Only Fools And Horses

The Russians Are Coming

DEMOLITION SITE. DAY. In the foreground is a pile of bricks and rubble. No one is working on the site. It is desolation. The three- wheeled van rumbles across the site and pulls up close to the pile of bricks. Del Well, this is it. Rodney This is what? Del This is what I bought this morning. Rodney What? Del This. Rodney The land? Del No you plonker. This pile of bricks, only cost me 100 nicker, nice one, eh? Rodney Oh shrewd move Del, yeah, I mean people are panic-buying bricks nowadays ain't they... Who the hell's gonna buy a pile of old bricks off us? Del Well, butcher or chemist. Who d'you think's going to buy the bricks, builders ain't they, eh. Over 200 per cent profit here and all in the readies. Although they are alone on the site, by nature Del pulls Rodney to one side and talks secretly to him. Del (cont'd) Come here...They've just demolished a factory here that used to make prefabricated structures, right. Chalets, bungalows, greenhouses, you know, garden sheds, that sort of thing. So I thought - using my noddle - that we'd make enough out of the bricks alone, but you never know what's underneath do you, eh? Decent lengths of timber, bits of metal, you know, few gross of them roofing tiles. Come and see what I found. He leads Rodney to the far side of the pile, removes some of the bricks to reveal a cardboard box containing about eight sheets of lead. Del (cont'd) Get yer feelers on that. Rodney (Examining) Here, that's lead Del, that's pure lead. Del There's about another 30 boxes underneath. I estimate three ton altogether. Rodney Three ton? What's that at today's prices? That's that's about a grand innit? Del Am I brilliant or am I brilliant? Let's get some of it in the van, we can do it in three shifts, come on. Rodney Is it ours Del? Del Of course it's our. Rodney Legally Del? Del Don't split hairs with me Rodney. Come on. DAY. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. Scattered around the room is small piles are the boxes from the site. Rodney is laid out on the settee reading a pamphlet. Grandad, sweating and exhausted, enters carrying another box. Del follows him in. Grandad Oh that's the lot Del Boy. Grandad goes to place the box on another pile. Del No, no, no, no, Grandad not there. No, no, we've got three tons of it here. You see you've got to spread it out over a wide area, otherwise we'll be having tea with Mrs Obooko downstairs! Right, I hope this humping and sweating is not disturbing you Royal Highness! Rodney No, no, don't you mind me, carry on. Del Oh thanks a...Here, look at this Grandad, you've been carrying this one upside down, this is the way. You are a lazy little bark. (To Rodney) And what's that you're reading, eh? It's another dirty book I suppose, is it? Honestly you've got a mind like a brown paper envelope. I'll have a look at that when you're finished. Rodney It's some paperwork I found in one of them boxes...D'you know what we've got here? Del Yeah, I know what we’ve got here. We've got three ton of lovely lead, that's what we've got here. Rodney No, no, it's more than that... That factory was producing prefabricated structures right? Bungalows, garden sheds, that sort of stuff. Well, this is one of their experimental lines - it's a do-it-yourself nuclear fall-out shelter! Del Nuclear fall-out shelter, you are a wally. Rodney (Offended) No, it is. Honest. Look, here's the brochure. Here's the plans shows you how to build it. Del He's right an' all. This is a nuclear fall-out shelter. This is probably worth more than we thought. Rodney You can't sell it. Del You don't want to put money on it do you? What do you suggest we do with it? Build it? Rodney Yeah! Del Leave it out Rodney! Rodney Do you realise how close we came to World War Three over Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Poland? I mean, it only takes one little rumble in the middle East then missiles are gonna start flying! And what have we got, eh, in this country to combat the might of the Soviet Union? Three jump-jets and a strongly worded letter to the Russian Ambassador! Del No, no, no, you don't know what we've got up our sleeves, us Brits Rodney. Do you know Rodney that we've got a device that can track the movements of any Russian nuclear submarine? They can't keep track on