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1:  It’s Christmas at Sun Hill, and Polly and Tony have a kiss under the mistletoe. Chief Gossip Vicky Hagen catches them, and Dave doesn’t seem entirely happy about it...
2:  Smithy and Cass have been called to a department store to deal with a shoplifter, discussing the relief’s ‘secret santa’ scheme. Smithy says he’d buy Cass a moustache trimmer! “I’ve just got Hagen one of them,” says Cass.
The two oddball security guards report that one of the shoplifters got away, but they managed to catch the other. As one of the guards drags the shoplifter to his feet, the youth punches him in the stomach and escapes. Cass and Smithy give chase...
3:  The shoplifter grabs a shop assistant in the electrical department and puts an arm round her neck, throttling her. Cass tries to talk him out of it, while Smithy manages to get behind him and whacks him across the legs with his baton.
The shop assistant falls backwards, landing on something soft (Smithy, who falls to the floor) while Cass gives chase to the shoplifter.
4:  They end up in the toy department, in Santa’s grotto. Santa takes exception to their presence, and tackles the shoplifter.
“That’s it! I’m arresting you for theft,” Cass cuffs the youth. “Thanks, Santa.”
5:  Back in electrical, Smithy tends to the stricken shop assistant.
“How’re you feeling?” he asks.
“Better,” she replies weakly. “Thanks to you...”
Could this be love...?
6:  Polly and Dave arrive on the scene, shortly before the ambulance. Polly remarks that she can buy her Secret Santa present for Tony while she’s here. She says she was thinking of spending a bit more than the recommended £5.
7:  The security guards tells Smithy and Cass that the shoplifters bashed an assistant in the jewellery department on the head - that’s who the ambulance was called for.
They describe the suspect’s accomplice as a skinhead - white, 6 foot, jeans - and recall what happened. They couldn’t stop the skinhead because there were so many customers in the shop.
The suspect admits to taking the rather expensive watches, but says the rest of it was made up - he claims to be working alone.
8:  Downstairs, Dave can’t resist getting a jibe in as the shop assistant in the jewellery department is stretchered away. “Why don’t you buy Tony one of those watches? They’re only a couple of hundred quid.”
9:  Smithy suggests having a look at the CCTV tape before they go, but the security guard tells him that the system isn’t working. His mate tells them that there are no witnesses to the other suspect, other than the girl who got knocked out.
10:  In CID, Duncan tries to get Mickey to swap duties with him - he wants to go home to Glasgow to see his parents. Ebeneezer Webbo isn’t feeling charitable though. He says Christmas isn’t a special time for him.
11:  DS Debbie ‘The Bitch’ McAllister asks Paul Riley what he’s doing for Christmas. It’s all quite traditional, involving turkey, parties etc. The Ice Maiden remarks that Danny, Mickey and Duncan have been invited to the Uniform Christmas bash. The only one from the new lot who’s been invited seems to be DS Vik Singh.
Paul remarks that he’s not fussed, as it’s only a ‘poxy room at the Ellcott Arms’. He also says he doesn’t like the atmosphere or the landlord.
McAllister’s eyes light up, with the prospect to inflict misery on others. She suggests a little ‘fishing trip’ to see if they can turn up anything dodgy on the landlord.
12:  Dave doesn’t want to go to St Hugh’s with the shop assistant, as he doesn’t want to risk bumping into the lovely Jenny. Polly wants to stay and buy a present for Tony - Dave getting another jibe in.
The van hasn’t turned up for the suspect. “Tony’s driving it,” says Vicky. She looks at Polly. “Perhaps his girlfriend knows where he is.”
“What did you say!?” Polly snaps.
“Oh sorry, I’ve let the cat out of the bag,” she says. “Didn’t you know Polly and Tony were a bit of item? I caught them this morning under the mistletoe, and I’m pretty sure there were tongues involved.”
13:  Smithy arrives with the struggling suspect. “Keep still or you’re gonna hurt yourself,” says Smithy.
“You mean you’re going to hurt me?”
“Same difference.”
