Only Fools Sickness and Wealth

The séance.

Detailed sypnosisEdit

Del Boy is suffering from a mysterious illness giving him stomach pains but he refuses to admit to it or go to a doctor, because he is scared of them. He is also under a great deal of stress, his recent line in awful women's summer fashion hasn't been selling well with all the frost and sleet and he hasn't been able to pay the rent on the flat and is not facing the possibility of eviction, but is still living the yuppy lifestyle eating in the curry houses and bistros and drinking buying rounds in wine bars and pubs, all on the slate, causing further debts.

Over a Chinese Del learns that Albert's new girlfriend Elsie Partridge used to be a medium in the 1960s and thinks their toilet is haunted (though it could be because the council have put their extractor fan in the wrong way around) and he instantly sees it as a chance to make money and the answer to his financial worries.

Having convinced Elsie Partridge Del holds a 'dummy run' séance with all the regular cast (Trigger, Boycie, Rodney, Mike and Uncle Albert) in the hall above the Nag's Head, Mike is concerned about "messing with the forces of darkness", but Del and Boycie laugh off his and Rodney’s concerns. At the séance, Elsie gives Boycie a message from his father that Boycie must look after his child (it was previous established that Boycie and his wife Marlene couldn't have children) and then gives Del a message from his late mother Joan prompting him to go to doctors. Del still refuses to believe in Elsie, at least until Marlene announces she's pregnant.

Now completely convinced, Del goes to see a Dr. Meadows only to find he's left general practice and a young Indian woman has taken his place, Del's nervous jokes fail to impress her and during the examination he lies to her repeatedly pretending he is a health-nut and non-smoker, she sends him to hospital thinking he might have a grumbling appendix but after testing the doctors prove this false and can't seem to find what's wrong him, Uncle Albert suggests Green Parrot Disease.

Rodney, Albert, and Cassandra visit Del in hospital, and Del worries that he might have caught Aids from his promiscuous past (and a male hairdresser called Jason). He also finds out that the "pukka seance" turned into a riot after a mix-up because of Del's posters lead people to think they were seaing an Iron Maiden-like band instead of Elsie Partridge.

Finally Del is approached by Dr. Robbie Meadows (presumably the same Dr. Meadows he wanted to see earlier) who Del knows from gambling down at the One-Eleven Club. He has stumbled onto Del's medical file by accident and knowing him as he does and not under the impression that he's the celibate health-freak he has made out to be like the other doctors he diagnoses Del as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome caused by his stressful, unhealthy lifestyle. Dr. Meadows has phoned the Council and got them to give Del some breathing space, he then discharges him leaving an elated Del Boy holding back tears of joy.

A few days later, back at Nelson Mandela House, a housebound Del is disgusted at his Muesli diet and taking it easy but is getting better, until Rodney comes home and announces he's getting married.


Season: 6
Writer: John Sullivan
Director: Tony Dow
Producer: Gareth Gwenlan
Duration: 50 minutes
Airdate: February 5, 1989
Audience: 18.2 million

Featured charactersEdit

Other notesEdit

Story arcEdit

  • Elsie Partridge, who was mentioned in the previous episode "The Unlucky Winner Is...", makes her only appearance in this episode. She would be continued to be mentioned throughout the series as Albert's girlfriend', and in "If They Could See Us Now" it was revealed the pair had moved to the coast together.
  • Mickey Pearce and Jevon tell Boycie in this episode that they have started trading together, it is them that sell Del the phones that get him into trouble with the Driscoll brothers in the following episode "Little Problems". Likewise Rodney announces his marriage which takes place in the same episode.
  • This episode also began the sub-plot of Marlene's pregnancy, changing it from Boycie and Marlene's desperation for a child. Their son Tyler would later make a number of appearances in the show and is currently a prominent character in the spin-off series The Green Green Grass.

Continuity errorsEdit

  • At the hospital, when Del asked Rodney "By the way, how the the pukka seánce evening go?" Rodney replied, "Well Del, you remember those posters you made with the ghost faces? Well, the audience turned up in Iron Maiden t-shirts, all going "aceeeed" expecting to see some kind of Heavy Metal band" In reality, Iron Maiden fans did not make "aceeed" gestures; that came mostly from fans of commercial pop/Hip Hop, something which Iron Maiden fans conventionally loath.

Previous episode: The Unlucky Winner Is...
Next episode: Little Problems

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