‘Branded’ (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is a Godfrey episode! This is the one where it turns out that Godfrey is a conscientious objector. Captain Mainwaring is shocked and appalled by this revelation and is determined to disgrace him in the platoon. But will Godfrey be able to take a risk in his life in order to rescue Captain Mainwaring?

This is a very significant turning point in the ‘Dad’s Army’ team, as this episode shines a new light on Godfrey’s character. Godfrey comes across as a sweet, gentle, elderly man within the Home Guard. The idea of him not wanting to fight as a conscientious objector is very true in terms of his character.

I felt sorry for Godfrey and was slightly annoyed by Mainwaring when he’s appalled by his anti-fighting beliefs. Mainwaring doesn’t consider it normal, but to me it is normal as sometimes being a conscientious objector is driven by fear. Mainwaring doesn’t see it that way and he takes it personally.

I also didn’t like it when Godfrey got rejected by his fellow Home Guard comrades like Frazer, Jones, Pike and Walker when joining them on night patrol. But I was pleased when the episode ends on a touching note as Godfrey bravely goes into a smoke-filled hut and rescues Mainwaring in an exercise.

‘Branded’ also ends with Godfrey being promoted as the Home Guard’s medical orderly, after Mainwaring discovers he won military medals in the previous war within the medical corps. This is a superb episode for Godfrey’s character and it’s a favourite of Arnold Ridley and writer Jimmy Perry.

The episode also features Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges who teaches Mainwaring’s men during a smoked-filled hut rescue exercise. There’s also Stuart Sherwin as Bill, the 2nd ARP Warden who recently appeared in ‘Menace From The Deep’ and there’s also Nan Braunton as Cissy Godfrey.

I did enjoy that first scene in the episode where Wilson gets the platoon to do a standard exercise on the stealthy approach to an enemy soldier before Mainwaring arrives. It was funny when Godfrey dozed off being the first volunteer and Wilson managed to ‘get’ Mainwaring out once it was his turn.

‘Branded’ is quite a serious episode compared to other ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes. It works well in favour of Godfrey’s character as it showcases his gentle, kind-hearted quality in an intriguing way. I’m glad Godfrey became brave in his own way and was rewarded to stay on as the platoon’s medical orderly.

‘Branded’ (TV) rating – 8/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Branded’ is the sixth episode to be transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ series. And this is where I have to raise a little continuity point in terms of the transmission order for these episodes in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. For you see, ‘Branded’ is an episode from Series 3 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series.

And yet, the majority of episodes in Series 3 of ‘Dad’s Army’ have already happened in Series 1 of the radio series. Also, Godfrey was already established as a medical orderly in the Christmas Special, ‘Present Arms’, which was transmitted between Series 1 and 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Whoops!

I grant you, ‘Branded’ was recorded first before ‘Present Arms’ in production order for the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. But surely the producers should’ve shown ‘Branded’ first before ‘Present Arms’ to get the continuity right. Maybe they wanted to have Larry Martyn as Walker early for the Christmas Special.

And again, Walker does not appear in this radio version of ‘Branded’ in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I mean, okay, his presence isn’t necessarily required for this episode as a lot of his lines weren’t needed and this is a Godfrey-focused episode. But it takes some time for Walker to return to the radio series.

The episode features Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges and Nan Braunton as Cissy Godfrey, as they played them in the TV version of this episode. There’s Michael Segal as Bill, the 2nd ARP Warden, not Stuart Sherwin on TV and there is also Norman Ettlinger as the medical doctor, not Roger Avon on TV.

The stalking stealth exercise from the TV version of this episode is omitted in the radio version. It sort of gets started when Wilson’s about to teach the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon in the church hall before Mainwaring interrupts him and asks to see him in his office. Thus no Wilson catching Mainwaring out.

The scene where Mainwaring’s about to tell the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon of Godfrey being a conscientious objector with Hodges interrupting is handled differently in the radio version. Hodges talks away about putting a few beer crates next to Mainwaring to stand upon, which is not as funny as in the TV version.

The scene where Godfrey’s about to rescue Mainwaring from the smoke-filled hut is also handled differently in radio compared to TV. Godfrey coughs a lot before he goes inside to save Mainwaring. I prefer the TV version of that scene really. Otherwise this is a good radio adaptation of the TV episode.

‘Branded’ (Audio) rating – 7/10

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