"Modern Men" was the 2nd episodes in the 1996 Christmas trilogy of Only Fools And Horses. This episode saw Del Boy showing his modern man side by buying a book called "Modern Men" and Rodney is pleased but nervous about upcoming fatherhood but tragedy strikes.
It has been a few days since Del Boy won his bravery medal for apprehending those muggers. It is night time at The Trotters flat and the Trotters are getting ready for a night down The Nags Head to celebrate Cassandra Trotter's pregnancy, which was announced recently. Del has bought a book called Modern Man and also bought Raquel a new dress, well as good as, and he has done his bit for charity. Raquel tries to fish for compliments from Del but he is too engrossed in his book. As Raquel is reading a magazine she notices someone who she used to work with years ago when she was acting and now she is going to be in a James Bond film. Del says to Raquel if her friend can be in one then so can you as she is a dog.
Down the pub about an hour later, the Trotters and their friends are getting drunk and buying rounds. Rodney sees his friend Mickey Pearce who now runs a double glazing business. Rodney says he may not be working for Del much longer and Raquel overhears as she comes to collect the drinks. Del plays a trick on Mike Fisher after he is told that the slate option has been abolished and from now on punters have to pay for their drinks. Del sells Mike a hairdryer. Also Mike says a Dr Singh wanted to see him about some paint he sold him. Del says "If he visits again tell him I have emigrated to New Zealand". Mike gets the pubs attention and proposes a toast to Cassandra and Rodney and they all repeat that and then Trigger waits until they finish and says "Cassandra and Dave".
About 2 hours later, at about 11pm that night, in bed Del shows off his new silk pyjamas. He and Raquel get chatting and he decides he wants to have a vasectomy, while at Rodney's place him and Cass are talking in bed and he says he wants a new job as Del does not present him with a challenge like giving someone their change. Back at Del's Raquel persuades Del to increase Rodney's role at Trotters Independent Traders. Del says he is looking for an assistant in case Rodney has to dash off any time while Cassie is pregnant.
The following morning Del admits things are a bit bleak but is positive and tells Rodney to be. As Del leaves to get his shoes on in the bedroom, Rodney says to Albert that he has seen a job in the paper where someone is looking for an assistant and who is good with computers. He tells Albert he plans to leave Del and work for someone else. Raquel gets a call on the bedroom phone. Del thinks it is the hospital phoning about him having the snip so tells her to act posh. The person on the other end of the phone is Rodney who is applying for the job. Raquel asks him to hold the line. Rodney is unaware he is talking to Raquel who is talking posh. She asks Del if he put an ad in the newspaper asking for someone to help Rodney and Del says yes. He asks who is on the phone and Raquel says Rodney. Del says "Is he applying to assist himself"? He thinks of a way to wind Rodney up.
Del puts on a voice and pretends to be a Welshman called Ivor Hardy. He sucks Rodney in and asks if he can ride a bike when Rodney asks about company vehicle. When "Ivor" asks for his name Rodney says he is Rodney Trotter and "Ivor" asks if he is one of the Trotter brothers and Rodney says he has not got a brother. Del then carries on pretending to be "Ivor" and says he has heard of them, the older one is intelligent but his dippy younger brother is the problem.
Del comes in and Rodney quickly asks "Ivor" to hold on one minute. Rodney says he is talking to Cassie on the phone and Del cons him into telling her he loves her. Rodney quickly says "I love you" down the phone and Del smiles in glee and exits to the kitchen and puts his "Ivor" voice on and says "sorry what did you say" and Rodney says he coughed and "Ivor" says "Oh what a relief for a sec I thought you said you loved me". Del carries on being "Ivor" and gives the job description and then quietly enters the lounge and says in his own voice, "We're always on the lookout for dirty little plonkers like you!" and sits next to Rodney and they both look at each other.
Rodney realises the job advertised is already his, and the person seeking an assistant was Del. Rodney then accuses Del of trying to get someone else so he can get rid of him and Del says the same back about Rodney saying "I dont have a brother". Del says he wanted to get Rodney some help now Cassie is pregnant. Rodney softens, saying he did not realise. Del says he is going to expand TITCO and puts Rodney in charge of selling, and he will be in the factories and warehouses and be looking after buying, and if Rodney is selling very well down the market he has got to ring Del in the factory and warehouses on his mobile and say "Del Boy. Buy, buy, buy" and Rodney says "Yeah and you can get on the blower to me and go Sell, sell sell". Del hides his horrified reaction to this stupid reply. Del says what they are doing now is expansion and they go to Sid's Cafe for a fry up.