Lizzie, the shop assistant who Smithy fell for (literally) comes out and offers Smithy a chance to take advantage of her. Well, her staff discount anyway - her way of saying ‘thank you’.
14:  Paul Riley and the Ice Maiden haven’t turned up anything on the landlord of the Ellcott arms, Alan Barrett, but his son Karl has a few charges of possession.
DS Icicle asks Paul if anyone’s seen what he’s doing. “This nick stinks, you said so yourself. ...I’m just wondering if the landlord’s son has been done any favours.” She tells Paul to go to Barrett’s house and call her when he gets there. He protests, but to no avail.
15:  Lizzie takes Smithy to the shoe department to pick up a bargain pair of shoes. “Size 12,” Smithy tells her. “You know what they say...?” He smiles. “All coppers have got big feet.”
Smithy is a bit shocked when he sees the price of the trainers he’s chosen.
16:  In the station yard, Reg and Nick head out on patrol. Reg thinks people are having a go at him for his arrangements for the party - Nick says most people would’ve preferred to have it on a rest day.
17:  Polly arrives and runs after Vicky, who ignores her. Dave grabs Polly by the elbow. “Leave it, Poll.”
“Don’t you dare touch me,” Polly snarls, walking away.
18:  Reg and Nick inspect the room they’ve booked at the Ellcott Arms. It’s a bit dismal, but the landlord - Alan Barrett - assures them that it’ll be fine.
“It’s supposed to look like a magical kingdom,” says Reg.
“Yeah, well you won’t recognise the place once I’ve blown a couple of balloons up,” says Barrett. He offers Nick the loan of his Christmas tape, but Nick’s strutting his stuff as a DJ. I suppose it’s ‘music’ of sorts...
19:  Paul Riley is in place outside Karl Barrett’s flat. He runs a PNC check on a car parked outside - going through Sierra Brava (Barton Street) for the check, saying that Sun Hill are tied up.
20:  Cass and Smithy hand over the shoplifting case to CID. Smithy remarks that there was something ‘not quite right’ about the security guards. He can’t put his finger on it though. Mickey is scathing about his hypothesis.
21:  Paul Riley calls McAllister on her mobile. She tells him to keep watching the flat and let her know as soon as Barrett makes a move.
22:  Matt delivers lunch to Fraser Singleton, the shoplifter. “Luncheon is served,” he says, as polite as he can manage. Dripping with sarcasm though...
“Can I get some water?”
“Only if you use the magic word,” says Matt.
“Your wish is my command.” Matt closes the cell door.
23:  Paul reports that Barrett and his mates are on the move. The Ice Maiden Comandeth Him that He Shalt Follow...
24:  What a bitch - and she talks about Sun Hill’s old hands being bent? Ice Maiden makes a 999 call, reporting a drug deal anonymously. She gives the registration of Karl Barrett’s car.
25:  Smithy and Cass pull over the car and tell the driver to get out. Karl Barrett doesn’t want to co-operate, and jabs Smithy in the chest when he tells him he’s going to search him for drugs.
Smithy grabs him and throws him onto the bonnet, cuffing him.
26:  “Great!” The Ice Maiden has heard the news, and is smiling gleefully for perhaps the first time. “See! Isn’t it satisfying when CID and Uniform work together to get a result? ...Paul?” She then moans about Paul pulling the old ‘dodgy mobile trick’.
Mickey listens, and then humbugs a bit about Christmas. McAllister tells him she hasn’t been invited to the Christmas party. “I’m not as popular as you,” she says. “I wonder why...?”
27:  In Custody, Karl Barrett is kicking up a stink as they try to book him in...
28:  Nick and Reg arrive at the Ellcott Arms - Alan Barrett couldn’t be described as happy, as his son’s been arrested. He tells them he’s cancelling the booking for the party, and bars them. “No more coppers in my pub!”
“But it’s Christmas!” Reg protests.
“Yeah. And there’s no room at the Inn!” Barrett snaps.
