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May the Force Be with You 

Del Boy's arch-enemy from school turns up in Peckham, but this time he's known as Detective Inspector Slater from the Met Police. Having known Del and his wily ways since they were at ... See full summary »




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Episode complete credited cast:
Lennard Pearce ...
John Challis ...
Christopher Mitchell ...
Michele Winstanley ...
Karen the Barmaid (as Michèle Winstanley)


Del Boy's arch-enemy from school turns up in Peckham, but this time he's known as Detective Inspector Slater from the Met Police. Having known Del and his wily ways since they were at school together, Slater knows exactly who to watch when he's on the trail of some stolen microwaves. Hapless Rodney has no idea who Slater is when he gets chatting to him in The Nags Head. It's only when he sees the horror on Del's face, after bringing Slater back to the flat for a reunion meal, that Rodney realises something is wrong Despite Rodney's best efforts, the game appears to be up - one of the microwaves in question is sitting on the sideboard in full view of everybody. Slater immediately begins to question Del, and after threatening Rodney with fictitious drug charges, he forces Del to turn snitch. Much against his better judgement, Del decides to protect his little brother and spills the beans, but only after bartering for immunity for the whole Trotter family. Written by Rune Thandy

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Release Date:

8 December 1983 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


In his autobiography, David Jason described Roy Slater as "a particularly lizard-like copper". Jason was amazed at the success Jim Broadbent rose to, with his career taking him to amazing places like The Borrowers (1997) and Hollywood, and wondered why he never took him with him. See more »


When Del is proposing Slater a deal, Slater says, "I don't like deals" and shoves Del's hand off the phone hook (Del was trying to stop Slater keeping him in custody overnight). But in the next shot Del's hand is still on the hook. See more »


Inspector Roy Slater: Remember Del? All us lads down the river playing pirates! Boycie was the first mate, Trigger was Long John Silver... What Part did I play Del?
Del Boy: You played the bloke what walked the plank!
Inspector Roy Slater: Ye that's right... I was always the bloke that walked the plank! I was in and out of that water more times than a ducks head! I always wanted to be BlueBeard!
Del Boy: Well you should have asked!
Inspector Roy Slater: I did lots of times but you'd never let me!
Del Boy: I did once
Inspector Roy Slater: Oh ye I remember that was the day that BlueBeard had to walk the plank...
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Hooky Street
Written by John Sullivan
Performed by John Sullivan
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User Reviews

When OFAH was great comedy.
17 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Only Fools and Horses began as a worthy successor to Steptoe and Son and Porridge. It was fresh, sharp, witty and relevant. Sadly over time John Sullivan turned it into something completely different. The show most definitely "jumped the shark" on more than one occasion and practically turned into Sullivan's other comedy success Just Good Friends.

"May the Force Be With You" was Only Fools and Horses at it's absolute best. The third series represented a peak in the quality of the show and this episode is one of the best in that series. It's also the episode that introduced one of the best supporting characters, Roy Slater, played to perfection by the amazing Jim Broadbent. Slater only ever appeared in three episodes and yet is one of the most memorable figures in the history of the show.

The story is simple. Rodney drops Del Boy right in it by bringing back his old foe Slater to their flat without realising he's one of the most hated policeman in London. Slater recognises a microwave oven as stolen property and promptly arrests Del, Rodney and Grandad. At the police station he puts the pressure on Del to name the guy who stole it. Naturally Del refuses as this goes against everything he believes in. When Slater resorts to some seriously nasty tricks Del has to think fast.

The ending is one of the of the greatest endings to a sit com episode I've ever seen. Del's quick thinking leads to a lateral thinking stroke of genius.

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