ours. Rodney We've only got one. Del Have we? Rodney Yeah I think so. Del Well anyway, they don't know where it is...I sometimes wonder whether we do! Rodney I bet your life we don't. You see this country is just not prepared for war, I mean, nobody knows what we're supposed to do in the event. Del Yes, of course we do. Rodney Alright then, what would you do if you heard the four- minute warning? Del Well, what's it sound like the first? Rodney Well, that's it, no one knows. Maybe they're gonna ring church bells, or bang tom-toms or send every ice-cream van out in the country to play its jingle. Your guess is as good as mine innit? Do you realise the great powers have got underground salvos primed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy this planet 30 times over. I'm talking about neutron bombs, Del, multi- warheads - chemicals that attack your central nervous system, and leave you writhing in agony like a worm in bleach. Del Bit like after a curry you mean? No, no, it's alright Rodney, don't worry, forget about it. Look we've got a grand here. Just think what we could o with a grand. Eat, drink and be merry... Rodney For tomorrow we die!! Oh come on Del, this is a Godsend. Look if we build this thing we're gonna be safe, ain't we. Everything's here, the inner walls, the outer walls, the air tube, the filter system, everything!! Oh come on Del. Oh sorry. Del Alright soppy, just suppose now, just suppose, just suppose, that we do build this thing, right. Where we gonna put it? Grandad Well, you always fancied a little weekend place. Why don't we find a spot in the New Forest? Del And how are we gonna get from Peckham to the New Forest in four minutes, you old div? Rodney Grandad's allotment? That's only a couple of miles up the road, we could do that in four minutes. Del Yeah, on a Sunday, with a following wind, maybe. Rodney Well let's give it a go, eh? We'll have a dummy run and time ourselves. I'll get the stopwatch. Rodney exits. Del What - what you, look, I mean, what's the point eh? Alright, so say you can do it in four minutes, what is it going to prove. Knowing them Russian rats they'll probably declare war in the middle of the rush hour. DAY. THE ESTATE. Del and Rodney rush out of the main doors and down towards the van. Del Where's grandad? Rodney I don't know. They rush back for Grandad and drag him to the van. Del opens the back door and bundles him in. Del Grandad, come on, hurry up you stupid old git. Rodney Never mind your fag, get in. Three minutes and counting. Del Yes, alright Rodney. Rodney The missiles are just going over Sweden! Del They're bloody fast aren't they, they only left Siberia 20 seconds ago. The jump in the van and it pulls away. STRETCH OF ROAD AND T-JUNCTION. The van is approaching a junction. Rodney has the map fully open and is obliterating Del's view of the road to his left. Rodney Two minutes 15 seconds and counting Del. The missiles are over the sea and approaching Middlesbrough. Del Yes, yes, alright Rodney. Grandad Put yer foot down Del Boy! Del I can't Grandad. Look, I'm going to the main road, ain't I? The van pulls up at the T-junction. Del What's it like your side Rodney? Rodney Alright after this red one. A red car passes. The van starts to pull out. Rodney No!! The van screeches to a halt. A second red car passes. Del Bloody hell... Rodney I meant that red one! Del You tit Rodney. DAY. LONG STRETCH OF ROAD. The van roars past at top speed. Rodney Come on Del, they're just going over Luton. Del Sod Luton. Rodney One minute 35 and counting. There is the sound of a police siren. Del Oh Gordon Bennett. The van pulls into the side and stops. The police car, siren still going, pulls in front. The driver (Eric) alights and starts to walk back to the van. The siren is still going. Eric stops and call back to his young co-driver. Eric Switch the...Wayne...the siren ...switch it off! The siren is switched off. Eric approaches the van. Eric He's young, enthusiastic... Well, how are you then Del Boy? Del Not too bad Eric. How's your- self? Eric Can't complain...How are you then Grandad? Grandad Alright Eric boy. Eric (To Del) Now what's all that about? 