‘Big Guns’ (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

The ‘Dad’s Army’ team get a new firing gun to defend Walmington-on-Sea. I enjoyed this episode as it demonstrates the ‘Dad’s Army’ team trying to get into some action and they fail miserably at it. The new firing weapon is very impressive. The ‘Dad’s Army’ team think so too when they try it out.

I enjoyed that scene where Mainwaring designates members of the platoon to specific strategic positions around the gun. I found it so funny when Edward Sinclair as the Verger interferes as he finds the gun’s safety catch on. It’s funny when he switches it off for the men to make the gun work.

The roles the ‘Dad’s Army’ members play with their big gun are as follows. Godfrey’s the gun layer; Jones is the breach worker; Pike and Walker are the gun loaders; Frazer is the trainer and Wilson’s the SS (sight superintendent perhaps). Mainwaring of course takes total charge as he uses the handbook.

It was interesting to discover that Frazer turned out to be a cook when he worked in the navy. Everyone’s shocked, especially Jones who thought Frazer was ‘somebody important’. It certainly paints a different picture on Frazer, as he may not have had much military experience as he woud like.

I also liked the scene where Mainwaring and his men plan out their strategy to use the gun in the form of a TEWT (Tactical Exercise Without Troops). It was funny when Mainwaring gives each of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team Pike’s toy soldiers to represent each of them when they perform in the TEWT.

It was funny when the Verger insisted upon putting up the blackout for the Vicar when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are about to resume performing the TEWT. The Verger doesn’t care and just lifts the blackout up from the table, ruining the ‘Dad’s Army’ team’s TEWT. Mainwaing is red in the face once this happens.

I was disappointed with how the episode ended. Mainwaring tries to show a demonstration of the big gun to Edward Evans as Mr. Rees the Town Clerk. I didn’t like how Mainwaring and his men messed things up during the demonstration with the net around the gun. I thought the radio version was better.

‘Big Guns’ is an enjoyable episode of ‘Dad’s Army’. I liked the opening scenes with the ‘Dad’s Army’ team trying out the new gun and also when they’re doing the TEWT. Sadly, the big firing gun never made a return to ‘Dad’s Army’. I wonder what happened to it. Perhaps the ‘Dad’s Army’ team lost it. 😀

‘Big Guns’ (TV) rating – 7/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Big Guns’ is the eleventh episode in Series 3 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I enjoyed this radio version of ‘Big Guns’ very much. I first heard it years ago on a ‘Dad’s Army’ CD before I heard it in the complete Series 3 on CD and download. I found it better than the TV version regarding the story’s end.

Larry Martyn once again plays Walker in the radio version of this episode. There’s also Julian Orchard as Mr. Upton the Town Clerk. This is different compared to the TV version as Edward Evans played Mr. Rees the Town Clerk and it isn’t Eric Longworth as Mr. Gordon the Town Clerk either from the TV show.

Michael Middleton also guest stars as the Pickfords Man in the radio episode. In the TV version of the episode, Don Estelle of ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ fame played the Pickfords Man. There were also more Pickfords Men delivering the big gun to the ‘Dad’s Army’ team in the TV episode. For radio, it’s just one man.

A notable difference from the TV version is that Edward Sinclair doesn’t appear as the Verger in the radio episode. With the Verger absent, it’s Wilson who discovers that the ‘Dad’s Army’ team have the safety catch on the gun instead. I like how this was handled in radio and Mainwaring’s response was brilliant.

Another interesting difference I noticed from the TV version to the radio version is that the scene where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team demonstrate their new weapon to Mr. Upton the Town Clerk takes place directly after they’ve done the TEWT scene. It doesn’t happen the next day. It happens on the same day.

Mr. Upton also happens to be alone with no council committee accompanying him to see the demonstration. The radio episode also has the big gun get used for comedic effect which I enjoyed. This gets helped when Pike suffers from hay fever as he and the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are removing the net off from the gun.

Mainwaring tells Wilson not to pull the lanyard when demonstrating the big gun to Mr. Upton. But once Pike sneezes, Wilson pulls it. This causes the Walmington-on-Sea bandstand to be blown-up in the process. This was very funny and a much better ending compared to how the TV version was handled.

I liked the Godfrey moments in the radio episode, especially when he’s ordered to adjust the inclination of the big gun’s ‘angle of fire’ to six degrees. When Mainwarings asks him, “Have you got the inclination?”, the way Godfrey says “I can hold on for a few minutes longer” was so funny in radio.

‘Big Guns’ (Audio) rating – 8/10

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