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The Plague
Series 2, Episode 6
The Plague.png
Air date April 12, 1996
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The Plague is the sixth episode of Series 2 of Father Ted.


Bishop Len visits Craggy Island during a rabbit infestation.


The episode begins with a self-referential mock title sequence with the words "Father Ted" replaced by "Father Ben", which then cuts to Dougal sitting in front of the television shouting excitedly to Ted that the programme is starting. Each comments on the spoof character representing themselves, Dougal saying that Brendan is "such an eejit" and Ted making fun of Ben for being "a big thicko". 

Dougal gets a pet rabbit which, after much deliberation, he calls Sampras. Meanwhile, Jack has acquired a habit of sleepwalking naked, and Bishop Brennan is set to visit after the nude, sleepwalking Jack frightens one of Brennan's protégés and his family. Unfortunately, the Bishop has a fear of rabbits brought on by a bad experience he once had with some in a lift (they nibbled his cape "and everything"), and Ted and Dougal must get 'Sampras' out of the way before he visits. However, the situation rapidly deteriorates when Bishop Brennan phones to tell Ted that he will be visiting the next day and all Ted can think to say is 'feck'.  Soon, dozen of rabbits start appearing and Ted decides to get rid of them by bringing them to Tom, but relents when Tom announces he will dispose of them in the vice.

When Bishop Brennan arrives the next day Ted shows him the barbed wire around Jack's bed as well as the pyjamas that are impossible to get out of while Dougal hides the rabbits.  When they go downstairs, Dougal addresses Bishop Brennan by his first name, angering him, and Ted tells him to address him as 'Your Grace'.  Soon, Bishop Brennan notices a cage filled with lettuce under the coffee table and asks Ted if he had any rabbits.  He then tells a story of being trapped in a lift in New York and rabbits managed to burrow in and nibble at he cape.  Mrs. Doyle appears with a bowl of water and more lettuce and Ted grabs them off her, drinking the contents of the bowl.  Bishop Brennan excuses himself for bed wanting to know where his room is, and Ted says it's the first on the right at the top of the stairs.  When Bishop Brennan stands up he sees a brown mass on the carpet, which Ted explains is caviar.  Bishop Brennan then storms off, and Ted asks Dougal what he's done with the rabbits.  Dougal tells Ted to guess and after Dougal says he put them in the last place the bishop will look, Ted figures out that they are in his room.

He runs up the stairs and prevents Bishop Brennan from entering his room, by saying how honoured they are to have him there and then making himself fall down the stairs.  Bishop Brennan goes to check if he's okay and Ted says he is, so Bishop Brennan says he's going to bed.  Suddenly, Ted makes a miraculous recovery, runs up the stairs and tells Bishop Brennan that he needs to use the bathroom inside.  He goes into the room but the rabbits are nowhere to be found.  He exits and Bishop Brennan angrily tells him off, before entering the room and discovering that there is no bathroom.

Ted tells Dougal that the rabbits are not in Bishop Brennan's room so they decide to check Jack's.  They enter in pitch darkness and find a colony of rabbits.  They go into the bathroom and discover one that looks like Harvey Keitel.  While they're distracted, Jack awakens and makes his way through the barbed wire and out of his pyjamas.  A security camera catches him making his way out of the room into another one, breathing heavily.  Ted and Dougal gather up some of the rabbits and discover that Jack is gone.  They exit the room to find a rabbit making its way into Bishop Brennan's room.  They enter and suddenly Bishop Brennan awakens, turning on the light.  He sees Ted and Dougal standing there and Jack then sits up in the bed beside him.  Ted tells him he was having a bad dream and everything will be better in the morning.  Bishop Brennan nods and settles down.  Suddenly, he realises what has happened and screams.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • This episode contains a subtle reference to Pulp Fiction: Tom chooses between a hammer, baseball bat, chainsaw and katana to kill the rabbits, just as Butch in the movie chooses between these weapons to fight Zed and Maynard. Also, one of the rabbits apparently looks like actor Harvey Keitel.
  • On the wall at the back of the room where Tom is showing the priests how he will take care of the rabbits a section of the word Redrum can be seen. This is a reference to the film The Shining.
  • Dougal's rabbit is named after the former tennis player Pete Sampras.

Series 2
#101 "Hell" #106 "The Plague"
#102 "Think Fast, Father Ted" #107 "Rock-a-Hula Ted"
#103 "Tentacles of Doom" #108 "Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading"
#104 "Old Grey Whistle Theft" #109 "New Jack City"
#105 "A Song for Europe" #110 "Flight into Terror"