60 miles an hour in a built-up area. You just herd the four- minute warning or something... Del Well as it happens, Eric... Eric Where's yer tax disc? Fell off did it? Del In the post. Eric Well, why haven't you got a little sign on your windscreen saying 'Tax in Post'? Rodney (Who has alighted from the van) We did have - it fell off. Eric You been at those funny fags again, Rodney? Rodney No I haven't. Eric Good, 'cos Wayne here's looking for his first nick... Talking of that Del Boy, you might be able to help me. I'm on the look-out for some stolen summer-wear, short- sleeved shirts and blouses, men's and women's slacks, swimming trunks, bikinis. Del You after promotion Eric? Eric No, me and me wife are off to Corfu next month, gotta look the part ain't yer? Del Well if I hear of anything I'll let you know. Eric Good luck. I'll see you around. And oi, take it easy will you... Eric walks back to the police car as the siren goes off briefly. Eric (cont'd) Stop playing with that siren will you Wayne, you'll end up breaking it! Del Here, how are we doing for time? Rodney We died 45 seconds go. Del Terrific. We're never gonna do this run in four minutes. Rodney Oh, it don't matter, it's not the end of the world is it. Del I thought that's exactly what it was. Rodney All we got to think about is a place nearer home. Grandad I've been thinking. Del Oh my God, you haven't got an aspirin you can give him have you Rodney? Grandad No listen. I may have found us just the spot. ROOF. DAY. The air intake tube to the shelter against the grey background of the sky. Voices can be heard echoing from the tube. Rodney Is that door shut tight Del? Del Yes, don't worry Rodney, no radiation can get in here! Here, what's this pipe! INT. THE SHELTER. The shelter is lit by a couple of calor-gas lamps. The walls are made up entirely of the square sheets of lead. Scattered around the floor are camp beds, sleeping bags, etc. In the centre is a beer crate with a bottle of scotch and glasses on it. Around the crate are three camp stools. In one corner is an Elsan-type toilet. Grandad is adjusting his portable TV which shows a very faded and fuzzy picture. Del and Rodney are kneeling on a bench by the air intake tube. Del is holding a hammer. Rodney Oi, don't do that Del, it's fragile. Del, Del, don't do it. Del, this is our air-filter, our life line, our umbilical cord and one thing you must never do with an umbilical cord is bash it about with a hammer! Del I see, so this is our only source of oxygen is it, eh? What happens if a pigeon decides to nest in the other end, we're all dead I suppose, are we? Rodney Statistics prove that pigeons rarely nest in the middle of nuclear wars! Del We're not in the middle of a nuclear war. Rodney We're practicing for one! Del Yeah, well, do the bloody pigeons know that? Rodney Look, a pigeon will not nest in our air tube...Have faith in me please. Grandad How can you have faith in him, eh, Del Boy? I brings me telly in here then he finds out the signals can't get through the lead! Rodney I've said I'm sorry ain't I Grandad. There's some pages missing out of this brochure, and you can't expect me to know everything can yer? Anyway, that's why we're having this weekend's practice isn't it, so we can iron out all the little wrinkles. Del Yeah, well I'll tell you one thing we've got to iron out. (Indicating the toilet) And that is this has got to be back on that building site first thing Monday morning otherwise them Paddies'll go mad. (To Rodney) You, you are a wally, you really are! Rodney You don't have to stay here Del! Del I do have to stay and I'll tell you why I have to stay here. I've got a grand's worth of lead tied up in this shelter and I'm not gonna leave it in your hands. Knowing you two, you'd probably lose it! Just think what I could do with a grand, eh? Fly to America on Concorde. I could buy myself one of them flash Rolex watches. Have me adenoids out privately. Rodney Yeah, but how many people can boast they have their own private nuclear fall-out shelter? Del Yes, that's true, knowing your bloody luck there won't even be a bloody war...Here that's what we ought to do you know, we ought to drop a bomb on all them Russian cities, you see and declare war on them. And what we say is that the declaration for war got held up in the post due to a communist-inspired strike at a sorting office. Rodney Yeah, that's typical of a ruthless little mercenary like you innit? Del What d'you mean ruthless