Only Fools And Horses

Licensed to drill

The Discovery of Licensed To Drill. – By Laura Daynes

 The plot of the story is how Del Boy ‘educates’ Rodney and Grandad in all things oil. Telling them of its many by products, and how it affects us in everything we do. From the Corn Flakes we eat in the morning (no they don’t actually contain oil) to the clothes we wear and the fertiliser we use on the allotment. They then watch a programme ‘on BBC 2′ about Oil Exploration.

After watching the documentary Rodney asks the most poignant question we are all thinking, which is ‘What I don’t understand Del is why you’re so suddenly interested in oil?’ Del’s obvious response is ‘co’s we are gonna earn out of it’. He then tells Rodney and Grandad that he has bought an oil rig for £400, and how it is in a lock up in Catford. Rodney then explains how this cannot be possible, and Del finally realises he has been conned.

Eight years ago we were shown a video at school of Only Fools and Horses called ‘Licensed To Drill’. It was about oil production. (Unfortunately I missed half of it because of a dentist appointment!) I forgot about it after that until a couple of months ago when my younger plonker of a brother, Thomas, came home from school and said he’d been watching Only Fools and Horses. At around the same time a conversation was started on the internet Bulletin Board about this missing (and, to some unbelieving people, mythical!) episode.

I wrote a letter to Mr Mills, the geography teacher at my old school, asking if I could borrow this legendary video. The next day, Thomas came home from school with the tape! I was ecstatic! I wasted no time in posting a message on the Bulletin Board to triumphantly announce my success in tracking down the lost episode.
I set about making a few copies of the video (well I couldn’t mislay a thing as precious as that could I?). I sent a copy of the tape to Perry so it can be shown at the convention in September.

The episode starts out with Del giving Rodney a lesson about the ‘black gold’ and how much money is made from it. They then sit down to watch a documentary all about oil (during which Grandad falls asleep!). Once the documentary is over they all go to bed.
In the morning Rodney wanders through the living room to collect the newspaper from the doormat. As he crosses the set, we see a man sitting at the table, Rodney doesn’t notice until he is about to leave the room. Del enters from the kitchen and gives the man a big wad of money then the man leaves. Rodney wants to know what’s happening so Del tells him and Grandad over breakfast he’s bought an oil rig for £400!!! Then…….,well you’ll have to go to the convention to find out what happens next!

The whole episode lasts about 27 minutes, of which the documentary lasts ten. The documentary is quite boring but it does cut back to the Trotters occasionally. I find this to be the best of the ‘mini-episodes’ with some very funny lines the best one being Rodney’s last. As Lennard Pearce was in this episode, and judging by the age of Del and Rodney, I think it was made early 1984.
And that, as they say, is history! (Well, actually its not his-story its my-story!)

Robin flies at dawn - gulf war special


 Made during the Gulf War - this short film was made straight to camera with any mistakes made included, it was scripted but also had pieces of improvisation, Enjoy the full video below.

Only fools and horses website featuring Episode information, Quizzes, clips, and lots more.