"Carry on Screaming" is a Halloween-themed episode from the eighth season of the British sitcom 2point4 Children. Although the action takes place on Halloween, the episode first aired on BBC1 on December 14, 1999.
The series is based around the characters of Wilhemina Porter (better known as "Bill"), her husband Ben, their two children Jenny and David and Bill's friend Rona. Bill runs a small catering company. Ben runs a small heating repair company and works with a woman named Christine. In the eighth season, by which time Jenny and David had become young adults, the Porters began fostering a young boy named Declan. The boy is referred to but does not appear in the episode. Bill is usually much more sensible than her rather immature husband Ben (who may be child 0.4 referred to in the title), although both characters sometimes jump to wild conclusions which can have serious consequences. The Porters appear to be a normal family but, as a result of bad luck and misunderstandings, they often find themselves in very strange situations and appear to live in a world in which almost anything can happen.
In the episode, Ben Porter finds out that he has an uncle, the brother of the mother who walked out on him when he was 3-years old, who lives nearby. Ben's long lost Uncle Lon, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, lives in a house inside a graveyard. Photographs inside his house suggest that he has a fondness for wolves. Uncle Lon has a very hairy face and hands and he appears to dislike moonlight. Before falling into a deep sleep, Uncle Lon begins to speak to Ben about something that has been passed down through the males in their family. Ben soon comes to the conclusion that Uncle Lon is a werewolf and he becomes worried that he and his son David will become werewolves too.
Inside the Porters' house, Bill Porter, her husband Ben and their young adult children Jenny and David are having a meeting with a social worker regarding their fostering of the boy Declan. The social worker is happy to report that the boy can stay with them permanently. She goes on to say that, during the background checks which were carried out on each member of the family, contact was made with Ben Porter's uncle. Ben says that he does not have an uncle, only an aunt, the sister of his father who helped to raise him after his mother left him when he was 3-years old. The social worker tells him that the uncle in question is his mother's brother. She gives him the man's address and telephone number. Bill comments on her husband's uncle's unusual name, asking if he comes from Eastern Europe. A nervous Ben calls the number that he has been given but does not wait very long for an answer before hanging up.
Someone who claims to be Death arrives at the door. It turns out to be Ben's co-worker Christine in a costume, who has come to ask if she can borrow Ben's van. Christine is surprised to find that Ben, who is always talking about Halloween, does not seem to be very cheerful that evening.
Bill tells her husband that the woman who looks after his elderly uncle has called back. She adds that she has been told that Ben's uncle has been very ill recently and that they may not have much time left in which to see him. Christine having taken the van and the car being at the repair shop, the Porters need to call a taxi. Before leaving the house, Ben worries about the hair that has suddenly started sprouting out of his ears and cannot understand why the family dog, Harry, is suddenly frightened of him.
Ben's uncle's address turns out to be a cemetery. It is raining heavily when the Porters arrive and the taxi driver refuses to wait for them. They quickly run towards a cottage on the cemetery's grounds, the house where Ben's uncle, the cemetery keeper, lives. The woman who looks after Ben's uncle lets them in. She says that she recognizes Ben from his photo, although the only photos that Bill and Ben can see on display appear to show wolves. There are also stuffed wolves' heads on display. The woman goes on to say that Ben's uncle has been suffering from a fever, he was recently found naked in the cemetery at night in the rain and has been very ill in bed ever since. She leaves, saying that the night nurse will come along later.
Bill and Ben go up to the man's bedroom. The room is in darkness and there is no light bulb. To let in some light, Ben opens the curtains and the window. Ben's uncle wakes up with a start and his strange appearance, his long hair, long facial hair and hairy hands, startle Ben. Ben's uncle seems distressed by the window being opened, saying, "No. It will come in", but Ben tells him that the rain has stopped. He holds his hand out of the window and says that there is nothing on it but moonlight. The old man asks for some water and a pill, which Bill hands to him. The man introduces himself as Uncle Lon. He says that he has not seen his sister, Ben's mother, for many years and does not know if she is alive or dead. He goes on to say that Ben has to know his family history. Speaking incoherently, he says that something has been passed down through all the males in his family and mentions a box which Ben has to open. Uncle Lon then falls silent and collapses. At first, Ben thinks that his uncle has died. He then notices that the pill which Bill gave his uncle was a sleeping pill. He realizes that the man will not wake up again that evening and will be unable to tell him anymore about his family history.
A vampire arrives at the door. It turns out to be Bill's friend Rona in a costume. She had passed by the Porters' house, their son David told her where they were and she thought they might need a lift back. When she and Bill go up to Uncle Lon's bedroom, they find Ben very worried, believing that the thing which has been passed down through all the males in his family might be a hereditary disease or even a curse which caused his uncle to go out naked at night in the rain. He tries to force open the box which he believes his uncle mentioned. Bill tries to reassure her husband, telling him that his uncle only went out naked in the rain because he was delirious from fever and that if he had a hereditary disease, he would have shown some symptoms of it by now. Rona, however, says that David might also be affected by whatever it is that has been passed down through all the males in the family and encourages Ben to continue to try forcing open the box.
Having forced open the box, Ben finds a photograph of a large dog with the words Lupus humana written on the back. Rona explains that is Latin for "human wolf". At that moment, what sounds like a wolf howling is heard. Uncle Lon sits up in bed and says, "Boy. Good boy. Probably start howling. It's the moon that starts you off." Ben concludes that Uncle Lon is a werewolf and his family history means that he will become one too. Bill points out that Ben has never changed into a werewolf before and reminds him that he put his hand out into the moonlight earlier. Looking at his hand, Ben sees hairs on his palm.
Extremely worried, Ben asks Rona if David is going to stay in that night. Rona replies that David, who is interested in aliens, plans to spend the night under the skylight watching for UFOs. Reasoning that being under a skylight is the most dangerous place for a potential werewolf to be on a moonlit night, Bill, Ben and Rona rush back to the Porters' house, Ben being covered by a blanket to protect him from the moonlight while he is outside. In David's room, they see a small dog lying under the skylight bathed in moonlight. They are relieved when David appears in the doorway behind them shortly afterwards.
The following day, it is revealed that the dog which was in David's bedroom was just a neighbor's mongrel which had wandered in. The reason why Ben had hair on the palm of his hand was because he had used an untested and unapproved hair restorer which he bought off the Internet and had not been using the rubber glove provided when applying it to his scalp. It is also revealed that Ben's Uncle Lon used to breed pedigree dogs, specifically the large wolf-like Alaskan Malamutes. One of his Malamutes, known as Lupus Humana, won Crufts and one of Uncle Lon's most cherished possessions continues to be a photograph of the dog which he keeps locked in a box. Uncle Lon, who is now feeling much better, arrives at the house. He brings the box that he was really referring to, a box of photographs that has been handed down through the males in his family. Ben is happy to see photographs of his mother, photographs of his mother with her parents and a photograph of his mother with a rabbi. The final photo comes as a great surprise to Ben who had no idea that his family were Jewish.
- Wilhemina "Bill" Porter - Belinda Lang
- Ben Porter - Gary Olsen
- Jenny Porter - Clare Buckfield
- David Porter - John Rickard
- Uncle Lon - Windsor Davies
- Rona - Julia Hills
- Christine - Kim Benson
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 A reference to the actor Lon Chaney, Jr. who played the werewolf character Larry Talbot in the films The Wolf Man (1941), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945) and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1949).