mercenary? I'm not a ruthless mercenary. Who is it goes round at every Christmas making sure all the old people have got enough to eat and drink? Rodney Yeah, and who is it, during the Brixton riots, drove down in the van selling paving stones to the rioters? I mean, what did you think they were going to do with them, eh? All run off home and start building patios. Del Mine is not to reason why, mine is but to sell and buy! No, anyway. Anyway I know a lot of them youngsters down in Brixton and their trouble and frustration. Yes, you see, modern society has denied them their birthright of a war! Rodney Oh I don't believe you! You saying war's our birthright? Del Oh yes, yes it is. For century after century you see every generation of British youth has been guaranteed a decent war! Well that's sort of, you know, raw, 'Over the top chaps, you know, try that one on for size Fritz' I mean that sort of courage is obsolete. Because the next war's gonna be fought by computer programmers...See, that's what's frustrating the modern youth! You can see them any day down the amusement arcade, you know, they're doing their national service on the space invaders. Yeah but that sort of, of real war that I'm talking about, you know Errol Flynn leading the gallant 600 into the Valley of Death. John Mills marooned in a dinghy, it's Kenneth More refusing to let a little thing like no legs get him down. It's a glorious war that! Grandad Don't talk like a berk Del! Del Do what? Grandad What do you know about it any- way? The only war you've ever fought is the inch war! Del Ah no, I've seen all the films ain't I. Grandad Ah tomato sauce and stuntmen... I'm talking about the real thing. I remember when I was a little nipper and I saw the soldiers marching off to battle. Oh yes, it was a glorious sight alright! Del Yeah I bet all them spears and chariots must have stirred the blood mustn't they? Rodney Just hear him out will you! Del Alright, alright. Grandad My brother George was at Passchendale. Nigh on half a million Allied troops died there, all for five miles of mud! I was at King's Cross station when his regiment came home after the armistice. Most of them was carried off the train. I saw men with limbs missing, blind men - men who couldn't breathe properly 'cos their lungs had been shot to bits by mustard gas! While the nation celebrated they was hidden away in big grey buildings, far from the public gaze. I mean, courage like that could put you right off your victory dinner couldn't it? They promised us homes fit for heroes, they give us heroes fit for homes! Rodney I'd never wear a British uniform - on principle! Del What principle? Rodney Well on the principle that the Russians might shoot at it! Grandad The politicians, the politicians and the military men used to con you see. They had little lads, youngsters believing that their country really did need them! D'you know, they used to have little lads of 14 pretending they was 18 just so they could fight for their king and country! Del What, and they accepted the little sprogs? Grandad More often than not...My brother George lied about his age! Rodney Pretended he was 18? Grandad No, he was 18, he pretended he was 14, they saw through it though. I think it was the moustache. Rodney Oh yeah 'cos 14-year-olds they don't... Del Bloody hell... INT. THE SHELTER. Grandad is watching the fuzzy picture on his portable TV. Del is at the mirror, cleaning his teeth. Rodney is checking the air-filter system. He starts to bang the tube with a hammer. Del Oi, oi, what are you doing? Rodney I think there's a pigeon trying to nest in our air tube. Think I've frightened it away, now don't worry! The battery's getting a bit low an' all. Del Here, these batteries you've got here. How long do they last? Rodney About 12 hours each! Del 12 hours? Cor, we been 'ere 12 hours, only another 36 to go. Don't time fly when you're having fum... (To Rodney) Here, here Oppenheimer, listen if the bomb was to drop round here, how long would we have to stay inside this thing here? Rodney Well, it depends upon the degree of the contamination in the air outside. 