While this programme never had the same appeal that Dad's Army has had, I still watched it now and again due to work patterns and no vcr's then to record it. A number of the outside scenes were also filmed in Norfolk and at the British Industrial Sands Quarry in Leziate, near to Kings Lynn.
Back in 1997 and when on the railway over here, I got to meet up with the actor Norman Nitchell who became a regular passenger from the local station of where I now live. In due course I got to meet his son Christopher who played the role of Private Perkins in this series, yet never recognised him. Sadly, a couple of years after first meeting Christopher, he became ill and died, but I don't know what from. It wasn't so long after this that his father Norman also died.
It was a tremendous pleasure to say that when I remarried back in August 1998, both Norman & Christopher attended the evening reception.
Post by Andy Howells on Jul 22, 2008 7:23:02 GMT 12
Sad, theres been a few gone from the show now, I was lucky enough to meet Don Estelle a year or so before he died because he was singing at my local shopping mall. I went along and bought his autobiography which he signed for me and I got a few pics as well. - A true gent!
Post by Andy Howells on Jul 23, 2008 10:33:32 GMT 12
Bet Ken was interesting, I always enjoy his appearances in other shows like Only Fools..
It was interesting to see him in Cor Blimey! the other week as I'd forgotten he'd done that, I think his last tv appearance might have been Dangerous Davies, which I think went out about 2 years after he died...
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 23, 2008 11:52:51 GMT 12
He was interesting to chat with. I think for me the most interesting and most enthusiastic was Stuart McGugan, who was really friendly and as soon as i spoke with him it was like talking to an old mate. he'd actually been to my home town here which was nice, and he said he was at Lake Karapiro (just a few km's from me) when he received the sad news that Michael Bates had died.
But he was brilliant to talk to, really funny, and a great memory. We kept in touch for some time with email too.
A few of them told me about Ken's charcater in the early dyas of the show (including Ken) where he was rteally simple and the premise was he actually had a touch of the Deolali Tap. Remember in a few episodes he made a strange bird noise? (such as The Jungle Patrol and It's A Wise Child). Ken was doing this for his own amusement on the set apparently, and actually annoying everyone, and he kept saying to David Croft he wanted to do it in the show. David relented and added it, exploring the possibility of the character going insane - but they soon dropped that line of thought and made him more mature and sensible.
Interestingly Ken never did the whisltling, and John Clegg cannot play a note on the piano! Or any other instrument.
Have any of the rest of you ever found IAHHM's Lofty and MASH's Radar vaguely reminiscent of one another? Last night I happened upon a MASH rerun just in time to see Radar announce mail call and promptly get mobbed by everybody and his brother. When the crowd cleared away and we saw Radar left standing in tatters, it hit me that that's precisely how Lofty would have looked if transplanted to that spot. True, Lofty wasn't the menial who quietly kept the whole camp running like Radar did; just the one who always got stuck with the worst jobs. Maybe it's mostly that one feels the same sort of sympathy for both those tiny underdogs.
Of course, if I really really wanted to stretch a point, I suppose I could also compare Klinger with Gloria. But, no, their reasons for cross-dressing were too different. Their personalities didn't have much in common either.
A question about the final episode. Specifically, when Parky comes back and offers to let the Sgt. Major come stay with him and his Mum:
Early on everybody in the concert party learned that the Sgt. Major wasn't really Parky's father but decided they had to keep it secret from Williams -- because Parky was what was standing between them and getting sent up the jungle "so fast their feet won't touch the ground." But back at that time didn't Parky also talk about his real Dad as still being back home with Mum?
Then in the final episode it sounds as though Parky's mother is on her own. What happened to his real father? When did he disappear from the household? Did I miss something? Or misunderstand Parky's family situation in the early episodes? Or was this just a convenient rewrite of history to enable a less bleak future for Williams, the poor old soldier with no place to go in the civilian world?
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 18, 2009 22:34:33 GMT 12
I think you've read it right, but at no time was it mentioned that Parky's Dad was dead or had left. Perhaps as they lived in an Army town, he too ws a soldier and he was away in the Army? I think Parky was just making a nice gesture to Williams who had nowhere to go. Perhaps Parky's dad was at home and he just failed to mention it so Williams would take up the offer of a bed. Who knows.
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 20, 2009 1:36:12 GMT 12
We must remember that P&C made these shows over many years and were at the same time writing many other scripts (plus David was directing and producing shows too) so they can be forgiven for forgetting a few details from earlier shows when writing a later one I think. This happened a lot in Dad's Army, particularly with continuity of names of smaller characters. Such as Mrs Fox was known as Marcia, Murial and one other name. Mr Blewitt had two first names, as did the Verger, and I think Mrs Verger. Just little detaisl forgotten over time.
I'm still wondering if Gloria married his girlfriend that he got engaged to.
Oh yeah! ... I had forgotten all about Gloria getting engaged. And then there was Lofty's extraordinarily complicated love life revealed in one of the later episodes. Wonder if he continued merrily on with his surprising history of one romantic entanglement right after another -- probably to the amazement of all observers.
I loved Windsor Davies....esp in 'Never the twain. Just wonderful seeing him and Donald Sinden together in this comedy.
Sometimes its just nice to see a movie or a comedy with just men in it. Without the interference of women . Of course in some countries this is not allowed..there has to be equal representation and all that.
But this comedy like the ODD COUPLE starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman is just heaven to watch.
Yes, I've seen some of the Never the Twain episodes, and Windsor Davies was funny there, too. But I didn't think he had as strong material to work with there as the Perry & Croft scripts he'd done in Ain't Half Hot. Couldn't help noticing how he didn't entirely abandon some of his Ain't Half Hot catchphrases in Never the Twain. For instance, he used "lovely boy" sometimes. Once I specifically remember was when he was about to change his grandson's diaper, he addressed the tyke as lovely boy. And there was one time where Donald Sinden was unsuccessfully trying to take charge of a group of guys. Windsor Davies told him what he singularly lacked was the voice of command; then proceeded to put the group through a drill eerily reminiscent of the Sgt. Major with the concert party.
Just stumbled across a 2003 article where Jimmy Perry gives the most spirited defense I've heard yet from him of Ain't Half Hot. He goes so far as to call it "without doubt the funniest series that David Croft and I wrote."
(Dave, you've probably already read this, but maybe some of the other forum readers haven't.)
He also talks a bit about the origins of DA, crediting Will Hay's Oh Mr. Porter as his initial inspiration for it.
One comment that particularly intrigued me was:
"Why did Dad's Army prove so enduringly popular? 'Because it's about failure. We like our characters that way - no one gets above themselves, or if they do they get punished. In America it's different, and in France or Germany they just wouldn't be amused by these characters.'"
This is one Yank who likes DA but had never even thought of it in terms of it being about failures. To me, the extent that it was about failures was always overshadowed by the fact that all of them kept right on trying no matter how much the odds were stacked against them.
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2009 6:01:02 GMT 12 by straycat
Ohblimey, the article I cited in the post above includes this about the casting of Windsor Davies:
"He and Croft originally wrote the sergeant-major role as a cockney, like a man Perry had known. 'We had a job casting that role. Nobody seemed quite right. Leonard Rossiter came to see us, and he was extremely rude. He demolished the whole script. A few days later Windsor Davies came to see us, and he tried the role in cockney and it was hopeless because his Welsh accent kept peeping through. So we rewrote the part with Welsh cadences and idioms. It did the trick - when he came back he made it his own. He even created the "lovely boy" catchphrase there and then.'"
So I guess he considered "lovely boy" his to continue to use in Never the Twain if he wished.