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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 7 -> Episode 7.12

RDWRER (aka The Winnebago Show)
Episode Details

Written by: Sam Johnson & Chris Marcil

Directed by: Kelsey Grammer

Original US airdate: 6th January 2000

Original UK airdate: 24th March 2000

Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Guest Cast
Clifford .... Anthony Zerbe
Betty .... Rebecca Schull
Cop .... Kevin Brief
Farmer .... Wayne Grace
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier meets Roz at Cafe Nervosa and begins to tell her about how he celebrated the dawning of the new Millennium. It began disasterously, with Niles coming round to Frasier's to tell him that their Millennium party venue - Chez Henri - had burnt down after Henri set his own centrepiece alight with his caramelising torch. They are distraught but Frasier remembers the wine club are having their own party in Sun Valley - Auld Lang Wine, so Niles is immediately on the phone. They would be delighted to have them so Frasier and Niles invite Martin too, but fail to find any plane tickets so are forced to make the 650 mile trip in Martin's new Winnebago complete with his new personalised licence plates: RDWRER (Road Warrior, in case you're wondering). Frasier is enjoying himself, but Niles is finding it hellish, and both are finding Martin's 'Austin Powers' infatuation hard to deal with. They finally stop at a roadside diner, a Little Red Cabin, but Niles is so tired he decides to go back to the Winnebago. Unfortunately, he is so tired he fails to realise he gets into the wrong Winnebago!

Frasier and Martin set off again thinking Niles is in the back, but when Niles wakes up he believes he is in the Road Warrior and it has been stolen by the two people who are now driving it - and their talk of being criminals only makes him more sure. He phones the police and says that he has been kidnapped in a Winnebago with licence plates RDWRER. He waits until the two people driving pull into another Little Red Cabin and then drives it off himself. He phones Frasier with a sense of triumph until Frasier tells him that HE is driving the Road Warrior, meaning Niles has stolen a Winnebago! At that moment, the police force Frasier out of the Winnebago after receiving a tip-off, but as everything checks out, they are allowed to proceed. Niles manages to return the Winnebago to the Little Red Cabin without the two owners suspecting anything, but Frasier tells Niles he is 300 miles away from them and he has to find some way of hitching a ride to meet them halfway. Luckily the owners of the Winnebago are heading that way and Niles sneaks aboard. When the 3 finally meet, it is already past midnight but then Martin realises they are in Mountain Time and only 45 minutes away from Pacific Time, where it is only just gone 11pm. Will they get there on time to celebrate the most important New Years Eve of their lifetime?

Episode Title Cards
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Later The Same Millennium

Episode Highlights

- After the disaster at Chez Henri, Niles wonders what to do for New Years Eve:
Niles: I should have gone with Mel. She and her mother are taking a hot air balloon through wine country.
[Frasier and Martin knowingly look at Niles]
Niles: Well, not in the balloon but I could follow along in the recovery vehicle.

- Martin says that 'RDWRER' means 'Road Warrior':
Daphne: Of course! For a retired man with a cane and a Winnebago, I don't know why my mind didn't think of it (!)

- Martin is feeling hungry on the trip:
Martin: Another Little Red Cabin! You know - we're not going to find anywhere better to eat on this highway.
Frasier: Let's not be hasty Dad. It's 5 miles away - we might run over something by then!

- At the Little Red Cabin diner:
Martin: I wonder if you can still get Sticky Shingles here?
Niles: One look at the salad bar says yes (!)

- Frasier is on his mobile to Niles after he has returned the Winnebago:
Frasier: Where are you Niles?
Niles: I'm in Baker City, Oregon.
Frasier: Baker City!
Martin: Shag me rotten! That's 300 miles!

- Niles is telling Frasier what he did as the New Millennium dawned in an empty diner:
Niles: Big Sandy let me watch the register while she emptied the rat traps.


Frasier Online Episode Review

With the 3 Cranes travelling together in a Winnebago, this episode will obviously draw comparisons with the season 1 episode: 'Travels With Martin'. However, while that episode turned out to be a little gem, this one falls somewhat short of that terrific episode. There are some good moments like when Martin is in full-on 'Austin Powers' mode, and the moment when Frasier realises Niles isn't in the back of the Road Warrior and is driving a stolen Winnebago. These in themselves, though, don't add up to a great episode especially as it is a little predictable that the Cranes will have to battle against disaster to see in the Millennium. Despite a nice ending where they see in the New Year - just - it could have been better. The end result of all of this is still an enjoyable episode, just one that fails to completely satisfy.


77 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 83.9%
Total Number of Reviews: 9

A wandering city mouse, May 16, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"RDWRER" is an unusual script in some ways, clearly taking its cue from the early success "Travels with Martin", but adapting the focus from the boys struggling to get to know their distant father to three men in a much more relaxed place with one another.

Perhaps this is why the episode - for all its qualities - is missing a little something. It's a cruising, genial episode of the show, really. Sure, Niles is accidentally kidnapped and David Hyde Pierce has great fun playing the frantic and triumphant variations of Niles (his inability to recognise what has happened makes sense given how DHP plays Niles' pride on driving the Winnebago) - but it's mostly a non-event. Instead, the feel is more of a sleepy road trip. The jokes are things that happen to our characters as they pass through. I really like this episode, please don't mistake me. But it feels less deliberately crafted and more of a vignette.

Particular highlights are: Martin's cheerful look when first driving RDWRER, Frasier's attempt to connect with a "beautiful, flawed human being", and Niles' jokes about Big Sandy at the final diner. I also appreciate the little touches, like the fact that Frasier and Martin clearly have an unspoken pact about letting Niles drive. One element of great sitcoms (and, I suppose, most great TV shows) is that each character pair creates different interactions. I think of many of the generic "Friends" clones that popped up over the years, and really you could pair any two characters in any storyline. Here, it really feels like each of our five leads has a distinct connection with the others.

I have to wonder why Daphne (and even Roz) couldn't have come along. Perhaps by making this truly a vignette piece with the four (or five) of them, the genial feel may have come across as more deliberate. Fans might be able to treat this more as an experimental piece like "Dinner Party" rather than being considered a second-rate "Travels with Martin". And the Austin Powers references date this episode more than any other (even if part of the joke is that they're already dated). Having said that, Martin's "shag me rotten, that's three hundred miles!" is still a grand joke.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't hold "RDWRER" up as a pinnacle of "Frasier" as either a comedy or a drama. But to be honest, in the DVD era, I see it as a little extra. A side-trip from the main narrative. In the final scene, the three Crane men dress in tuxes and drink champagne in the open air (Frasier even happily carries Eddie out of the Winnebago). It's an incredibly cute conceit, and it's something that these characters would never have considered back when we met them in "The Good Son". For that alone, "RDWRER" is worth it.

Rating: 85%


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