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The British are coming is the Allo Allo pilot episode.


The episode opens with Rene Artois, the barman and owner of Cafe Rene, serving German soldiers outside. Colonel Kurt Von Strohm and Captain Hans Geering finish enjoying the "chicken" they had for lunch at Cafe Rene. After Hans looses the right to make a wish - by revealing it before pulling the bone - the Colonel and Rene break the Chicken wishbone and Rene ends up receiving most of the bone but tells the Colonel that he could have his wish instead. They then discuss the exchange of products for 'services' from the one of the maids, Yvette. Rene then tells Yvette the arrangement, asking to add another item to her services to see if they can get some gasoline. She explains to Rene that she only provides these services so she can help her sick mother.

She proceeds to tell him that someone is in the back room to see Rene. Rene walks into the back room to find Michelle Dubois, leader of the Resistance. She tells him that his cafe is to be the next safe house for British airmen who have crashed in France. Rene is then told that a forger is to live with them to forge the papers for the airmen. In asking where the forger is he gets the reply ''It is better that you do not know but for the moment I can say that he is in a very safe place''. The next scene shows the resistance breaking an old man out of prison. It turns out that the old man is Roger LeClerc, the forger.

Back in the café, Edith informs René of the code words that LeClerc will use to reveal himself to René (LeClerc will have a cigar in his mouth and ask him for a light, after which René is supposed to say "I have no matches"). Unfortunately, a German lieutenant (who later turns out to be Hubert Gruber) shows up with a cigar. René assumes he is the forger and says "I suppose you would like a light". The officer replies that he would, but when René says he doesn't have one, the officer is puzzled as to why René asked him if he doesn't have a light. He then picks up his own matchbook, lights his cigar and gives a spare pack to René, who then asks him straight out: "Are you one of them?" and Gruber replies "Well, it was very lonely on the Russian Front."

When LeClerc finally turns up and is about to ask for a light, Gruber lights his cigar before he gets a chance to perform the secret code words. In order to go through with it, he still asks René for a light and when Gruber asks him why - he just gave him one - he says "I don't want the light, I was just wondering if he had the light". According to plan, René answers that he has no matches and Gruber thinks this unfair - he just gave him his spare pack. In desperation, René replies "Well, these are your matches, not mine". To clear up the confusion LeClerc asks René if Gruber is "one of us", to which René, harassed, replies "No, he is one of them!" Gruber misinterprets this (thinking that René is talking about Gruber's earlier comment regarding the Russian front) and says "For God's sake, don't tell everyone!" Eventually, everything is straightened out and LeClerc can go down the cellar to start forging papers.

Later in the evening, René and Yvette are having a tête-à-tête in the back room of the café, when the British airmen (Carstairs and Fairfax) arrive by the window, dressed as onion sellers - two days early. They don't understand a word René and Yvette are saying and they don't understand a word the airmen are saying. This leads to a few misunderstandings before the airmen are allowed inside. René points at his watch to indicate that they are early and they think it means he wants their watches as payment to let them in. When one of the airmen points at his mouth - indicating that he is hungry - René thinks he has a toothache and gives him some pliers for this.

As they then try to tell the airmen they have to hide, Yvette illustrates this by going behind the curtains by the window. The airmen think this means she wants one of them to go behind the curtain with her, but it soon turns it that was not what she meant. Luckily, Michelle of the Resistance arrives and as she speaks both French and English, she functions as a communication link between the airmen and the French. The airmen are sent down into the cellar, whereas the others go up to the second floor, contacting London on the radio, which has been installed under the floor in the bedroom of Edith's mother, Fanny La Fan. Their secret contact in London, which refer to them as "Nighthawk", informs them that two British flying officers will arrive this evening. René and his wife misunderstand this and think it means that two more airmen will arrive and that they have to get rid of the two they are already hiding.

Colonel Von Strohm and captain Geering are enjoying a quiet day, with the colonel explaining to the captain about the theft of the silver, the world's oldest cuckoo clock and the painting of "The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies" by the artist Van Klomp. Herr Otto Flick of the Gestapo arrives at their headquarters, and the two officers quickly hide the valuables. Herr Flick announces that he has come to find the stolen painting, and the officers panic. They hide the treasures in René's cellar, only to find the British airmen there. They decide to turn both them and René in. However, Herr Flick arrives upstairs and, in order for him not to find the painting, they quickly change their mind and instead cover for him. Once Herr Flick is gone, the Colonel dictates that since he has now got a catch on René (the two airmen hiding in his cellar and the painting and the clock also hidden in the cellar) from now on, he gives the orders when it comes to the waitresses and their services.



British; cuckoo clock; The Fallen Madonna; France; French; German; Gestapo; La Marseillaise; Lifeline; Nazi; Nighthawk; Nouvion; Royal Air Force; Russian Front; World War II



External link[]

Allo Allo Season 1
The British Are Coming ; The Fallen Madonna ; Pidgeon Post ; Saville Row to the Rescue ; The Execution ; The Funeral ; Red Nick's Colonel ; The Dance of the Hitler Youth
Allo Allo
Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3 | Series 4 | Series 5 | Series 6 | Series 7 | Series 8 | Series 9