29:  Mickey and Duncan interview Fraser the shoplifter. He says he just stole the watches to raise enough cash to get back home to Glasgow for Christmas. He clearly thinks he’ll get sympathy from Duncan.
“I just wanted to get home for Christmas,” he says. “I wanted to be back with my family!”
“I know how you feel mate.” Duncan darts a glance at Webbo.
30:  In the locker room, Reg is fretting about getting the blame for the party - he says they’ll never find anywhere this late in the day.
“So what’re we supposed to do then?” Nick asks. “Send out for some pizzas and take them to the canteen?”
For a moment, Reg entertains that idea. Then Nick says ‘no’.
31:  Mickey is getting impatient as he waits for Duncan. He’s back in the cell talking to Fraser about Glasgow, including how he got barred from a pub after a mate’s stag night.
Mickey moans to the B-relief custody sergeant, who’s tapping away at a computer. “Jocks,” he sighs. “If they all love Scotland so much why don’t they do us all a favour and go back there, eh? ...Where’re you from, sarge?”
“The sergeant glares at Webbo. “Aberdeen, actually.”
32:  Mickey finally drags Duncan away from his prisoner. “So I felt sorry for the wee guy, what’s wrong with that?” Duncan asks.
“He’s guilty of conspiracy to rob and GBH, that’s what,” says Mickey.
“We don’t know that yet.”
“We haven’t finished our inquiries...”
Mickey’s mind is made up though, Fraser is guilty.
33:  Nick and Reg are touring Sun Hill, trying to find a new venue for their party. The latest one can fit them in, but it’s a vegetarian-only restaurant, and they don’t allow drink on the premises.
34:  At St Hugh’s, Duncan and Webbo talk to the shop assistant who got bashed on the head. She confirms that Fraser’s accomplice hit her from behind, and can’t identify him. She can’t be sure if Fraser was with anyone else because the shop was so busy.
35:  Polly, Reg and Nick try to come up with an idea for the party. Reg blames Smithy, saying that if he’d been a little more diplomatic this wouldn’t have happened.
Polly suggests a new club which opened recently, The Mausoleum. “It’s very good - I went there....” She pauses. “I went there last week.”
36:  Rob from B-Relief is doing paperwork at the front desk when a taxi pulls up and Santa gets out.
“You lost your reindeer?” Rob asks.
“Ho ho ho,” says Santa. “I’ve got information about a robbery - but I need to be back in my grotto in ten minutes.”
37:  Reg phones The Mausoleum - they can cordon off an area of the dance floor and put some chairs and tables in. He confirms the booking with the name ‘R P Hollis’.
“P?” Nick asks Polly.
“Percival,” she explains.
They start to phone round everyone to tell them about the new venue.
38:  In CID, Paul Riley is worried that someone will find out that they set up Karl Barrett. Ice Maiden tells him to relax. “For God’s sake, it’s only a party!”
“Party? What party?” Kate ‘the gnome’ Spears appears.
“Paul’s just complaining about not going to the Uniform bash tonight,” says the Ice Maiden.
“Oh yeah, I’m gutted,” the gnomic one says, sarcastically.
“At least you got an invite,” says Paul.
“No I didn’t.”
“I thought Sgt Boyden was going to ask you? I heard him talking to Mickey about it... But Mickey said you had something on tonight.”
Gnome goes off to murder Webbo. “When I get my hands on that little git...”
39:  Duncan gets a phone call. “Apparently Father Christmas wants to see me,” he announces.
“Oooh, I hope you’ve been a good boy,” says the Ice Maiden.
“You know I’m always a good boy,” Duncan replies.
McAllister takes a phone call from Reg, who asks her to pass on a message about the change of venue for the party. She writes it down and assures him she’ll pass it on. But she rips the page out and throws it in the bin instead...
40:  The Gnome catches up with Webbo in the corridor downstairs. He tells her he was just trying to protect her from Sgt Boyden. “You must’ve heard what he’s like.”
Mickey is saved by the bell - well, his phone rings. “I’ve got to go, Duncan wants me.”
“Yeah, well I can’t think why,” the Gnome snarls.
