For many OFAH fans these episodes are by far a low point in the entire franchise. I don't think they're as bad as they're generally made out to be, but I can see why this is. The previous specials which formed the 1996 Christmas trilogy gave us the perfect ending to a perfect series, there was no need to carry it on beyond that. Yet five years later, in 2001, the Trotters were back in a rather padded out episode that pretty much rendered that ending meaningless. It had it's moments, the funeral scene in particular was great, but in all in all it was a bit of a mess and lacking the magic of older OFAH episodes.
The second special from 2002 is an improvement, it's still a bit rough around the edges, but the illegal immigrant storyline is classic OFAH stuff. Del and Rodney's discovery of their late Uncle Albert's dirty old ways, whilst far-fetched, is also bound to raise a smile or two.
The third and final special from 2003 is a bit bland and IMO a somewhat unsatisfactory conclusion to the series. It does tie up a few loose ends; Rodney and Cassandra finally have a baby, Freddie the Frog is confirmed as Rodney's real father, and Uncle Albert leaves a nice surprise in his will that gets the Trotters back on their feet, but other than that it is pretty forgettable and the plot is almost non-existent.
Still, what's done is done, ideally the series would have ended with the spectacular 1996 Christmas trilogy, but whether we like it or not the Trotter's returned once more in three more Christmas specials. They're definitely worth watching, but are by no means the best of OFAH. With Buster Merryfield and Kenneth MacDonald both dead, the remaining cast getting on a bit, Damien being a slight annoyance and the plot going backwards, these specials just go to show that by bringing OFAH back they were trying to squeeze a grand out of a tenner. The second episode is good, the other two are watchable but we could've done without any of them. Catch them if you can.