A Televisual Representation of Roman Catholic Priests: Father Ted

Appendix Two

The Two Main Episodes of the Study

Series 1 - Episode 6 - Title: Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest

This episode centres around the apparent death of Father Jack. It begins with Dougal sitting in the living room with a young nun, Sister Monica. It seems as if he does not know what to say. Ted enters the room and sits down. He offers to take Monica to see the Holy Stone of Clonrichert, which is not in Clonrichert but on Craggy Island. She asks what it is and we learn that when Dougal last visited the Holy Stone he got a good 'buzz off it.' Monica goes off to get ready and Dougal says he does not feel as nervous with nuns as with 'real' women. Ted and Dougal go to tell Jack goodbye and find he has drunk another bottle of floor polish. Monica enters and thinks he is dead, so she takes his pulse and finds none!
Ted goes off to call the doctors while Monica begins to pray. Dougal just stands behind her stupefied. Monica expects Dougal to give Jack the last rites, but he does not know what to do. He begins the marriage vows and just ends saying a bidding prayer for Jack. Monica says it should be in Latin, so then Dougal just does some blabbering.
Jack is laid out in the living room for a wake. Priests from all over come to visit and Mrs. Doyle even makes sandwiches. The day after the wake Dougal sits in Jack's chair and begins to imitate him. As Ted is about to take Sister Monica to her boat, a solicitor arrives to speak with Ted and Dougal about Jack's will. Jack has left them half a million pounds. However there is a hitch, it seems Jack was afraid of being buried alive, so they must spend the night with him. They thus spend the night in the cellar with Jack in an open coffin. Ted and Dougal give a quasi-eulogy while sitting on their sleeping bags. "We saw the best of him," says Ted. Describing him as lovely, quiet and good-natured, all descriptions of Jack you would not expect. We learn he was the first priest to denounce the Beatles and that he loved children but they feared him. After a little time of this they decide to play charades. Dougal is naturally very poor so they decide to go to sleep.
They get in their sleeping bags and Dougal asks Ted if he believes in the afterlife. Ted explains that generally priests have a strong belief in the afterlife. Dougal says, "Gee Ted I wish I had your faith!" They fall sleep but Ted wakes early. Watching the snow fall on the island he quotes a classic poem from Yeats. However, he is soon scared by a risen Jack. Seems it was the floor polish that brought on symptoms like death. The episode ends with Ted and Jack slightly concerned about Jack's money. They each will miss it, but Ted assures Dougal that Jack is old. As they head out to the store they decide they need more floor polish, several bottles to leave lying around in each room.

