‘Brain Versus Brawn’ (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

In this episode, Captain Mainwaring and his platoon attempt to infiltrate a petrol station and plant a dummy bomb for a training exercise. How will they do that then? Well, by dressing up as firemen and driving a fire engine of course. But will they get diverted along the way before dealing with a real fire?

This is a really fun episode where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team dress up out of their army uniforms and into some firemen outfits. It’s always nice to see the ‘Dad’s Army’ team do something different in the series. Having the team dress up as firemen like ‘Fireman Sam’ can’t get even more hilarious than that, can it? 😀

I enjoyed that scene where all the ‘Dad’s Army’ characters are in Walker’s shed and they’re getting to go out on the fire engine. I do feel for Pike who gets accused rather unreasonably by Mainwaring for not getting onto the fire engine when he’s trying to be helpful. Pike clearly gets peeved by Mainwaring.

The ‘Dad’s Army’ team also have a secret agent working for them in this episode. It turns out to be Edward Sinclair as the Verger instead of Mrs. Pike, which Mainwaring had been hoping for. The Verger clearly messes things up in being the secret agent when he’s setting off a fire as instructed in his notes.

A soldier puts it out before the fire brigade gets called in and the Verger tells the soldier to “Clear off!” The Verger can be very dim at times. Bill Pertwee also guest stars as Chief Warden Hodges in the episode and he gets a shock when he sees the fire brigade are really the ‘Dad’s Army’ team in disguise.

Oh and guess what?! Geoffrey Hughes makes a guest appearance in the episode as the Bridge Corporal. Geoffrey Hughes is well-known for playing Onslow in the sitcom series ‘Keeping Up Appearances’. I was surprised to see him here and looking young before he played Onslow in the 1990s.

Robert Raglan also guest stars as the Colonel, who is a supporter of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team compared to Captain Square. He welcomes the idea of Mainwaring’s team using ‘brain versus brawn’ when talking to them at the Rotary Club dinner. The Colonel also makes an appearance at the episode’s end.

‘Brain Versus Brawn’ is a very good ‘Dad’s Army’ episode where our heroes become firemen. They do deal with an actual fire at the end once Chief Warden Hodges calls them to deal with it. I did feel the conclusion was a little weak in explaining how the dummy bomb got planted. But I did enjoy the episode.

‘Brain Versus Brawn’ (TV) rating – 8/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Brain Versus Brawn’ was the tenth episode transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Most of the radio episode remains faithful to the TV version. At least for the first half. By the time we get to the second half, there were some noticeable changes in terms of the casting of characters here.

Larry Martyn once again returns to play Private Walker in the episode alongside John Laurie, Arnold Ridley and Ian Lavender in the ‘privates’ list under Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier and Clive Dunn. I enjoyed it when Walker attended the Rotary Club dinner both in the TV and radio versions of this story.

Avril Angers guest stars as the waitress at the Rotary Club dinner, not Maggie Donn as in the TV version. I would’ve preferred Maggie Don compared to Avril Angers in the radio version. Avril Angers also plays the policewoman, replacing Geoffrey Hughes as the Bridge Corporal in the radio episode. What?! No!

Thankfully Robert Raglan reprises his role as the Colonel in the episode with his surname happening to be Pritchard, the same name of the character he played in ‘Fallen Idol’. I’m wondering if Pritchard was the same character in ‘Don’t Forget The Diver’ too when he was Captain Square’s sergeant in that.

Stuart Sherwin, who usually plays one of Hodges’ ARP wardens in the series, plays Mr. Fairbrother in the radio episode instead of Anthony Roye as in the TV version. Stuart Sherwin also plays the Corporal, not David Rose as in the TV version, who puts out the fire created by Godfrey as a nun, not the Verger.

Yeah, Edward Sinclair doesn’t play the Verger in the radio version of the episode as he did on TV. Instead we have Godfrey being the secret agent instead of the Verger and Mrs. Pike and he gets to dress up as a nun. Godfrey did say on TV and audio that he dressed up as a nun and looked ‘awfully holy’.

I suppose Michael Knowles and Harold Snoad took Godfrey’s suggestion to heart when adapting this episode from TV into radio when they couldn’t get Edward Sinclair to reprise his role as the Verger. Bill Pertwee also doesn’t reprise his role as Chief Warden Hodges in the radio episode as he did on TV.

Instead it’s the policewoman who directs the ‘Dad’s Army’ team as fireman to the fire instead of Hodges. The policewoman also brings back Godfrey as the nun to accompany them once he returns to them. I still think the conclusion of the episode is weak in the radio version as it was in the TV version.

‘Brain Versus Brawn’ (Audio) rating – 8/10

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4 thoughts on “‘Brain Versus Brawn’ (TV)

  1. Rob Keeley

    Another of my favourites: it’s good to see a double victory for the platoon. I love the opening scene at the dinner with Mainwaring being snubbed and ignored right left and centre. I’ve been to occasions like that!

    A few ideas from David Croft’s later work make their debut here: dressing up as firemen was used again in ‘Allo ‘Allo and Pikey’s suggestion of dressing up as a funeral procession was also used in that series by the Resistance, and successfully! So maybe he wasn’t such a stupid boy after all! Plus, Wilson’s friend at the dinner is named Fairbrother. I like to think he may be Jeffrey’s father from Hi-De-Hi!

    It is good to see Geoff Hughes as the soldier, oddly he was a second cousin of mine! Around this time he would probably have been best known as Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Rob

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this ‘Dad’s Army’ episode that is one of your favourites.

    Yes I did feel sorry for Mainwaring when he got ignored and Wilson was the only one who got the attention. It’s nice when Jonesy and Walker turned up to keep Mainwaring company as well as the Colonel. It’s funny when Wilson was being charming to that nice waitress handing out the sherries at dinner.

    Interesting bits of trivia you’ve shared about David Croft’s later work originating from this episode. I had no idea. I have seen ‘You Rang M’Lord’; ‘Oh Doctor Beeching’ and some episodes of ‘Hi-De-Hi’, but not much of ‘Allo, ‘Allo’ or ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’. Interesting that Pikey’s suggestion of dressing as a funeral procession is successful in ‘Allo, Allo’. Mainwaring should have listened to him. 😀

    I have listened to the radio version of this episode recently, and it turns out that Godfrey is the secret agent and not the Verger. Oh and also, he dresses up as a nun since he looked ‘awfully holy’. Hmm, now isn’t that interesting?! 😀

    I enjoyed seeing Geoffrey Hughes in this episode. Oh really! Thanks for sharing that he was a second cousin of yours. I really enjoyed seeing him as Onslow in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’. I’ve checked his biography and he did ‘Dad’s Army’ in 1972 two years before he did ‘Corrie’ in 1974. He also guest starred in a ‘Doctor Who’ story called ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ with Colin Baker, and I enjoyed seeing him in that. And of course he did ‘Heartbeat’.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my ‘Brain Versus Brawn’, Rob. Glad you enjoyed it and it’s a pleasure to read your thoughts on this episode.

    Tim. 🙂


  3. Tim Bradley Post author

    Of course you can add more comments to my blog. You needn’t ask.

    I will be away on holiday to Amroth in West Wales for a week, starting tomorrow. So don’t be surprised if you find I haven’t responded to your comments promptly as usual. I’ll look forward to reading them when I return.

    Glad you like my blog. Greatly appreciate it! Tim. 🙂



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