'Cos we're very vulnerable position here being close to the dock. But I would say roughly - give or take a week or two - about... two years! Del and Grandad Two years? Rodney Yeah, give or take a week or two! Del If you think I'm staying in a lead-lined nissan hut with you and Grandad and a chemical bloody khazi you've got another think coming. Rodney Yeah, but if we leave the shelter within two years we'd die of radiation poisoning! Del And if we stay inside the shelter for two years we'll die of bloody lead poisoning. Grandad He's right Rodney. The rescue team will whip us straight round the nearest scrap metal yard! Del Yeah, that's another point, that's a point. Listen, oi! These batteries are supposed to purify the air right, they last 12 hours, right? Okay how many of them are we gonna need? Come on Einstein, you're the one with the GCE in Maths! Rodney Well, it's two a day, seven days a week two sevens are 14. Del See that Grandad - two sevens are 14. Just like that, no hesitation. Rodney Shut up will yer! So that's 14 times 52... Grandad Twice! Rodney I know! So that works out at about 1450-odd. Del Well, that's not too bad, I thought we were gonna need a lot! What we're gonna need is 1450-odd heavy duty batteries, about five ton of canned food, 30,000 gallons of fresh drinking water, and a three and 'arf acre warehouse to store it all in! Rodney Well I did say we'd have to iron out a few little wrinkles, didn't I? Del Few little wrinkles? A few little wrinkles? We've got more wrinkles than a elephant's got in his bleedin' trunk! All in all, and taking every thing in consideration Rodney, I think I would rather be outside and go instantly with the bomb! Rodney Instantly eh? And what makes you so sure it'd ne instant eh Del? Them bombs contain Strontium 90 not Nescafe! You see the bomb explodes bout a mile above the city right, causing a radioactive rain to fall. Now this radiation then penetrates the pores of the skin causing violent sores and diseases. Del Um, best not to wear anything decent then eh? Rodney Will you be serious for one minute. Look, it's here once the radiation is in the blood stream it begins to attack your metabolism. You'll become subject to drastic biological changes, that's metamorphosis! Grandad Oh yeah! Rodney Yeah anyway, your shape and form will alter radically as the mutation takes effect! Grandad Don't sound too promising do it Del Boy, I mean you have a job to get a suit off the peg now don't yer! (He and Del laugh) Rodney Alright, alright, you can laugh, but I'm telling you, this city would be inhabited by roaming mobs of mutants! Vacant eyed sub-humans dragging their knuckles through the litter and debris that was once civilization. Del Sounds a bit like Stamford Bridge after a bad result... Look if this is true Rodney what the hell are we doing trying to survive? Rodney Well, it's our duty ain't it, I mean when we step out of here we're gonna be intact, perfect. Yeah, well I mean you know, the human race will be looking to people like us to replenish the species, we'll be like two new Adams going forth to multiply. Del Yeah! And you, you dirty little ram, will be out there multiplying quicker than a pocket calculator! I se it all now, I se it all now, he's practically praying for the end of civilization just so he can get out there and put it about a bit! What time do you make it Rodney? Rodney Ten past 12. Del Oh yeah, I make it that too. C'mon then Grandad it's bedtime, come on. Grandad Oh yes. Rodney Well, as the saying goes, if my species needs me I will not be found wanting. Del Yeah, anyway that's one thing to look forward to innit Grandad, eh? You know, come the end of the war me and Rodney are gonna make a foursome with a couple of mutants! I'll have one with three lug 'oles and the eye underneath her arm, 'cos I don't fancy yours much! Rodney It won't be like that!!! Del You bet your sweet bippy it won't! It won't make any difference to you anyway, you go out with mutants in peacetime! I mean look at that thing you took out on Thursday! Cor, stroll on, I was so embarrassed I had to tell my mates you were taking it to market! Rodney I did try and warn you it was a bit ragged! Del Bit ragged! You liar! You said to me it looked like the one out of Abba! Rodney Yes, I meant the one with the beard, anyway we won't be the only ones to survive the holocaust intact, will we? I mean I'm thinking of the various institutions - public schools, that sort of thing. I mean you bet your life Rodney’s got a shelter. (His