One of the most popular episodes of Channel 4's Father Ted was undoubtedly 'Escape From Victory', which details Ted and Dougal's ill-fated management of the Craggy Island All-Priests Over 75s who come up against their bitter rivals Rugged Island (managed by Dick Byrne and Cyril McDuff).
While I was reading through the completed scripts for 'Father Ted' this weekend, every so often a few hidden gems pop up in lines that didn't make it to the screen. There are a couple of very funny scenes from the show that didn't make the grade, including an alternate ending. Here are all the deleted scenes from an iconic episode.
Ted is paranoid about being bugged by Dick Byrne
Ted spots a hidden camera in the house:
Ted: Dougal... how long has that video camera been there?
Dougal: What video cam-Oh.. I don't know...
Ted: Dick Byrne! Well, Dick, see how you like this!
He smashes the camera to smithereens
Dougal: Oh, wait, Ted, now I remember. That's actually your video camera. I thought I might do a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the match.
Dick Byrne (on the phone): By the way Ted don't worry about the video camera. You can have a lend of mine if you want.
Ted: Oh thanks very much Di- Wait a second! How did you know I smashed up my video camera?!
The line goes dead.
Ted clarifying that Jack is allowed to play the over 75s all priest football match in a wheelchair by consulting the over 75s rulebook
When Dick Byrne realises that Father Jack is playing in a wheelchair, he demands that Craggy Island be disqualified. Ted insists that it is allowed. The referee consults his 'The Over- Seventy Fives Priests Five-A-Sides Rulebook':
The referee turns to page 166. We see an old picture, circa 1920s, showing an old priest's match. In an old bath chair, is a fearsome priest, wielding a stick.
Ted: There ...Father Pinky Flood.
There is a reverent hush.
Ted: The greatest over seventy-fives priest footballer there ever was. This was his testimonial game against a Hungarian/Polish selection. He had a massive stroke during the pre-match warm up, but he was still determined to play. He was held in such esteem that the referee let him play in a wheelchair.
Mrs. Doyle's Half time analysis in 'Escape From Victory'
It's such a shame that this scene didn't make the cut and Graham Linehan even expressed his regret at having to cut it from the episode due to time constraints.
Mrs. Cavanagh: Mrs. Doyle, an exciting first half, any thoughts?
Mrs. Doyle: Sensini's not getting picked up. The problem is he's got a free role in midfield. He's pulling the centre half all over the place.
Mrs Cavanagh: Lack of pace certainly a problem.
Mrs Norton: It's not just a lack of pace. Some of that marking from set pieces... you wouldn't see that in a school playground.
Mrs. Doyle: That corner they had just before half-time-
Mrs. Norton: The defending on that was a joke.
Mrs Doyle: You can't have the full backs staying on the post like that. You've got to have them push out, or they're leaving their front two onside. That's naive defending. Do that too often and you'll get punished.
Mrs Cavanagh: Anyway, let's return to what should be a very exciting second half.
These women could definitely do a job on RTÉ.
The alternative ending where both Fr. Ted and Dick Byrne get caught red-handed
In an alternative ending written for this episode, in the aftermath of Craggy Island's victory, a humbled Dick Byrne, wishes to shake Ted's hand in order to put all the bad blood behind them. Dick then pulls Ted's fake hand off, revealing Ted's scheme. After a dressing down by Byrne, Dougal's doppleganger Cyril McDuff chips in with this line:
Cyril: I just wanted to know... even though we lost, do we still have to give all that money to their goalkeeper?
After this revelation, Ted immediately jumps on his high horse, even squeezing in his famous running joke:
Ted: Bribery, the most dishonest form of corruption there is. Even worse than swindling or fraud or prostitution or skimming money off of a parish account and putting it in a high-interest special-needs savings account for a few years for a few years before moving it back.
It is then decided that both parties should do their forfeit. Dick has to kiss Cyril on the cheek and does so without any fuss. Ted then finds out he has the unappealing task of kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse.
Some other bits of random trivia from the episode:
- The bugging scene was inspired by Francis Ford Coppola film 'The Conversation'.
- Four types of football were used during filming: A normal one, a weighted one to move slower, one that was filled with water and one mounted to a camera.
- Mrs. Doyle's terrace friends were extras from Clare.
- Graham Linehan spent most of the shoot screaming 'slower' at all the actors, because apparently they couldn't help but chase the ball around, despite their age.