- Demolition (The Young Ones)
"Demolition" The Young Ones episode Episode no. Series 1
Directed by Paul Jackson Written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer Original air date 9 November 1982 Guest stars Episode chronology ← Previous
"Demolition" was the pilot episode for British sitcom The Young Ones. It was written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer, and directed by Paul Jackson. Although made as a pilot episode, the five subsequent episodes had been commissioned and recorded by the time of broadcast, so instead "Demolition" was promoted as the ordinary first episode of a series, and has remained as so. It was first aired on BBC2 on 9 November 1982.
As with all episodes of The Young Ones, the main four characters were student flatmates Mike (Christopher Ryan); Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson); Rick (Rik Mayall) and Neil (Nigel Planer). However, there are several telltale signs of this being the pilot episode - the characters' individual personalities aren't as fleshed out as in later episodes, Rick's outfit is different, and Vyvyan and Rick sport shorter haircuts. The episode also introduces their landlord Jerzei Balowski (Alexei Sayle), a character who would only appear once more during the first series, and twice more in total. Sayle, however, featured in every episode of the dozen made.
The four students go about their day-to-day life in their shared house which includes a lentil casserole which is made with Lux washing powder & some of Neil's snot for dinner and one of several of Neil's failed suicide attempts. Vyvyan acquires an amputated human leg on which he has to write an essay for anatomy class, though he would prefer to mount it on the bonnet of his Ford Anglia. Balowski visits and admits that he isn't really a foreigner. Vyvyan then announces that they had received a letter from the council, who are planning to demolish their house the next day.
Each character has their own plan to fight the council's decision. Rick plans a protest, involving hanging himself from a cross on the front of the house (to which Neil comments: "I've tried it hundreds of times. There's no way you can hammer in the last nail.") and reading bad poetry from a sheet of paper in his hand (which he drops and thus begins singing "Living Doll" by Cliff Richard). Vyvyan begins knocking down the house himself, using extreme methods (including eating bricks, which explode as he bites into them, and jumping through walls). Neil plans to hide in the wall cavity and "pretend to be thermal insulation" so that he will be killed when the house is knocked down, and Mike tries to seduce the female council representative (played by Maggie Steed). None of their schemes work, as an aeroplane ultimately crashes on the building instead.
The episode featured a performance from post-punk/blues band Nine Below Zero and a first appearance for Vyvyan's vicious pet hamster, SPG.
Series 1"Demolition" · "Oil" · "Boring" · "Bomb" · "Interesting" · "Flood" Series 2 OtherCategories:
- The Young Ones (TV series)
- Television pilots
- 1982 television episodes
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