I don't know about Arnold Ridley, but sometimes I think the "Godfrey weak bladder" gags become a bit tiresome, but that's no doubt due to the amount of episodes you can watch in short spaces of time, so some gags, catchphrases etc, can seem repetitive.
I think Jimmy Perry said, in the audio commentary for Battle of the Giants!, that he wished he didn't write so many jokes like that, now that he was an "old man" or words to that effect.
I don't think it's detracts any from the show though, it's probably no different to Mainwaring's "you stupid boy" bit.
Re-watched this one today and in my humble opinion we really get to see all the aspects of Captain Mainwaring in this one and it shows why he is such a great character. Of course he is pompous and his stubborness at the start of the episode results in the whole platoon getting lost on the way to the camp. But during the training, he leads from the front- throwing himself into the action. He also shares the conditions of the ”regular” platoon members when it comes to sleep and food. (He is the last man in the food queue, for example.) And last but not least, he is also the man who finds the secret HQ and thereby saves the day! A well written and ”composed” character, which of course is another proof of the pure genious of the people behind the show. I don’t know anything about wine, I can’t really tell the good stuff from the bad. But sometimes I imagine that watching one of DA episodes, perhaps that feeling you get could resemble the feeling that a wine connoiseur gets from a good old wine? You can somehow sense the work and effort that have been put into it. I don’t know if this makes any sense...maybe I am getting into the realms of phantasy here.😊
Post by Alan Hayes on Sept 19, 2020 2:13:28 GMT 12
Another really good episode. The series is really riding a wave at this point.
The whole thing starts with a stock footage shot of a train steaming its way through the countryside (taken from The Titfield Thunderbolt, AIUI), and this is followed by a nice character scene aboard the train, complete with some really awful Colour Separation Overlay, but that's not really unusual for TV of the era. The 'Owl and the Pussycat' recital is a delight, but the scene spoiled somewhat by the background film running far too fast when Godfrey's trying to get back on board the train. It loses believability at that point as Godfrey is incapable of running that fast (Usain Bolt wouldn't manage it either!).
Things improve rapidly with some excellent location work at Wendling Railway Station (which was sadly demolished in 1974), and a great gag where Mainwaring leads the platoon on a 1-mile march to the battle school only for his poor map reading to lead them right back to where they started. Sublime.
The location footage in the rest of the episode (and there's a good amount of it) is also of a high standard, with some great sequences, some of which are familiar from the end titles of Series 3 onwards which were also filmed on this location visit.
Alan Tilvern's Captain Rodrigues is a great character and in some ways, he feels underused here. A shame - he should have returned. Major Smith (Alan Haines), by comparison, is forgettable. These actors would each make one further appearance in Dad's Army, Tilvern in My British Buddy and Haines in the 1971 feature film.
The way Mainwaring wins through in the end, capitalising on a fortunate discovery and demonstrating his initiative, is wonderful, particularly considering that he seemed earlier to have lost the trust of everyone in the platoon other than Jones!
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 19, 2020 10:53:08 GMT 12
A bit of an anachronism in the scene where Mainwaring is marching the platoon around in a circle, as they're all whistling Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler? But regardless that it was first recorded in 1968 I still love that they whistle it.
Alan Tilvern also reappeared in Battle School on the radio, and as Captain Ramsay in We Know Our Onions on radio too, so he actually played three characters.
What I like is the Battle School is based on a real Home Guard guerrilla school - Osterley Park - run by a real ex-Spanish Civil War soldier, Tom Winteringham.
Post by Alan Hayes on Sept 19, 2020 11:03:38 GMT 12
I don't know that it's an anachronism at all. After all, what we're seeing is a fiction, albeit one set in a real historical situation. Just because a song wasn't written in or before the 1940s doesn't mean it's an anachronism, because in the fiction of the show it's a 1940s song/tune.
Good point about the radio series - they had a good track record of getting the original guest stars back where feasible. I presume Fulton Mackay wasn't available for the radio recording of We Know Our Onions.
Osterley Park - been there a couple of times. Impressive building - seen in The Persuaders! series starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis.
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2020 11:04:53 GMT 12 by Alan Hayes