The Big Lock-Out

The Big Lock-Out

Infobox Television episode | Title = The Big Lock-Out
Series = Black Books
Season = 1
Episode = 5
Guests = Paul Beech, Steve Bodwitch, Nick Frost, Peter Serafinowicz, Tony Gray, Graham Linehan & Dick Lunn.
Airdate = October 27, 2000
Production =
Writer = Dylan Moran & Graham Linehan
Director = Graham Linehan & Nick Wood

Prev = The Blackout
Next = He's Leaving Home

"The Big Lock-Out" is an episode of Black Books. It was first aired on October 27, 2000. It is episode number 5 of season 1. It was written by Dylan Moran & Graham Linehan.

Plot Summary

Following a break-in at the shop, Manny purchases a new security system which is probably not used by the CIA. Unfortunately, he does not listen to the instructions on how to disarm the system (instead being distracted by the Subbuteo player in the installer's hair). Bernard also receives a call from his insurance company, prompting him to cut the cable to his phone. Fran, meanwhile, runs into an old schoolfriend whose voice appears to arouse her. He informs her that he will be reading the shipping forecast that night. As such, that evening, she disables her telephone and tunes into the forecast.

Meanwhile, Manny teaches Bernard how to use the security system. However, he soon realises that, once armed, it can only be disarmed from the inside, and has no mechanism to allow anybody inside to achieve this. Manny does not understand the problem, so Bernard attempts to demonstrate it- using the already-armed security system. He is locked out of the building with Manny inside and unable to disable the security. This, along with the security door's soundproofed windows and Bernard's disabling of the shop's phone result in their only method of communication being Manny writing a message on a piece of paper and holding up to the window. Bernard soon tires of this and attempts to phone Fran, but her phone is still offline.

Bernard leaves the shop and decides to visit the cinema, spending all his money on the ticket and popcorn. The film is in fact cancelled (something Bernard does not realise for two hours) and he spills all the popcorn. Bernard's next stop is a sex shop to get out of the cold, and attempts to hire some obscure pornographic material to keep the assistant occupied so he can stay inside. The assistant finds it and as he has no money, he suggests to the assistant that they watch it together and is then thrown out. Moving on, he borrows money from a homeless person and attempts again to contact Fran, again to no avail. He visits "Mamba Burger" where he cannot buy any food so he gets a job in the shop instead (as he cannot buy anything, his only other option would to be leave into the rain). He fails to serve his first customer as he does not know what the requested "Mamba Burger" looks like, nor can he operate the drinks machine. His second customer informs him that is no longer raining, prompting him to quit his job.

The scenes where Bernard walks through the city at night pay homage to Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver; with the scenes being shot in a similar style and accompanied by music of the same style that is played while Robert De Niro drives through New York City on his own at night.

Back in the shop, Manny reads the SAS survival guide and attempts to use its knowledge to survive, drinking Bernard's supply of Absinthe and eating the shop's dead bees. He soon becomes drunk and falls under the impression that he is a stranded soldier, attempting to contact HQ on Bernard's radio. Meanwhile, the shipping forecast ends, causing Fran to phone up her schoolfriend, whose voice causes her to orgasm.

The next morning, the three friends regroup in the shop to find that burglars have stolen the security system. Fran claims that "something came up" which prevented her from contacting him. Manny confesses to eating all the bees.


Security Man: It's a very good system. You know the CIA?

Manny: Yeah.

Security Man: They don't use this system. Uhh, they probably use something a lot better.

Bernard: Sorry, I think there must have been some mistake. I bought popcorn and a drink and now I have no money.

Cinema Attendant: That's how much it costs.

Bernard: What, is it special popcorn? Does it produce some sort of dizzying high?

Bernard: Oh just my usual night out, you know. Went to see an experimental film where nothing happened for TWO hours. Hung out with a pornographer. Got a job in a burger bar. You know, the usual.

Bernard: You know what you are? You're a beard with an idiot hanging off it.

Guest Stars

* Paul Beech - Customer
* Steve Bodwitch - Len
* Nick Frost - Security Man
* Graham Linehan (Uncredited) - Fast Food Customer
* Dick Lunn (Uncredited) - Man
* Peter Serafinowicz - Howell Granger
* Tony Way - Youth

External links

* [ This episode on]

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