face lights up) Eh Del? A thousand nubile girls - in a school uniform! Del (with a killing glare) You sicko! Rodney No, no, don't misunderstand me. I mean the school uniforms are of no importance whatsoever. I don't know why I mentioned them. Del No, no, it's probably because you're a twisted perverted corrupted, warped little pervo! Rodney Well, yeah, that might have something to do with it! It's in the line of duty Del! They're perfect specimens. They're intelligent. Del Course they're intelligent, they're still at bloody school ain't they? Rodney They're fit - all that hockey! You might fancy the headmist- ress! Del Oh thank you very much. Rodney Well, I think it's definitely worth bearing in mind. In an emergency. Del Yeah alright, well, goodnight Rodney. Rodney Goodnight Del. Del Night Grandad. Grandad Goodnight Rodney. Rodney Night John Boy. Del Shut up. Grandad War is hell!! Del What? Grandad War is hell! Alan Ladd said that. Del Did he really? Go to sleep. Grandad Or was it Audie Murphy? Del I dunno, I'm tired. Grandad It must have been one of 'em! Del Well perhaps they both bloody said it! Now go to sleep will you. Rodney No, that was Rock Hudson! Del For crying out loud, will you two go to sleep. Rodney...Here Rodney don't keep yer eyes closed - I'm talking to you! Rodney What? Del I've just been thinking. Might not be a bad idea to survive the next war after all! Rodney Why? You got something up yer sleeve Del? Del No, no, just a little idea that's been running round in me old brain box, that's all. Grandad What's the point? All the animals will be dead. Won't be able to grow nothing 'cos all the earth'll be contaminated! Where we gonna get something to eat? Del Bound to be little Paki shop open somewhere! But we won't be the only ones to survive will we? I was just thinking about all them girls down at that Roedean School. Rodney Aah. Del No, no, no, no, nothing like that, nothing like that. I was just thinking you se, most of those girls down there, they are daughters of the noblesses! Rodney The what Del? Del The noblesse, the noblesses. It's French for nobility ain't it eh? Rodney Oh sorry - I was miles off. Del Well you see, down there you don't know who's who, do you? I mean you could meet a scruffy 17-year-old in a sweaty hockey shirt and muddy plimsoles, and you could be talking to the 459th in line for the throne! But after the old Russians have dropped 20 nuclear bombs on us that scruffy 17-year-old could turn out to be the first in line for the throne. So, you see, if I got on my bike, nip down there a bit sharpish like, did me Adams act - splash of Brut, you know, took her out for a steak meal - loads of charm - I could end up being the King! On the other hand a bit of mutation, a touch of Strontium 90, I could end up being the Queen. But either way, either way, see it wouldn't matter because the taxman wouldn't be able to get at me, would he, eh? Because I would be the head of State. And what with you out there multiplying all over the place, I shouldn't be short of a few subjects, should I, eh? (They begin to laugh at the idea) We, we could go for our holidays in Mustique. Rodney Eh, eh. Del What? What? Rodney Grandad could be the Queen Mother! Del Yeah, we'll dye his hat pink... yeah, yeah. No even if that didn't happen and I can't honestly see how I could fail. You see if the entire civilization was wiped out we'd all be equal wouldn't we, 'cos none of us would have nothing, right. Rodney Right! Del Except us Rodney! Rodney Well what would we have Del? Del A grands worth of lead eh... pretty shrewd, eh Rodney? Rodney Yeah, that's a real mindbender Del, that! Del No, no, we'll be alright. We'll survive Rodney, d'you know why? Because we're survivors that's why, yeah. When did the alarm bells start ringing and the missiles start firing, and all the people are rushing about like mad mice trying to find somewhere to hide, we'll be tucked up in our own little nuclear shelter. The end of the world could be just the break we're looking for! Oh we're pretty shrewd Rodney. If they started dropping the bomb on us right now we'd be as safe as houses brother, safe as houses! The camera pulls back to revel for the first time that the shelter has been built on the top of a tower block.

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