At the cafe, Del tells Rodney that he's getting a vasectomy, much to his younger brother's disapproval. They see Dr Singh looking through the window and hide under the tabel until he has gone. Del tells Rodney to keep his vasectomy a secret but as Del leaves Rodney quickly tells Sid that Del is having a vasectomy then Sid tells everyone in the cafe and they all laugh, as they all know Del due to his popularity in the area. Sometime later, Del is in a medical clinic, ready for his vasectomy, and Dr. Singh is going to operate on him. Del screams loudly, and wakes up back in his own bed with Raquel. It was a dream sequence. Del then decides to not have the vasectomy after all, and goes back to sleep.
The next day, upon coming back from the market, Rodney teases Del for backing out of the vasectomy asking if he didn't have the balls. But Dr. Singh shows up and demands that Del immediately get rid of the faulty paint he sold him. The expiration date was June 1983. Del says he will get someone to come and see him tomorrow morning. As the Sikh doctor leaves on a motor scooter, Del wisecracks about him not wearing a crash helmet because of his huge turban (a genuine legal exemption under UK law), which gives Del an idea.
A short time later, at 5:30pm, Rodney is shown wearing a horse riding helmet with Raquel's scarf on it, which Del calls a Trotter Crash Turban. Raquel believes that the product will never catch on, while Albert receives a phone call for Rodney from Cassandra's bank that Cassandra has been rushed to hospital and has suffered a miscarriage.
The Trotter Brothers quickly drive to the hospital and ask the sister about which room Cassandra is in. As they head off, a drunken man is insulting the hospital staff and its patients.
As Del and Rodney arrive at Cassandra's room in theatre gowns, Del tells Rodney that he has to be comforting and understanding as well as talk about the future, not the past or present and not shed a tear, instead to do it in the van on the way home. The Trotter Brothers enter, and Cassandra tearfully says that she's sorry. To Rodney's surprise, Del begins to cry. Rodney tries his best to comfort his wife and tell her that things just happen. Del agrees and leaves the room sobbing. Cassandra then says that she lost the baby, but Rodney tells her that they will get through this. Cassandra smiles and hugs her husband.
Back in the waiting room, the drunken man is still insulting the staff, and becomes even more angry when Mike (who accidentally burned his forehead with the paint stripper Del sold him, it was not a hairdryer after all) is attended to before him. As Del enters the room to dry his tears, he is insulted by the drunken man's trash-talking. Del shuts the drunken man up by hitting him square on the jaw. The impact from the blow causes the drunken man to sober up. The man says he feels better and thinks Del is a doctor as Del is wearing a hospital jacket and mob cap. Del goes along and says "All part of the service". Now feeling better, Del says to a waiting patient, "I bet you wish you'd gone private now dont you!" then leaves satisfied.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Cassandra Trotter - Gwyneth Strong
- Mickey Pearce - Patrick Murray
- Boycie - John Challis
- Marlene - Sue Holderness
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Denzel - Paul Barber
- Sid - Roy Heather
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth MacDonald
- Damien Trotter - Jamie Smith
- Dr Singh - Bhasker Patel
- Hospital Receptionist - Lorraine Ashley
- Nurse - Corrine Britton
- Sister - Beverley Hills
- Doctor - James Olver
- Drunken Man In Hospital - Phil Cornwell
Previous Episode Heroes And Villains (25th December 1996)Edit
Next Episode Time On Our Hands (29th December 1996)Edit
- When Rodney phones Del up for his own job, Raquel puts him on hold. The music that plays while he is on hold is "Old Shep", Del's favourite song from "Diamonds Are For Heather".
- When Del is in his bedroom with Raquel, the extremely tacky purple headboard hasn't got a large golden heart within its design, whereas in "The Chance of a Lunchtime", the heart was incorporated within the design.
- Del's hair is black in Heroes And Villains (25th December 1996), but in "Modern Men" it is medium brown.
- The Trotter Van's registration number is DHV 938 D, whereas in "The Russians Are Coming" and "A Touch of Glass", the van's registration number was APL 911 H.
- The Trotters flat (living room, kitchen, bedroom hallway, Damien's bedroom, Del and Raquel's bedroom)
- The Nags Head (main bar)
- Sid's Cafe (seating area)
- Operating theatre (dream sequence)
- Nelson Mandela House exterior (courtyard, play area, towerblock opposite)
- Hospital waiting area (reception, seating area)
- Hospital corridor
- Private room at hospital