41:  Santa has some information about the shoplifters - he’s having a break, and one of his elves is covering for him!
He describes the accomplice quite well, saying that he saw him talking to Fraser. He could tell they were up to something by their behaviour, but couldn’t tell them before because he had a queue of kiddies to tend to.
42:  Derek and Jaaack return from their Christmas lunch - Jack’s a tad drunk, with notes fluttering from his wallet as he tries to pay the taxi driver. “Here, keep the change,” he says, handing the cabby a fiver. Quite generous, seeing as the fare was £6.50!
Derek settles up and leads the drunken DCI into the station - he’s dreading what will happen if Chandler sees him in this state.
43:  Chandler’s on the prowl, looking for Jack. He goes into CID and asks Gnome where he is. She spots Jack at the door - he ducks down and sneaks away - and tells Chandler she hasn’t seen him this afternoon.
44:  Jack follows Derek into his office. Derek asks Jack if he has any mints - he has, but they’re back in his office, where Chandler is lurking.
They hear Chandler walk into his room, and they hide in the corner behind the door. He starts one of his cringeworthy ‘hello, mate!’ phone calls.
45:  Thinking of sneaking out, Jack peeps through the door - Chandler has gone out to get his diary, and picks the call up at his secretary’s desk. They’re trapped!
46:  At home with the Quinnans... Jenny is resentful of Dave’s plans to go out to the party tonight. She says she doesn’t want him to get drunk and make a fool out of himself.
Dave isn’t looking forward to a week with Jenny’s relatives in Dublin over Christmas. “You don’t care what I think, do you?” he snaps. “Christmas in Dublin, the rest of my life in Colchester!”
In the process, Dave manages to ruin his good blue shirt with the iron...
47:  Derek and Jack are still trapped - Chandler’s been on the phone for ages, and it’s getting dark.
Jack is restless. “I need a pee,” he whispers.
48:  In the cells, Duncan tells Fraser that he’s in court in the morning and is unlikely to get bail, as they can’t be sure he won’t run away. Fraser says he can stay with his parents if Duncan lends him some money.
Outside, Webbo doesn’t have much sympathy. “Don’t worry, they do a nice bit of turkey in Brixton.”
“You don’t care much about that wee guy, do you?” Duncan asks.
“No, I care more about the shop assistant,” says Mickey.
“It wasn’t his fault.”
49:  They continue as they walk down the corridor - Duncan says that Fraser should be with his family at Christmas time. Webbo has had enough. He tells Duncan what Christmas meant for him - hiding behind the sofa, pleading with his parents to stop beating seven shades out of each other.
“Happy bloody Christmas, eh?” says Mickey. “Let’s go to this party.”
50:  Chandler finishes his call - but starts another one. Jack’s getting desperate, and casts his eyes heavenwards for guidance. He reaches up and lifts down one of Derek’s trophies and unzips his fly.
Derek grabs the trophy back from him, sharpish...!
51:  Dave tells Jenny that he’s off to meet some of the lads for a drink first, and will stay at the Section House later. He tells Jenny not to wait up for him.
52:  Chandler finally finishes off and heads home. “Goodnight Derek,” he calls out.
“Goodnight sir.”
“Goodnight Jack.”
“Goodnight sir.” Oops! Jack scampers off to the loo.
53:  The Ice Maiden is positively gleeful as she watches Duncan, Danny and Mickey head off to the party - not knowing that the venue has changed.
54:  Tony picks Polly up from her flat, and puts his arm round her when she shays she’s cold. Dave watches from the shadows...
55:  Outside The Mausoleum, everyone’s getting impatient. Reg wants to make sure everyone’s here before they go inside. Polly and Tony arrive together, followed closely by Dave.
“We’d better get in before Smithy gets done for indecent behaviour,” says Matt.
The crowd parts to reveal Smithy and Lizzie (the shop assistant) apparently trying to eat each other...
Reg heads inside to see what he can do.
56:  “Look at them two snogging,” Vicky laughs.
Dave looks over at Polly at Tony.
“Who’d you think I meant?” Vicky asks him.