Series 2 - Episode 3 - Title: Tentacles of Doom

The episode begins with Dougal reading a horror novel and asking Ted if he ever saw a ghost. Ted proceeds to tell a story about years ago at his great aunt's house. Supposedly there was a ghost, of a young woman who hanged herself. He tells the story in a very spooky fashion; even the room becomes dark. However, Ted never saw a ghost. Dougal says he once saw a ghost in the parochial house. He came down for milk one night and a ghost, dressed in black with grey hair, was in the living room watching television. Ted tells Dougal it was him.
The next day, Ted and Dougal attempt to fix the toilet. Dougal flushes the toilet while Ted's head is in it. Ted complains about wanting to make an extra hard flush, especially when Fr. Jack uses it. He says the best thing would be for it to pop up in Sierra Leon. They find two empty whiskey bottles in the tank. Now when they flush the toilet, water shoots out of the sewer grate out in the yard.
In the living room Jack is reading a 'girlie' magazine. Ted comes in with the mail. He says they are upgrading the Holy Stone of Clonrichert to a "Class Two" relic. This is bad because it means some bishops will be visiting. Dougal says he thought something was up when someone was cured there. Ted corrects him; someone was lured there and beaten. Ted thinks it was maybe because a man from England touched it and grew a beard. Dougal asks him how they decide a relic is upgraded. Ted explains it is a very complicated process; many things go into it. Meanwhile they show the Vatican and two priests lounging around. One presses a button and says "What about the Holy Stone of Clonrichert?" The other replies, "Whatever." Dougal tells Ted to cheer up, "It can't be that bad. They come in and pull down some wallpaper and fumigate and they're gone." Ted replies, "They're bishops Dougal; do you know what they really do?" The pair go on to play a game of "Buckaroo." Ted rests assured the bishops will come and find they are a normal, everyday parish. Meanwhile in the background Jack has caught his hair on fire lighting a cigarette from the fireplace.
Ted tells Dougal to watch what he says while the bishops are around. He also worries about Jack. Dougal suggests teaching Jack a few words other than his normal, "Drink, Girls, Feck and Arse!" Ted says it may work. They could teach something like "That would be an ecumenical matter." Ted says, "That's what I always say when someone asks me a question. That's the great thing about Catholicism, it's so vague and nobody really knows what it's about." The next day Ted has a training session with Jack that appears to be futile. After dinner Mrs. Doyle is seen giving Dougal a bath. Ted pops in to tell her she left the cooker on.
The next morning Mrs. Doyle is excited about taking on three bishops. She says everything is prepared. But she cannot see because a dog ran off with her contact lenses. Even with her glasses she has a difficult time seeing and getting around the room. Later Dougal is looking through binoculars for the bishops, but they are already there.
The bishops ask for incense and Dougal thinks they want 'insects.' We learn the bishops' work takes them all over the country. They like meeting with the 'ground troops' and would like to get the clergy together with the lay community. While they are talking, Ted is day dreaming, but what does Ted think about the laity? Ted says, "Involve the lay community, but keep them at a distance. . . a couple of miles." Mrs. Doyle walks right through the room with tea. Dougal wants to watch the film Aliens. He and Ted argue about it and afterward Ted says, "Anyway, back to religion." Bishop Facks wants to fight back against the anticlerical bias of the media. "We must make our voice heard," he says. Bishop Jordan says his housekeeper is far from the best. "Sometimes I think I should be making tea for her." This sends Mrs. Doyle into hysterical laughter. Meanwhile Jack enters; all cleaned up. He appears to have learned the responses: 'Yes' and 'That would be an ecumenical matter.' The bishops to approve of Jack's positive attitude, since he replies yes to most of their questions.
The relic is up-graded. Jack and Bishop Facks remain behind to talk about the media and his positive attitude. On the road back to the parochial house Dougal and Bishop O'Neil talk about the doubts of religious life and belief, which for Dougal seem to be doubts about almost everything. Bishop Jordan, with Ted, explains that after his heart attack last year coming close to death makes you think about things. He knows what it is like to be close to death. Dougal and Bishop O'Neil continue to talk. Dougal asks, "What does God do in his spare time?" "What about eating meat on Friday, it used to be illegal, but now it's not? What about people who ate meat in the past? Where are they now?" Ted goes in to uses the toilet, while Bishop Jordan remains outside, standing over the sewer grate. When Ted flushes, Jordan is hit and dies of a heart attack.
Bishop O'Neil, still with Dougal, has decided that religion is nonsense. "Blind faith is all we have to go on," he says. "Aliens, now there's something that might just be possible. Everlasting life and big demons with red-hot pokers, I don't think so." He gives Dougal total credit and tells Ted to treasure him because he has wisdom beyond his years. Mrs. Doyle comes in screaming that Bishop Jordan is dead. Jack has had enough of Bishop Facks' pushy style so he attacks him with the Holy Stone.
Finally the bishops leave. Bishop O'Neil leaves in a van with some hippies. They are off to India. Bishop Facks is off to the hospital to have the Holy Stone removed from his rear-end; and Bishop Jordan is taken out in a coffin. Ted and Dougal go into the living room and Ted says, "Went pretty well I thought."

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Changes last made on: Thu Mar 13 14:30:27 1997