‘A MAN OF ACTION’ (TV)
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In this episode, Private Pike gets his head stuck in the park gates. As Mainwaring and his men try to help Pike with getting his head out, Walmington-on-Sea soon gets heavily bombed by a land-mine. Eventually, Captain Mainwaring takes charge of Walmington-on-Sea and declares it under martial law.
Talfryn Thomas returns as Mr. Cheeseman, the Welsh photographer who had first appeared in ‘My British Buddy’. Cheeseman becomes a temporary member of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team. This was a behind-the-scenes attempt to replace Walker after James Beck’s tragic death. Sadly, this did not work.
That’s not to say Talfryn Thomas was terrible as a semi-regular character in the ‘Dad’s Army’ team-up. But he wasn’t Walker. It wasn’t the same camaraderie that was shared between Walker and the other ‘Dad’s Army’ members when Cheeseman joined. Cheeseman also doesn’t get a top billings in the cast.
I did find it very amusing when Pike got his head stuck in the park gates. He demonstrated it to Jonesy to recreate a childhood prank he played on his mum. One wonders why he didn’t think he’d get his head stuck and that it would get bigger since he was a kid. “Stupid boy!” as Mainwaring said to him. 🙂
It was interesting how Mainwaring takes charge of Walmington-on-Sea and puts it under martial law. Everyone protests against this move. This includes Eric Longworth as the Town Clerk, Frank Williams as the Vicar, Edward Sinclair as the Verger and Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges. No surprise there.
Even, Wilson and Frazer doubt Mainwaring’s under-hand methods as they think he’s behaving like a dictator. Interesting how Mainwaring seems convinced that he’s not behaving like a dictator at all, despite issuing orders for shooting people and putting people in prison. Clearly he’s not Hitler at all! 😀
Harold Bennett guest stars as Mr. Blewitt, who comes out at night in his pyjamas and dressing gown to ask Jonesy for a bath permit. There’s also Colin Bean as Private Sponge; Arnold Peters as Fire Officer Dale and Jay Denyer as Inspector Baker. At the episode’s end, Robert Mill as Captain Swan takes over.
‘A Man of Action’ is a pretty good ‘Dad’s Army’ episode that I enjoyed and remember watching on a VHS when I was young. This is an episode of two plots with Pike’s head caught in the park gates whilst Mainwaring declares martial law. It’s also interesting to introduce Cheeseman as a new ‘Dad’s Army’ member.
‘A Man of Action’ (TV) rating – 9/10
‘A MAN OF ACTION’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘A Man of Action’ was the first episode of Series 3 in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series to be transmitted. The first time I heard this episode was when I purchased the Series 3 CD box set on holiday. I listened to the radio episodes in the Highlands of Scotland and Monmouth, Wales during the summer of 2009.
It was interesting to hear ‘A Man of Action’ as the first episode of Series 3 in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. For one thing, Larry Martyn plays Walker in the radio episode. This is quite a contrast, considering James Beck had sadly passed away and he was replaced by Talfryn Thomas as Cheeseman.
Incidentally, Cheeseman doesn’t appear in this episode and not in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series at all. In this episode, Cheeseman is replaced by an entirely different character. This is Jonathan Cecil as Mr. Norris, who is just a press reporter and doesn’t join the ‘Dad’s Army’ team as a semi-regular character.
Because Walker is in most of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series and appears in the episodes that he didn’t appear during Series 7 of the TV series, there’s no need for the Cheeseman character. It’s interesting that the radio version of ‘A Man of Action’ was transmitted before ‘My British Buddy’ compared to TV.
This radio episode also features the first transmitted appearance of Julian Orchard as Mr. Upton – the Town Clerk. Eric Longworth doesn’t play the Town Clerk in the radio series. It’s interesting the Town Clerk makes his first appearance here and it’s interesting he has the name Mr. Upton in the radio series.
Bill Pertwee reprises his role as Chief Warden Hodges in the radio episode as he did in the TV version. Surprisingly, the Vicar and the Verger don’t appear in the radio episode. Shouldn’t they appear when there’s an emergency happening? Mr. Blewitt also does not appear in the radio version of this episode.
Fraser Kerr guest stars in the episode, playing two character parts. He first plays Inspector Baker, not Jay Denyer as in the TV episode, and later he plays Captain Swan, not Robert Mill as in the TV episode. Interesting that Fire Officer Dale doesn’t appear with Inspector Baker’s character in the radio episode.
The radio version of ‘A Man of Action’ has several minor alternations in terms of the adaptation process. This includes certain scenes and moments of dialogue switched around e.g. Fraser’s opinion of Mainwaring having a press reporter before Wilson’s. Otherwise, this is a very good radio adaptation.
‘A Man of Action’ (Audio) rating – 8/10
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