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Mother Nature's Son
Series 08, Episode 1
Mother Nature's Son.jpg
Air Date December 25, 1992
Written by John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Length 65 minutes
Previous episode "Miami Twice"
Next episode "Fatal Extraction"
List of episode

When Del spots an opportunity to make some big money, the Trotters become environmentally friendly.


There is a large Christmas party at The Nag's Head, and the entire Trotter Family and all their friends are having the time of their lives — at least until Rodney holds little Damien up to a mirror to find that he has no reflection.

Rodney wakes up from this dream in a cold sweat back in his own bed with Cassandra at 7:00am, and tells her about how he and Del Boy haven't flogged a single thing in months.

Having applied to buy their council flat in "Yuppy Love", Del's applicaton has finally been granted, meaning he now owns the flat. He also inherits Grandad's old allotment and receives a summons from the council, ordering him to remove a public health hazard from his land. The health hazard turns out to be barrels containing an unknown yellow substance. Del enlists Trigger and Denzil to help him get rid of the yellow liquid by transporting it in Denzil's van to the council waste disposal depot, although they ultimately dump it in a river. During this, Del wears a diving suit which was a present for Albert so he could visit all the ships he sailed on — and sank!

Del accompanies Rodney to an organic health food shop owned by a wealthy gardening enthusiast named Myles. When he sees the high price of the store's produce, Del develops an interest in gardening and invites Myles to the allotment to advise him on growing vegetables. At the allotment, Myles notices a mysterious water source — which Del calls The Peckham Spring — and suggests that if the water is pure, it could be bottled and sold. However, unsighted by Myles, Rodney notices that the "spring water" is actually coming from a nearby tap connected to a hose and concealed by rocks. Del instructs Uncle Albert to take a sample of the water for laboratory testing but, being part of the scam, he uses bottled mineral water instead. The water receives a certificate of purity from Myles' committee, giving Del permission to sell it. Cassandra also unknowingly becomes complicit in the scheme when she gives Del a loan from the bank to buy the equipment he needs to bottle the water.

A production line is set up in the Trotters' flat, with Del filling up bottles from his kitchen tap. "Peckham Spring Water" quickly becomes one of Myles' biggest-selling products, and is given a trial at a major national supermarket. Sales are further boosted by the drought warnings issued by the local water board, who believe there is a serious underground leak due to the high volume of water being used by Del. The Trotters earn enough money for a Christmas holiday at the Grand Hotel, Brighton. In the final scene, as the Trotter Family go to sleep in their hotel rooms, the BBC News reports that a local reservoir has been contaminated by the same yellow liquid dumped by Del, Denzil, and Trigger. As a blissfully unaware Del switches off the light, a bottle of Peckham Spring on his bedside table glows yellow.

Featured characters

Other notes

Episode concept

  • 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.

Continuity errors

  • 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.

Production goofs

  • At the start of the episode where Rodney is having his dream, when he is holding Damien in his arms up to a mirror, it shows the reflection. Rodney is holding his arms the wrong way.
  • After Del makes his bacon sandwich while talking with Rodney about his problem, Albert enters the kitchen, face covered in Weetabix, picks up the sandwich, but he only mouths the sandwich, so he doesn't actually eat it.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • 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 episode, 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.
  • 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". (Not necessarily an error: Del could have bought a replacement suitcase of the same design.)
  • 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.

DVD cuts and edits