A witch predicts an untimely end for Victor. Patrick and Pippa prepare to move far away from the Meldrews, but then Patrick gets stuck with Victor while trying to escape his secretary's jealous boyfriend.

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Angus Deayton ...
Janine Duvitski ...
...
Melvin
Rachel Bell ...
Lorna
Joanne Engelsman ...
Christine
Bruce Byron ...
Peter McNally ...
Gridley
Peter Terry ...
Postman
...
Party Guest (as Virginie Gilchrist)
Tony Sibbald ...
American
Boris ...
Edwin
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Storyline

A witch has predicted that Victor will soon die,which does not inspire confidence when he sets out in a snow-storm to clear out his late cousin Ursula's house. To his surprise Patrick has been locked in Victor's car boot by Melvin,the jealous boy-friend of Patrick's secretary,who thinks they are having an affair. Pippa shows up and she and Patrick check into a hotel. Unfortunately their room is the 'peep-show room' where they are spied on voyeurs,so they decide to return to Ursula's house. Here Victor and Patrick have another run-in with Melvin whilst Pippa is frightened by a spider. Written by don @ minifie-1

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spider | victor meldrew | See All (2) »

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Comedy | Drama

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25 December 1995 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Tony Sibbald's final acting role. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Episode Among the Absolute Best One Foot in the Graves Ever
25 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a little surprised that there aren't any other reviews for this episode, since some of the other OFITGs individual episodes have reviews and I'd consider this one of the best, most memorable episodes ever. Mind you, I think there was never really an episode that was below par but some are especially good. And unlike you might expect, the longer Christmas specials were no exception; the show never suffered in my opinion from changing story format--and there were episodes that ranged from 30 to 90 minutes throughout the series. Indeed, the longer (60-90 min.) episodes were of such high quality that it's often like watching a little movie. In this one, one of the later specials (and this is a show that sometimes seemed to get *better* as it went on), things are even more convoluted and wacky and the extended time provides more opportunities to shove in subplots and sidetracks without the episode ever coming near falling apart.

Reading what information there is available on line about this series, I've learned that this special was originally conceived as the series finale and would have ended with Victor dying in his struggle with a violent intruder. The intruder subplot is still in the episode and having watched it a number of times, I can easily see how the story may have been adapted from that ending to what ended up on the air. This episode basically involves two major events that happen to coincide in time: the Meldrews' cousin Ursula dies suddenly, leaving a large in the countryside full of her things to take care of, and Patrick and Pippa, the Meldrews' next-doors, are finally moving away. That in itself is a major moment, as they'd been trying to sell their house for several years on the show and their neighborly relations (or lack thereof) with Victor had been a running element of the story. I can see how David Renwick may have conceived that element as a resolution to the series, since it wraps up a major plot line, alters a core aspect of the character dynamics (the neighbors aren't neighbors), and even though the show went on and Patrick and Pippa kept appearing intermittently, having them move on could conceivably have resolved that conflict with Victor that was so important in the show and resolved a major part of the premise the show had assumed since those two characters entered in the second series.

Basically, trying not to spoil too much, what can only be effectively described as a cluster**** occurs when Patrick's house-moving operation gets tangled up with Victor's house *clearance* operation and circumstance conspires to create a living hell for everyone involved. Also in the mix are a psycho jealous boyfriend, a very dodgy hotel, a giant tarantula, and a tarrot-reading witch who predicts that Victor will come to a bad end. It's also the middle of winter and the fact that there are blizzard conditions does nothing to help.

This is a particularly good episode for fans of Patrick and Victor, as those two end up spending lots of time together in forced confinement. Among other things, Patrick accidentally ends up locked in Victor's car boot (trunk) at one point, ending a really hilarious encounter between the two involving a bottle of toilet-freshner employed as a weapon. In an interesting turn, perhaps again suggesting that Renwick was originally trying to tie up all threads, Patrick and Victor actually start to get on for a bit while stuck together at Ursula's house during the snowstorm. One of the funniest moments comes when they are playing a board game while a bit tipsy, and instead of picking up the cup with the dice in it, Victor picks up the glass he was drinking from and, accidentally rolling his ice cubes and splattering his drink all over the table. But of course, that goes wrong goes wrong as well, when one of the most convoluted OFITG cock-ups ever comes to light. There is something very interesting and pleasurable about seeing the characters stuck with each other adverse circumstances. Maybe it's because one can relate in some way to all of the chaos and to those situations in which you are "trapped".

All in all, this is one of the best, funniest, and most memorable episodes. I would even suggest that a person could start with this episode, if they are willing to sit through an hour-long special. It doesn't set up or explain the original premise but you don't need to know all of that background to get and appreciate what's going on here and it gives a really good flavor, I think, of what the show is like and allows you to see it at its best.


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