. Slater says Del and Rodney could go down for a year if they do not give the name of the mush who nicked the microwave.

When Slater leaves for the canteen, his assistant PC Terence Hoskins says Del should not get involved in hookie gear and Del asks how the gas fire he sold his mum recently is. Terry says he is also scared of Slater and that there is a filing cabinet over there in the corner, full of hundreds of unsolved crimes and Slater would pin the whole lot on the man who nicked the microwave. This means Slater would double the conviction rate, the public are reassured, Slater gets a promotion and the Commanding Officer is a step closer to getting his CBE. Del says he will not budge so Hoskins warns Del that Slater has no scruples and will try anything to get a confession. As Slater returns, Hoskins goes for his coffee break.

Slater fetches Rodney's drugs conviction record and threatens to set him up with an illegal substance if Del does not provide the name of the git who nicked the microwave. Slater says that Del and Rodney will go to jail and Grandad will be left on the estate, alone. He says he could have Grandad assaulted by the thugs as well. Del strikes a deal with Slater, if he tells him the name of the man who stole the oven, Del says Slater should let Rodney and Grandad go and then drop all charges against him, meaning he will be one of his grasses. Slater says he can own Del now and if Del ever stepped out of line Slater would let it be known to the villains that Del is an informer, thus they then would have Del killed, as a result of him betraying them.

Rodney and Grandad are released but wait for Del to be released. When they go into the interview room after Slater says Del has decided to co-operate, Del says he has applied for immunity from prosecution. He says Slater threatened to stitch Rodney up for a bit of bird if he did not tell him who stole the microwave. Del signs the form and Slater asks him for the last times who nicked the microwave off the back of the lorry. After further reassurances of his immunity from prosecution, Del confesses that he himself was the thief. A gleeful Del points at his immunity document as a horrified Slater looks on.


Main cast

Guest cast


  • This episode saw the first appearance of the memorable recurring character Roy Slater who went on to appear in 2 more episodes in the series.
  • Slater's wife (who is revealed to be Raquel) is mentioned here, but does not appear until "Dates".
  • Kings Avenue, is first mentioned in this episode, and is seen over 5 years later in Yuppy Love, when Rodney pretends he lives down there so as to impress his date, Cassandra Parry. Although in "From Prussia with Love", Boycie's house was first seen, outside as well as inside, which was down Kings Avenue even if the street itself was not seen.
  • Lewisham Grove is mentioned in this episode. It is the same street that had the betting shop where Del first met Marlene, as revealed in "Fatal Extraction".
  • Slater says that if Del applies for immunity from prosecution, then he will be one of his many informants, some of whom are treated badly by Slater. Slater says if Del ever stepped out of line then he would tell the Peckham criminal underworld that Del is an informer, and then have Del killed. No doubt the people who ran the Peckham criminal underbelly at the time Slater said this were future characters like The Driscoll Brothers and Eugene McCarthy.


  • In the opening scene at The Nag's Head, Slater tells Boycie to "give my love to Marlene, everyone else used to", indicating that Boycie, Slater, Del, Denzil, and Trigger all knew Marlene when they were in school, but in "Fatal Extraction", Del and Boycie both seem to remember Marlene as the girl who worked in a betting shop down Lewisham Grove.
  • Slater tells Del that Rodney was caught smoking a Moroccan Woodbine when the police burst in, but in "Big Brother", Del says that Rodney was caught smoking the reefer by the governors doing their annual inspection.

Locations seen[]

  • The Nags Head (main bar)
  • The Trotters flat (living room, hallway, kitchen)
  • Police station interview room
  • Cells at police station
  • Hallway outside interview room