"Mother Natures Son" was the Christmas Special of Only Fools And Horses for 1992, broadcast on Christmas Day that year. 20.1 million viewers watched the episode which saw a cash strapped Derek "Del Boy" Trotter go into the gardening then water selling business in order to make dough, but toxic waste has been dumped in the local reservoir.
(Dream sequence) A Christmas party is being celebrated in the Nags Head, Rodney Trotter is holding Damien Trotter but as he looks in the mirror Damien is not in the reflection. Rodney starts to scream. (End of dream sequence)
Rodney wakes up in bed at 7am from his dream and realises it was just a dream. He checks the clock and lays back down.
It has been a year since the Trotters run in with the Miami Mafia. They have put that well behind them. It is now November and Christmas is coming. Rodney says to Cassandra Trotter how him and Del Boy have not bought or sold a thing in months yet Del Boy is laughing and joking like Ken Dodd on ecstasy. Cassandra has finally got her promotion and things are tough for the Trotters back at Nelson Mandela House. Raquel has post natal depression, Albert Trotter has post Naval depression and Damien keeps throwing toys at Rodney's head. He says Del has bought him a Tonka Toy for Christmas.
An hour or so later at the flat Rodney is reading a Mr Men book and Damien throws a toy at his head. Albert is awoken by Rodney turning on the radio to Elton John. Del Boy walks in from the hallway and turns the radio off. A very stressed and depressed Raquel shouts at Del when he asks her to cook him some breakfast, saying she has washing, ironing and hoovering to do. Del Boy and Rodney go into the kitchen for a chat.
Rodney says to Del how no one has any money and Raquel has just years of washing and ironing ahead of her. Del says thing will get even rougher before the end of the year as he now owns the flat, after mentioning when he had applied to buy the flat a few years previously in "Yuppy Love". Del says the paperwork came through a few days ago and that the mortgage is 2 and a half times the rent and he cannot afford the rent. He also says Grandad's allotment also comes with this flat, and he has just got a letter from the council saying people have been dumping rubbish on the allotment and Del has 2 weeks to clear it up or he will be in court. Del then says that he has bought the flat. Raquel storms off.
Rodney says to Del how he knew someone at his evening school a few years back, Myles, who was into organic stuff and had opened up a few health shops and had become a millionaire in 2 years. Raquel then mentions to Del to clear out Damien's bedroom which is full of junks from a deep sea divers suit to the remaining Romanian Riesling from Del's wine deal a year earlier in Miami Twice. Del agrees to dump the stuff on the allotment and give the room back to Damien.
A few hours later at the allotment, Del is aghast to see the overgrown and derelict allotment with rubbish dumped everywhere, including drums of yellow toxic waste. Del suggests pouring it down a drain but Rodney advises against it, saying he could create a disaster area. Trigger and Denzil later agree to help Del Boy dispose of them, that is after Del dresses up in a deep sea diving suit. They go to a waste disposal depot but it is shut, yet Trigger has a spare set of keys for another one. Del thanks Denzil and Trigger at the Nags Head that night. As they say goodbye, the yellow toxin radiation shines up on Trigger and Denzil's hands.
A few days later Rodney and Del go to one of Rodney's now millionaire friend Myles health food shops. While there Del complains about the expensive prices of water. But he sees ££££ signs and a way to get himself out of the debt he has been in for the past few months. Rodney says selling bottled water is a growth industry. Del and Rodney meet Myles and Del embarrasses him by thinking an acronym is a duck and "SWANS" is the bird not the acronym for Spa Water & Natural Spring Committee.
A few days after that, at the allotment, Denzil and Trigger are digging. Rodney turns up questioning why Del has booked an appointment with Myles. Myles turns up and Del briefs Albert on his scheme. Del thinks compost is Albert's pipe and mud is edible. Rodney walks round and discovers trickling water. He then sees a spring in the middle of the allotment. But he walks round behind and sees a hosepipe behind it. He knows it is not a real spring. Del shows Myles the spring and Myles is gullible enough to think it is a real spring. Myles says if the water passes the laboratory tests they could bottle the water and sell it. Del plays dumb but Rodney can see through him. Rodney however, remains loyal to Del by not blowing Del's cover to Myles. Albert has a water sample ready and Myles, thinking it is legit gets it off to the laboratory.
3 weeks later in the Trotters's flat, the flat has been turned into a factory in the sky, 12 floors up in a towerblock. "Peckham Spring" water is being produced by a conveyor line and bottling and packing machines in the flat. Del is filling up the bottles from his tap. Del is pleased he is making a lot of money yet Rodney berates him for selling tap water and passing it off as Peckham Spring water. Rodney questions the statement about the water being from an "Ancient and Natural Source" which is written on the bottles. Del replies "Yeah. The Thames". Myles does not know it is tapwater. Rodney says to Raquel how he is halving the guilt for when the case goes to court.
That night at Rodney and Cassandra's bedroom, Rodney say to Cassandra that Peckham Spring is actually tapwater from Del's kitchen. Cassie promises not to tell anyone. Cassandra is horrified as she lent Del the money to pay for the boxes, bottles and equipment. Rodney says they are taking thousands of gallons of water a week and workmen are on the estate thinking there is a major underground leak. He then says it is the middle of winter and the local papers are issuing drought warnings. Cassandra says her job is to advise Del, and that was she helped him advertise on local radio.
A few days later at the Nags Head, Peckham Spring is selling hand over foot. Rodney and Cassandra arrange a weekend away for the two of them until he tells Del and Del insists on joining them. Rodney has to gently tell Casie this, as she wanted a weekend away just them two.
