"Wanted" was the 6th episode of the 3rd series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 15th December 1983 with a viewing figure of 11.2 million. This episode showed how far someone will go to crack a joke and the sometimes disasterous consequences. Rodney meets a woman who accuses him of touching her.
Rodney Trotter and Mickey Pearce are sat the the bar in The Nag's Head and are eyeing up two women. Derek "Del Boy" Trotter comes in and insults them, laughing and cracking a joke about them being sisters and if they saw Cinderella since the wedding. Rodney and Mickey are put off and arrange to see each other again next Tuesday.
About half an hour later that night, Rodney is walking home and meets a drunk woman sat at a bus stop. Rodney says they cut the bus route in 1973. He helps her stand up but she accuses him of touching her. Rodney says he is a doctor and goes to get a stethoscope and as he walks away the woman shouts "Rape!" Rodney runs off into the night.
The following morning, Grandad Trotter asks Del if anything is wrong with Rodney as he came in last night trembling and sweating. Grandad says something is troubling Rodney. A scared and paranoid Rodney comes in from the bedroom and Del asks if he is OK. Rodney gets defensive, saying that his journey home was "uneventful". Del wants to leave early as they have to pick the van up from outside The Nag's Head. Del says the whole area was swarming with the police last night. This worries Rodney as he thinks it is to do with the woman he tried to help last night and whom accused him of rape.
Del says he did not want to drive home through the riot so he got a cab back. Rodney asks if the police got a description of the man they were after and Del asks "Why they would be after a man?" Grandad whispers to Del saying "See what I mean?" Del gets Rodney to say that something is bothering him, and Rodney says last night when he was walking home, he met a drunk woman who he helped to her feet and she started acting all odd, screaming and shouting words like rape. Rodney says he said he was a doctor. Del comforts Rodney, telling him that this will need a lot of working out. Grandad asks Rodney to give a description of this woman.
Rodney then gives a description of this woman saying she is about 45, blonde hair, purple fingernails, and really heavily made up. As Del is lighting a cigar and has his back to Rodney and Grandad, he twigs that this woman is someone he knows. He asks if she called him "My Lovely", and Rodney says she did and she had an identity necklace saying Blossom. Del mouths the name at the same time Rodney says "Blossom" slowly and laughs, he knows who the woman is. Del has to hide his laughter.
Del says this case could go to court if Rodney is caught and says he could be nicknamed "The Peckham Pouncer", and that vigilantes are also looking for him. Rodney panics and Del calms him down and advises him to go back to bed. Del says he will go out and see what he can find out. As Rodney leaves to the bedroom, Del bursts out laughing saying to Grandad that all Rodney has done is bumped into Blossom, who is well known for this kind of thing, she is a mental hospital patient and the police take no notice of her.
Del also says she spends most of her time in the "funny farm" but is let out on weekends for practice. Grandad asks why he doesn't tell Rodney, but Del wants to wind Rodney up saying in a few hours all the flats will be under siege. Grandad reminds Del that a joke can spiral out of control and reminds Del of a previous joke he played on Grandad on April Fool's Day saying Grandad had won £500,000 on the pools and was celebrating all night then realised he did not do the pools. Del cannot stop laughing and gets a bad stitch.
A few hours later, Del is having a laugh with Boycie and Trigger down The Nag's Head. Trigger says that everyone round here must know what Blossom is like by now and says Blossom accused his cousin Marilyn once of assaulting her. Boycie says Blossom receives electroid treatment every week at the mental home, she is as sane as sane people until she gets her electricity bill. Karen The Barmaid says to Del there is a call for him. It is Grandad. Rodney has gone on the run. He has taken all the tinned food with him. Del goes all serious and says he will go and have a look round for him. He realises he took the joke too far, Rodney has done a bunk.
The following morning, a tired, unshaven, and dishevelled Del returns to the flat. He has been out all night around Soho, Leicester Square and Westminster looking for Rodney in the dosshouses there. No sign of him. Grandad berates Del for not telling Rodney it was a joke yesterday instead of listening to his Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin LP. Del also complains of a funny sweet and sickly smell, which Grandad points out had been around since last night. Del and Grandad find that it is coming from the air duct. It occurs to Del where Rodney may be hiding - in the tank room at the top of the tower block.
Del goes to the tank room with a bottle of scotch and a bag of food for Rodney. Rodney tries to keep quiet but drops a tin and does a cat impression. Del then thinks it may be someone else but Rodney emerges from behind the tank. Del says he knew Rodney was hiding up here as he has been smoking his funny fags and the smell has wafted down the air ducts, affecting the residents of the tower block. Rodney says he has not slept and not eaten anything. Del comforts him. Rodney asks if the police have been around to see him yet and Del says no. Rodney thinks he has more time.
Del then says he has to confess the joke he pulled on Rodney and that this Blossom is mad, she is always accusing people of raping or assaulting her and the police take no notice of her. Del says there has been no house to house searches, no public outcry or photo-fit pictures. Rodney asks what the police were doing outside the Nag's Head the other night and Del explains it was vigilantes outside the kebab house, it was a punch up to end all punch ups. Rodney asks why Del never told him the truth and said he could go to prison as a Category A prisoner and be nicknamed The Peckham Pouncer. Del says "For a laugh". Rodney is very angry and almost assaults Del, but Del restrains him and apologises and in an emotional moment he says how sorry he is. Del then helps himself to some water to top up his scotch from a tap at the side of the tank.
Del says he will make it up to Rodney and take him out for a slap-up meal, buy him a new suit and new shoes as well. Del says Rodney can have a nice shower back at the flat and Rodney says he does not want to stand under the water, not after what he has been doing in it. Del spits out his scotch in horror.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- "Grandad" - Lennard Pearce
- Mickey Pearce - Patrick Murray
- Boycie - John Challis
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
Previous Episode May the Force Be with YouEdit
Next Episode Who's a Pretty Boy?Edit
- The idea for the script was based on a real-life incident that happened to one of John Sullivan's friends.
- The 2016 book The Peckham Archives (BBC Books) Published 2016 reveals that Rodney kept a diary while hiding up in the tank room.
- This episode was mentioned over 30 years later in Beckham in Peckham, a mini episode in March 2014. Del half heartedly apologises to Rodney for the "Peckham Pouncer" fiasco.
- Grandad says that Rodney has a two-year suspended sentence for smoking cannabis in art college, but in "Big Brother", Del said that Rodney had an 18-month suspended sentence.