"Oil" is the second episode of the first series of The Young Ones, first aired on BBC2 on 16th November 1982.Following the destruction of their student house in Episode 1, the boys are relocated to a new residence by Mr Balowski, and miraculously discover oil in the foundations.
Rick, Vyvyan, Mike and Neil arrive at their squalid new home courtesy of landlord Mr Balowski. Whilst Rick and Vyvyan bicker over who has the largest bedroom, Mike discovers Buddy Holly tangled in a parachute in the attic space. Neil meanwhile gets familiar with the kitchen, and finds an old teapot which he rubs releasing a Genie. The Genie reverses the damage caused earlier by Neil, when all the crockery fell out of the cupboards, and inadvertently grants Neil the gift of six pairs of hands when Neil complains to Vyvyan about not having any help around the house. Neil is thrilled by his new limbs and tried to show off to Rick, but is returned to normal when Vyvyan unwittingly kills the Genie by pouring boiling water into the teapot.
Rick confronts Vyvyan in the kitchen when he discovers that Vyvyan has removed the only toilet in the house and thrown it out of the window, allegedly because it lowers the value of the house, and therefore the rent, if the house has an outside lavatory. Meanwhile Mike is caught dragging the corpse of Buddy Holly down the stairs, which Neil mistakes for a large bag of laundry and decides to remind the boys of the house rules on laundry, which dictate that no-one shall go to the launderette without collecting the dirty washing of all the other housemates first. Mike points out there is a clause in the contract which excludes him from this. Mike then proceeds into the cellar with his "laundry."
Vyvyan then chastises Neil for not cooking the supper, and knocks him out by smashing a dinner plate over his head. Rick decides to cook it himself and ends up blowing up the cooker, the sound of which rouses two men being held hostage in the cellar who have been left there by the previous occupants. So delirious are the two men, they believe they are stranded on a raft out to sea. The sight of the two men does not faze Mike, who deposits Buddy and then leaves. Later on in the evening, Rick, Vyvyan and Neil dine on a meal of flour and water whilst watching the after-show white dot on the television. Neil retires to his room to finish painting his astrological star chart.
Rick goes to bed whilst Vyvyan decides to stay up and watch the dot a bit longer. Chaos ensues when he becomes bored of the television and decides to indulge himself in a game of "murder in the dark," whilst Mike breaks some windows by playing a round of golf on the landing. His games are found to be a cover for his decision to act as doorman for Rick's bedroom, which Mike has inexplicably transformed into a roller disco, which Rick barges in on and is subsequently ejected by the maitre'd. Rick decides to barge into Neil's room and sleep in there instead, but is horrified to discover a severed stag's head under the duvet. Vyvyan bursts in excitedly and proclaims he has discovered oil in the cellar...
The following morning, the boys hold a meeting in the broom cupboard to discuss what to do about the oil. Mike and Vyvyan are late, leaving Rick and Neil to bicker about the housework. The dust in the cupboard causes Neil to have a highly explosive sneeze which blows them into the hallway. The noise alerts Vyvyan, who mistakes them for insurgents and holds them hostage whilst Mike, now self-titled oil baron "El-Presidente," comes downstairs and orders them to excavate the oil. Mike reassures them that following his orders will make them extremely rich.
Later on in the cellar, Neil and Vyvyan take turns to dig, and Neil catastrophically mis-times the strike of his pickaxe and impales Vyvyan through the head. Rick takes advantage of him passing out and decides to mutiny. Meanwhile, Mike finds that Mr Balowski's nephew Alexei has set up his band Radical Posture in the lounge. Rick thinks they've arrived to partake in his revolution against Mike and stands at the door hoping to sell some tickets. When nobody arrives to buy any, he sells one ticket to Neil for 50p and the band sing their revolutionary new single "Dr Marten's Boots." Rick is infuriated by the song. Mike turns up and asks why they aren't in the cellar digging for oil.
Meanwhile Vyvyan wakes from his comatose state and starts to trash the cellar as the credits roll, and then tells the audience "By the way, it was a complete lie about the oil..."
Guest Stars Edit
Alexei Sayle as Alexei Balowski
Tony Allef as Arab aide
Robbie Coltrane as Maitre'd
Barry Cookson as 2nd Raft Man
Ronnie Golden as Buddy Holly
Gerard Kelly as Talking Mop
Terry Medlicott as The Genie
Patrick Newell as 1st Raft Man
Radical Posture as Themselves
Dr Marten's Boots by Alexei Balowski & Radical Posture
By acknowledging the events of Demolition, this is the only episode to embrace any measure of continuity.