‘Licensed to Drill’ was created by John Sullivan. The 27 minute episode was used to educate students about a career in the oil industry. It was also meant to promote interest in pursuing such a career. The episode was only seen in a few science courses in 1984 and was never shown on television.
The lost episode starred Sir David Jason as the market dealer, Del Boy. His younger brother, Rodney Trotter, was played by Nicholas Lyndhurst. It also starred Lennard Pearce, as Granddad, in his final appearance before his death. Financing for the episode came from the Maureen Oilfield Consortium.
In the episode, Del buys an oil rig for 400 pounds in an attempt to master the industry. He makes this decision after speaking with a man who has just finished a job on the North Sea rig. It ended with a tune that was written and performed by John.
A Christmas special in 2003 concluded the series. Plans were in the works for a special about Dels 65th birthday, but the death of John in 2011 has ended any hope of the show returning.
David said that John was the one with the magic, and there is no other writer who is up to the challenge.