57:  Inside, Reg pushes his way to the front of the queue to talk to the bouncers. They don’t know anything about the reservation, but Reg manages to get one of the bouncers to go in to find out.
58:  Outside, Smithy’s new love asks him to go inside and ‘pull rank - she’s sure he can persuade the bouncers to let them in.
Smithy makes a point of showing off his new trainers before he heads in.
59:  The bouncer emerges and tells Reg that no-one knows anything about a Mr Borris and his booking. Smithy joins in, and he and the bouncer don’t exactly hit it off - especially when he’s told he’s wearing ‘inappropriate footwear’. The bouncers try to evict them. One of them shoving Smithy down the stairs.
Smithy knocks over a woman, and her boyfriend lays into the bouncers. Chaos and bloodshed ensues...
“I think it’s about time I told you who I am,” says Smithy.
“I don’t give a stuff who you are!” The bouncer clobbers Smithy.
60:  Danny, Mickey and Duncan have arrived at the Ellcott Arms to find a distinct lack of partying. Barrett says he doesn’t know where the part was moved to, and wouldn’t tell them even if he did know.
Mickey calls Reg - Reg manages to communicate the name of the night-club over the riot.
61:  Back in CAD, a report of a disturbance at The Mausoleum has come in. Sgt Stuart Lamont puts out an ‘all units’ - and even India-99 responds!
62:  The Three Wise Men bearing gifts are a bit lost as they try to find their way to the night club. Then there’s a sound of a choir, and a bright light shines down on them.
As they ponder the religious wonderment of the moment, India-99 banks away and heads towards the night-club.
63:  “We should be going west,” says Danny.
As the choir sings “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” the wise men continue their trek.
64:  Christmas presents are strewn across the pavement outside the club as the chaos continues inside.
Smithy gets his own back on the bouncer, punching him to the floor as he heads down the stairs. He pauses for a little kiss with Lizzie on the way...
65:  Polly gets grabbed by a man and thrown against a wall. She tries to defend herself, but gets punched in the face. Dave pushes through the crowd and floors the man who grabbed her, and leads Polly away.
66:  Mickey, Danny and Duncan arrive just as B-Relief’s finest pull up and wade into the riot. “That’s Christmas for you, always a disappointment,” says Mickey.
Smithy emerges with his girl. “Where is he!?” he yells. “Reg Hollis - I wanna crucify the little git!”
The Three Wise Men wish each other Happy Christmas and exchange their gifts...
67:  Back at Polly’s flat, Dave tends to the nasty gash on her face. He apologises for everything, and says he’s been doing a lot of thinking about ‘us’.
In a scene that would be more at home in Eastenders, Dave asks Polly if she’s going out with Tony. He doesn’t think she should be going out with his best mate, but Polly says she wants someone to eat with, talk to, and sleep with.
68:  Polly says she isn’t going to sit and listen about some sob story about how he and Jenny aren’t getting on. “Is that all you want to tell me? ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’? ‘Please don’t go out with my best mate’ because you might be upset? Tough!”
Polly tells Dave to leave.
69:  He gets as far as the door. “I’m sorry.” He pauses..
Then grabs Polly and kisses her. Quite passionately , too, for a man that’s been married to the Wicked Witch of the West for a year.
They grab at each other’s clothing, and romance (presumably) ensues. Urgh.
70:  Time passes...
In the rain, Tony walks up to Polly’s door and rings the bell. There’s no reply, and after a while the poor chap heads back home, alone.
71:  After following a trail of clothes to the bedroom, we’re treated to a (probably quite good artistically, but nonetheless bizarre) view of naked feet in bed together...
72:  “I was right, wasn’t I?” Polly says. “I said you were the one... I love you Dave.”
“Happy Christmas Poll.”
They kiss...
....the viewers cringe...
Episode guide originally published on
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More about The Night Before episode:

Illustrated summary of the scenes with Euan

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The Night Before pictures
The Morning After pictures

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Video clips of Euan in The Bill:

The Night Before
The Morning After

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