The Colonel arrives to inform Mainwaring and Wilson of some bad news concerning Godfrey: his house, Cherry Tree Cottage, has to be demolished to make way for a new aerodrome; the Colonel thinks it's best if one of the platoon tell him. At Godfrey's age the shock could easily kill him, as Frazer points out when they discuss how to break the news. Neither Frazer nor Jones, who are called to an emergency meeting by Mainwaring, offer to do the job, so Mainwaring decides to visit the cottage with Wilson and Pike the following afternoon. But things don't go to plan and they spend the entire time stuffing themselves with upside-down cakes, and leave the cottage without broaching the subject.
In the end it's down to Jones to break the news to Godfrey, but after going around the houses for ages, he finds out that Godfrey already knows. Jones suggests Godfrey stays with him while his sisters live with friends. But Frazer saves the day when he phones London in the middle of the night and speaks to Sir Charles Renfrew McAllister, the minister in charge of the aerodrome project, and asks him to move the aerodrome. When he refuses, Frazer blackmails the minister by threatening to disclose his shady past; the decision is altered and the aerodrome is moved 200 yards away, leaving the cottage standing.
Also appearing: Bill Pertwee (Chief ARP Warden), Gordon Peters (Man with the Door), Robert Raglan (Colonel), Campbell Singer (Sir Charles Renfrew McAllister), Joan Cooper (Dolly), Kathleen Sainsbury (Cissy)
It's nice to see Godfrey outside the context of the platoon. I really enjoy the odd scenes where we get to see the characters in their homes. But perhaps one of the things I like most about this episode is not so much what it reveals about Godfrey, but what it reveals about Frazer. Frazer is always so critical of Godfrey, but here we see him go out of his way to help him, and in the end he doesn't even take the credit for it - he lets Mainwaring take the credit!
There are also some very funny moments such as when Jones goes into a long ramble in a roundabout attempt to break the bad news to Godfrey about him losing his home, but he already knows about it. And I love the way Frazer makes the phone call to London in the wee small hours because it's cheaper.
All in all, a firm favourite of the later episodes.
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 14, 2011 2:02:39 GMT 12
I totally agree with your comments there Molly. I also love the scene where Mainwaring, Wilson and Pike are walking along the country lane and Pikey is playing gangsters. Also the business with the paper door is just superbly written, taking a rather serious real wartime situation of replacing a bomb damaged door, and milking so much comedy out of it from the guy who delivered it to the "Don't knock, cough" sign idea, to the Colonel burning a hole in it, to it not fitting right and getting stuck, Jones shoulder barging through it, to Pike using stamps to repair it. Absolute magic comedy.
I love Godfrey's garden. It's interesting too that through the magic of television they have us all believing that the idyllic little cottage is thatched, yet we never see its roof and that is because in reality that home's roof is not thatched at all.
The ending is funny but far-fetched, the only way they would get blown around like that is if the aircraft was running up its engines on the ground just over the fence, which i suppose if a possibility.
It is so nice that Frazer cares enough about Godfrey to blackmail an MP like that.
Post by redbetamax on Sept 15, 2011 2:24:50 GMT 12
Also nice for Wilson's stirring little speech about the cottage being the sort of thing they're fighting for. And for Jones insisting that Godfrey comes and lives with him. The writers rarely allowed these moments to be too cloying, they often passed quickly and any sentimentality was followed by a joke. Very British!
Its nice to see that Frasier, who usually mocks Godfrey, really does care for the other members of the platoon, even if the outcome , as in this case, is not quite how they expect it to be, one of the best of the later episodes IMHO.
Proud to say that we found the filming location for this episode the other day.This was poignant as 11th June was the 38th anniversary of its filming.lt was like stepping back in time,and the owner could not have bren prouder of his association with the series.He told of how the cast were so much like the characters they played.lt was a joy to see his photos taken on the day
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 21, 2020 22:31:58 GMT 12
I too have wondered that, however in WWII they usually seem to have built airfields in clusters, usually a main station and then a couple of satellite fields. So maybe the disused field was an old WWI aerodrome and it was being reinstated and a nearby satellite airfield was being built near Godfrey's place. The reason for the satellite stations were if the main base got bombed and the runway was out of action, aircraft hopefully had an alternate landing ground. They would also use the satellite for training new crews on if they were converting to a new type or doing instrument training or other such non-combat duties, where they could keep out of the way of the main station's operations.
As they were on the south coast of England the base would have been for fighters and would have been being built as part of the build up for the invasion. Training stations were well away from the south coast and the bomber bases were generally further north in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. So that was probably meant to be Spitfires or Typhoons flying over.
What annoys me is they give the impression that the aeroplanes flying low over the house blow everything everywhere, which is false. However if the perimeter of the runway is just over Godfrey's fence and an aircraft is backed up to the fence and starts its engine then they might get a sudden rush of gale force wind like that.
I think the only explanation is what the Colonel says, something about that ”it is vital for the war effort”.
Sounds a bit like typical military logic to me, there is a perfectly good airfield close by but no, let’s build a new one!😊 Maybe this was the point from the writers, although it is not said out loud directly.
”By Jove, that’s the sort of talk I like to hear!”
Had to rewatch this episode and I had totally forgotten that there is a battle between Jones’s boy Raymond and Frasier’s boy Heathcliff(?) in this one. The butcher’s offal queue is causing trouble outside the shops.
”How dare you interfere with my offal queue!”😊
”By Jove, that’s the sort of talk I like to hear!”