"Thicker Than Water" was the 1983 Christmas special, or the 8th episodes of the 3rd series, airing on the 25th December 1983 with a viewing figure of 10.8 million, and it saw Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and Rodney Trotter's father Reg Trotter return after 18 years away. Del cannot forgive Reg for leaving his family in the lurch after his and Rodney's mum died all those years ago. Reg then claims he is ill and there could be a Lone Ranger in the family. But did Reg steal a Lambretta to get to Peckham?
It is Christmas night and Rodney and Grandad are watching TV. Del is out dating another lady, whom Rodney nicknames Lassie. The doorbell rings. Rodney answers it and it is a man in his late fifties witch scruffy hair and is quite big. Rodney does not recognise him. Grandad comes to the door and sees it is his son Reg. Grandad introduces Rodney to his dad.
Later that night Del comes home and Rodney has to restrain him, saying Reg is old and unwell and dishevelled and for Del ti bear it in mind. Del sees Reg wearing his shirt after having a shower. Del demands Reg leave, saying he walked out on this family 18 years ago when Rodney was 5. And so soon after Joan Mavis Trotter died. Grandad and Rodney try to get Del to give him a chance. Reg says he has been living in Newcastle for the past year and has been in hospital, and was diagnosed with a blood illness which is hereditary. He says that is why he raced down here as soon as possible. He says he has done his best by them this time. Reg goes to bed, but Rodney has given him Del's room.
A week or so later, on New Year's Eve, the blood test results arrive, but they have been opened, probably by Reg. Del is annoyed at this but the good news is they have both been given the all clear. But Rodney's blood group is AB and Del's is just A. Grandad suggests that when Joan fell for Rodney she was having lots of rows with Reg and started seeing new friends, such as a trumpet player from the Locarno. This suggests that Del and Rodney may have different fathers. Del tries to break this to Rodney. Reg comes back in, angry, saying he saw the results and was miffed by different blood groups, and check Grandad's army records, which show there is a lone ranger in the family. Reg says that it is not Rodney but Del who is the mystery.
On New Year's Day 1984, in The Nag's Head, Del is sat at the bar wallowing in self pity as to who his dad could be. Rodney says that siblings can have different blood groups. Reg is making jibes at Del, calling him the Lone Ranger, Hi Ho Silva.
That evening, back at the flat, Del says he spoke to Dr. Becker who said that Del and Rodney have the same blood groups but someone added the B. Rodney is starting to see Reg for what he is after he wrote a bet on the back of one of Rodney's GCE results. Del says that Dr. Becker phoned Newcastle Infirmary and they never had a patient called Trotter but a porter called one who stole hospital equipment and the gynecologist's scooter. Del said the doctor said Reg needs to get more exercise like take a long brisk walk. Reg says he must be on his way. Del asks so soon and Reg says he cannot outstay his welcome and will get his things together. Del gives him a few quid.
Grandad burns Del's pizza and Del assures Rodney that things will soon be back to normal again.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- "Grandad" - Lennard Pearce
Previous Episode Who's a Pretty Boy?Edit
Next Episode Licensed to DrillEdit
- This episode hints that Del and Rodney do not share the same father. The mystery continues in "The Frog's Legacy", only this time the suggestion is that it is actually Rodney who was the product of an affair between his mother Joan and gentleman thief Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. This is confirmed in "Sleepless in Peckham", and is the central plot of the first episode of the prequel trilogy Rock & Chips in which Freddie has his affair with Joan and conceives Rodney.
- A line was cut from repeats of the episode after the death of Lennard Pearce in 1984. Del said a line that was kept in "He walked out on his own father" but then said "And he did not know if he was alive or dead" followed by Rodney saying "Well sometimes we dont even know" which was also cut out.
- While this episode featured Lennard Pearce's last appearance in the main series, in 1984, a straight to video episode of OFAH was made, "Licensed to Drill" which Lennard Pearce appeared as Grandad. Also, later that year Lennard begun filming scenes for Series 4 but took ill suddenly and sadly died. The scenes were re-shot because Grandad was killed off as well, and Buster Merryfield joined the show as Grandad's brother Albert Trotter.