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Burger Bernard
The Big Lockout
Episode information
Episode No.




Original airdate

Friday, October 27, 2000

Cast and crew information
  • Dylan Moran
  • Graham Linehan
  • Graham Linehan
  • Nick Wood
  • Nira Park
  • Julian Meers
  • William Burdett-Coutts
Main cast
  • Dylan Moran
  • Bill Bailey
  • Tamsin Greig
Guest stars
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Howell Granger
  • Nick Frost as Leslie Gurder
  • Tony Way as Cinema Employee/Mamba Burger employee
Previous episode

The Blackout

Next episode

He's Leaving Home

The Big Lockout is the fifth episode of the first series in the British sitcom, Black Books. It originally aired on the 27th of October, 2000. The script was written by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan, the latter of which directed the episode.

Plot synopsis[]

Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey) calls in a high-security door installer (Nick Frost), after a group of youths broke into the shop. However, Manny fails to tell him that they got in because he left the front door open. The door that is being fitted is a high-security door, with the control panel on the inside, making it impossible to open from the outside. However, Manny gets distracted by a Subbuteo player in the installer's hair, and so does not know how to unlock the door. Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) enters the shop, and pesters Manny about his failure to tell the installer the truth. Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig) enters after him, and notices that Howell Granger (Peter Serafinowicz), a college friend, is present. Fran says that despite being "a total arsehole" he "confuses her" because of his erotic voice. However, Howell notices her and starts talking, telling her that he has got a job reading the shipping forecast on Radio Four, before he exits the shop, leaving Fran mesmerised.

That night, Bernard an Manny discuss their plans for the evening; Bernard is drinking absinthe with Fran and Manny is going to the cinema. Bernard then asks how the high security door works, however, once Bernard discovers that the control panel is on the inside, he determines that the door is useless. A confused Manny does not understand, so Bernard, as an example, steps outside. Suddenly, the door shuts and locks itself, locking Bernard out. A furious Bernard decides to call Fran in a phone box, however, Fran doesn't answer as she is listening to the shipping forecast hosted by Howell. Bernard has no choice but to walk the streets, looking for food and a place to stay. He enters the cinema to see the film Manny was going to see, Armapocolypse, however, finds that the film has been cancelled. He then ventures to a video shop, and tries to stay there as long as possible by asking the shopkeeper for a pornography video about senior administrative nurses. When the shopkeeper eventually finds a suitable video, Bernard tries to stall the shopkeeper further. However, he fails to do so and is thrown out.

Meanwhile, Manny is desperate for food, and finds The SAS Survival Handbook, and following its instructions, builds a rabbit trap in the kitchen and starts cooking Bernard's beloved bees. After finding a 'sustainable' drinking sorce, the absinthe, Manny gets extremely drunk and begins talking into a radio thinking he is maintaining radio contact, as the handbook says. Meanwhile, a highly aroused Fran, after listening to the shipping forecast, is shocked when it ends, and decides to call Howell just to hear his voice. Once Howell has answered the phone, Fran remains silent, as Howell questions who is calling him. Once he threatens to hang up, Fran reveals herself, and once Howell offers to come over, she begins to pant heavily, before she ends the phone call.

Meanwhile, Bernard enters Mamba Burger, a fast food joint, in which he tries to bribe the staff into giving him food in exchange for his belt. Once he is thrown out into the rain, he notices a 'Staff Wanted' sign, and is employed. After abusing a customer, the rain stops, and he throws his uniform at a fellow employee and leaves.

The next morning, Bernard returns to the shop to find that the some youths have conveniently stolen the security system, and that Manny has a severe hangover, and is being comforted by Fran. Manny admits to Bernard that he ate all his bees, much to Bernard's annoyance.

Cultural references[]

  • Manny spots a Subbuteo player in the door-installer's hair.
  • Bernard reveals the last film he saw was Planet of the Apes.
  • 'Armapocolypse' is vaguely similar to the 1998 film, Apocolypse.
  • Mamba Burger is similar to such fast food joints as McDonald's and Burger King.
  • The theme of Bernard wandering around at night, visiting cinemas and sex shops, mirrors the film Taxi Driver. The soundtrack is from Taxi Driver as well.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The installer's name is Leslie Girder, however, his name is never mentioned.
  • Graham Linehan, co-writer and directer, makes a cameo as the customer in Mamba Burger.
  • Manny likes smelling Fran's hair

External links[]