They go down to the Grand Hotel in Brighton that weekend. By then, Peckham Spring is selling to major hotels. As Rodney and Cassandra are relaxing on the bed, the news is on the TV saying the London borough of Peckham is tonight without water due to drums of yellow chemicals being found in a local reservoir, having been dumped there up to a month ago. The same drums Denzil and Trigger dumped. Rodney turns the TV off, neither him nor Cassandra were listening to the news report.
As Del and Raquel are falling asleep in their king size bed, Del says how Peckham Spring is making them very rich and he bets that by this time next week, he'll be in all the papers. He switches the bedside lamp off and the bottle of Peckham Spring on the bedside table glows luminous yellow.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Cassandra Trotter - Gwyneth Strong
- Damien Trotter - Robert Liddement
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Boycie - John Challis
- Denzel - Paul Barber
- Marlene - Sue Holderness
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth McDonald
- Mickey Pearce - Patrick Murray
- Myles - Robert Glenister
- Alan Parry - Denis Lil
- Pamela Parry - Wanda Ventham
- Chris - Tony Marshall
- Richard Whitmore - Himself
Previous Episode Miami Twice Part 2 (25th December 1991)Edit
Next Episode Fatal Extraction - (25th December 1993)Edit
- Final appearance of Alan Parry. Alan was mentioned a number of times afterwards as was his wife Pamela Parry.
- The idea for the script was based on a real-life incident where people had their water supply closed as something had been dumped in a nearby reservoir.
- Filming locations of this episode included Natal Road allotments, Brighton, Sussex, The Grand Hotel, Brighton and Taunton Road, Brighton plus a farm shop in Henfield, Sussex which was used as Myles health food shop.
- This episode seems to have taken ideas from a previous episode, "The Russians Are Coming", as similar things happened in both episodes, Grandad's allotment mentioned in both but seen in the latter, Del saying "Split hairs" and the end scenes of both being similar, Del in bed talking to others in the room.
- This episode shares its title with a Paul McCartney song from the white album. It is not known whether this is the source of the title.
- Debate continues as to whether or not Robbie Williams appears as an extra in a scene in The Nag's Head during this special, this strong rumour is fuelled further as the music playing in the background is a Take That track.
- This episode was featured heavily in the media for a time after Coca Cola imitated the plot with its Dasani product - bottled water which was found to have been tap water from Kent (which was nicknamed "Sidcup Spring" after the location of the bottling plant). In a further irony given Del's dumping of the unknown barrels into the reservoir, levels of chemicals above legally permitted limits were discovered to be present in Dasani water.
- One of the very few episodes to have a post-productional visual effect - The glowing of the contaminated water and substance on Trigger and Denzil's hands.
- In the scene where the Trotters check in to the hotel in Brighton, the porter is carrying Del's leopard skin suitcase. This however, looks like the same suitcase that was stolen in "Miami Twice".
- During the scene where the Trotters check in to the Grand Hotel, "Money (That's What I Want)" by The Beatles was replaced on the DVD Region 2 version by an instrumental tune.
- It was revealed in Del's 2015 autobiography He Who Dares that health inspectors found out that Del was selling contaminated water to the public. Due to drinking it, Raquel went bald and Rodney got sick. Cassandra was suspended at her bank, while Myles went into hiding. Solly Attwell told Del that he could go to jail because of this. A week before the trial, Del visited his mother Joan's grave, and the case against him was miraculously dropped due to lack of evidence. In the aftermath, Raquel's hair grew back, Cassandra's suspension was lifted, Rodney made a recovery, Myles came out of hiding, Del was left broke due to paying Solly, and both Grandad's allotment and the Peckham Spring were both destroyed in a small earthquake. There were only a few tremors but enough to destroy the allotment.
- Del has bought the flat off the council, but in "Heroes and Villains", he was turned down a council grant to do up the kitchen.
- When Denzil drives past the allotment, Del, Rodney, and Albert all suggest that they can use Denzil's van to remove the barrels of toxic waste, but later in The Nag's Head when he is talking to Mike and Boycie, Rodney thinks Del got in some experts instead of Denzil and Trigger.
- Grandad's old allotment is a drive away from Del's flat, as revealed in The Russians Are Coming (13th October 1981), and there are no roads on the allotment itself, so why was Trigger on the allotment with his road sweeping gear? Also what are the odds that another one of Del's best mates, Denzel, would drive down a road near the allotment and call out to Del and Rodney?
- Grandad's old allotment is seen in this episode as well as being mentioned 11 years earlier in "The Russians Are Coming" yet in Homesick (10th November 1983), Grandad says he never ever had a garden. Surely his old allotment would count as a garden.
- When Albert goes to eat Del's snadwich, he is seen gnawing into it like he is really hungry but he does not actually take a bite.
- Trigger acknowleged Del and Rodney when he arrived but not Albert, and Denzel called out to Del and Rodney but not Albert as he drove past, yet Trig and Denzel knew Albert.
- When Myles is insepcting the soil for texture and structure, you can see fields in the background behind the rows of houses, yet Peckham is in inner London, at least 8 or 9 miles from the countryside.
- When the Trotters turn their flat into a makeshift factory to bottle the water, surely Myles would have checked to see what premises the Trotters would use to bottle the water, and that the facility was safe enough for production, and the water was coming from Peckham Spring.
- Rodney and Cassandra's flat (bedroom)
- The Trotters flat (living room, kitchen, bedroom hallway, bathroom)
- Allotment (grassy patch, allotments, shed, overgrown area, dumped rubbish, dirt track, "spring")
- Unknown road
- Waste disposal centre
- Nature's Way Organic Shop exterior
- Nature's Way Organic Shop (fruit and veg area, water bottle area, checkouts)
- The Nags Head (main bar)
- The Grand Hotel, Brighton exterior
- The Grand Hotel Brighton (reception, grand staircase, balcony, hotel suite, inter connecting doors)