‘DON’T FENCE ME IN’ (TV)
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Captain Mainwaring and his platoon are ordered to take over guard duty at an Italian Prisoner-of-War camp. Later on, Private Walker is soon suspected of being a traitor when he seemingly helps the Italian prisoners to escape. Will Mainwaring and his men stop him and know the truth of his actions?
It was funny when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team tried to get into the Prisoner-of-War camp and there are language communication issues with one of the prisoners. It gets funnier when Jones drills the Italians to march forward but they don’t understand English. This all ends with some hilarious results.
This is a pretty good episode for Walker as it highlights some of his dodgy dealings when being a spiv during the war. It starts when the Italian, Edward Evans as General Monteverdi, recognises Walker before hugging and kissing him. Later that night, Walker meets up with Monteverdi to tell him of their plan.
It was tense when Walker got caught by Frazer; Wilson and Godfrey and they question him on his actions. It’s soon revealed that he was only taking the prisoners with him as a work force to help with making some radio sets. It was funny when Mainwaring got stuck in the tunnel underneath the camp.
Wilson found it funny as well, since Captain Mainwaring being stuck in a tunnel reminded him of Winnie the Pooh and the story where he got stuck in a hole after eating too much honey. Having seen the Disney version of that story when I was a kid on VHS, I see what Wilson is getting at in this episode.
John Ringham returns as Captain Bailey in the episode. He comes to visit the Prisoner-of-War camp at night to count how many prisoners there are. It was so funny when Jonesy and Mainwaring tried to hide the fact the Italian prisoners were down in the tunnel and Captain Bailey gets rather frustrated.
It was also funny when Jonesy and Pike get twenty prisoners or so to go in and out again to count as sixty prisoners in total. This was inspired from a pantomime that Jones and Pike saw. Frazer believes it won’t work. This turns out to be the case as it was funny when prisoners came up from the ground.
‘Don’t Fence Me In’ is quite an amusing episode in the ‘Dad’s Army’ series where the Walmington-on-Sea platoon take charge of a Prisoner-of-War camp. It also touches well on Walker as a character. I wondered if Walker would be in big trouble after this. Thankfully he’s still with the ‘Dad’s Army’ team.
‘Don’t Fence Me In’ (TV) rating – 7/10
‘DON’T FENCE ME IN’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is the fourteenth episode of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series in Series 2. Once again, this is mostly a faithful adaptation of the TV episode, ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ into audio. However, like most ‘Dad’s Army’ radio episodes, there are certain noticeable changes from TV into radio that’s very hard to ignore here.
Of course, Walker is an integral part to this episode. It would be criminal not to have Larry Martyn play him. The other lower ranking ‘Dad’s Army’ members including Frazer, Godfrey and Pike are also in the episode. So far, many Series 2 radio episodes have had the full complement of ‘Dad’s Army’ members.
Cyril Shaps guest stars as General Monteverdi in the radio episode instead of Edward Evans as in the TV episode. It was nice to hear Cyril Shaps playing General Monteverdi in this radio episode, since I’ve seen him in one episode of ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Them’ as well as four ‘Doctor Who’ TV adventures.
John Ringham reprises his role for the radio episode as in the TV version. But again, as in the radio version of ‘Room at the Bottom’, he’s called Captain Turner not Captain Bailey. There are fewer moments where Captain Turner gets impatient, although he does wonder why there are more Italian prisoners coming up out from the ground. This gets weakly explained by Wilson in the radio episode.
Sion Probert guest stars as one of the Italian prisoners who opens the door for the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon as they arrive at the Prisoner-of-War camp as well as the sentry who I think is either called Jenkins or Perkins. What’s intriguing is that the Italian prisoner who opens the door willingly opens it.
This is despite the communication barriers that are between the ‘Dad’s Army’ team and the Italian prisoner when they’re trying to get in. Also, Mainwaring doesn’t order for his men to not let the prisoner get away with opening the door. I’m very surprised they managed to keep all the prisoners in.
With the opening scene, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are already outside the P.O.W. camp. There’s no first scene in Mainwaring’s office where he tells Wilson they’re going to the camp as on TV. The dialogue from the first TV scene gets transferred to when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team arrives at the camp in the radio.
There’s also no indication that Godfrey overheard Walker’s plans for the Italian prisoners with General Monteverdi in the radio version as in the TV episode. At least, it’s not made clear Godfrey overheard him. The scene where Mainwaring gets stuck in the tunnel in the TV version is also omitted in the radio version.
‘Don’t Fence Me In’ (Audio) rating – 8/10
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